Posted 03/12/2008 at 03:21 PM
Syracuse certainly saw its bubble burst with a blowout loss to Villanova Wednesday morning. The Orange have incredible size and talent but the youth and inexperienced proved decisive as turnovers and sloppy defense were the main problems. On paper the Orange look like a team that could be great next season but unfortunately they will probably lose at least one player to the NBA draft. For the Wildcats you have to be impressed with sophomore Scottie Reynolds. After a huge freshman season for Villanova his numbers did not see big rises this season but he is a great shooter and displayed remarkable passing in the win over Syracuse. The work may not be done for Villanova however as they might want to add a revenge win over Georgetown in round two to be safe. Recall that the Hoyas got a huge break against Villanova with a questionable foul called in the final seconds.
One of the most talked about teams in the bubble discussion may become Illinois State. The Redbirds had a strong regular season but could not capture the automatic bid, losing to Drake for a third time this season. Had Illinois State played a close game and still lost in the Missouri Valley Championship they would not have any more impressive numbers or statistics but the toll of the perception of ISU based on the blowout loss may doom the Redbirds. Still Illinois State was 2nd place in the regular season and in the conference tournament of a very highly rated conference. It wouldn’t send the right message for a conference like the WCC to get the three bids that it likely will get and the Missouri Valley to just have one. We don’t want to create a situation where there is an incentive for a top team in a conference tournament to lose just to ensure more bids for that conference.