The University at Buffalo very likely needs to win tonight’s Mid-American Conference title game against Central Michigan in order to get a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
That’s by all accounts of the most veteran watchers of the NCAA Selection Committee and despite the fact UB’s Ratings Percentage Index is No. 33 in the country.
Here’s the perspective of loquacious Akron coach Keith Dambrot early Saturday morning after his team’s MAC semifinal loss to UB:
“You want me to be honest or political? Buffalo has a good RPI but I’ve never seen a team in this league with six losses in the league ever get a bid. I don’t want to be negative, but I don’t see it. You got to win at least 14 or 15 games in this league in order . . . now is that fair? No. No other league has to do that. I don’t care what your RPI is if you don’t win a lot of games in this league, I think it’s difficult.”
“Now with that being said, because of who he is, it’s possible,” Dambrot said, referring to the profile of UB coach Bobby Hurley. “I believe that.”
“Do I think they should? They’re good enough to play with a lot of teams when they’re healthy and they’re playing well. I’d love to see it. Do I think it’ll happen? 40/60.”
ESPN analyst Joe Lunardi has pushed UB into the “Next 4 Out” category this morning. He has Miami of Florida, UCLA, Tulsa and Old Dominion as the “First 4 Out.” UB is among Texas A&M, Rhode Island and Murray State as the next group.
UB is 3-5 against the top 100 with no wins against the top 50. Miami, for instance, is 6-8 against the top 100 with a win over Duke. Of course, the odds are stacked against a MAC team because it gets so few chances to beat top-50 teams. The Selection Committee’s metrics are slanted toward the power conferences. That’s the way it always has gone.