NCAA Play-in Game

Forum Forum Lehigh Sports Lehigh Men’s Basketball NCAA Play-in Game

This topic contains 25 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  norcalfan 10 years, 8 months ago.

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    Who gets to go?

    Think of it as the 5th and 6th weakest #16 seeds meeting to see who plays the strongest team in the nation. The game is scheduled to take place at the Dayton Arena on Tuesday, March 16th. ESPN’s Bracketology now sees it as Lehigh vs. Jackson State out of the Southwestern Athletic Association. For that to happen, of course, Lehigh would have to get by Lafayette on Friday and Jackson State would have to emerge as the Champion of the SWAC in their tourney scheduled to start on Wednesday. But, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to name each to the dreaded Play-in game. You be the judge looking over the stats below showing the conference name, their ranking and the team most likely to represent that conference in the NCAA’s along with their RPI.

    Lowest ranked (RPI) Conferences:

    SWAC – 31st ranked – Playoffs to begin Wednesday
    Jackson State (192)
    All other teams – 195 or worse

    MEAC – 30th ranked – Playoffs to begin Monday
    Morgan State (105)
    All other teams – 223 or worse

    Northeast – 29th ranked – Playoffs begun winner to be crowned on Wednesday
    Quinnipiac (137) or Robert Morris ( 150)

    Patriot – 28th ranked – Playoffs begun with winner to be crowned on Friday
    Lehigh (159)
    Lafayette (213)

    Big South – 27th ranked – Playoffs concluded
    Winthrop is the winner! (158)

    Southland – 26th ranked – Playoffs to begin on Tuesday
    S. F. Austin (162)
    All other teams – 200 or worse

    Atlantic Sun – 25th ranked – Playoffs concluded
    East Tennessee State is the winner! (105)

    America East – 24th ranked – Winner to be determined on Saturday
    Boston U (151) vs. Vermont (130)

    Lehigh will surely be rooting for an upset in either one or both of the Southland or MEAC tournaments.



    Something I keep thinking about: If the men and women both win this weekend, might the NCAA tourney committees try to work something out to have both the men and women play close to one another, so fans could attend both opening-round games?

    For example, the men could be the No. 15 seed at Jacksonville, while the women could be the No. 14 seed at Tallahassee. (Matter of fact, that’s where the Lady Hawks are projected right now in women’s bracketology on ESPN, playing against Florida State). It could mean, for example, Lehigh’s band and fan contingent could travel to Florida for multiple days and get a chance to go to two (or more) games.

    Better yet, men’s bracketology has Duke as the No. 2 seed at Jacksonville. Talk about a nice somewhat academically-oriented first round game.

    Another possibility is shipping both Lehigh teams out to Oklahoma. If so, that would mean the men might face off against No. 1 Kansas as the 16 seed, while the Ladies would be a 14 seed facing off against Oklahoma. Less juice in that matchup, but you would have that Patriot League vs. Kansas angle again.



    Doesn’t the play-in game usually involve two surprise winners of minor conferences? The Patriot League qualifies as "minor," but Lehigh would be a 22 win team. There would, in my opinion, have to be almost no upsets in other conference tournaments for Lehigh to be assigned to the dreaded play-in game. Both ESPN and College Hoops are predicting Lehigh as a 16 vs. Kansas in St. Louis.

    Oh yeah, LFN, you can bet the ranch that the NCAA will not take locations into consideration when assigning Lehigh men’s and women’s teams to regionals. Maybe for a Kansas, a Duke, or a Kentucky, but not for a Patriot League school. What are we talking about, 50 "fans," 100? And how many of them would be true crossover, willing to travel to separate venues?



    Fair points carney. I will say though when Lehigh women got assigned the 15 seed last year it was almost certainly with regional-ness in mind: they played at Piscataway, an easy drive from Lehigh, against Auburn. Bracketology had them as a 13 seed or so.

    It’s important to think about that in terms of our area, since there isn’t a regional anywhere (men’s or women’s) within 5 hours of the Lehigh Valley (which absolutely sucks, by the way). Not so much for the fans, but for the athletics contingent. I could believe the league lobbying to have Lehigh’s men’s and women’s champions playing close by so they can catch both games easily and get in some rounds of golf. Why fly to Seattle on Thursday and Providence on Saturday?



    Men’s bracketology now has Lehigh as the 16 seed playing Kansas at Oklahoma City, and the PIG being Winthrop vs. Jackson State. If Bracketology is to be believed, Lehigh is looking to be a 16 seed and maybe even a 15 with a few more upsets (Robert Morris over Quinnipiac, Morgan State getting upset in the MEAC tourney, perhaps a BU upset over Vermont, UCSB and Pacific not surviving the Big West tourney). Unlikely perhaps, but possible (unless the NCAA playoff folks do what I mentioned to put two Lehigh games in somewhat close proximity).

    (Incidentally, if the 6/11 game is going to be Butler vs. Cornell, I’m gonna cry.)



    Well it is show time. Out of curiosty, does the school get a number of tickets for the players and their families for the NCAA or NIT games? Do they have a block for the students to purchase?

    It will be a great game. Wish I were there, but will watch on television. Good luck to both teams.



