Greensboro, N.C. — You can go insane trying to process every permutation. If Cincinnati had beaten West Virginia last night, would the Bearcats be in and someone else be out? If Utah State falls in the WAC tournament, which major conference team gets bumped? But here, as of Friday morning, is all you need to know:
Georgia Tech is in the NCAA field.
Jerry Palm of CBSsports.com has the Jackets as a No. 10 seed, and that’s safe ground. Even if Tech loses to Maryland tonight, it won’t be viewed as a bad loss. (Maryland tied for the ACC regular-season crown and has an RPI of 19.) Bracketology 101 has the Jackets among the last four in. (Though as an 11th seed, which seems odd. The final at-large invitees are generally 12th seeds.)
Andy Glockner of SI.com has Tech as a No. 12, but he believes it “probably needs to beat Maryland to hold on to its spot in the bracket.” (Mr. Glockner and I disagree.) But esteemed former colleague Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com has moved the Jackets to the “should be in” classification on his Bubble Watch. Writes Schlabach: “Because of the carnage taking place in other conference tournaments, the Yellow Jackets are suddenly sitting in pretty good shape.”
And what of the famous Joe Lunardi, also of ESPN? He still has the Jackets as a No. 11 seed and puts them third among the 14 bubble teams, of which seven figure to be invited. (Latter link requires registration.)
Bottom line: For a team that trailed by 10 points halfway through a game Thursday night that would have meant NCAA exclusion, Tech is rolling in clover. It has 20 victories (19 over Division I opponents). It has an RPI of 40 and its strength of schedule is 20. That’s enough to get in, I maintain. And I’m never ever wrong, as we know.