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Evaluating the Beaver Basketball Postseason Chances

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Oregon State has been a huge surprise this year and hopefully the ride will extend beyond the Pac-12 tournament. Here is a deeper look at their chances to make it into a tournament.

Don't worry, the numbers look pretty straight forward.
Don't worry, the numbers look pretty straight forward.
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

This is the exact opposite where I hoped the team would mercifully end and instead they played in the CBI and lost to Radford. Tinkle has brought in a different atmosphere, an era of actual basketball, where the players play within an offense instead of playing YMCA ball and play hard-nosed defense. With only 9 scholarship players however it will still be a struggle as the games last week proved.

Connor Letourneau of the Oregonian took a look a couple weeks ago. At the time based on last years records and OSU's projected wins they had a good shot at the NIT. Things have changed a little bit, as the struggles on the road become more prominent but they continue to be dominant at home. Their RPI is sitting at 68, so let's take a look at how last year's NCAA tournament and NIT fields looked like based on RPI and Ken Pomeroy's rankings (found at kenpom.com).

NCAA Tournament

Team RPI Record Conference KenPom Rank
Arizona 2 33-5 Pac-12 2
Wisconsin 6 30-8 Big Ten 3
Tennesse 7 24-13 SEC 37
UConn 8 32-8 American 5
Michigan 10 28-9 Big 10 11
Kentucky 11 29-11 SEC 7
Kansas 12 25-10 Big 12 4
Duke 13 26-9 ACC 14
Villanova 14 29-5 Big East 8
Syracuse 16 28-6 ACC 20
VCU 17 26-9 A10 19
San Diego State 18 31-5 MWC 13
Pitt 19 26-10 ACC 39
Ohio State 20 25-10 Big 10 25
Cincinnati 23 27-7 American 22
Creighton 24 27-8 Big East 17
Baylor 25 26-12 Big-12 28
Oklahoma State 26 21-13 Big 12 52
North Carolina 27 24-10 ACC 23
Iowa 28 19-13 Big 10 60
Oregon 29 24-10 Pac-12 27
Oklahoma 33 23-10 Big 12 31
St. Louis 35 27-7 A10 24
Stanford 36 23-13 Pac-12 40
Memphis 37 23-10 American 30
Dayton 38 26-11 A10 33
Texas 39 24-11 Big 12 41
Kansas State 43 20-13 Big 12 58
Nebraska 44 19-13 Big 10 53
Arizona State 45 21-12 Pac-12 51
George Washington 47 24-9 A10 36
BYU 53 23-12 WCC 38
UMass 54 24-9 A10 26
NC State 55 22-14 ACC 55
Xavier 59 21-13 Big East 56
Colorado 77 23-12 Pac-12 42

This is a list of all the at-large teams from last year's tournament. The RPI is the most telling statistic, as only 2 schools were outside of the top 55 and no one was outside of the top 60 in the KenPom rankings. Colorado was well rated in the Pomeroy rankings, and was ranked for a time last season which explains how they got in thanks to a positive public opinion. Xavier is admittedly confusing, as they did not beat any real notable names or garner any votes. Iowa was the 60th ranked Pomeroy team and they were ranked for much of the year and never in real danger, plus their losses to many good teams put them high in the RPI.

Unless Oregon State goes on an incredible run, it seems that making the tournament is a stretch, although more on that at the end.

NIT:

NIT CBI
CIT
33
Southern Miss
CUSA
27-6
100
Oregon State
Pac-12
16-15
85
Missouri State
Missouri Valley
20-12
38
Toledo
MAC
27-6
103
UTEP
CUSA
23-10
86
Eastern Michigan
MAC
21-14
49
Missouri
SEC
22-11
114
Penn State
Big Ten
15-17
87
Ohio
MAC
23-11
50
Minnesota
Big Ten
20-13
117
Fresno State
Mountain West
17-16
91
Cleveland State
Horizon
21-11
53
SMU
American
23-9
122
Princeton
Ivy
20-8
93
Akron
MAC
21-12
54
Florida State
ACC
19-13
134
Illinois State
Missouri Valley
16-15
95
Towson
Colonial
23-10
57
Belmont
Ohio Valley
24-9
135
Wyoming
Mountain West
18-14
96
Canisius
Metro Atlantic
21-12
58
Green Bay
Horizon
24-6
138
South Dakota State
Summit
19-12
105
Quinnipiac
Metro Atlantic
20-11
59
Iona
Metro Atlantic
22-10
141
Morehead State
Ohio Valley
20-13
112
Sam Houston State
Southland
23-10
61
St. Mary's (CA)
West Coast
22-11
148
Texas A&M
SEC
17-15
115
IPFW
Summit
24-10
62
Louisiana Tech
CUSA
27-7
165
Stony Brook
America East
23-10
127
Holy Cross
Patriot
19-13
63
California
Pac-12
19-13
170
Old Dominion
CUSA
16-17
130
Columbia
Ivy
19-12
67
San Francisco
West Coast
21-11
193
Siena
Metro Atlantic
15-17
133
Pacific
West Coast
15-15
67
St. John's
Big East
20-12
204
Hampton
MEAC
18-12
142
Murray State
Ohio Valley
18-11
69
Georgetown
Big East
17-14
223
Tulane
CUSA
17-16
147
Yale
Ivy
15-13
70
Illinois
Big Ten
19-14
240
Radford
Big South
21-12
156
San Diego
West Coast
16-16
71
Indiana State
Missouri Valley
23-10




