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Bracketology: What Seed Will UMass Be In NCAA Tournament?

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What seed will the UMass Minutemen be in the tournament this year? This is a question I never thought I’d be able to ask. In what has seemed like an annual tradition, the question around this time has most often been – do they have to win the A-10 tournament to get into the Big Dance?

I, like many UMass fans, has spent many a February and March reading Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm’s latest bracketologies and bubble watches. Did the loss to URI kill our chances? Exactly how devastating was that loss to St. Bonaventure? What if we had just won just one more game? Is this Xavier game a must win?

We don’t have to ask those questions any more. And it feels fantastic. The Minutemen WILL be in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. The only question now is, what seed will they be?

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With only one regular season game remaining the range is only so big. Lunardi and Palm currently have UMass as a seven seed. The highest I’ve seen them anywhere is sixth. The lowest is eighth. They haven’t once appeared as one of Lunardi’s last four in, and that’s just swell.

So where will they finish? That’s a GFQ right there. The highest seed the Minutemen can possibly get at this point is a four seed. The lowest is nine. Coming to this conclusion was not easy. Here’s the breakdown:

Current A-10 Standings

St. Louis 12-3

St. Joe’s 11-4

VCU  10-4

UMass 10-5

George Washington 10-5

Dayton 9-6

Richmond 8-6

The top four teams in the final A-10 standings get a first round bye in Brooklyn for the conference tournament. The advantage of that cannot be overstated. The Atlantic 10 is one of the best conferences in the country. Period. The only reason they aren’t given mainstream attention is because the conference lacks sexy, high profile “names” from college basketball’s royalty tree, as well as high profile McDonald’s All Americans, and national TV exposure.

The A-10 doesn’t have a Duke, North Carolina, or Syracuse. Not that any A-10 couldn’t play with any of those teams, but St. Louis, St. Joe’s and Dayton just don’t have the same ring to it.

But the A-10 also doesn’t have Virginia Tech, Boston College, Miami, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. Those teams are terrible. Instead the conference is filled with scrappy teams, capable of playing with anyone. Every game UMass has played this year has been contentious, outside of Fordham, and MAYBE Lasalle. So getting a fifth seed, and matching up against George Mason, or the scrappy Duquense Dukes in the first round is not a position UMass would like to be in.

As of right now the A-10 is a six bid conference. St. Louis, St. Joe’s, UMass, VCU, and George Washington are virtual locks.

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The Minutemen can finish anywhere from second to sixth. Even though they have head to head losses to both Dayton and Richmond, and would therefore lose tiebreakers with those teams, neither of those teams can win out since they will face each other to end the season. Therefore UMass will finish in front of at least one of those teams.

That’s what makes Sunday’s showdown with St. Louis so important.

The Bilikens were the shining star of the A-10 not too long ago. Ranked as high as tenth, they’ve come on hard times lately, losing their last three to George Mason, at VCU, and Wednesday’s home loss to Dayton.

A win brings UMass to 11-5 in conference and guarantees a first round by, since they own the head to head tiebreaker with GW. They could move up to the second seed if Lasalle somehow upsets St. Joe’s, and VCU loses one of its two remaining games against Richmond and St. Bonaventure.

Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter if they get the second, third, or fourth seed. You’re gonna have to play a really good team no matter what. Just don’t get five or six because I can’t get down to Brooklyn for Thursday.

0d40333c025ea5b310b9ad47a2685aa2b9ce6215463a1a67a9e6367d6ec019a9So some of you might think I’m hitting the UMass crack pipe too hard, talking about all this wild four seed cockey pop. But that might be generous. They’d probably deserve a three seed if they won out. Think about it, if they don’t lose the rest of the way, this is what their resume looks like:

27-6

14-5 in the A-10

Atlantic Ten Tournament Champions

Top 10 RPI

Quality wins against likely NCAA tournament teams: St. Louis (potentially twice), VCU (potentially twice), Nebraska, Providence, New Mexico, George Washington, St. Joe’s, BYU.

Four of their six losses would all be to teams at least getting consideration for the dance: Florida State, Richmond, St. Joe’s, Dayton, (St. Bonaventure, George Mason).

That’s a nice looking resume right there. In a conference that is now set up for six teams to get in the dance (Dayton, St. Joe’s, UMass, VCU, St. Louis, GW), the top seed deserves AT LEAST a four seed. Probably deserve a three seed. But we all know the stooges on the Tournament Committee don’t know the difference between the Atlantic Ten and the Patriot League.

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Worst case scenario is they lose to St. Louis, get a six seed, lose to St. Bonaventure in the tournament, and Hannah Gordon gets her revenge. What seed do they get if that happens? Probably a nine. They’d still be 23-8, with a 10-7 conference record, and a shitload of quality wins.

