As a fan of college basketball, I want to see powerful mid-majors make the tournament. As a bracketologist, I just don’t see Monmouth and Valpo getting in.
Granted, some of their bubble competitors could lose bad games in their conference tournaments and change the tournament outlooks for Monmouth and Valpo, but here’s why I don’t think it will happen for either team:
Monmouth – They have two top 50 wins (USC and Notre Dame). A month ago, those were two great wins. Now, those are wins over two projected eight seeds and those wins at UCLA and Georgetown aren’t looking so hot. And let’s not forget, losing to Iona in the MAAC final wasn’t a big upset. Iona actually won the season series, 2-1. Monmouth will be really hurt by three really bad losses (Army, Canisius, and Manhattan). Monmouth is a good team, but even the eye test isn’t doing it for me. I expect them to be one of the first four teams to miss the tournament.
Valpo – The Crusaders are in even worse shape than Monmouth. Whereas Monmouth has two noteworthy wins, Valpo has just one (at Oregon State). In addition, they have four losses to RPI 101+ teams. Valpo is a very good team, but they will likely fall short of a bid.