Tag:Bubble Watch
Posted on: March 15, 2008 1:46 am
Edited on: March 15, 2008 2:34 pm
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Bubble Watch (Morning of 3/15/08)

Locks (56): Locks are teams that I think will make the NCAA Tournament regardless of what they do in the conference tournament. They are subject to change.

ACC (4): North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami
America East (1): ???
Atlantic 10 (2): Xavier, ???
Atlantic Sun (1): Belmont
Big 12 (3): Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma
Big East (7): Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Big Sky (1): Portland State
Big South (1): Winthrop
Big Ten (4): Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Big West (1): ???
Colonial (1): George Mason
Conference USA (1): Memphis
Horizon (1): Butler
Ivy (1): Cornell
MAAC (1): Siena
Mid-American (1):
Kent State
Mid-Eastern (1): ???
Missouri Valley (1): Drake
Mountain West (2): BYU, UNLV
Northeast (1): Mount St. Mary's
Ohio Valley (1): Austin Peay
Pac-10 (4): UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Southern California
Patriot (1): American
SEC (5): Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas
Southern (1): Davidson
Southland (1): ???
Summit (1): Oral Roberts
Sun Belt (1): Western Kentucky
SWAC (1): ???
WAC (1): ???

West Coast (3): Gonzaga, St. Mary's, San Diego

Should be in (4):
Teams that should be in are teams that I feel are not locks or on the bubble. These teams are subject to change.

Atlantic 10 (1):
St. Joseph's
Big 12 (2): Texas A&M, Kansas State
Sun Belt (1): South Alabama

Kent State will be in the at-large discussion if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Memphis and BYU will get at-large bids if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Locks (non-conference champions): 24 (assuming one of the locks win the conference tournament)
Conference Champions: 15
Automatic Bids Left: 16
Should be in: 4
Estimated at-large bids available: 6

Format is: (D-I record, conference record, RPI, SOS). All RPI and SOS rankings are from ESPN's InsideRPI.
Overall records only include D-I wins.
Overall records and conference records include conference tournament games.
RPI and SOS will be updated every morning. Records will be updated a few times during the day.



ACC

Locks:
North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami
Should be in: none
Bubble: Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida State

Virginia Tech (19-12, 10-7, 54, 52)- in

Virginia Tech got a big win against Miami yesterday, which got them to 10 wins in ACC play. The RPI and SOS are average. The best thing on their resume is a sweep of Maryland and a win over Miami, which is their only top 50 win. Their best non-conference win was against UNC Asheville, so there is not much in the non-conference. A lack of marquee wins still leaves Virginia Tech vulnerable. A win over North Carolina will lock the Hokies in the field.

Remaining schedule: North Carolina (3/15), ACC Tournament (3/16)

Maryland (18-14, 8-9, 81, 24)- out

Maryland lost a must-win game to Boston College, and that pretty much eliminates them from serious consideration. Maryland has now lost 6 of their last 8 games. The Terps do not have many quality wins, as they are 1-5 against the RPI top 50. The RPI is bad, but the SOS is good. They have some good losses against UCLA (Kansas City, MO) and VCU (Washington D.C.). Maryland also has some questionable home losses against American and Ohio. The best thing out of conference is a win at Charlotte. Maryland does have something that no other bubble team has- a win over North Carolina. The RPI fell 14 spots from yesterday, and the SOS fell 11 spots.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Florida State (19-14, 8-10, 60, 13)- out


Florida State lost to North Carolina yesterday to pretty much ruin their shot at making the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is average, but the SOS great. Questionable losses in a pre-season tournament to South Florida and Cleveland State in Daytona really hurt. The Seminoles beat UAB (Daytona Beach, FL) and Florida in Gainesville, so that helps in head-to-head bubble comparisons. They also beat Clemson and swept Miami. Florida State will be praying that they get in the field, but an NIT bid or CBI bid is a lot more likely.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Atlantic 10

Locks:
Xavier
Should be in:
St. Joseph's
Bubble:
Temple, Massachusetts, Dayton

St. Joseph's (21-11, 12-7, 42, 51)- should be in

St. Joe's won against Xavier yesterday to have 2 wins over the regular season champs in a little over a week. They creep closer to an at-large bid, as the RPI and SOS really shot up after the Xavier win yesterday- the RPI and SOS are both decent. Every one of their non-conference losses were within 6 points or less against decent teams, although Gonzaga will be the only one of those teams in the field. They do have a wins against Villanova, at Rhode Island, two against Massachusetts, and two against Xavier. The win over Xavier is should be enough to get them in.

Remaining Schedule: Temple (3/15)

Temple (20-12, 13-5, 57, 43)- out

Temple won their 6th straight game yesterday to advance to the Atlantic 10 Tournament finals. They finished in sole possession of second in the A-10, which should help their case. The RPI/SOS combo is decent. They have 6 top 100 wins, including wins over Xavier, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in their only meetings. Their best non-conference win was against Ohio. Temple might be in at the moment, but a win over St. Joseph's today will assure a spot for the Owls.