There’s a million different possibilities in between there. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Beat St Louis, win conference championship: Four seed.
  • Lose to St. Louis and win conference championship: Five seed.
  • Beat St. Louis and lose in the conference championship: Five seed.
  • Lose to St. Louis and lose in the conference championship: Six seed.
  • Beat St. Louis and lose in conference semifinals: Six seed.
  • Lose to St. Louis and lose in conference semifinals: Seven seed.
  • Beat St. Louis and lose in conference quarterfinals: Seven seed.
  • Lose to St. Louis and lose in conference quarterfinals: Eight seed.
  • Beat St. Louis and don’t make conference quarterfinals: Eight seed.
  • Lose to St. Louis and don’t make conference quarterfinals: Nine seed.

A lot of people think we should avoid being an eight or nine seed because you will have to get cream-pied by Arizona in the second round. I say bring it on. Slap the floor, UMass can play with anyone. In reality, they’re probably not going to win the National Championship, so they’ll have to lose to someone in the tournament. Who better to go down in flames to than a one seed? And think of the possibilities if they pull the eight over one seed situation. UMass all of a sudden becomes a legendary March Madness team. Chaz Williams becomes the next Bryce Drew, and his UMass legacy is cemented forever.

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Start with St. Louis Sunday.

GO U!!!

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11 Comment(s)
  • Blong
    March 7, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Here’s the latest after last nights results, courtesy of a Umasshoops.com poster…

    So what do we know going into the final weekend? Not much.

    -St. Louis is the only team to clinch a bye.

    -La Salle/St. Bonnie will be the 8/9 game, although who gets which seed is still up in the air.

    -Fordham is the 13 seed.

    -Duquesne and George Mason play Saturday with the loser getting the 12 seed and plays Fordham Wednesday in the play-in game. If George Mason wins they’ll be the 11 seed and URI will be the 10 seed. If Duquesne wins, they’ll be the 10 seed and URI will be 11.

    -UMass wins and they get a bye. If VCU (home vs St. Bonnie) and St. Joe’s (home vs La Salle) win, UMass will be the 4 seed. If either VCU or St. Joe’s loses they’ll be the 3 seed. If both lose they’ll be the 2 seed.

    -If UMass and GW win, and St. Joe’s and VCU lose we’ll have a 4 way tie for 2nd aka 4 teams with 3 byes. Using the combined record tie breaker this would be the seeds:

    #2 UMass (3-1 combined record)
    #3 GW (2-2)
    #4 St. Joe’s (2-2)
    #5 VCU (1-3)

    -If we win the most likely seeds would be:

    1. St. Louis
    2. St. Joe’s
    3. VCU
    4. UMass
    5. GW
    6. Dayton
    7. Richmond
    8. St. Bonnie
    9. La Salle
    10. Rhode Island
    11. George Mason
    12. Duquesne
    13. Fordham

    • matt
      March 7, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Wow this guy put more thought into the A10 tournament than everyone else in the history of the world combined!

    • Jackson Steve
      March 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      thanks superfan BLong!

