Posted: 12:45 pm Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Will Georgia school get NCAA bid? Here are odds 

By Jeff Schultz

Ron Hunter's Georgia State Panthers have the best odds to reach the NCAA tournament. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Ron Hunter’s Georgia State Panthers have the best chance among state schools to reach the NCAA tournament. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Welcome to that time of year when we look at the state of college basketball in Georgia and the chance of the state getting a team in the NCAA basketball tournament (generally is commensurate with calling tails with a two-headed coin).

I went through the latest ESPN RPI rankings of 351 Division I basketball programs, and it was as depressing as one would expect. Below are the seven eligible state programs. (If I missed one, let me know.) I’m ranking them by RPI, which is a major factor used by the NCAA tournament selection committee. But because a team’s RPI doesn’t necessarily equate to its actual tournament chances, I’m also posting my odds (completely scientific, of course).

Here are the seven schools, with RPI ranking, RPI score, won-loss record and odds to reach the NCAA tournament.

86. GEORGIA (.5502) 16-12: I recapped the Bulldogs’ situation last week both here and here. Losing at Arkansas Saturday didn’t help. But I still believe the NCAA will take three teams from the SEC (Florida and Kentucky being two of them), and the Bulldogs’ tournament chances will come down to reaching at least the semifinals in the SEC tournament and upsetting Florida or Kentucky. At this point, it’s possible they would have to win the tournament, as they rank seventh among SEC schools in RPI. ODDS: 50-1.

90. GEORGIA STATE (.5467) 20-7: The Panthers have had a remarkable season under third-year coach Ron Hunter, going 22-7, including 15-1 in the Sun Belt Conference (regular season title already clinched). The low Q-rating of the Sun Belt, however, means the NCAA will take only one conference team, so the Panthers have to win the conference tournament. The final regular season game against Western Kentucky may be a preview to the tournament title game. ODDS: 2-3.

91. MERCER (.5454) 23-8: A similar situation to Georgia State. The Bears are tied for first in the Atlantic Sun with Florida Gulf Coast. It likely will come down to one of those two in the conference tournament. That wasn’t a good thing for Mercer last year. Florida Gulf Coast won the title game to earn the NCAA bid, then went on to upset Georgetown and reach the Sweet 16, as Andy Enfield became, “The Next Great Coach.” (Postscript: Now at USC, he’s 1-15 in the Pacific 12. Greatness on hold.) Mercer has had great regular season runs before, only to come up short in the conference tournament. ODDS: Even.

171. GEORGIA TECH (.4987) 13-16: When the season started, I actually thought the Yellow Jackets had a shot at being a tournament team. Then came some injuries. Then an unraveling. They’re 4-12 in the ACC. The bottom third of the conference is so weak that they could win a conference tournament game. But that’s it. ODDS: 350-1.

290. SAVANNAH STATE (.4296) 11-17: The answer to your question: Yes, this is the first time all season I’ve looked at the MEAC standings. The Tigers are 9-5 in the conference so they certainly have a shot in the conference tournament. But the favorite will be North Carolina Central, which beat Savannah State by 14 points in Savannah three weeks ago (they play again tonight). Note: Savannah State won the regular season title two years ago, going 14-2 but lost in the quarter-finals of the MEAC tournament. ODDS: 100-1.

313. GEORGIA SOUTHERN (.4115) 13-18: Not happening. The Eagles (6-10 in the Southern) have lost six of eight and nine of 13, not quite foreshadowing for a tournament upset. Davidson should cruise through the conference tournament. ODDS: 500-1.

325. KENNESAW STATE (.3972) 6-25: Coach Lewis Preston took a leave of absence for personal reasons two months ago and he never came back (though athletic director Vaughn Williams has announced Preston will return next season). There really was, and is, no reason to return this season. Kennesaw State will be one-and-done in the Atlantic Sun.

UPDATE: Kennesaw State did not qualify for the Atlantic Sun tournament. The conference invited only the top eight finishers. So that ends that.

ODDS: Off the board.

28 comments
ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

The women may need to beat South Carolina to make it to the NCAA Tournament.  No story about baseball.  Get 1 story, don't get another.  201 wins 157 losses and 2 ties in baseball  the Mighty Georgia Bulldogs now against Georgie tek, after UGA's 1-0 walk-off single under the glove of the jacket shortstop playing way way way over toward 3rd base in the hole, leaving the jackets now 44 games behind UGA in baseball.  Nice.  Go Lady Bulldogs' women's basketball team, 20-win season.

LCGrad85
LCGrad85

There already is a Georgia school playing in the NCAA: LaGrange College is playing in the D-III Tournament after winning the USA South Tourney.  I hope Mercer is able to end its 29 year drought this year.

