Men’s basketball: Bonnies still have good tournament chances

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies may have suffered a heartbreaking loss at the Barclays Center last night, but as of now, they are still believed to be in the NCAA Tournament field.

The 90-86 overtime defeat Bona suffered did not drop it back into a First Four game on ESPN, CBS Sports or USA Today’s brackets; it is still a 10, nine and 11 seed, respectively.

SBU’s RPI dropped from 25 to 30, but wins by Buffalo and South Carolina State in their conference tournament championship games would add two automatic qualifiers to its out-of-conference resume. The conference resume is already very strong, with a victory at Dayton and sweep of St. Joe’s were highlights in a regular season co-championship.

An NCAA administrator who has been in the room on Selection Sunday was on Sportscenter this morning to break down some of the math. After the 32 automatic bids are decided, the committee has 36 at-large bids to hand out. It has a preliminary list of 33 teams that would be in if the decision had to come today, so three bids are up for grabs.

The Bonnies hope they’re one of the 33 teams the committee has dancing at this point in time.

“We said that at the end of the year, we were gonna throw our resume on the table and hopefully it’s good enough,” coach Mark Schmidt said after the loss. “I think being co-champ in the Atlantic 10 speaks volumes.

“We’ve had some really good wins against top 50 teams. I think we’re deserving. But I’m just the coach of Bonaventure, I’m not in the room. I think we’re deserving. We’ll see on Sunday.”

Before heading to Brooklyn, the ninth-year coach said he didn’t want someone to have to select his team with an at-large bid; he wanted to clinch a spot with an Atlantic 10 Tournament title. Those hopes may have been dashed on Friday night, but the new hopes for an at-large bid and NCAA Tournament game next week are still very much alive.


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