It’s almost 24 hours until Greg Gumbel bellows “Belmont” during the CBS Selection Show. Live cameras will be fixated on the Beaman Student Life Center to broadcast Belmont’s reaction on national television.
In the meantime, the sports staff at the Belmont Vision has been crunching numbers to give you a preview of what the Bruins might be facing next week.
(Feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments section!)
Method Behind The Madness
To get a good idea of what the NCAA Selection Committee faces over the next day, check out this post by Mid-Majority’s Kyle Whelliston. Kyle was invited to join a mock selection two years ago and gives an amazingly detailed look behind the scenes of how teams are selected and seeded.
Here’s a quick summary: the selection committee looks mostly at the Rating Percentage Index—a mathematical formula that ranks teams based on wins and losses. They review detailed information—like the average RPI loss/win for each team, and how many wins a team has against schools ranked 1-50 in the RPI.
What seed will Belmont get?
Based on our calculations, Belmont will be a either a low-12 or a high-13 seed. Belmont’s RPI of 53 automatically puts the Bruins comfortably ahead of 15 other automatic qualifiers from leagues like the America East and the Big South.
However, there are several teams that are battling the Bruins for a 12-seed. See: Oakland. Oakland’s RPI is 52. They have just one win over a top-50 RPI team: against Tennessee—a team Belmont lost to twice. Despite a few puzzling losses, that ex-factor could propel Oakland ahead of the Bruins.
There is a wild card still out there: Dayton. If the Flyers win in the final game of the Atlantic-10 tournament , they earn an auto-bid and have an RPI’s in the 70’s. It’s unlikely they would jump frog Belmont—so they could bump the Bruins up to a 12-spot. (The same could be the case for Boise State and Princeton.)
Who and where will Belmont play? Three possibilities..
13) Belmont vs. 4) Florida in Tampa: If Florida loses either today or tomorrow, they could slip to a high 4-seed. The committee might reward Florida with a “home site” opener and geographically help Belmont, as well. Florida lost to Jacksonville in overtime earlier this year—and Belmont would certainly be looking to give the Gators their second A-Sun beating of the year.
13) Belmont vs. 4) Wisconsin in Chicago: Wisconsin has lost two in a row, including a 36-33 puzzler against Penn State in the Big Ten tournament. Despite their RPI of 12, they could fall to a high four-seed and face Belmont at another “home site.”
12) Belmont vs. 5) (Insert Big East team here) in Tucscon: If Belmont does get a 12-seed, they will probably get shipped off to Tucson or Denver. As for their opponent—enter West Virginia, St. John’s, Georgetown, Connecticut. Again, these are merely nothing more than slightly educated guesses that could be shattered at the drop of a bucket.
We want to hear what you have to say, as well. Chime in on possible scenarios before tomorrow’s selection show in the comments section!