As conference championships have begun to be decided, are you wondering where your team will fall? In the case of my Mountaineers, the question is what seed they will be more than where they will be playing after Selection Sunday, March 15. If, as they have in the past, West Virginia happens to win the Big East tourney (not a big possibility, but a possibility none the less), they could move up from a possible 7 seed. Right now, with the wins and losses sustained in a regular season schedule that has an RPI ranking of 26, WVU should be at least a 7 seed. With a move up the conference tourney ladder – the Big East conference tournament starts tonight at Madison Square Garden in NYC, WVU could end up as high as a 5 seed.
The other big thoughts hinge on my daughter’s school – Niagara University – who lost last night in the conference championship to hometown favority Siena, who also won the regular season and local craze Binghamton University. Niagara will most likely end up at the NIT, National Invitational Tournament. Niagara had a fantastic season, even beating Siena a few weeks back while scoring 100 points. Niagara has an RPI ranking of 52, not fantastic but well above Binghamton’s 89. They only have seven losses on the season, oops eight after last night. While I would love to think that Niagara could get an at-large bid, I will err on the side of reality that the MAAC will only have one team dancing.
Binghamton, on the other hand, should count itself lucky to be in the tournament championship game. The local economy will be thanking the BU athletic department as the championship game is held at the highest seed’s home court. America East will send one team dancing. It will either be defending champ UMBC – University of Maryland, Baltimore County – or Binghamton. I do not see either team, as runner up, getting an at-large bid to the big dance. I am not sure I even see either team going to the NIT. I cannot see Binghamton, should they win Saturday morning, as higher than a 15 seed. My truthful thoughts, and I still stand by them, are that BU will be a play-in.
I should quickly mention my son’s university – University at Buffalo. This could be a huge sports year from the Bulls. Every pundit out there predicts the MAC champ will come from the East and that would be Buffalo if they play as they did back in November against UConn. They will undoubtedly be a high seed – a 15 or 16. They do need to get past Kent State, whom they lost to last week in OT.
Just so you all know, I will be playing along in the pick ’em on Yahoo! sports. If you are interested, come next Monday morning, about who my picks are, leave me a message and I will get you my Yahoo! ID.