Remaining Schedule: St. Joseph's (3/15)

Dayton (21-10, 9-9, 33, 25)- out

Dayton lost to Xavier yesterday, so the Flyers are not sitting pretty right now. Has good wins against Miami-Ohio and Louisville on the road, and Pittsburgh, Akron, and Rhode Island st home. Dayton finished 8th in the Atlantic 10, which will definitely be an argument against them. The RPI and SOS are very good. Bad losses include Richmond, George Washington, and Duquesne. How much the committee weights the injury to freshman Chris Wright could be the difference between going to the NCAA Tournament or going to another postseason tournament.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Massachusetts (21-10, 10-7, 44, 66)- out

Massachusetts lost to Charlotte yesterday to end any chance to improve their resume. After a very good non-conference performance which included wins at Syracuse and against Houston, UMass struggled to open up A-10 play. Now on a 6-game winning streak, the Minutemen look to be in trouble now. They have wins at Dayton and two wins over Rhode Island in conference play. A good RPI and SOS help them as well, but they will be nervous tomorrow.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Big 12

Locks:
Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma
Should be in:
Texas A&M, Kansas State
Bubble:
Baylor

Texas A&M (23-9, 10-8, 40, 64)- should be in

A win over Kansas State probably locked the Aggies into the field to avoid a horrible collapse. The RPI is decent, and the SOS is ok. The SOS is not as high as they want because of their 233rd ranked non-conference SOS. Neutral wins over Washington and Ohio State, and home wins against Oral Roberts and Alabama are decent, but not great. They beat Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Baylor in conference play for good wins. They are 4-6 against the RPI top 50. They face Kansas in the Big 12 semifinals tomorrow.

Remaining schedule: Kansas (3/15), Big 12 Tournament (3/16)

Kansas State (19-11, 10-7, 50, 23)- should be in

Kansas State went 10-6 in the Big 12 regular season last year, but did not get into the NCAA Tournament. They are in the same situation this season, but the RPI and SOS are better than last season. The RPI and SOS are good, and they are 2-4 against the RPI top 25. Their only non-conference worth noting was against Cal. Wins at Oklahoma and home against Kansas are their best conference wins. They should get in, but they might have to sweat the weekend out.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Baylor (20-10, 9-8, 43, 40)- in

The loss to Colorado was devastating to Baylor's at-large chances. The RPI and SOS slipped a lot because of their loss (RPI dropped 10 spots). They missed a big chance against Washington State for a marquee non-conference win, but they did beat Notre Dame and Winthrop in a pre-season tournament. Baylor has 2 good conference wins: the 5 overtime thriller against Texas A&M and Kansas State. A shaky 4-6 record in their last 10 games will not help either.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining
Big East

Locks:
Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Marquette, West Virginia
Should be in:
none
Bubble:
Villanova, Syracuse

Villanova (20-12, 10-10, 51, 47)- out

Villanova lost to Georgetown yesterday by 19 to put their fate up to the selection committee. The Wildcats have a decent RPI and SOS, so that should help them. They lost 2 games (North Carolina State and Georgetown) due to questionable foul calls, so the committee may consider that. A neutral win against George Mason is their best win in a fairly weak non-conference schedule. They have had a few bad road losses this year to DePaul and Rutgers. A road loss to crosstown rival St. Joseph's by 22 isn't good either. They have conference wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Connecticut, but all three were at home. A win at Syracuse is nice as well.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Syracuse (19-13, 9-10, 55, 9)- out

Syracuse suffered a huge loss to Villanova yesterday that pretty much knocks them out of the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is decent, but it's the SOS that makes the Orange stand out. Wins over St. Joe's, Washington, and Siena are their best non-conference wins. Home losses to Rhode Island and Massachusetts really hurt, especially since Rhode Island is really struggling. Wins at Villanova and home against Georgetown and Marquette really stand out as well. They are 2-8 against the RPI top 50. All Syracuse can do now is wait for Selection Sunday and see if they miraculously get in.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Big Ten

Locks:
Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Should be in:
none
Bubble:
Ohio State

Ohio State (19-13, 10-9, 46, 10)- in

Ohio State lost to Michigan State yesterday in which some people thought was a must-win. The RPI is good, and the SOS is fantastic. Wins against Florida, Purdue, Michigan State, and Syracuse are the best wins on their schedule, but the Buckeyes missed on early chances against North Carolina, Butler, and Texas A&M. Ohio State now has a long weekend ahead of them that leads up to the selection show, where the committee will decide their fate.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining
Pac-10

Locks:
UCLA, Stanford, Southern California, Washington State
Should be in:
none
Bubble:
Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon

Arizona (18-14, 9-11, 38, 2)- in

Arizona lost to Stanford, so that will put them back on the bubble. Even though they have a better overall resume than most other bubble teams, their recent 4-8 stretch over the last 12 certainly won't help. The RPI is good, and the SOS is one of the best in the nation. Their schedule was incredibly tough, especially going through a long and rigorous Pac-10 schedule. Good wins include Texas A&M, at UNLV, at Houston, at Southern California, and a sweep of Washington State. They have had losses against quality teams, most notably against Memphis, Kansas, and UCLA twice. The loss against Virginia was a bad loss. If the committee really considers the injuries and the coaching change, Arizona should get in.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Arizona State (19-12, 9-10, 83, 88)- in

ASU went ice cold down the stretch to lose to USC. The committee may consider the questionable late foul call by the ref, but the Sun Devils should not have been in that position to begin with. The RPI and SOS are both bad for an at-large contender, but they have plenty of good wins. Wins over Xavier, Stanford, USC, and Arizona (twice) will certainly help their claim, but only one of those wins (Arizona) was on the road. Their loss against Illinois was horrible. If the committee considers the poor officiating a lot, Arizona State will be in.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Oregon (18-13, 9-10, 58, 30)- out

