After a loss to Arkansas on Saturday, Vanderbilt won’t be getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. But the Commodores are 19-15, with an RPI of 40 and the #1 strength of schedule in the country, and six (six!) wins against the RPI top 50 — and, as of today, five wins against the RPI top 25, with three of those coming away from the friendly confines of Memorial Gym. (Okay, one of those was at Bridgestone Arena. Whatever.)
The only argument against Vanderbilt is that the Commodores have 15 losses, which would set a new record for an at-large team, but even Jerry Palm has given up on that one.
So, we should have a stress-free Selection Sunday, and we might even avoid Dayton (unlike last year’s team, which had two first-round draft picks; this one doesn’t.) So we can just watch along.
At 11 AM CT, you can watch the first-ever Ivy League Championship on ESPN2 as Princeton battles Yale. At 11:30 AM CT, Rhode Island — the one genuine bubble team playing on Sunday — has a chance to take their selection out of the committee’s hands as they battle VCU in the Atlantic 10 Championship.
At noon CT, Arkansas plays Kentucky for the SEC Championship. You are free to root for a meteor to strike Bridgestone Arena.
At 1:00 PM CT, we get the last one-bid conference tournament title game as Troy takes on Texas State for the Sun Belt title. In theory, the Sun Belt could be a two-bid league if UT-Arlington gets an at-large bid, but since Texas State drilled them by 20 on Saturday it probably won’t happen.
The last couple of title games probably won’t mean much for the committee: Michigan plays Wisconsin for the Big Ten title at 2 PM CT, and Cincinnati plays SMU for the American title at 2:15.
So, watch basketball, and don’t drink too much. The Selection Show is at 4:30 PM CT, but it will probably take 90 minutes and we’ll get to hear all of Charles Barkley’s thoughts. Not his thoughts about the field, just in general.