Colorado possesses an abysmal nonconference strength of schedule, one that reaches depths (No. 318) the NCAA tournament selection committee often finds worthy of exclusion.
The Buffaloes also have three —- count ‘em, three —- victories over Kansas State, plus a home-floor defeat of Texas. Oh, and the committee has three extra spots to fill into its field, slots that in the past might have gone to teams with semi-decent profiles but horrible nonconference schedules (see 2010 Virginia Tech).
Colorado might just be the wild card come Sunday; if the Buffaloes beat Kansas in the Big 12 semifinals, the question might be moot. But for now, the D1scourse projection has them in.
That, of course, is subject to extensive further evaluation.
Then there’s yesterday’s other mover: UAB. The Blazers benefit from Conference USA’s overall trend of most of the league shifting toward decided middle-class status. Memphis no longer dominates, but there are fewer doormats. The league’s eastern teams —- which play each other twice and of which UAB is one —- are all solid if not redoubtable.
The Blazers ended their season with a 22-8 record. They were 10-7 against the top 100 and 9-5 on the road. But they also managed only a 1-4 mark against the top 50.
How UAB is evaluated will be dependent upon how C-USA is evaluated. Here’s guessing that means the Blazers lead a strong contingent to the NIT after losing to East Carolina on Thursday.
The full bracket rundown:
(1) BIG TEN/Ohio State vs. (16) SUN BELT/Arkansas-Little Rock-SWAC/Texas Southern
(8) Villanova vs. (9) Washington
(4) Connecticut vs. (13) CONFERENCE USA/Tulsa
(5) Kansas State vs. (12) Clemson
(3) ACC/North Carolina vs. (14) NORTHEAST/Long Island
(6) West Virginia vs. (11) Georgia
(2) San Diego State vs. (15) METRO ATLANTIC/Saint Peter’s
(7) Texas A&M vs. (10) Illinois
(1) BIG 12/Kansas vs. (16) BIG SOUTH/UNC Asheville
(8) UCLA vs. (9) Marquette
(4) Louisville vs. (13) ATLANTIC SUN/Belmont
(5) Vanderbilt vs. (12) Michigan State/Virginia Commonwealth
(3) Syracuse vs. (14) MID-AMERICAN/Kent State
(6) Temple vs. (11) Boston College
(2) Purdue vs. (15) BIG WEST/Long Beach
(7) UNLV vs. (10) Missouri
(1) BIG EAST/Notre Dame vs. (16) SOUTHLAND/McNeese State-MEAC/Bethune-Cookman
(8) COLONIAL/Old Dominion vs. (9) Florida State
(4) Wisconsin vs. (13) IVY/Harvard
(5) ATLANTIC 10/Xavier vs. (12) SUMMIT/Oakland
(3) SOUTHEASTERN/Florida vs. (14) MISSOURI VALLEY/Indiana State
(6) St. John’s vs. (11) Michigan
(2) MOUNTAIN WEST/Brigham Young vs. (15) BIG SKY/Northern Colorado
(7) Georgetown vs. Richmond
(1) Pittsburgh vs. (16) AMERICA EAST/Boston University
(8) George Mason vs. (9) HORIZON/Butler
(4) Kentucky vs. (13) OHIO VALLEY/Morehead State
(5) PAC-10/Arizona vs. (12) Colorado/Virginia Tech
(3) Texas vs. (14) PATRIOT/Bucknell
(6) Cincinnati vs. (11) WEST COAST/Gonzaga
(2) Duke vs. (15) SOUTHERN/Wofford
(7) Tennessee vs. (10) WESTERN ATHLETIC/Utah State
Last four in: Michigan State, Virginia Commonwealth, Colorado, Virginia Tech
Last four out: Saint Mary’s, Penn State, Cleveland State, New Mexico
Next four out: Memphis, UAB, Missouri State, Alabama
Moving in: Colorado, Tulsa
Moving out: Saint Mary’s, UAB
Conference call: Big East (11), ACC (6), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (6), Southeastern (5), Atlantic 10 (3), Colonial (3), Mountain West (3), Pac-10 (3)
—- Patrick Stevens