Oregon made a late run against Washington State, but it fell short. The Ducks have an ok RPI and the SOS is good. Wins over Kansas State, Arizona (twice), Stanford, and Arizona State will help the Ducks. A very bad loss at Oakland will really hurt, and the loss against Nebraska was a game the Ducks had a late chance in. Oregon is one of three Pac-10 teams that will be hoping that they will be in the bracket on Sunday.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

SEC

Locks:
Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Arkansas
Should be in:
none
Bubble:
Mississippi

Mississippi (21-10, 7-10, 48, 70)- out

Mississippi lost to Georgia to pretty much finish the Rebels. The RPI and SOS both dropped significantly after the loss, so that really hurts. The RPI is still decent, and the SOS is average. Wins over South Alabama, New Mexico, and Clemson highlight a good non-conference run. Conference wins include Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Arkansas, but again, all of them were at home. The Rebels also lost to LSU by 20 and got swept by Auburn, which are horrible losses for a team on the bubble. Mississippi needs a miracle to make the field now.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining
Other conferences

Locks:
Memphis, Drake, Butler, BYU, Davidson, Gonzaga, St. Mary's, UNLV, George Mason, Winthrop, Cornell, Western Kentucky, Oral Roberts, Siena, Belmont, Austin Peay, Mount St. Mary's
Should be in:
Kent State, South Alabama
Bubble:
Illinois State, Virginia Commonwealth, UAB, Houston

Kent State (27-6, 15-3, 23, 121)- should be in

Kent State beat Miami-Ohio yesterday to pretty much clinch an NCAA Tournament birth. The RPI is good, but the SOS is lacking, mainly due to the conference they play in. They got off to a bad start with a bad loss to Detroit, but after that, they have been red-hot. They lost to Xavier and North Carolina in the non-conference. They have wins over George Mason, Illinois State, and sweeps of Miami-Ohio and Akron. The signature win came on BracketBusters weekend when they won at St. Mary's. Kent State has 9 wins against the RPI top 100, which is a very good number. Bubble nation will be cheering very hard for Kent State to win their conference tournament.

Remaining schedule: Akron (3/15)

South Alabama (24-6, 17-3, 37, 120)- should be in

South Alabama made bubble nation very mad when they lost to Middle Tennessee State in the Sun Belt semifinals. That loss meant that the Sun Belt will probably get two bids this year because South Alabama has a resume that is at-large quality. The RPI is good, but the RPI is not. All of the Jaguars' best wins keep getting better. Wins over San Diego, Mississippi State, and Western Kentucky (twice) are decent, but they missed out on opportunities for big time wins. They lost to Vanderbilt in double overtime by 3, Mississippi by 3 on the last possession, and Miami-Ohio by 5. South Alabama should feel comfortable on Selection Sunday, but you never know.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Illinois State (23-9, 15-6, 34, 65)- in

The bubble teams losing really helps Illinois State, who has been on the bubble for most of the year. Illinois State has a good RPI and an ok SOS. The lack of marquee wins is the only reason why Illinois State is on the bubble. They have two wins against the RPI top 50 thanks to Creighton moving into the top 50. They did beat Cincinnati, Southern Illinois (twice), and Creighton (twice). The Redbirds missed out on chances against Indiana and Kent State. Illinois State also lost to Drake 3 times- the last loss was by 30 in the conference championship game, so that did not give a good impression to the committee. Illinois State could be left out for major conference bubble teams, but they deserve a bid.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Virginia Commonwealth (24-7, 16-4, 56, 160)- out

VCU had another great season, but they are not assured an NCAA Tournament bid this year. The Rams had a dominating regular season in the Colonial, but an exit in the CAA Tournament semifinals have VCU's tournament hopes looking bad right now. The RPI is average, and the SOS is bad. Good non-conference wins include Houston, Bradley, Akron, and Maryland, but none of them are in position to make the NCAA Tournament, so those wins do not look as good. There aren't many other great teams in the CAA, but VCU went 2-1 against the top 3 in the conference. It will be a longshot for the Rams to get in, but with the way the bubble teams have been playing recently, they still have a chance.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

New Mexico (24-8, 11-6, 59, 169)- out

The loss to Utah pretty much seals it for the Lobos. Their RPI/SOS combo is too weak for an at--large, especially for a team that lost in their first conference tournament game. Wins against Texas Tech, San Diego, New Mexico State, and San Diego State are not ones that jump out right away, but they are all decent. New Mexico went 1-3 against the top 2 teams in the conference, which is not a good indicator of how good this team is. They managed to beat UNLV, but lost a heartbreaker to BYU in overtime. They will be one of the many teams hoping to see their name in the bracket on Sunday.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

UAB (22-10, 12-5, 52, 85)- out

What a tough way to go out. The Blazers lost to Tulsa in overtime to pretty much end any hopes of making it to the dance. Their only good wins include Kentcuky in Louisville and Houston in the only meeting between the two teams. Losses to Rhode Island, Florida State, and Memphis could help them, but they were defintely missed opportunities. The RPI is decent, and the SOS is ok. UAB had lost to Memphis by 1 their previous meeting before the last game of the season. UAB has only one win against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Houston (22-9, 11-6, 80, 152)- out

Houston lost to UTEP for the second time in a row to all but eliminate the Cougars from making the NCAA Tournament. Houston beat Kentucky and UTEP for their only 2 top 100 wins. They missed opportunities for good wins against VCU (Puerto Rico), at Massachusetts, Arizona, Memphis (twice), and UAB. The RPI and SOS are not where the Cougars want it to be.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Bubble Watch
 
Posted on: March 14, 2008 7:07 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2008 8:01 pm
 

Bubble Watch (Morning of 3/14/08)

The bubble teams seem like they don't want to win. Many bubble teams are not winning. Dayton, Villanova, Arizona, Massachusetts, Florida, Oregon, Mississippi, UAB, Arizona State, Baylor, Houston, Wake Forest, and Maryland all lost yesterday. Hopefully, the conference tournaments will clear things up today.

