Old Spice Classic field finalized
The Old Spice Classic field for November 2011 has been finalized. The eight teams will be DePaul, Indiana State, Arizona State, Dayton, Fairfield, Minnesota, Texas Tech and Wake Forest. The Sycamores are the only team that made the NCAA Tournament, but Fairfield and Dayton made the NIT.
The major conference teams in the tournament just aren't that good. Texas Tech recently fired Pat Knight and hired Billy Gillispie. Wake Forest is going to eventually figure out that Jeff Bzdelik isn't the answer for the Demon Deacons and Minnesota is currently falling apart.
It's going to be an interesting tournament because it seems like any of the teams that will be there can win it. For instance, here are the Ken Pomeroy rankings for the eight teams in the field:
- Minnesota - 57
- Fairfield - 96
- Dayton - 99
- Indiana State - 100
- Texas Tech - 115
- Arizona State - 125
- DePaul - 203
- Wake Forest - 250
That's not a particularly large spread and it's conceivable that the two teams at the bottom of the pack will at least get a little better next season. I'd peg DePaul for about a 150 ranking next season based on the improvement of the freshman and Oliver Purnell's new class. Minnesota will probably slide back to the low 70's.
That's where you get a competitive tournament. The difference between the 79th team in Ken Pomeroy and the 150th team is 2.3 wins in 10 games (75.1% vs. 52.4%). It should make Orlando a fun place to be over the long Thanksgiving weekend.