Fired Bill Carmody: No, Northwestern is not on the bubble (yet)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

No, Northwestern is not on the bubble (yet)

i never thought we'd be having this discussion after those three straight losses in February, but last night's win over Purdue has sparked bubble talk. everyone agrees that NU still has lots of work to do. and while the road wins over two of the conference's top teams can't be ignored, the computer numbers don't look as encouraging...

NU is 6-8 against teams 1-50 in the RPI. only 13 teams have as many or more top 50 wins than Northwestern, and all are virtual locks for the tournament. (for the record they are: Michigan St, Pittsburgh, Duke, Connecticut, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Louisville, Villanova, Arizona St, Purdue, Texas, California) sounds great, right?

but it's actually some of Northwestern's early wins that take away some of its luster. what is killing NU's computer numbers is the non-conference strength of schedule. six of those wins came against teams ranked over 195, including three against 300+ teams. the non-conference schedule ranks 226 in the country, which is a big factor in their current RPI of 70. Northwestern has no terrible losses but the worst L's on the resume right now were on the road to Iowa (116) and Stanford (109). the killer with those is not only are they bad teams, but picking up an additional road win or two would have been huge.

meanwhile, the big ten standings are in complete chaos. if Indiana were to win at Wisconsin (plus a number of other very possible outcomes), we could have six teams tie for fourth place with 9-9 conference records. if that happens, the Big Ten will probably need to use all of its tiebreakers.

clearly, the game at Ohio State is a must-win. after that, NU would need at least one and maybe two wins in the conference tournament.


Anonymous Vinny said...

I am not a huge Carmody fan, but to fire him now would be insane - this is the best shape that the program has EVER if they regress next year then he should definitely be fired

3/5/09, 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welsh-Ryan Ramblings seems to be trying to make a case NU should be on the bubble.

I'd like to agree, but I'm not sure.

3/5/09, 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Stan said...

Does the selection committee focus exclusively on the numbers? That is, do we get any value out of the fact that an invite would be our first ever (i.e., a Cinderella effect)?

3/5/09, 5:51 PM  
Blogger Loretta8 said...

as much as I want NU to make the NCAAs, it would be a complete joke if the committee considered Cinderella factor

3/5/09, 8:31 PM  

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