Locks (52): Locks are teams that I think will make the NCAA Tournament regardless of what they do in the conference tournament. They are subject to change.

ACC (4): North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami
America East (1): ???
Atlantic 10 (1): Xavier
Atlantic Sun (1): Belmont
Big 12 (3): Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma
Big East (7): Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Big Sky (1): ???
Big South (1): Winthrop
Big Ten (4): Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Big West (1): ???
Colonial (1): George Mason
Conference USA (1): Memphis
Horizon (1): Butler
Ivy (1): Cornell
MAAC (1): Siena
Mid-American (1): ???
Mid-Eastern (1): ???
Missouri Valley (1): Drake
Mountain West (1): BYU
Northeast (1): Mount St. Mary's
Ohio Valley (1): Austin Peay
Pac-10 (4): UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Southern California
Patriot (1): ???
SEC (3): Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
Southern (1): Davidson
Southland (1): ???
Summit (1): Oral Roberts
Sun Belt (1): Western Kentucky
SWAC (1): ???
WAC (1): ???

West Coast (3): Gonzaga, St. Mary's, San Diego

Should be in (5):
Teams that should be in are teams that I feel are not locks or on the bubble. These teams are subject to change.

Big 12 (1):
Kansas State
MAC (1): Kent State
Mountain West (1): UNLV
SEC (1):
Kentucky
Sun Belt (1): South Alabama

Kent State will be in the at-large discussion if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Memphis and BYU will get at-large bids if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Locks (non-conference champions): 21 (assuming one of the locks win the conference tournament)
Conference Champions: 13
Automatic Bids Left: 18
Should be in: 5
Estimated at-large bids available: 8

Format is: (D-I record, conference record, RPI, SOS). All RPI and SOS rankings are from ESPN's InsideRPI.
Overall records only include D-I wins.
Overall records and conference records include conference tournament games.
RPI and SOS will be updated every morning. Records will be updated a few times during the day.

ACC

Locks: North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami
Should be in: none
Bubble: Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida State

Virginia Tech (18-12, 9-7, 59, 52)- in

Virginia Tech let one get away at Clemson on Sunday, which is a huge blow to the Hokies chances to make the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is average for an at-large candidate. The best thing on their resume is a sweep of Maryland. Their best non-conference win was against UNC Asheville, so there is not much in the non-conference. One win in the conference tournament will probably not be enough, so they will have to win two games to feel safe.

Remaining schedule: Miami (3/14), ACC Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Maryland (18-14, 8-9, 83, 26)- out

Maryland lost a must-win game to Boston College yesterday, and that pretty much eliminates them from serious consideration. Maryland has now lost 6 of their last 8 games. The Terps do not have many quality wins, as they are 1-5 against the RPI top 50. The RPI is bad, but the SOS is good. They have some good losses against UCLA (Kansas City, MO) and VCU (Washington D.C.). Maryland also has some questionable home losses against American and Ohio. The best thing out of conference is a win at Charlotte. Maryland does have something that no other bubble team has- a win over North Carolina. The RPI fell 14 spots from yesterday, and the SOS fell 11 spots.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Florida State (19-13, 8-9, 62, 19)- out

The Seminoles won a big game yesterday against fellow bubbler Wake Forest, who has seen their chances thrown out the window. FSU does not want the same thing to happen to them, so they need to beat North Carolina today. Florida State has really come on as of late, winning 5 of their last 6 to join the bubble discussion. They have questionable losses in a pre-season tournament to South Florida and Cleveland State in Daytona. The RPI is average, but the SOS great. The Seminoles beat UAB (Daytona Beach, FL) and Florida in Gainesville, so that helps in head-to-head bubble comparisons. They also beat Clemson and swept Miami. Florida State will probably have to reach the ACC finals to have a decent shot.

Remaining schedule: North Carolina (3/14), ACC Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Atlantic 10

Locks: Xavier
Should be in: none
Bubble: Massachusetts, St. Joseph's, Temple, Dayton

St. Joseph's (20-11, 11-7, 51, 61)- in

St. Joe's won against Richmond for the right to face Xavier today. Every one of their non-conference losses (at Syracuse, Gonzaga, Holy Cross, at Creighton) were within 6 points or less. The RPI and SOS are decent. They do have a wins against Villanova, at Rhode Island, two against Massachusetts, and Xavier. They might need a win against Xavier today to get into the field, but with the way the bubble teams are performing, a close loss might be good enough.

Remaining Schedule: Xavier (3/14), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/15)

Massachusetts (21-10, 10-7, 43, 63)- in

Massachusetts lost to Charlotte yesterday to end any chance to improve their resume. After a very good non-conference performance which included wins at Syracuse and against Houston, UMass struggled to open up A-10 play. Now on a 6-game winning streak, the Minutemen look to be in very good shape for an at-large bid. They have wins at Dayton and two wins over Rhode Island in conference play. A good RPI and SOS help them as well.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Temple (19-12, 12-5, 60, 45)- out

Temple has gotten hot at the right time. The win over La Salle kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. They won 5 in a row, and have a win at S. Joe's in that span. They finished in sole possession of second in the A-10, which should help their case. The RPI.SOS combo is decent, but it isn't what you want for an at-large. They have 6 top 100 wins, including wins over Xavier, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in their only meetings. Their best non-conference win was against Ohio. A win over Charlotte tonight might not do it, so the Owls might have to win the conference tournament to get in.

