Bubble Watch: Middle Tennessee State Must Play the Waiting Game After Sun Belt Tournament Loss

By Paul Seaver
Jim Brown-USA Today Sports

If the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders are going to qualify for the 2013 NCAA Tournament, they are going to have to hope for an at-large bid.

The Blue Raiders were eliminated from the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Sunday, falling to Florida International and first-year head coach Richard Pitino. The top seed within the Sun Belt was expected to coast to victory after a tremendous regular season and lock up their berth within the Big Dance.

Now however, they simply become just another bubble team.

Well, maybe Middle Tennessee State gets a little bit of a bargain considering they have already won 28 games this season. Playing in the Sun Belt Conference however, certainly isn’t helping. So, there’s a middle ground and a decision now lies in the hands of the NCAA Tournament committee.

The numbers are in favor of MTSU, but we have seen this situation before, sans Coastal Carolina a few year back. With an RPI of 28 and a BPI of 46, the Blue Raiders do have an impressive resume. Their best non-conference win came against Ole Miss (another team on the bubble) and the good news is that they really don’t have any bad losses outside of their most recent defeat to FIU and an earlier loss to Arkansas State back in January.

Long story short, it’s wait and see time for Middle Tennessee State. They can’t do anymore to improve their resume, so what’s done is done. Worst case scenario they are automatically headed to the NIT, but that’s not a scenario that they want, obviously.

MTSU has the potential to make some noise in March here, but will the NCAA give them a chance?


Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS


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