    Back to the brackets…………….I found "Bracketology 101," an official partner of FOXSprots, to be a good read in this business of forecasting the names of the lucky 65 and have attached their link below. While ESPN’s Joe Lunardi calls the Play-in Game to be Jackson St. vs. Wintrop with the winner to face Kentucky at the Milwaukee Regional in "Backetology," the team over at Backetology 101 see it as Jackson State vs. Quinnipiac with the winner to face Syracuse at the Buffalo Regional. Either way, it looks like LU – should they win on Friday – will escape the PIG and go straight to a 1 vs. 16 game featuring – as both services see it – Kansas as our opponent in the Oklahoma City Regional. But then again, that’s just two opinions. Stay tuned.

    To put some distance between themselves and the PIG, LU had better hope for at least one other upset from around the country this week. I can just hear the folks at Wintrop (17-13, 15-6) saying, "Why us, our RPI (158) is about the same as Lehigh’s (159) and we played a tougher schedule (5 top 100 RPI teams compared to LU’s 2) and our SOS was superior to that of Lehigh’s (240 to 305), too! Looking over the tournament action still remaining, our best bet would be to have someone other than Morgan State (RPI 106) win the MEAC (all others have RPIs of greater than 222) or have someone other than Sam Houston State or S.F. Austin win the Southland Conference (all others there have RPIs greater than 176). Isn’t March Madness fun?



    Personally I’m hoping for at least one more upset – mostly because I want to play Duke.

    The teams I don’t want to see? Ohio State or Kentucky. If Lehigh does play Kentucky my blog will become a one-man crusade against John Calipari (which might be fun for my readers) but the matchup is simply so terrible for Lehigh. Ohio State is also that scary outside-inside combination that is so difficult to beat, too.

    Of course, I’d prefer to get a 15 seed and face off against Purdue, but I’ll be quite elated with a win on Friday and avoidance of the PIG. I am scared stiff of Lafayette this Friday.



    Guess I wasn’t the only one thinking about Wintrop. Bracketology 101 has "elevated" them out of the PIG into a "solid" 16th seed and moved Lehigh (if we win) into the PIG vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The winner to get Syracuse in the Buffalo Regional. Other 16’s include: Robert Morris, and East TN. State. … rch+11.jpg



    Hope for avoiding the PIG now centers on the outcome of the Southland Conference Tournament which features the following teams in tonight’s semifinals:

    Stephen F. Austin (RPI 162)
    Texas A&M (RPI 177)

    Sam Houston State (RPI 80)
    Southeast LA (RPI 197)

    Lehigh’s RPI is 160



    I’m confused as hell. Robert Morris won – a lesser seed than Quinnipiac – and somehow Lehigh gets downgraded into the PIG?

    Lehigh would have 22 wins if they win tomorrow, yet a 17-13 Winthrop team would be a straight 16 seed? Better yet, a Winthrop team that can only boast of wins over two teams with winning records: Coastal Carolina (136) and Radford (173)?

    It’s not like Lehigh shied away from good teams either, playing Richmond (24), Dayton (49), Quinnipiac (128), Rider (142) and Stony Brook (139). We have a lot of wins over sub-.500 teams too, but our "best win" of Quinnipiac is "better" than Winthrop’s over Coastal Carolina.

    All I can think of is that by Quinnipiac losing the NEC, instead of having a win over a "tournament team" we don’t have one anymore, so it "downgraded" us to the PIG. What baloney if true.



    I hear ya, Chuck. Again, it’s just ne man’s opinion. Although Bracketology 101 has a great record when it comes to forecasting. Their claim to fame is that over the last four years they are the most accurate bracketology site on the Internet having produced the best bracket in 2006, the second best in 2007 and 2008, and the fifth best in 2009. They were the only bracketologists to produce a Top 5 bracket each of the last four years. No other bracketologist has placed in the Top 5 more than twice.

    Anyway, Winthrop’s would argue that they………..

    a. compete in a stronger conference where only 3 of their 10 teams have RPI worse than 300. Three-quarters (6 of 8) of the Patriot League teams have RPI’s of greater than 300.

    b. had fewer "bad" losses (I’ll define them as losses to teams with RPI > 200). Winthrop dropped games to: High Point (254), Charleston Southern (283) and NC Asheville (219). Lehigh, no the other hand, fell to: Columbia (250), Navy – twice (265), Bucknell (259), and Lafayette (211).

    c. had a more difficult SOS, i.e., 240 to LU’s 305.

    I do think the PIG is a toss-up should it come down to Winthrop or Lehigh in a game against the eventual winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference where Arkansas-Pine Bluff is now the odds-on favorite following Jackson State’s loss last night.

    Anyway, I’d feel a lot better were Sam Houston State (see prior post) to lose its game tonight to Southeast LA, I’d feel a lot better, however.

    Will you be at the game tomorrow? Will be attending with my son. Let’s try to meet.



    Morning Call had an interesting story on this today: … 321.column

    Lafayette head coach Fran O’Hanlon kind-of stole the article"

    O’Hanlon is no fan of the play-in game, but has a solution.

    ”If they are going to have it, why not have the eighth team in the SEC play the ninth team in the Big East in that play-in game,” he said. ”I really do think it’s about the Davids against Goliaths and I think they deserve that shot if they win their league.”

    Boy, do I agree with him there.



    I’m a believer in adding 3 teams to make 68. Have four play-in games – one in each region – winner to face the Region’s #1. No further adjustments are needed.


    PIG speculation is a bit premature I think. lets win the game 1st. I expect that we will but I doubt it will be easy. If we play D with same intensity as last game we should take care of business . A run and shoot game like last Pard game favors them.

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