Remaining Schedule: Charlotte (3/14), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/15)

Dayton (21-10, 9-9, 32, 24)- out

Dayton lost to Xavier yesterday, so the Flyers are not sitting pretty right now. Has good wins against Miami-Ohio and Louisville on the road, and Pittsburgh, Akron, and Rhode Island st home. Dayton finished 8th in the Atlantic 10, which will definitely be an argument against them. The RPI and SOS are very good. Bad losses include Richmond, George Washington, and Duquesne. How much the committee weights the injury to freshman Chris Wright could be the difference between going to the NCAA Tournament or going to another postseason tournament.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Big 12

Locks: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma
Should be in: Kansas State
Bubble: Texas A&M, Baylor, Nebraska

Kansas State (19-10, 10-6, 44, 28)- should be in

Kansas State went 10-6 in the Big 12 regular season last year, but did not get into the NCAA Tournament. The RPI and SOS are good, and they are 2-4 against the RPI top 25. Their only non-conference worth noting was against Cal. Wins at Oklahoma and home against Kansas are their best conference wins. They are in a very good position, and even a first round loss in to Texas A&M might not be enough to knock them out.

Remaining schedule: Texas A&M (3/14), Big 12 Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Texas A&M (22-9, 9-8, 45, 68)- in

They got a huge win against Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament. The RPI is ok, and the SOS is bad for a Big 12 team, mainly due to their 233rd ranked non-conference SOS. Neutral wins over Washington and Ohio State, and home wins against Oral Roberts and Alabama are decent, but not great. They beat Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor in conference play for good wins. They are 4-6 against the RPI top 50. A win against Kansas State would definitely get the Aggies in, but a close loss might be good enough as well.

Remaining schedule: Kansas State (3/14), Big 12 Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Baylor (20-10, 9-8, 42, 35)- in

Last night's game was not the impression that the Bears wanted to make to the committee. They were a part of history, becoming the first 5 seed to lose to a 12 seed in Big 12 Tournament history. The RPI and SOS slipped a lot because of their loss (RPI dropped 10 spots). They missed a big chance against Washington State for a marquee non-conference win, but they did beat Notre Dame and Winthrop in a pre-season tournament. Baylor has 2 good conference wins: the 5 overtime thriller against Texas A&M and Kansas State. A shaky 4-6 record in their last 10 games will not help either.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Nebraska (18-11, 7-9, 96, 121)- out

Nebraska won against Missouri yesterday, and that is a good start. The RPI and SOS are nowhere near at-large quality, so a run to the Big 12 finals might be necessary. Nebraska has wins over Pac-10 bubble teams Oregon and Arizona State. The Huskers had a surge in late February when they beat Kansas State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma in succession. Nebraska has 3 wins against the RPI top 50, which isn't that good. They play Kansas tonight in another must-win situation.

Remaining schedule: Kansas (3/14), Big 12 Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Big East

Locks: Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Should be in: none
Bubble: Villanova, Syracuse

Villanova (20-12, 10-10, 52, 47)- out

Villanova lost to Georgetown yesterday by 19 to put their fate up to the selection committee. The Wildcats have a decent RPI and SOS, so that should help them. They lost 2 games (North Carolina State and Georgetown) due to questionable foul calls, so the committee may consider that. A neutral win against George Mason is their best win in a fairly weak non-conference schedule. They have had a few bad road losses this year to DePaul and Rutgers. A road loss to crosstown rival St. Joseph's by 22 isn't good either. They have conference wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Connecticut, but all three were at home. A win at Syracuse is nice as well.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Syracuse (19-13, 9-10, 53, 9)- out

Syracuse suffered a huge loss to Villanova yesterday that pretty much knocks them out of the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is decent, but it's the SOS that makes the Orange stand out. Wins over St. Joe's, Washington, and Siena are their best non-conference wins. Home losses to Rhode Island and Massachusetts really hurt, especially since Rhode Island is really struggling. Wins at Villanova and home against Georgetown and Marquette really stand out as well. They are 2-8 against the RPI top 50. All Syracuse can do now is wait for Selection Sunday and see if they miraculously get in.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Big Ten

Locks: Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Should be in: none
Bubble: Ohio State

Ohio State (19-12, 10-8, 46, 14)- in

Ohio State has come on as of late, winning their final 2 games against Michigan State and Purdue (both were at home). The RPI is good, and the SOS is fantastic (and getting better). Wins against Florida, Purdue, Michigan State, and Syracuse are the best wins on their schedule, but the Buckeyes missed on early chances against North Carolina, Butler, and Texas A&M. Ohio State must win today against Michigan State if they want to avoid sweating out the selection show.

