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What must SBU do to reach postseason?

The Bonnies begin Atlantic 10 play today against Davidson at the Reilly Center. They finished their non-conference schedule at 8-3 and have 18 regular season games remaining to polish their resume for the NCAA and NIT selection committees.

Ken Pomeroy has the Bonnies finishing 17-12.

The Bonnies, following their victory over Niagara on Wednesday, were 99th in the RPI, 105th in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings and 103rd in Jeff Sagarin’s. They will need to ascend 30-40 spots by Selection Sunday to even be considered for postseason play.

The Bonnies aren’t higher now because they have only played one opponent, Syracuse, currently in the top 100. They lost that game and others to Hofstra and Siena. The latter two defeats hurt the most, as both clubs are lower than the Bonnies in all rankings.

The Bonnies played seven opponents – Syracuse, Hofstra, Siena, Canisius, Vermont, Buffalo and Ohio – that might be considered A-10 quality. They went 4-3 in those games. That doesn’t necessarily bode well for what’s ahead.

Pomeroy predicts the Bonnies to finish 9-9 in the A-10 and 17-12 overall. Such a finish would likely keep the team hovering around 100 and outside looking in at the NIT.

To be safely into the NIT, the Bonnies would likely need 11 or 12 conference wins and 19 or 20 overall heading into the A-10 tournament. That is a tall order.

To be put themselves on the NCAA bubble, the Bonnies would need to win 12 or more conference games and two more in the A-10 tournament. That is very tall order.

The good news for the Bonnies is that they will have many opportunities to boost their postseason resume. The better news is that they will play six current top 100 opponents (Davidson, Rhode Island, Dayton, Richmond, George Washington and Saint Joseph’s) at home or in Rochester. Two of those teams (Dayton and Saint Joseph’s) they play twice.

If the Bonnies can win those six top 100 games, they won’t necessarily need to achieve 11 or 12 conference victories overall to position themselves for a postseason invitation. Of course, winning each of those half dozen games is a tall order.

With common sense and past performance guiding me – and with admittedly no statistical support – I give the Bonnies a 30% chance to make the NIT and 5% to make the NCAA tournament.

What do you think? Please share your predictions and thoughts in the comments section below.

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A member of the class of 2008, Nolan spent four years as a student assistant with the program. He has written professionally for such outlets as espn.com/insider, Athlon Sports Magazines, Cox Sports Online and Blue Ribbon Previews. Ian was named one of the “140 Personalities to Follow in College Basketball” on twitter by The Sporting News.