Making the case for the Virginia Cavaliers as a NCAA Tournament team.

So I’m checking out CBS’s Sportsline bracketology this week to see what teams they had in the NCAA tournament. Now after Virginia won at Maryland this past weekend, I figured the Cavaliers were in the Big Dance and I said as much in this week’s ACC bubble analysis that I post each Monday. Now if you didn’t have the Cavaliers in the NCAAs, then at the very least they had to be squarely on the bubble.

CBS Sportsline didn’t have the Cavs in the tournament, not the last four, and not the last four out. Why? This really made no sense to me how Virginia wasn’t even on their radar. We’ve looked at Virginia’s resume before lets check it out again.

RPI (79) Virginia (18-6) (8-3) 

Last 10 – (7-3)

Good Wins – (76) Tennessee, * (32) Wisconsin, * (36) North Carolina, (66) Florida State, * (16) NC State, (77) Maryland

Bad Losses – (141) Delaware, * (317) Old Dominion, * (152) Clemson, (135) Wake Forest, (138) George Mason, (122) Georgia Tech

Now that’s one bizarre resume. The Cavaliers are 6-0 against the top 100, but have 5 sub 100 losses. I can’t think of stranger record in recent memory. Consider that it’s been estimated that Virginia’s loss to Old Dominion cost them 30 spots in the RPI. Virginia 19-5 RPI of 49 and  a conference record of 8-3. That’s not just in that’s probably a 7-9 seed from that single game. Can you discount that loss? Of course not, but in reality a single game can drop you to a double digit seed, not off the charts.  I  had Virginia as an 11 seed.

In addition they played George Mason without 4 guards in that defeat.

Lets go back to CBS Sportsline’s last 4 in and out.

Last 4 In

Indiana St. (15-9, 9-5) – RPI 59, 6 Top 100 wins including a win over Miami, 5 Sub 100 Losses 

Better resume than Virginia? Debatable, looks pretty similar to me.

Iowa St. (16-8, 6-5) – RPI 53, 6 Top 100 wins, 2 Sub 100 Losses

Better resumes than Virginia? Worse record in a weaker conference than the ACC.

St. Marys (20-4, 10-1) – RPI 46, 3 Top 100 wins, 2 Sub 100 Losses. 

Better resume than Virginia? St. Marys plays in the 10th ranked RPI conference the West Coast. They lost to Georgia Tech same as Virginia.

Baylor (15-8, 7-4) – RPI 52, 6 Top 100 wins, 2 Sub 100 Losses

Better resume than Virginia? I might give the edge to Baylor on this one, but not by that much.

Last 4 Out 

Arizona St. (18-7, 7-5) – RPI 81, 4 Top 100 wins, 2 Sub Losses

Better resume than Virginia? Seriously? RPI, record, and number of top 100 wins is worse. Arizona St.’s best non-conference win is Arkansas. Did CBS even read their resume?

St. Johns (15-9, 7-5) – RPI 54, 6 Top 100 wins, 2 Sub 100 Losses

Better resume than Virginia? I don’t understand what CBS is doing. St. Johns is out and their resume is virtually equal with Baylor.

Stanford (15-9, 6-5) – RPI 58, 4 Top 100 wins, 1 Sub 100 Losses

Better resume than Virginia? The Cardinals didn’t beat power 6 conference team out of conference this year.

Wyoming (15-7, 3-7) – RPI 60, 2 Top 100 wins, 1 Sub 100 Loss

Better resume than Virginia? Did Jerry Palm the CBS Bracketolgist graduate from Virginia Tech? I think he just wants to make Cav fans mad. Putting a 3-7 team in conference ahead of the Cavaliers is completely laughable.

Frankly it appears Palm used a simple RPI ranking and some random guesswork to put his last 4 in and last 4 out together. I’ve always thought one the strongest components to getting  into the tournament was quality wins. By the logic used in his criteria just make sure you don’t lose to bad teams, rather than beat good ones. As it stands, UVA needs to finish 11-7 in the conference which will leave them 21-10. That’s a record I think will be good  enough to get them into to the NCAAs.

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  1. Richard says:

    Uva fan here. The calculation to determine what our RPI would have been if UVa had beaten ODU is pretty simple (our win percentage goes from 13.2/18 to 14.2/18, and bumps our rpi from .5560 to .5699, which would be good for 62nd place, so it wouldn’t be quite as big a jump as you say.

    But it would be an injustice if we finish 3-4 and don’t make it because of our low RPI. This is a team that has final four potential, and no way should it be left out.

  2. Jfann says:

    Thanks for the clarification Richard!

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