Remaining schedule: Michigan State (3/14), Big Ten Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Conference USA

Locks: Memphis
Should be in: none
Bubble: UAB, Houston

UAB (22-10, 12-5, 50, 84)- out

What a tough way to go out. The Blazers lost to Tulsa in overtime yesterday to pretty much end any hopes of making it to the dance. Their only good wins include Kentcuky in Louisville and Houston in the only meeting between the two teams. Losses to Rhode Island, Florida State, and Memphis could help them, but they were defintely missed opportunities. The RPI is decent, and the SOS is ok. UAB had lost to Memphis by 1 their previous meeting before the last game of the season. UAB has only one win against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Houston (22-9, 11-6, 77, 145)- out

Houston lost to UTEP for the second time in a row to all but eliminate the Cougars from making the NCAA Tournament. Houston beat Kentucky and UTEP for their only 2 top 100 wins. They missed opportunities for good wins against VCU (Puerto Rico), at Massachusetts, Arizona, Memphis (twice), and UAB. The RPI and SOS are not where the Cougars want it to be.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Missouri Valley (updated 3/13)

Locks: Drake
Should be in: none
Bubble: Illinois State, Creighton, Southern Illinois

Illinois State (23-9, 15-6, 33, 69)- in

The bubble teams losing really helps Illinois State, who has been on the bubble for most of the year. Illinois State has a good RPI and an ok SOS. The lack of marquee wins is the only reason why Illinois State is on the bubble. They have two wins against the RPI top 50 thanks to Creighton moving into the top 50. They did beat Cincinnati, Southern Illinois (twice), and Creighton (twice). The Redbirds missed out on chances against Indiana and Kent State. Illinois State also lost to Drake 3 times- the last loss was by 30 in the conference championship game, so that did not give a good impression to the committee. Illinois State could be left out for major conference bubble teams, but they deserve a bid.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Creighton (20-10, 11-9, 49, 73)- out

Creighton had a disappointing season, but that doesn't mean they don't have a good season. They had another 20 win season, which makes nine 20 win seasons in the last 10 years. The RPI is decent, and the SOS is ok. The Bluejays have wins against St. Joseph's, Southern Illinois, Oral Roberts, Nebraska, and two over Bradley. Creighton went 1-5 against the top 3 teams in the MVC, and finished 4th in a non-BCS conference. An 0-6 record against the RPI top 50 won't help them either. They won a game in the MVC Tournament, but then lost to Drake to basically end their at-large hopes. They cannot build on their resume, so their NCAA Tournament hopes are all but over. They are helping Illinois State by moving into the top 50 in the RPI.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Southern Illinois (17-14, 11-8, 61, 11)- out


Southern Illinois has an ok RPI and a very good SOS. They challenged themselves in the non-conference portion of the schedule, and they did not fare very well. Losses to Southern California, Indiana, Charlotte, and Butler are quality losses, but they lost 3 of them by more than a dozen. They have a few bad losses to St. Louis, Western Michigan, Indiana State, and Missouri State, but all of them were on the road. Good wins include Western Kentucky, St. Mary's, Creighton, Drake, and Nevada. Southern Illinois went one and done in the conference tournament, so their chances at making the NCAA Tournament are very slim, despite their 5 wins against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Mountain West

Locks: BYU
Should be in: UNLV
Bubble: New Mexico

UNLV (23-7, 13-4, 27, 58)- should be in

UNLV barely won against TCU last night, but a win is a win. They have a good RPI and a decent SOS, so the Rebels are good there. Good non-conference wins are hard to find, but wins against Nevada and at San Diego aren't horrible. Wins over BYU, New Mexico, and a sweep of San Diego State are good conference wins. UNLV missed big opportunities against Louisville and Arizona. The win over TCU should be good enough to get them in, but a win against Utah very early tomorrow morning would lock them in.

Remaining Schedule: Utah (3/15), Mountain West Tournament (3/15)

New Mexico (24-8, 11-6, 58, 164)- out

The loss to Utah pretty much seals it for the Lobos. Their RPI/SOS combo is too weak for an at--large, especially for a team that lost in their first conference tournament game. Wins against Texas Tech, San Diego, New Mexico State, and San Diego State are not ones that jump out right away, but they are all decent. New Mexico went 1-3 against the top 2 teams in the conference, which is not a good indicator of how good this team is. They managed to beat UNLV, but lost a heartbreaker to BYU in overtime. They will be one of the many teams hoping to see their name in the bracket on Sunday.

Remaining schedule: No remaining games

Pac-10

Locks: UCLA, Stanford, Southern California, Washington State
Should be in: none
Bubble: Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon

Arizona (18-14, 9-11, 35, 2)- in

Arizona lost to Stanford, so that will put them back on the bubble. Even though they have a better overall resume than most other bubble teams, their recent 4-8 stretch over the last 12 certainly won't help. The RPI is good, and the SOS is one of the best in the nation. Their schedule was incredibly tough, especially going through a long and rigorous Pac-10 schedule. Good wins include Texas A&M, at UNLV, at Houston, at Southern California, and a sweep of Washington State. They have had losses against quality teams, most notably against Memphis, Kansas, and UCLA twice. The loss against Virginia was a bad loss. If the committee really considers the injuries and the coaching change, Arizona should get in.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Arizona State (19-12, 9-10, 82, 85)- out

ASU went ice cold down the stretch to lose to USC yesterday. The committee may consider the questionable late foul call by the ref, but the Sun Devils should not have been in that position to begin with. The RPI and SOS are both bad for an at-large contender, but they have plenty of good wins. Wins over Xavier, Stanford, USC, and Arizona (twice) will certainly help their claim, but only one of those wins (Arizona) was on the road. Their loss against Illinois was horrible. If the committee considers the poor officiating, Arizona State could get in.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Oregon (18-13, 9-10, 56, 22)- out

