Let’s Get Down to Business…

Editor’s Note: After the remaining schedule portion of this post, you will need to read slowly and concentrate. I had to read/edit this thing about six times before it made sense to me. Most of the time I can make this stuff make sense during boring corporate conference calls. Not so today.

It’s officially time to begin the nefarious activities. Get out the voodoo dolls. The aggravating signs. The SIB plans. All matter, greatly, beginning tomorrow.

Look, you can peruse the standings and determine who you need to root for and against in major conference play. Come March 11 the group hug that defines two bid scenarios begins. You also know that for two days you will root your tuchus off for CAA teams. Those two days are also known as Bracketbusters.

For now, all of that is irrelevant. We’ve got a season to complete and an automatic bid to award.

So you need to know who you are rooting for. And against. Everybody is chatting up “top four seeds” and “the tournament is wide open,” but here’s what’s most important about those facts: matchups matter. Hoo baby, do they matter.

Because when you are worried about who you might face in the finals, you need to worry about Sunday more than ever. Saturday, too. For whatever reason some teams play others far tougher than others. While that makes for exciting, entertaining regular season games, it puts the Richmond area EMTs on alert in early March.

Look at it this way: VCU was handled by #10 JMU, but the first place Rams handled #2(t) William & Mary easily.

So keep an eye on the following end-season scenarios as you eye certain seeds. Note the quagmire that is #3 through #7:

VCU (11-2): JMU, ODU, @NU, UNCW, @W&M

Mason (9-4): @Tow, UNCW, Del, W&M, @Nor

W&M (9-4): @UNCW, @Tow, Drexel, @GMU, VCU

UNCW (8-5): W&M, @GMU, Ga St., @VCU, ODU

Delaware (7-6): @Ga. St., Drexel, @GMU, Hof, @Tow

ODU (7-6): Drexel, @VCU, @JMU, NU, @UNCW

Nor’easter (7-6): @Hof, @Ga. St., VCU, @ODU, GMU

Towson (5-8): GMU, W&M, @Hof, @Ga St., Del

Hofstra (5-8): NU, @JMU, Tow, @Del, Drexel

JMU (4-9): @VCU, Hof, ODU, @Drexel, Ga St.

Ga State (3-10): Del, NU, @UNCW, Tow, @JMU

Drexel (3-10): @ODU, @Del, @W&M, JMU, @Hof

***

So let’s give a point for home court and a point for “how they’re playing” and try to make some educated guesses as to how the season ends. (Insert education joke here.)

VCU may well win out but stands a 50/50 chance of losing at Nor’easter OR W&M. Still, with a two-game lead VCU should lock up the #1 seed.

I still like Mason’s complementary talent and think they will win out. Any trip to Matthews is dangerous and could be a banana peel. Still the Patriots should earn the #2 seed at 14-4 or 13-5.

Though I believe the Tribe won’t win another game™, there exists the possibility W&M wins one more to finish 10-8.

The most interesting game left on the schedule is ODU at UNCW to close the season. The Dub is likely 10-7 entering that game (wins at home and losses road). I believe ODU goes 3-1 to enter Trask also at 10-7. With W&M hovering around the 10-8 mark, that’s a pressure game: you can be the third seed, or you could play Friday.

It gets better. Delaware can easily go 3-1 (losing at GMU) and travel to Towson at 10-7. Win there and the Hens are 11-7 and near the three seed, forcing ODU, WM, and UNCW fighting for the #4 seed. Maybe. Lose that game or find another way to 10-8 and now we have four teams for two top four seeds.

Nor’easter has THE most difficult path to get where it wants to be. I can see them winning their next two to get to 9-6, but close with three toughies. Let’s say they win one of those three to get to 10-8. Uh oh. Tom Yeager had better start selecting whether he wants to use a quarter or half-dollar for the coin flip. But more likely Bill Coen’s bunch will be 9-9 when all is said and done.

Of the bottom teams I can see Hofstra going 3-2 to Towson’s 2-3. That scenario gives the Pride the #8 seed.

JMU will win one or two more but is safely bunkered at #10. I like Ga State to get the #11 seed, if only because Drexel has four roadies remaining.

So where does that leave us? I have little idea; mostly because there are too many tiebreakers to consider, and because there are still five games to play. If I were that good at predicting basketball games, I’d be writing from Aruba, not Richmond. But here’s a stab:

1. VCU

2. Mason

3. UNCW

4. W&M

5. ODU

6. Delaware

7. Notheastern

8. Hofstra

9. Towson

10. JMU

11. Georgia State

12. Drexel

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~ by mglitos on February 12, 2008.

8 Responses to “Let’s Get Down to Business…”

  1. Exactly how I have it here on my paper at home–amazing Litos, amazing–VCU vs. UNCW in the final.

  2. If ODU and the Tribe finished tied for fourth at 10-8, and assuming the Tribe has no victories over VCU or GMU (also assuming GMU finishes 2nd) wouldn’t ODU win the tie breaker due to their victory over GMU?

  3. I think your wrong about ODU ahead of Delaware

    I spot a pair of probable losses, a pair of very possible losses, and one “gimme”
    Drexel, @VCU, @JMU, NU, @UNCW

    but for UD, I spot only one probable loss, one very possible loss and two “gimmes”
    @Ga. St., Drexel, @GMU, Hof, @Tow

    Not to mention UD holds the tie-breaker via their head-to-head record.

  4. Mason winning out…well, even I don’t have that much faith, but I’d love for it to happen.

    Of course, the thing that pisses me off the most is how VCU gets to play a league tourney in their backyard EVERY SINGLE YEAR. It’s time for that crap to end.

  5. Stop Whining….It’s been there for years and we have only won two recent championships. The top 3 or 4 teams bring a crap load of fans that could compete with VCU numbers. The only game VCU comes deep is the monday night game.

  6. …. and the Monday night game is the one that really counts, so that’s fair.

  7. I wonder what the final score of last year’s championship game would’ve been if it’d been held in Fairfax.

    Not at the Patriot Center mind you, that would be a homecourt advantage – but maybe three blocks away at the Robinson High School gymnasium. You know, somewhere neutral.

  8. Hugh–I’m not worrying about tiebreakers; frankly because I’ve proven an astounding inability to pick the winners of basketball games. No use for tiebreakers when you don’t know which ones exist.

    And get that Robinson High PTA selling Christmas wrap and baked goods now. Otherwise, we’ll never know.

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