For the first time in a very long time, Virginia Tech has never been in any bubble danger at any point in a season because their spot in the NCAA Tournament has been certain for that whole period. Of course, Hokie fans will likely be able to relate quite well to fans of those bubble teams especially the ones that just barely get left out this evening.
But could this year’s bubble teams give us insight on where Virginia Tech will be seeded? Absolutely
Of course, we may only see one or two of the bubble teams as they make it in as though VT most likely won’t be in the first region revealed, it’s very possible they could land in the second region depending on how seeding works itself out and whether the ACC gets 2 or 3 #1 seeds.
So here’s a look at what some bubble teams making it could say about the committee’s priorities and whether that’s a good or bad sign for Virginia Tech’s seeding.
Good or Bad? Probably Good
One of the things that immediately stands out about NC State is the fact that they rank 352nd out of 353 D1 teams in non-conference strength of schedule. While Virginia Tech, for the first time in a while, has a non-conference strength of schedule ranked in the top 200 (197th), that still is the lowest mark among the teams around them and definitely could hurt them if it turns out to be a major factor.
Additionally, a big part of NC State’s resume is built around their best win coming at home against Auburn in non-conference play. If that proves to have value (and we see a trend of teams with strong non-conference wins making it in), then that will be a sign for a Virginia Tech team that clearly has the best non-conference win among its peers coming against Purdue in the Charleston Classic.
NC State is right on the bubble so them making it in would be a clear sign that non-conference strength of schedule isn’t too much of a factor. Additionally, them avoiding Dayton could give VT fans even more optimism about a 4 seed given that the Wolfpack are a NET darling among bubble teams, coming in at 33rd in the latest NET rankings.
Good or Bad? Good
One of the biggest cases for UNC Greensboro is the fact that they did not lost a single game outside of quadrant 1. Given that UNCG’s Tourney hopes are largely built around their 28-6 record and lack of bad losses, the Spartans making the Tournament would be a major indication that a lack of bad losses is something that would impress the committee.
That would be a great sign for the Hokies given the fact that they took care of their business and didn’t have a single loss outside of quadrant 1. In contrast, every other team battling for the final couple 4 seeds did suffer multiple non-Q1 losses including 4 for Iowa State, 3 for Kansas State, and 2 for Auburn, Wisconsin, and Buffalo.
It’s a very select group of teams that are largely competing for top 2 seeds that did not suffer a single quadrant 1 loss so for UNCG, a resume built on that fact, makes the NCAA Tournament, that would be a great sign for Virginia Tech about their odds of jumping to the 4 seed line.
Good or Bad? Probably Bad
Arizona State has one of the more interesting resumes given how bad the Pac-12 was this season. While the Sun Devils were 12-6 in a very down Pac-12, Arizona State also did well in non-conference play picking up quality wins over Kansas, Mississippi State, and Utah State. Combine that with a 3-3 record in quadrant 1 and 4 losses outside the top 2 quadrants, and ASU making it in is not a good sign for the Hokies’ hopes of earning a top 4 seed.
Part of the problem would be the fact that it appears the committee isn’t too concerned about bad losses, something that is an important part of Virginia Tech’s resume. Additionally, it could be a sign that the NET isn’t a big factor with ASU being 63rd in the latest NET rankings, another strength of VT’s resume. On top of that, it could be an indication about non-conference strength of schedule being important with the Sun Devils ranking 41st in that stat.
If ASU avoids Dayton, or even ends up around a 10 seed, it would be a worse sign that the committee may be looking at the fact that the Sun Devils had a 3-3 record in Q1 opportunities while the Hokies went 4-8 in those games.
The Sun Devils are projected by many to make the field, but if they avoid a trip to Dayton, it could be a big sign that some of the weakest parts of Virginia Tech’s resume are some of the biggest factors in the committee.
Check out our latest edition of NCAA Tournament Watch here.