Oregon made a late run against Washington State, but it fell short. The Ducks have an ok RPI and the SOS is good. Wins over Kansas State, Arizona (twice), Stanford, and Arizona State will help the Ducks. A very bad loss at Oakland will really hurt, and the loss against Nebraska was a game the Ducks had a late chance in. Oregon is one of three Pac-10 teams that will be hoping that they will be in the bracket on Sunday.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

SEC

Locks: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
Should be in: Kentucky
Bubble: Arkansas, Mississippi

Kentucky (18-11, 12-4, 47, 13)- should be in

Kentucky looked all but dead coming into SEC play after a poor non-conference performance that included home losses to San Diego (which is looking a lot better) and Gardner-Webb. They do have some losses to good teams as well (North Carolina, Indiana, Louisville). Losses to Conference USA teams Houston and UAB certainly do not help, especially now that both teams are in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament. Their best non-conference win was against Liberty, who has an RPI in the 250-260 range. Kentucky won games against Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida, Arkansas, and Mississippi. One problem, though- all of those wins were at home. The Wildcats have won 11 of their last 13, but they will have to do the rest without star freshman Patrick Patterson, who was lost for the season. The RPI is decent, and the SOS is one of the best in the nation. A win over Georgia tonight should be enough.

Remaining schedule: Georgia (3/14), SEC Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Arkansas (20-10, 9-7, 40, 41)- in

Arkansas is 3-5 in their last 8 games, but they are in good position. The RPI and SOS are good, and there are wins on the schedule worth noting. The Razorbacks win at Baylor and against VCU in San Juan, but lost at home against Appalachian State. Wins over conference play include Mississippi State, Florida, Mississippi, and Vanderbilt, but like Kentucky, all of those wins are at home. The Razorbacks are 2-7 in true road games with their only wins against LSU and Auburn. Arkansas is 4-5 against the RPI top 50, which isn't bad. Arkansas should be safe with a win in the SEC Tournament., but that would have to be against Vanderbilt.

Remaining schedule: Vanderbilt (3/14), SEC Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Mississippi (21-10, 7-10, 48, 71)- out

Mississippi lost to Georgia last night to pretty much finish the Rebels. The RPI and SOS both dropped significantly after the loss, so that really hurts. The RPI is still decent, and the SOS is average. Wins over South Alabama, New Mexico, and Clemson highlight a good non-conference run. Conference wins include Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Arkansas, but again, all of them were at home. The Rebels also lost to LSU by 20 and got swept by Auburn, which are horrible losses for a team on the bubble. Mississippi needs a miracle to make the field now.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

WAC

Any of these teams are capable of winning the WAC Tournament, so I decided to put them all in my bubble watch. The WAC is a one-bid league in a very bad year for the conference.

Locks: none
Should be in: none
Bubble: Utah State, Nevada, Boise State, New Mexico State

Utah State (23-9, 13-4, 67, 173)- out


Utah State won last night to keep their very small at-large hopes alive. The RPI is getting better, but the SOS is getting worse because of the weak competition in the WAC. Wins over Oral Roberts, UC-Santa Barbara, and Austin Peay in non-conference play are not the type of wins a team really looks for. Utah State was 4-2 against the top 4 in the conference. They have 6 top 100 wins, but none of them are against top 50 teams. The RPI and SOS do not help their case.

Remaining schedule: Boise State (3/14), WAC Tournament (3/15)

Nevada (20-10, 13-4, 71, 137)- out

A win over Fresno State kept Nevada alive in the hunt for a WAC Tournament title. A win at New Mexico State is a must-win for Nevada. Nevada has a better RPI and SOS than Utah State, but has 4 less top 100 wins. Nevada struggled in non-conference play, but have been hot lately winning 8 of their last 10 games. Losses to UNLV, Cal, and North Carolina are acceptable, but the loss to San Jose State is not. The Wolfpack are 3-3 against the top 4 in the conference. A win over San Diego is their best win not in WAC play. A conference tournament title is the only way they get into the field.

Remaining schedule: @ New Mexico State (3/14), WAC Tournament (3/15)

Boise State (22-8, 13-4, 100, 213)- out

The RPI and SOS really hurt Boise State, and both are going down yesterday despite winning against Hawaii. They took two very bad losses early in the year to Montana State and Loyola Marymount. Boise State did beat BYU earlier in the season, as well as WCC champ San Diego. They also lost to Washington State and Siena at home- both tournament teams. The Broncos have 4 top 100 wins, but are 2-4 against the other top teams in the WAC. Boise State needs to win the conference tournament in order to get in the field.

Remaining schedule: Utah State (3/14), WAC Tournament (3/15)

New Mexico State (19-13, 13-4, 121, 140)- out

New Mexico State beat Idaho to keep their hopes alive for an automatic bid. Despite the win against Idaho, their RPI went down, and their SOS went down 25 spots. The non-conference was rough for a WAC team, which included Ohio, Duke, Texas, UTEP (twice), New Mexico (twice), and Louisville. They only won one of those games (New Mexico at home), which really hurt. New Mexico State needs to win the WAC Tournament, and having the conference tournament on your home floor really helps. They went 3-3 against the top 4 WAC teams, and they have 4 wins against the top 100. New Mexico State is 9-1 in their last 10.