163
USC Upstate
Atlantic Sun
19-14
74
Georgia
SEC
19-13




173
Wright State
Horizon
20-14
76
Georgia State
Sun Belt
25-8




184
Valparaiso
Horizon
18-15
77
Arkansas
SEC
21-11




197
North Dakota
Big Sky
17-16
79
Clemson
ACC
20-12




203
Grand Canyon
WAC
15-14
80
Utah
Pac-12
21-11




205
Northern Colorado
Big Sky
18-13
83
LSU
SEC
19-13




206
East Tennessee State
Atlantic Sun
18-15
84
Boston University
Patriot
24-10




211
VMI
Big South
19-12
88
West Virginia
Big 12
17-15




216
East Carolina
CUSA
17-16
101
Vermont
America East
22-10




219
Omaha
Summit
16-14
111
UC Irvine
Big West
23-11




227
Norfolk State
MEAC
19-14
126
Davidson
Southern
20-12




229
Brown
Ivy
15-13
129
Robert Morris
Northeast
21-13




243
Chattanooga
Southern
18-14
144
Utah Valley
WAC
20-11




248
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Southland
17-15
146
Florida Gulf Coast
Atlantic Sun
22-12




252
Portland State
Big Sky
17-14
172
High Point
Big South
16-14




254
Alabama State
SWAC
19-12

RPI courtesy of NIT Bracket Project.

Team KenPom Rank Record Conference
SMU 30 27-10 American
Florida State 41 22-14 ACC
Utah 42 21-12 Pac-12
Minnesota 48 25-13 Big-10
Illinois 49 20-15 Big-10
Clemson 50 23-13 ACC
Arkansas 52 22-12 SEC
Southern Miss 56 29-7 C-USA
LSU 58 20-14 SEC
St. John's 61 20-13 Big East
California 64 21-14 Pac-12
Georgetown 65 18-15 Big East
West Virginia 68 17-16 Big 12
Georgia 72 20-14 SEC
St. Mary's 74 23-12 WCC
Missouri 78 23-12 SEC
San Francisco 90 21-12 WCC
Indiana State 108 23-11 MVC
Toledo 111 27-7 MAC

Pulled from kenpom.com

The NIT is a fairly safe bet although it was not after the Beavers got swept in the state of Arizona when they moved down into the 80s of the RPI. The lowest RPI was 88 which belonged to West Virginia. The majority of at large bids are all in the 70-80 range which Oregon State is currently sitting just above. The Pomeroy rankings show a similar range, where most of the Power 5 teams are around 50-60.

If Oregon State can just split they have a real shot to make the NIT, every game is winnable although @UCLA and @Furd will be difficult, along with playing an excellent Utah team at home. USC is in trouble although they played Colorado extremely close and only lost to Cal on an absurd buzzer-beater, Colorado and Cal have been mediocre, the Civil War is always a toss up, but all four of those are winnable, If they can take those four, or even three of those four with a win in the tournament could make an NIT bid all but certain.

The tournament will be a stretch unless the Beavers win the Pac-12 tournament or somehow sweep through the rest of the year. Without that it will be tough though, just ask Kevin O'Neill who has gone from saying the Beavs are an NIT lock to saying they just don't have any talent. Oregon State does not get any respect right now. They are going to be required to force the mindset of the media, to get rid of the underdog story and become a team just as deserving as any other.

If the Beavers do slide it would be interesting to see if they would consider entering the CBI, if it would actually make money, or at least stay neutral on the financial front. The greater whiplash might be from a fanbase which watched that tournament be the end of several frustrating years. It would be great to watch this team play though, and after all they've done this year they deserve to get to play some sort of postseason.

It is fair to hold out hope for the NIT though, and it seems realistic at this point in time, with a split in the Southern California road trip the Beavers will be that much closer to significant post-season play.