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Posted at 9:15 AM ET, 01/31/2011

NCAA tournament 2011: How watered down is the 68-team field?

By Eric Prisbell

Most of the teams on the so-called NCAA tournament bubble are dangerous and are capable of blah, blah, blah. Yeah, okay. That's true. The truth also is that most of these teams are mediocre and that it is painful splitting hairs and choosing the final seven at-large teams to make the field at this point. There is a dearth of quality victories, and it is hard to feel strongly about a lot of these teams. You can be the judge.

If the season ended today, eight of these 15 teams likely would make the 68-team field as at-large teams. The records in parenthesis reflect games against top 50 RPI teams as of Sunday night. Combined, the 15 teams are 15-48 against top 50 teams. Again, it's difficult to make a compelling case for several of these teams. For example, Wichita State has not beaten a top 100 team - yes, top 100 team -- all season. And yet eight of these teams would round out the field if the season ended today. Fortunately, it does not end today.

Virginia Tech (1-4)
Clemson (0-2)
Maryland (1-6)
Richmond (1-2)
Oklahoma State (2-2)
Kansas State (0-6)
Penn State (3-3)
George Mason (1-1)
Alabama-Birmingham (0-3)
Valparaiso (2-3)
Butler (1-3)
Wichita State (0-3)
Colorado State (1-2)
UCLA (1-4)
Washington State (1-4)

If you were on the selection committee, which of these teams should make the cut?

By Eric Prisbell  | January 31, 2011; 9:15 AM ET
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Next: NCAA tournament 2011: Does Duke deserve a No. 1 seed?


Prisbell, why are you so focused on record vs the top 50 in the rpi? I realize it is one factor the committee looks at, but who ever said that was the most important criteria? Traditionally, the committee looks at how you do on the road/neutral sites, strength of schedule, and how you did in your final 10 games every bit as much as they look at record vs the top 50.

Another factor is the "eye test." I haven't watched all these teams closely, but I do know that as of right now... Vtech and MD both pass the eye test.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 31, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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