  • BullFrog's Follow up to Turtleboys shittakes lol
    March 7, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Usually I agree to disagree with your sports takes, today is no different. lmao To me theres nothing wrong with be being a homer if your points are valid. Yours Turtledick are just ridiculous.You really think this team is worthy of a 4 seed not a chance they have one win against a ranked team.That was in November like the 5th or 6th game of the season, not taking anything away from UMASS they looked good in that game,with that said i really do understand why you think this team is really good for one, they have not been good in a long time, two a good majority of the teams they play suck but i get it, it gives you confidence.But then you just start writing stuff that is just ASININE.Where do i start with this one,so you name three schools that are real juggernauts Duke,Syracuse and North Carolina they have earned that title. But then you follow it up with one of the dumbest comments ive ever heard,with utmost arrogance that theres not any A10 school that could not play with the three teams you have mentioned i think you messed up with that one bud. Of the 13 teams in that conference theres maybe 3 teams that could keep the games under ten easily, the majority of the other teams would be big double digit wins on most nights not all.Theres noway any of those A10 teams go into there buildings and come out with a W.It would have to be in a neutral site for an upset to take place.Now on to the good shit so you say the only reason the A10 is not given mainstream attention is because the conference lacks”sexy” high profile names from college basketball’s royalty tree,as well as high profile Mcdonald’s All- Americans,and national TV exposure.Oh boo hoo blame the schools,the coaching staff in your case Derek Kellogg, you know what changes that RECRUITING the right pieces in to eventually winning, it takes time Its not always about 5star players. Ok so for the TV exposure maybe 10 years ago i would have agreed with you but in 2014 on any given night there is games allover the TV. All ESPN channels,ESPN also streams all games not on TV, Fox Sports, and also the CBS sports network,theres a ton of games on the Fox affiliated channels FoxAtlanta, FoxCentral, FoxPacific.If your willing to pay you can watch just about any game going on in the country,there is more coverage of college sports now than ever before so in that sense it really is a level playing field for most.Of course you have your teams that will be on TV every time they play,but you know what there is a reason for that they earned that spot,Shit now some of these schools and conferences have there own TV networks.With the college basketball royalty tree, you have to be talking about coaches because obviously the kids come and go.If you went through the list of approximately 300 D1 college coaches,how many are on that tree still coaching Maybe 5?You cannot build consistent title contenders with a team full 1 and done’s and sophmore’s just ask ex UMASS coach Scumbag Calipari. It will never work with all freshmen stars and a bunch of walk-ons you need a real team thats been through wars on the court,kids that trust each other because they have been teammates for four years,you need players that will except a certain role reguardless of how many minutes they play on a regular basis,you need passion for the front of the jersey more so than the back. In reality colleges like the A10 conference have more of an advantage, the fact is teams that have a veteran core are more likely to beat the team full of freshmen and sophmore’s All Americans. Do you really think the A10 is one of the best conferences in the country?lmao You are def doing some serious drugs,so your saying they are in the conversation with these conferences.lol You know the teams that actually win championships.For example the ACC ,AAC, BIG12,SEC,PAC12,BIG EAST,BIGTEN,come on man thats the dumbest shit i’ve heard.Now look the A10 is a very solid conference no doubt about it, but theres noway the A10 hangs with those conferences on a yearly basis.In reality my delusional friend the A10 goes like this the conf. leader St. Louis solid team, before Rick Majerus who was a great coach took over they were horrible they have been good for the last 3 seasons before that your gonna have to go way back lol they have played 2 ranked teams this year have lost both, close games though, there wins come against bum teams from the who gives a shit conferences.VCU solid team,solid coach they have played 3 ranked teams two of those against St. Louis in which they split.There really scary though, spanked by Northern Iowa and Fla St. must be tough playing games against Wofford,Northeastern,Stony Brook,Winthrop,Illinois St.,ill stop now, it gets worse thats before that treacherous in conference schedule,still though a tough out in the Tournament.Ill give you St. Joe’s always a solid team over the years they have produced some great seasons and good players, this year they have been spanked by two of the four ranked teams they have played one by sixteen and the other by thirty lol oh yah UMASS beat them by four when they were briefly ranked then they lost to them later in the season shocker.The rest of there games they have played some of the worst teams in basketball wow this conference is really making a case for best in the country. Now onto what you claim is a three or four seed contender for the tourney UMASS,they started great lost once through the beginning of January not an easy thing to do especially when you play in one of the best conferences in the country just kidding they beat a very good New Mexico team. Also a few juggernauts you know BC,Nebraska,Youngstown St.,Northern Illinois,Eastern Michigan,Ohio,and the ultimate team the Bonnie’s.lol Then this three or four seed lost to teams like Richmond,The Bonnies wow,George Mason who has 11 wins on the year,Dayton the school who’s team is usually at home when the Tournament play in game is going on in there own gym, this will probably be the year they get to play in the Tournaments Opening Round has never happened so im actually pulling for the Flyers.G.W. another solid squad but Pops Mensah-Bonsu is not walking through that door, they did beat Doug Mcdermott’s and the four other guys that take up space on the court but then of course got spanked by a middle of the pack Big12 Kansas St, but i bet they were scrappy lol after that a loss to Lasalle then the scrappy leaders of the A10 but not before playing a bunch of shit teams.Then you have the last good team by good i mean only good in that conference Dayton Flyers baby, they actually beat Gonzaga but then some great scrappy losses to Illinois St.,USC,URI and then some more losses by the juggernauts of the Almighty A10 conference.After that the rest of the conference is garbage not scrappy,Turtleboy shitty. I love how you try to with so much conviction to say that the A10 is one of the best conferences in the country lol this is great the truth though there on the second tier with in no particular order A10, Mountain West,Missouri Valley,Conference USA, and the WCC.This just made the first two hours of work fly by i just want to thank you for that lol also i will be commenting on your hottakes from this point on.lol under the pseudonym Bullfrog’s follow up to Turtleboys hottakes lol all good fun keep the stories coming there great.

    • Blong
      March 7, 2014 at 8:38 am

      This is the worst post in the history of Turtleboy Sports history. Wow.

      • EricfromWorcester
        March 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

        Actually Bshlong as ridiculously long as it is whoever wrote has many valid points but thats just my opinion.

    • Chris Curtis
      March 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Ill read the rest of your post later, but just a reminder that boston college walked into Syracuse and beat them. That actually happened in real life.

      • Blong
        March 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

        NO IT DIDN’T YOU LIAR!

  • matt
    March 7, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Im calling a 1 seed…. in the NIT

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