At-Large Bid

I was thinking about what it would take to get an At-Large bid. Yes, it is unlikely but not impossible since the PAC 12 is so weak this year. Probably would take having no more than 3 Non-Conference losses plus finishing Top 3 in the WCC. 2 Losses to Gonzaga, 3-2 combined against BYU/USF/St Marys, and then only one other loss in WCC play. 23-8 in the Regular Season . The Committee would at least consider that Vrankic was out for some of those losses if we were a bubble case. I just hope our guys can hang in there until Christmas with this lack of depth. LA Tech is going to be a big challenge.

Heard some of the talking heads mention an at-large bid after our TCU win…nice to hear but was pre-mature for me to get too excited about.

But yes, an interesting topic to contemplate. Your record scenarios are plausible. Win a WCC tourney game or two and that puts you at 24 or 25 wins…they have to at least consider a 24+ win team from what may be the top mid-major conference.
Alternatively, even if we go 11-4 in non-con (so two more losses) and 10-6 in WCC that puts us at a 21-10 regularly season with some solid non-con wins on the resume…but if it also included a couple of noteworthy WCC wins (say over BYU or SMC) and if we can win a couple of WCC tourney games then that would put us back at 23 total wins, maybe an NCAA mention and what should be a lock for NIT.

Bob, I think our boys will need a really high-quality win, plus getting to the WCC final game, to earn an at-large bid. Also, it will really help if Fresno St. and UC-Irvine finish at or near the top of their conferences. The bias will always be there for the Power 5 conferences, so we will need to be “that much better”. Until this conference becomes a perennial 3-bid league and earns the respect of the East Coast media, WCC teams will need to outperform compared to Power 5 peers.

Edit: it will be fun to watch the Dec. 11 game between UC-Irvine and Fresno State.

All good points Buckets. And not just Fresno and Irvine, need most of our non-con opponents to have good to better than expected seasons. Would be great if TCU finished upper half of Big 12 and Nevada and Boise St. upper 3rd of MWC. NET, RPI, etc. may actually matter for us this year so need those metrics for our opponents to stay high.

Also doesn’t hurt that Portland and USD appear to not suck as much as they have the previous couple of years. If they can stay in the top 200 that boosts the bottom end of the league, raising the bar for league as a whole and our Broncos’ metrics.

I haven’t tested it or analyzed on it to know how accurate is, but Torvik has a “WAB” (wins above bubble) metric that might help understand this.

For whatever reason, the NET has not rated the WCC as well so far as some other rankings. I don’t know if that is usually the case or not, but in the past if anything the NET has favored non P5 teams. But there could have been changes to the rankings since last year.

Right now SCU is 64 in Torvik and -0.4 in WAB, but 131 in NET. NET still has Virginia 20 and Oregon 24 though so I think it probably has a longer time frame to wipe out Bayesian priors (probably so they don’t have to answer questions about teams people don’t expect to be highly ranked being near the top of early rankings).

Beyond that, obviously getting any win over Gonzaga, BYU or St. Mary’s would be very helpful. Utah State basically got in last year over Boise on the strength of going 2-1 vs. SDSU and Colo State (2 at home, 1 neutral) despite going 0-2 vs. Boise (2 away). Boise beat BYU but lost to SDSU twice (1 in OT, fine margins and that). One thing they all have in common is having won 2/3 or more of their games with an SOS in the 90-120 range – so maybe that’s something to benchmark.