I'm going to level with you guys here, I'm kind of a hateful person when it comes to sports. I get an awful lot of joy out of watching bad things happen to the teams that I don't like. It doesn't come close to as happy as I get when Xavier wins, but epicaricacy is kind of my thing. That ties in here, obviously, when it comes to watching teams flounder on the bubble while the Musketeers worry about seeding.
Based on our Twitter feed, a lot of you feel much the same way. Even if none of that is true, there's few things quite as much fun as watching the bubble develop. Without a truly dominant upper part of the NCAA this year, the bubble runs a bit deeper than it normally would. Here's where a handful more non Big East teams stand with regard to their March hopes. Teams listed with record, KenPom, RPI, and SOS.
Cincinnati (21-8, 29, 51, 100)- Here's the dirty secret about the Bearcats: they haven't beaten anyone. Take away their sub 150 wins and they are 6-8. Their best win is over 43rd ranked VCU, and that's going to wow the committee. They do have a chance for a huge win over SMU at home this weekend, but if they don't get that (and especially if they lose on the road to Houston) angry Saint Mick and his boys are going to be in a world of hurt.
Dayton (23-6, 56, 21, 57)- Dayton really should have been a complete lock for the tournament, but then they dumped three of five and snuck past terrible Saint Louis and Richmond teams by a grand total of four points. That explains the difference between the KenPom ranking and the RPI. While RPI only sees that Dayton won, KenPom sees how badly they played in doing that. The Flyers should still be on the right side of the bubble, but a loss to VCU to end the season and then an early bow out in the Atlantic 10 tournament and Dayton will spend a nervous Selection Sunday.
Ohio State (19-11, 64, 73, 51)- Down in Columbus Thad Matta is currently persona non grata. While it's impossible to feel any sympathy for him, it should be noted that Buckeyes fans are apparently completely unaware of how good a coach he is. This could be because of their obsession with their team of brain damaged, drunk driving football heroes, but I digress. The Bucks are back on the bubble because they beat Iowa and they have a massive chance at a season saving win against Michigan State on the 5th. Win that, and maybe OSU fans can start dreaming of the NCAA tournament. Lose it, and the Buckeyes will have to do some serious work in the Big Ten tournament.
Gonzaga (22-7, 32, 64, 129)- It was apparently decided in the early 2000s that these guys were going to be the media darlings while Xavier labored on in "mid-major" obscurity. That came to a peak when Adam Morrison got the Duke treatment and Xavier couldn't quite pull off a first round upset. This year, the Bulldogs aren't even the best team in their conference. They don't really have any bad losses, but UConn is their best win and that isn't even a top 50 victory. The Zags probably need to make the conference tournament final, and even that might not be enough.
The Atlantic 10- These guys aren't here because they are hated, but because it's kind of fun to roll down Memory Lane every once in awhile. St. Joseph's is on the edge but should be in. Their RPI is 24, their KenPom is 36 and they sport a good win over Providence and a worst loss of 69th ranked Davidson. The Hawks, by the way, definitely merit all the hate you can manage. VCU arrived as what should have been a new challenger to Xavier and Temple and instead found themselves the new conference power just two years later. The Rams are in decent shape and could probably lock up a bid by beating Dayton on the road this weekend. An early tournament loss, though, and they could be left behind. St. Bonaventure can get in the tournament and spur thousands of Andrew Nicholson googlings (he plays for the Orlando Magic) by making a the finals in the A10 tournament. They have three top 25 wins and are on a torrid streak, but they have to overcome a very underwhelming early season. Beyond that, and the Atlantic 10 is full of teams that won't be going dancing.