Tuesday marks the 39th day of the college basketball season. Incredibly, almost every NCAA Division I team has either played one-third of its regular season schedule, or is coming up on the mark in the next few days.
“It’s early” still applies, but not as much as it did a few weeks ago. With teams compiling 10-, 11-, 12-game samples, preliminary lists of NCAA Tournament at-large contenders can reasonably start to form. It’s a large pool-a very large one-and of varying depth now and of which will be determined as the season goes on. it’s late enough now, though, where we can at least start identifying teams that have realistic hopes of at-large qualification, depending on their performance in the next 2 1/2 months.
SMU and Stanford are two such teams, two of many that have at least some kind of at-large hopes. How strong? We’ll find out over the next few months, but while their game was just one of 30-plus that each team will play this year, it unquestionably left a positive impression for one team and the opposite for the other, the type of result that could be the difference if these two are competing for a spot in March. … Continue Reading