How NCAA chairman views chances for Temple, La Salle, Villanova

Posted: March 15, 2013

One thing about the resumés of the three Big Five schools in contention for an NCAA bid is that they seem to have quality wins and dreadful losses in almost equal numbers.

The prospects for Temple, La Salle, and Villanova in what is likely to be a very crowded group under consideration for the last of the 37 at-large berths in the NCAAs depend on how each of the 10 members of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Committee evaluates good victories and bad defeats.

Mike Bobinski, the chair of the committee that convened Wednesday in Indianapolis to begin selecting, seeding, and pairing teams for Sunday's announcement of the field, said quantifying the effects of win-loss results is difficult to do.

"Everybody gets to make their determination on their own," Bobinski said Wednesday during a conference call. "As a committee member with no more voting weight than anybody else, I would say that the ability to beat good teams is really probably a clear indication of your deservedness to be in the tournament.

"If you can beat teams that are generally accepted and evaluated to be among the best in the country, that's says something about who you are."

Villanova has five victories over teams currently ranked in the RPI top 50, including four against the top 20. Temple has four wins over top-50 teams, while La Salle has two, with one being a very big road win at Virginia Commonwealth.

But they have bad losses, too. 'Nova has lost to two teams (Seton Hall, Columbia) below the top 100, and Temple has dropped three games (Canisius, St. Bonaventure, and Duquesne) against opponents at that level. La Salle has lost one, to Central Connecticut State.

Bobinski, who is in his fifth year on the committee, said every member has his or her own order of criteria for considering a team. His own personal preference, he said, is road wins.

Temple and La Salle each have eight road wins, while Villanova has six. The Explorers and the Wildcats have just one road win against an RPI top 100 opponent, but the Owls have three.

Bracketology 101. Here is how bracketologists Joe Lunardi of ESPN and Jerry Palm of CBS Sports see Temple, Villanova, and La Salle through Tuesday.

Lunardi: La Salle meets Kentucky in a play-in game for the 12th seed in the West to play fifth seed Pittsburgh at Kansas City. Temple is the 10th seed in the West, facing seventh seed Memphis at Lexington. Villanova is the 10th seed in the South, facing seventh seed Creighton at Kansas City.

Palm: La Salle meets Kentucky in a play-in game for the 12th seed in the East to play fifth seed UNLV at Austin. Temple is the 10th seed in the West, facing seventh seed Notre Dame at Auburn Hills. Villanova is the 11th seed in the South, facing sixth seed Creighton at Austin.


Contact Joe Juliano at jjuliano@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @joejulesinq. Keith Pompey contributed to this article.

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