Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Penn State 2018 vs. Saint Mary's 2023 in battle of little known Top 20 Teams

Scroll to the bottom for St. Mary's 90-82 win against the 2018 team from Penn State. The 8-point win margin moved St. Mary's up to the 13th seed for the second round,.so they will not get a bye. The final two spots will be claimed by the winner of Kansas State vs the 2013 Northwestern team as well as the TCU vs the 2008 team from Stanford.

The highest either of those two winners can get is an 8-seed, but more likely neither of them get a bye.  We will do a bracket once those two games are played.

Pre game notes.are below.

The third batch of teams we created this year focused on schools without a team yet in the game particularly if they were in one of the power conferences after last year's realignment.

In looking through the Big Ten's Penn State, we settled on the 2018 team that won the NIT. which ranks much higher in than their three NCAA teams this century (2001, 2011 and 2023).

This certainly seemed like a snub. Penn State had beaten 5-seed Ohio State three times during the season, and after the NCAA snub their NIT win included road games at Notre Dame and Marquette en route to ranking them as the 19th best team in then country (the only of the top 30 not invited to the NCAA). 

Saint Mary's 2023 team has been stuck behind Gonzaga for years, and we went with their 2023 team over their one team that went one round further - the 2010 Sweet 16 team. The Sweet 16 team had a great win over Villanova in the second round to make the Sweet 16 but it was against a Villanova that had fallen apart down the stretch to lose 6 of their last 10 and Saint Mary's finished ranked 29th after being blown out by Baylor in the Sweet 16. Even though Saint Mary's lost in the second round, it was against the eventual champion UConn, which dominated everyone in the tournament, and Saint Mary's was ranked 13th at the end of the season.

The results will follow.

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