Ole Miss Basketball had a pretty swell week. We moved up 27 spots in KenPom rankings, got a win in Nashville (which has been almost as rare as wins vs Alabama in football), and beat MSU handily. All in all, it moved us up the bubble chart to just outside the bubble conversation. I haven't seen any national guys talking about the bubble with us, but if the simple formula of KenPom rankings + RPI holds up this year, we're close. Here is a little detail around the bubble to give you some context (KenPom/RPI):
AVOID THE PLAY-IN
Arizona State (35/50), Cal (37/47), UNC (36/51), New Mexico (57/30)
LAST FOUR IN
Providence (46/43), Saint Mary's (52/44), Stanford (45/53), BYU (50/49)
Realistically, I doubt they would put two teams from the WCC in the play-in, so that might kick BYU out of the tournament. They have a pretty bad record anyway, so I would probably take them out if I were doing this for real, but I'm trying to keep it strictly based on the formula.
FIRST FOUR OUT
Richmond (59/48), Indiana State (62/45), Baylor (54/55), Missouri (53/57)
NEXT FOUR OUT
Louisiana Tech (38/75), Boise State (60/56) Arkansas (47/77), Ole Miss (66/58)
We were 29 spots outside of the tournament when I did this last week - now just eight. You could also shoot some holes in several of the team that are ranked ahead of us - like UNC is 12-7 with some questionable losses, but like I said, I wanted to base this strictly on the numbers.
We had a really good week in KenPom by beating a team that his model said that we shouldn't have in Vandy and beating MSU worse than projected. We had a strong RPI week with Oregon finally getting off their slide and winning, Mercer went 2-0 and is on a 7 game win streak, Western KY went 2-0, MSU (we play them 2x) beat A&M and Auburn, and Vandy beat A&M.
We have a chance on Wednesday to play our way in I think. We play Tennessee (28/52) who is only 4 spots ahead of Arizona State on the KP+RPI scale. A win there would boost our KenPom (he only gives us a 19% chance of winning - roughly what MSU had on Saturday), would give us a top 50ish RPI win, and would likely bump Tennessee from their spot inside the bubble. This is also our best shot at a quality win on the road - right now, either Western KY(146/114) or Vandy (109/84)holds that title. There are huge implications in this game.