Oakland
Oakland

Like it or not, but Georgia Tech with all of its injuries and conference losses is still the better team in the state with UGA being a close second.

EastAtlanta
EastAtlanta

Georgia State has had a terrific season. Hat's of to Coach Hunter, now go out and win the Sunbelt tourney! s for Kennesaw State, how can your coach take a leave during the season? I'd call that quitting.

davidv14
davidv14

Good news for University of Georgia, the players they got now most have two years of college left; if they have an average recruiting years and develop players each years to play they will be in the SEC mix.  They won 10 games in the conference so far with two left; who though that before the season start.   Bad news, there are only two SEC teams that will get into the NCAA (those mostly hated GATORS!!! and Kentucky)  Georgia has an upside they can treat the NIT as their NCAA of the future and make a trip to New York City with a good run in that tournament.   As for Georgia State and Mercer, they have to win the conference tournament outright.  It would be great to see the three Georgia schools Georgia, Georgia State and Mercer in the big dance. 


TampGator1
TampGator1

And Dawg 350......


Gurley was a thug in the Florida game last year......three times.  But that is not why Florida lost to Georgia.  Georgia scored more points than Florida. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Dawg350.....


And some wonder why Fox has a hard time recruiting big time talent from Georgia to UGA.  Attitudes like yours towards the UGA basketball program is one major reason.  By the way, nothing Is bigger than the NCAA basketball tourney....known and watched world wide as....."March Madness."  

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

No surprise with UGA but hard to believe how far the GT program has fallen since Cremins left. They used to be a lock every year for the tourney and typically were competitive.

newnancat
newnancat

I do think Mercer and Ga State are the 2 best teams in Georgia right now. It really makes uga and gt look pretty bad. I am on the Mercer bandwagon. Go Bears. 

SinceVince
SinceVince

Let's face it...our basketball program stinks while being coached by a guy who looks like a Tax Accountant. Baseball program is in sad shape too and we still have boo boo and Will Friend in football. Our offense was very lethargic in the bowl loss to Nebraska. DEMAND BETTER!

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

Jeff, 50-1 for UGA is a little bit harsh, unless that's the odds you're giving them of earning an at-large berth. The Dawgs have a better than 50-1 shot of winning the SEC Tournament, especially if they get a first-round bye.

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

I predict we get a at large as a 12 seed wich would mean we would be poised to make a run. it is looking like this is the beginning of something very special at uga and I think we will fill the vacum left by tech when they used to be good. it is very possible that we will soon be as good in hoops as football and should be a contender every year and leave those tech loosers in the dust!! Lol!!

Borodawg
Borodawg

Dawg350...win it all in 14.   You left out "Book it!"  You're slipping.  Yes, Supersize, he's been saying "win it all" "number one" etc since he first got aholt of his mama's puter.


Back to the topic:

I'm really proud for "The Real GSU".  Go Panthers.


Early season loses, especially to the underachieving yellow bugs ruined the Bulldogs' RPI.  You'd think their good run in SEC play would have gotten them into the NCAA, but BB isn't like football, where late-season wins equate to higher rankings...I reckon.


Seems that most of the talking heads agree that the Dawgs'll have to win the SECC.  Many of us will settle for the NIT; and hope for much better things next year.  I sure hope the fans show a little more support.


Go Dawgs

JSSN
JSSN

Mercer and Florida Gulf Coast deserve a better fate. This is not D-1 football, they are two worthy teams. USC Upstate and North Florida will relegate themselves to the CBT or NIT in the quarterfinals tomorrow. Mercer won at Ole Miss and should have won at Oklahoma, so they should have some cache.

bpgt
bpgt

Tech is better than the Dawgs when healthy. They would have to win the SEC to make the tourney.  I guess it's possible in that crappy conference.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Who cares!!!!! Spring practice starts soon and the dawgs will win it all in 14!

PantherWin
PantherWin

GSU could make some noise in the tourney! Just have to take care of business in NOLA first. Go Panthers!!

DrPhill
DrPhill

Good luck to GSU.  It has been a long time coming.

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Tell me again why CBG will have a job after next season?

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Go Georgia State .......... the real GSU.

BigGDawg
BigGDawg

Do you blame Gurley for getting upset when the Gaytor players were constanttly late hitting him, pulling on his ankle, and twisting his facemask? Get over it Tampa!!

BiffPocoroba
BiffPocoroba

@Iluvnutella CBG will have a job because Bobinski gave him a contract extension last year and doesn't want to look even more stupid than he does now by firing him. 

Radar123
Radar123

@BiffPocoroba @Iluvnutella I guess it was to much to ask of the group who hired Bobinski to tell him the last thing he needed to do is give a premature extension.