The 2019-2020 basketball season is rapidly approaching the middle of February and with only eight games left in the regular season, the NCAA Tournament bubble is starting to take shape.
And unlike the last seven years, the Virginia Cavaliers are finding themselves squarely on it.
A reminder: the selection committee no longer relies solely on RPI to decide who gets in the big dance and who doesn’t. The NCAA has devised the NET Rankings and developed a “quad” system to distribute the games through the season to visualize how a team’s season went.
After going 3-1 over the last four games, UVa’s NET Ranking really has not moved all that much and they currently sit at No. 52. The good news is UVa did not drop any games they should not have and were able to pick up a Quad 1 victory over No. 13 in the NET, Florida State.
Here is what UVa’s NET Report looks like as of today:
Virginia Tech’s backslide over the last few weeks has really hurt UVa as it meant UVa lost an upcoming Quad 1 game and their earlier win over the Hokies is now a Quad 3 game.
The good news is of the remaining eight games, only one is worse than a Quad 2 game. The bad news is, as it stands right now, UVa will only have two more Quad 1 games to boost the resume. Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, or even Virginia Tech could win a few games over the coming weeks and sneak those games into Quad 1 territory, which would obviously help UVa’s cause.
Though there is no clear answer for UVa on how to make the tournament other than to win the ACC Tournament in March, it does appear like if the Cavaliers can beat Duke or Louisville, beat Notre Dame and Boston College at home, and win three of four against Pitt, VT, UNC, and Miami that would get their record to 13-7 in the conference and likely a tournament berth.
But the selection committee is a fickle mistress.