Bubble teams across the country held their collective breath last night as Old Dominion held off de facto CAA Tournament host VCU 73-69 in overtime. They wont be able to exhale (or one of them will suffocate) until around 9:15 this evening.
While the Monarchs are certainly a bubble team themselves, the consensus seems to be that their resume is strong enough - and their competition for one of the final at-large bids weak enough - that a loss in tonight's Colonial title game will not keep them out of the big dance. ODU currently appears on all but four of the brackets utilized by the Bracket Matrix website, where they're seeded as high (or low) as 9th and as low (or high...we really to come to a consensus on this) as 12th.
Here's a quick look at Blaine Taylor's team's tournament profile:
Record: 25-8, 15-3
Stength of Schedule: 100
Record Against RPI Top 50: 1-3
Record Against RPI Top 100: 7-7
Key Wins: At Georgetown, vs. Charlotte, vs. Marshall
Key Losses: None
I'm not sure it's single-digit seed-worthy, but it looks immensely better when you put it side-by side with the resumes of the other teams fighting for those last 11 and 12 seeds. Just like Maggie Gyllenhaal...when she coached at South Alabama.
The best thing ODU has going for it may be its lack of anything that could resemble a bad loss. The Monarchs dropped three league games and they were to teams that finished second fourth and fifth in a very strong mid-major conference. Their five non-conference losses all came to squads (Missouri, Northern Iowa, Mississippi State, Dayton, Richmond) that are either definitely in the tournament or just on the outside looking in.
So the Rhode Islands, San Diego State and Pac-10 teams of the world should all be wearing their Gerald Lee jerseys this evening when Old Dominion takes the floor against third-seeded William & Mary, which snuck by No. 2 Northeastern 47-45 on Sunday. ODU took care of the Tribe in both meetings between the two during the regular season.
Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and ESPN has the coverage.