The day could not have gone better for Mississippi, the only Middle 20 team to win a game and keep playing Saturday. Mississippi came into the day ranked 8th in the Breitbart Sports Middle 20, and not only did they beat Vanderbilt to eliminate them as a potential spoiler that would take Mississippi’s spot, but the other potential spoiler (Massachusetts) and the other three Middle 20 teams behind Mississippi all lost. We recommend they get on of the final eight bid along with Middle Tennessee, California, Villanova, St. Mary’s, Temple, Boise State and Baylor. The whole list is included below.
Mississippi used tough defense for the win, as the two teams combined to shoot 39 percent from the floor. Marshall Henderson will shoot from anywhere on the court any time, and while he shot only a little better than the rest of the team at 41 percent (7-17), he included hitting three 3-pointers and driving to the hoop to draw fouls en route to 23 points for the 64-52 win.
Reginald Buckner did his best Dwight Howard imitation, dominating inside for 15 points and 9 rebounds despite hitting only three of 11 free throws. Once factor considered is how hot a team is going into Selection Sunday, and the fact that Mississippi has won six of their last seven should be enough.
The win should be enough for the 25-8 team, even if they lose in the SEC championship Sunday against Florida, which beat Alabama 61-51. The win was good for the SEC, which may have only had two teams (Florida and Missouri) if Mississippi had not made the final. They still have an outside shot at more than three.
Cetainly the next few teams in the Middle 20 could just as easily be chosen. Iowa State, was the big winner of the day, and we recommend a bid for them after their win over Vanderbilt. Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Providence, Kentucky and even Southern Miss who looked impressive despite looking strong in taking Memphis to overtime.
However, Alabama and Maryland fell short in upset bids against Florida and UNC that would have at least gotten them a look. We would be very surprised, and disappointed, if either of them or Virginia, Iowa, Arizona State or Boise State were called on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.
|Middle 20 Rank||8 spots left for Middle 20||Saturday Results; Recommended Bid?|
|1||Middle Tennessee||Idle, we recommend bid|
|2||California||Idle, we recommend bid|
|3||Villanova||Idle, we recommend bid|
|4||St. Mary’s||Idle, we recommend bid|
|5||Temple||Idle, we recommend bid|
|6||Boise St.||Idle, we recommend bid|
|7||Baylor||Idle, we recommend bid|
|8||Mississippi||We recommend bid – big winner of the day 64-52 over Vandy.|
|9||Iowa St.||Could sneak in|
|10||Tennessee||Could sneak in|
|11||Louisiana Tech||Could sneak in|
|12||Southern Mississippi||Could sneak in, but lost to Memphis 91-79 in OT|
|13||Providence||Could sneak in|
|14||Kentucky||Could sneak in|
|15||Alabama||Long shot after lost to Florida 51-61|
|16||Maryland||Long shot after lost to UNC 76-79|
|19||Arizona St.||Long shot|
|Potential Spoiler||Massachusetts||Lost to VCU to be eliminated.|
|Potential Spoiler||Vanderbilt||Lost to Mississippi to be eliminated.|