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Shootaround

Bilas ponders where life went wrong
-According to Joe Lunardi's latest Bracketology, XU and Temple are both locks and Richmond "should be in" if they don't bow out in their first game. That means that - should someone other than those three teams win the tourney - the A-10 could be a four-bid conference. I'll concede that such a scenario seems unlikely, but it would be kind of cool.

-I heard on Mike and Mike this morning that Jay Bilas has 50,000 followers on Twitter and doesn't follow anyone. Golic summed this up as "everyone listen to me, and I'm not going to listen to anyone." Having witnessed Bilas' work on ESPN - especially the horrible job he did on the Crosstown Shootout two years ago - that seems about accurate.

-Everybody and his mum is talking about the 39:58 of work that the Big East officials put in on the Rutgers-St. John's game. In case you just got back from a camping trip with Les Stroud, swing by Ballin' is a Habit for their excellent recap of the whole situation and a video thereof.

-XU-UD will be televised through out FSN Ohio's entire footprint. Start coming up with reasons to take a two-hour lunch now so you won't have to improvise when the time comes. Thanks to Shannon Russell for that little tidbit (the broadcast, I mean; I came up with the lunch thing on my own).

- Ohio State, Xavier, and Cincinnati are all nationally ranked this week. Ohio State will grab all the press, but it's extremely likely that four teams from Ohio will make the NCAA's on Sunday. (Look for Kent State to grab the MAC bid in a down year for Akron).
Can't a Viking get a little love?
- Speaking of Ohio teams, I think Cleveland State (41 RPI, 122 SOS) merits a bit more attention than they have garnered recently. According to ESPN's Bubble Watch, Missouri State (45, 147) and St. Mary's (50, 107) should make the tournament but CSU isn't even listed. The Vikings have a 7-5 record over their last 12, same as St. Mary's, and are the only team of the three to post a positive mark over the RPI top 100.

-This time of year, everyone likes to talk about x amount of games in x amount of days and how that should wear on the players. Of the 3,500 or so players in NCAA D-1 hoops, Xavier has three in the top 76 in percentage of minutes played. Historically, teams (including Xavier) have summoned up the guts to play through it and win the tournament. From my point of view, it's just something for analysts to talk about so they can keep getting paid for making observations you can find - or disprove - for free online.