Sizing Em’ Up: Big West, Ivy, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Southland Auto-Bids

March 12, 2011
By K. Becks

Two college basketball related posts in one day? It is definitely March Madness.

Big West

Automatic Bid: UC-Santa Barbara

Projected Seed: 14 or 15

Probability of Being a Cinderella: Unlikely

Keep an eye on this team. Although they will likely be a very low seed, UC-Santa Barbara returns almost every player that contributed significantly to a team that qualified for the NCAA tournament last year, including two-time first team All-Big West junior guard Orlando Johnson. Johnson and the rest of the Gauchos won’t have the deer-in-headlights look like some of the other low seeded teams, because they have experience, which is extremely underrated. Don’t be surprised if they give a team hoping for an easy first round opponent a run for their money.

Ivy

Automatic Bid: Princeton

Projected Seed: 13 or 14

Probability of Being a Cinderella: Unlikely

Thanks to this shot by Douglas Davis, Princeton is making their first return to the NCAA tournament since 2004. The Tigers haven’t been out of any game this year, except against Duke back in early November. However, they don’t shoot the ball great from behind the arc like Cornell did last season, and aren’t nearly as athletic as Harvard, the team they dispatched to qualify for the Big Dance. Still, it is hard to count out the Ivy League representative, as they always play teams tough, especially in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers will almost surely keep the game close, but will their balanced offensive attack (four players average double digits in scoring) be enough to send opponents packing?

Mid-Eastern Athletic

Automatic Bid: Hampton

Projected Seed: 16

Probability of Being a Cinderella: Very Unlikely

Hampton will likely get to play in one of the play-in games on Tuesday night. If they manage to win that game, they’ll be rewarded with a game against one of the top seeds in the tournament, where they will likely be handed a lopsided loss. They’re getting to play in the NCAA tournament though, which is more than most of us can ever say.

Southland

Automatic Bid: Texas-San Antonio

Projected Seed: 16

Probability of Being a Cinderella: Very Unlikely

Like Hampton, there is a high probability that UTSA will have to play in one of the play-in games. Best case scenario for the Roadrunners, they will just be a regular sixteen seed, which makes it almost impossible for them to truly be a threat. Make your forty minutes memorable, gentlemen.

- K. Becks

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