Sunday, 15 April 2018 19:06

NCAA Men: The Race to Host - as of 4/15

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With all the regular season conference play winding down it's that time of year where teams gear up for conference tournaments (except the Ivy League, those smart guys sit back and watch... wait it's better to play more to have a chance to improve your ranking right? not sure who the smart one's are here).  At the same time everyone is gearing up for conference tournaments all the teams that have a legitimate shot at hosting start looking at the rankings trying to figure out if they have a shot of making the top 16 to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.  So of course you are wondering, how's it look for my team?  Well, ask no more.  Below you'll find the outlook for each team and as events occur that change the outlook I'll update the post and put an update date on it.  So without further ado...

The Locks (10)

Not going to say much about these teams as they should be near impossible to knock out of a hosting position.

Wake Forest
UCLA
Ohio State
Stanford
Texas A&M
North Carolina
Mississippi State
Illinois
TCU
Florida

The Probables (3)

Florida State

Remaining: North Carolina, Duke, ACC Tournament
A loss to North Carolina wouldn't hurt much, but a loss to Duke would sting a little.  Beat Duke and FSU looks very good heading into the ACC Tournament.

Michigan

Remaining: Iowa, Nebraska, Big Ten Tournament
Neither Iowa or Nebraska will help Michigan's point total at the moment.  Nebraska can't get there, if Iowa finished strong it could get there but they would need to get above #48 as of now.  That means Michigan's only chances to improve it's point total are going to be in the Big Ten Tournament which makes them a little susceptible but at #12 a lot of teams would have to pass them.

USC

Remaining: Utah, Pac-12 Tournament
With today's win over Arizona State and a win they should get over Utah, the Trojans are in pretty good shape.  Barring a bad loss they are looking good.

Bubble Teams (4)

Columbia

Remaining: at Brown, at Yale, at Cornell
With today's loss at home to Dartmouth, Columbia's chance of hosting went from pretty good to marginal.  Remaining matches at Brown and Yale cannot add anything, and a win over Cornell just barely adds a little to the point total.  All that being said, the two teams Columbia needs to be most concerned about are Texas and Oklahoma and they need to stay in front of one of them.  That and avoid anyone coming from down low with a big conference tournament run like the plethora of SEC teams lurking.

Texas

Remaining: at Texas Tech, at Baylor, Big 12 Tournament
Big matches left for the Longhorns so their hosting chances pretty much ride on those matches.  I'd say if they win two more matches between the two they have left and the conference tournament they should be good.  I've classified them as a bubble team but given the fact that they look to be playing well and the Texas Tech and Baylor are not as hot, they really are probably more of a probable, but they are road matches so we'll leave them here for now.

Oklahoma State

Remaining: Oklahoma, Big 12 Tournament
Oklahoma State is currently in a host spot but they are a bubble team at best given their injuries and remaining schedule.  They are missing Julian Cash their #1 player and have rival Oklahoma left prior to the Big 12 Tournament.  It is likely that the winner of the match against Oklahoma will find themselves in a host spot at that point while the loser is not.

Oklahoma

Remaining: Oklahoma State, Big 12 Tournament
As of this writing the Sooner's sit at 17 after losing to Texas today.  That puts them on the outside looking in but with a big match against Oklahoma State coming up in Stillwater they would be back in with a win, but will still be very close with the Big 12 Tournament looming.

Clinging to Hope (7)

Memphis

Remaining: AAC Tournament
Memphis is an unfortunate victim of a weak conference this year with Tulsa, USF and SMU all having poor seasons and not helping the conference out.  Memphis will be the top seed in the conference tournament and the 4 seed in the SF will be no help at all so Memphis can only gain point from the conference finals against Tulane or UCF.  If you use the What-If calculator at CollegeTennisRanks.com you'll see that even a win over Tulane doesn't get them in now.  So barring a collapse from all the teams around them they won't be hosting.

Vanderbilt
Tennessee
Georgia

Remaining: SEC Tournament
For a team that was in a freefall for a bit, Georgia stopped that bleeding in a big way this weekend with wins over Vanderbilt and Kentucky.  Now the chance to host lies squarely on their shoulders.  Unlike Memphis who can do nothing but hope lots of teams collapse, Georgia knows what they need to do.  They must beat Arkansas in their first match at the SEC Tournament and top seeded Texas A&M in their second match.  That would put them in the finals of the SEC Tournament and right on the bubble.  If they manage to do that we'll revisit whether they need to win the final or not but getting there is a must.  The story is pretty much the same for all three of these SEC schools, get to the finals of the SEC Tournament and you have a shot, and depending on what the other schools do you may or may not need to win the final.

Kentucky

Remaining: SEC Tournament
Kentucky is separated from the other three SEC schools above as they can't host simply by making the finals of the SEC Tournament, they must win it.  The two losses this weekend to Tennessee and Georgia put them in that position and given they lost to the 4 and 8 seeds it would seem rather unlikely that they can make a run and win the tournament, especially given their road record.  The Wildcats definitely excel in the confines of their indoor facility so they may need some help from the weatherman to force things indoors in Tuscaloosa to have a chance.

Duke

Remaining: at Miami, at Florida State, ACC Tournament
Lots of opportunity left for the Blue Devils but they will need to win their final two matches on the road and then make a deep run in the ACC Tournament.  They may need to make the finals to have a shot.

Baylor

Remaining: at TCU, at Texas
Baylor isn't exactly hot but if they could somehow pull off road wins at TCU and Texas headed into the Big 12 conference tournament they are back in the thick of it and would likely be sitting in a host position going into the Big 12 Tournament.

Read 558 times Last modified on Sunday, 15 April 2018 21:10

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