The World Hasn’t Ended

I didn’t get to watch last night’s game. It certainly was a struggle for me, but I went to my night class from 6-9pm because women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose (who is the man, by the way) was going to lecture us and I didn’t want to miss it.  I also heeded some great advice from my bro…”Dude, if you skip class and PSU loses, you’ll be pissed at yourself…If you go to class and they win, you’ll be too happy to care that you missed it”.  So yeah, I went to class which turned out being a wise decision.

I’ve seen the gameflow. That’s about it.  But what’s really irritating me today is the numerous doom and gloom reports from the game.  PSU really had nothing to lose last night. There was a golden opportunity to seize, but we were on the road against a top50 opponent, who will be going to the Big Dance.  We are not North Carolina.  We aren’t suppose to win these games.  How does losing this game hurt PSU’s chances to dance? It certainly didn’t hurt our RPI as it has stood still at 62. We knew how big the mountain to climb was back at the end of January.  Honestly, I’m feeling great, because we’re done with that absolutely atrocious stretch and we’re still alive.  Who else in the country had to play 7 straight games against 6 top50 opponents (and UM at 56), with 5 of those 7 coming on the road? Only final four contenders would have a winning record during that stretch.  We came out at 3-4 and while we had some disappointing losses (Wisconsin, UM), we made up for it with some HUGE road scalps (ILL, MSU).

So now PSU sits at 8-7, in a tie for fourth place.  But check this, PSU still has a not-so-far-fetched chance at finishing in third place. I say MN and UW finish 10-8 and Ohio State at 11-7.  Now if PSU wins out (and in the process beats Illinois), while Illinois also loses to MSU…Penn State, Illinois, and OSU would be tied at 11-7 (and PSU would have the tiebreaker thanks to the best winning % against those two teams (2-1)…OSU would be 1-2, Illinois 2-2). So, the season is far from over.

It’s also a relief to me that PSU has actually shown they can beat their last 3 opponents.  It’s not like we’re facing Wisconsin (10 game losing streak) or Ohio State (11 game losing streak) or Minnesota (lost 8 of 9).  Indiana’s awful, and we’ve beaten Iowa and Illinois 3 out of the last 4 games.  While PSU will probably be slight underdogs the last 2 games, there’s a good chance for a PSU win.  But thanks to those two big road wins, PSU might not even have to win both as originally thought.  Only the committee knows, though…

So while yes, PSU missed a golden opportunity to almost ‘lock’ themselves into the field, their chances haven’t been brought to a halt or their bubble hasn’t burst.  Is there added pressure? Yeah, but I like this team’s chances against anyone if they’re in must-win mode with their backs against the wall.  Still a lot of basketball left…

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5 Responses to The World Hasn’t Ended

  1. Yeah, I flagged that Post-Gazette story over on the FOS hoops board. Just pure silliness from someone who doesn’t know anything about the team or its situation.

    Anyway, keep up the fine work. Much appreciated.

  2. Anonymous says:

    good analysis. i think if we win out, we will be a lock. if we lose to only Illinois, we will have to win at least 1 game in the BTT.

  3. Joe says:

    Yeah, if we win out, it’s pretty much a lock. If we go 2-1, we’ll need to win our Big Ten tournament play-in game and perhaps even our quarterfinal game. I just hope we find a way to get into some kind of rhythm over the next two weeks.

  4. Sinbad says:

    good job going to class

  5. Aaron says:

    I’m not so sure that 10-8 gets us in. It really depends on what happens in the other conferences. Still, you are right that there is a lot of hope for this team. Let’s go State!

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