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by user Timothy Moreland
1) Missouri State
This was probably the best team not to make the cut for March Madness. Their RPI, if that matters to you, was the highest in the MVC at 21. Three of the four other teams to make it out of their conference finished with the same or worse conference record. Against tourney teams, they won at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, at Northern Iowa, and beat Illinois St. home and away.
2) Notre Dame
Yes, their RPI is 95 and they were barely over .500 at 15-13(6-10 Conf). But, if you look at their schedule, you see a team that was on the brink of having a great season. They lost to Michigan by 4 and won on the road against Alabama early in the year. Then, they lost their first Big East game by 3 to Pitt in three overtimes, lost by 6 to Syracuse, lost by 2 at Marquette, lost by 3 against Georgetown, lost by 2 against Villanova, lost by 1 at West Virginia, lost by 3 at Louisville, lost by 1 at Connecticut, lost by 8 against Marquette, and lost by four at Georgetown. Sprinkled in those losses was blowouts of Providence and Rutgers, plus an 11 point victory at Seton Hall. A basket here and a call in their favor there and maybe Notre Dame's season looks a little different.
3) Florida St.
They had the best conference record in the ACC without making the Tournament at 9-7 (19-9 overall). Their RPI was 64 so that isn't exactly March Madness-worthy. Plus, if you look back at their schedule, their only big win was by five against Duke at the end of the year.
4) South Carolina
This is a team with a borderline RPI of 62 and a lowly 6-10 Conf. record but a bunch of quality wins. They beat Tournament Teams Monmouth and Winthrop in the non-conference. Then, they compiled victories against Florida home and away, Alabama, at Tennessee, and at Kentucky. They were extremely streaky during the season (4 game and 3 game losing streaks in conference) but taken as a whole, their work was commendable and worthy of a spot in the bracket.
Tue 03/14/06, 10:00 pm EST