In or out? Georgetown

March 1, 2009 5:04 PM

Few bubble cases have been (and, over the next two weeks, likely will be) debated as much as Georgetown.

At-large selections with 12 or more losses are not as uncommon as you would think. Since 2000, 28 teams were selected at-large (or had seeds indicating they would have been had they not automatically qualified) with 12 or more losses. Of these, five had 13 losses and three had 14.

 YearSeedW-L1to251to50SOSConf tourney
Arizona20081018-1435-821-1
Georgia2001816-1448-910-1
Arkansas20001119-1445-8194-0
Oregon2008918-1314-9370-1
North Carolina St.20051019-1314-8422-1
St. Louis2000919-1316-6104-0*
North Carolina2000818-1313-8130-1
Wisconsin2000818-1348-862-1

Interestingly, St. Louis in 2000 defeated #1 Cincinnati in the Conference USA tournament quarterfinals after Cincy lost Kenyon Martin to a broken leg. If that had not happened, would they have lost that game and missed the field? What ifs...

The Hoyas currently sit at 15-12 with four RPI Top 25 wins and a 4-8 record against the RPI Top 50. Their overall strength of schedule is #1 in the country. The 14-loss teams aren't necessarily good comps. 2008 Arizona dealt with injuries and 2000 Arkansas won their conference tournament and likely would not have made the field without doing so. 2001 Georgia is an interesting comparison, with four RPI Top 25 wins and a #1 SOS, and no conference tourney wins.

Looking at Georgetown against the other Big East bubble teams runs into the chain of fools argument: Georgetown beat Providence, Providence beat Cincinnati, Cincinnati beat Georgetown. So head-to-head gets us nowhere in this case.

The bottom line is that Georgetown has a good chance to finish 8-10 in conference. Assuming that, as long as they lose to a better team (the better, the better) in the Big East tournament, and the bubble stays about where it is now, history is on the Hoyas' side for an at-large selection. If they can pull off another big upset, they should be in very good shape.