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The NCAA Tournament, Predictions And The Unknown

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We've received plenty of flack about the NCAA tournament post from a few days ago, much of which is completely undeserved. I didn't write the post, but I edited it and made the decision to post it as-is -- I had the final say on it, not Jeff. That's how things work around here. We share ideas, check each other's work and make sure everything makes sense. To me, it did.

But clearly it didn't to many, so perhaps that's my fault. Allow me, then, to sum up what Jeff's post meant in three simple words. Ready? Here we go.

We. Don't. Know.

The point of the post was not that everything is fine and dandy with the Cougs. We know it's not and you know it's not. We all know this team has flaws (like this one or this one). We're not saying the team is a sure NCAA team at all -- we know the chances diminish with each loss, no matter who it's to.

At the same time, saying this team is not an NCAA tournament team is also flat wrong. Why? Well, how do you know it's not? Can any of us predict the future? What if this team rattles off wins in its next six games? What about five of six? Is that enough?

We. Don't. Know.

And because we don't know, it's unfair, and wrong, to make a clear sweeping judgment three games into the second half of the season. Because none of us can predict the future. If we could, we'd be rich.

Does losing to Oregon mean WSU can't beat Washington? Does losing to Stanford mean WSU can't beat Cal? Is there a rule that says because a team loses to a lesser opponent it can't rattle off wins later?

That's why I stay away from reactionary posts. I refuse to declare the season over because WSU lost to Stanford last night. It's not. In fact, I'm sure there's still five games and a conference tournament left with just as many scenarios in which WSU can make the tournament as not. Are those scenarios diminishing? Of course they are; I'll freely admit that.

In the NCAA tournament post, Jeff showed his work. It was 1,500 words explaining why we don't know whether this year's team will make the tournament. The bubble is soft, and constantly moving, there's a number of teams fighting for the 40-some at-large bids and we just don't have the resources to keep track of everything.

You'll have to excuse me for not riding the rollercoaster throughout the season. I, personally, refuse to declare this team's tournament chances over after a loss or call them a sure-thing following a win. Instead, I'll wait and see.

If you're wondering, though, WSU is still planted firmly on the bubble (H/T BigWood), even after a loss to Stanford.