Remaining schedule: Nevada (3/14), WAC Tournament (3/15)
Other conferences

Locks: Butler, Davidson, Gonzaga, St. Mary's, George Mason, Winthrop, Cornell, Western Kentucky, Oral Roberts, Siena, Belmont, Austin Peay, Mount St. Mary's
Should be in: Kent State, South Alabama
Bubble: Virginia Commonwealth

Kent State (26-6, 14-3, 28, 130)- should be in

Kent State beat Toledo yesterday to pretty much clinch an NCAA Tournament birth. The RPI and SOS both went down, even with the win. The RPI is good, but the SOS is lacking, mainly due to the conference they play in. They got off to a bad start with a bad loss to Detroit, but after that, they have been red-hot. They lost to Xavier and North Carolina in the non-conference. They have wins over George Mason, Illinois State, and sweeps of Miami-Ohio and Akron. The signature win came on BracketBusters weekend when they won at St. Mary's. Kent State has 9 wins against the RPI top 100, which is a very good number. Bubble nation will be cheering very hard for Kent State to win their conference tournament.

Remaining schedule: Miami-Ohio (3/14), MAC Tournament (3/15)

South Alabama (24-6, 17-3, 34, 117)- should be in

South Alabama made bubble nation very mad when they lost to Middle Tennessee State in the Sun Belt semifinals. That loss meant that the Sun Belt will probably get two bids this year because South Alabama has a resume that is at-large quality. The RPI is good, but the RPI is not. All of the Jaguars' best wins keep getting better. Wins over San Diego, Mississippi State, and Western Kentucky (twice) are decent, but they missed out on opportunities for big time wins. They lost to Vanderbilt in double overtime by 3, Mississippi by 3 on the last possession, and Miami-Ohio by 5. South Alabama should feel comfortable on Selection Sunday, but you never know.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Virginia Commonwealth (24-7, 16-4, 55, 162)- out


VCU had another great season, but they are not assured an NCAA Tournament bid this year. The Rams had a dominating regular season in the Colonial, but an exit in the CAA Tournament semifinals have VCU's tournament hopes looking bad right now. The RPI is average, and the SOS is bad. Good non-conference wins include Houston, Bradley, Akron, and Maryland, but none of them are in position to make the NCAA Tournament, so those wins do not look as good. There aren't many other great teams in the CAA, but VCU went 2-1 against the top 3 in the conference. It will be a longshot for the Rams to get in, but with the way the bubble teams have been playing recently, they still have a chance.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Bubble Watch
 
Posted on: March 12, 2008 10:41 pm
Edited on: March 13, 2008 10:01 pm
 

Bubble Watch (3/13/08)

The bubble watch is finally finished. I will now update it every day until the tournament. possibly 2 or 3 times in a day if I can.

The bubble teams seem like they don't want to win. Many bubble teams are not winning, which puts teams like Syracuse back into the discussion. Hopefully, the conference tournaments will clear things up.

Locks (52): Locks are teams that I think will make the NCAA Tournament regardless of what they do in the conference tournament. They are subject to change.

ACC (4): North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami
America East (1): ???
Atlantic 10 (1): Xavier
Atlantic Sun (1): Belmont
Big 12 (3): Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma
Big East (7): Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Big Sky (1): ???
Big South (1): Winthrop
Big Ten (4): Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Big West (1): ???
Colonial (1): George Mason
Conference USA (1): Memphis
Horizon (1): Butler
Ivy (1): Cornell
MAAC (1): Siena
Mid-American (1): ???
Mid-Eastern (1): ???
Missouri Valley (1): Drake
Mountain West (1): BYU
Northeast (1): Mount St. Mary's
Ohio Valley (1): Austin Peay
Pac-10 (4): UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Southern California
Patriot (1): ???
SEC (3): Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
Southern (1): Davidson
Southland (1): ???
Summit (1): Oral Roberts
Sun Belt (1): Western Kentucky
SWAC (1): ???
WAC (1): ???

West Coast (3): Gonzaga, St. Mary's, San Diego

Should be in (6):
Teams that should be in are teams that I feel are not locks or on the bubble. These teams are subject to change.

ACC (1):
Miami
Big 12 (2):
Kansas State, Baylor
MAC (1): Kent State
Mountain West (1): UNLV
SEC (1):
Kentucky

Estimated at-larges available: 8

Kent State will be in the at-large discussion if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Memphis and BYU will get at-large bids if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Locks (non-conference champions): 21 (assuming one of the locks win the conference tournament)
Conference Champions: 13
Automatic Bids Left: 18
Should be in: 6
Estimated at-large bids available: 7

Format is: (D-I record, conference record, RPI, SOS). All RPI and SOS rankings are from ESPN's InsideRPI.
Overall records only include D-I wins.
Overall records and conference records include conference tournament games

ACC (updated 3/13)

Locks: North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami
Should be in: none
Bubble: Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida State

Virginia Tech (18-12, 9-7, 59, 49)- out

Virginia Tech let one get away at Clemson on Sunday, which is a huge blow to the Hokies chances to make the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is average for an at-large candidate. The best thing on their resume is a sweep of Maryland. Their best non-conference win was against UNC Asheville, so there is not much in the non-conference. One win in the conference tournament will probably not be enough, so they will have to win two games to feel safe.

Remaining schedule: ACC Tournament (3/13-3/16)

Maryland (18-13, 8-8, 69, 15)- out

Maryland has lost 5 of their last 7 games to fall to .500 in ACC play. The Terps do not have many quality wins, as they are 1-5 against the RPI top 50. The RPI is bad, but the SOS is good. They have some good losses against UCLA (Kansas City, MO) and VCU (Washington D.C.). Maryland also has some questionable home losses against American and Ohio. The best thing out of conference is a win at Charlotte. Maryland does have something that no other bubble team has- a win over North Carolina. The Terrapins are going to have to get at least 2 wins in the conference tournament to feel good about their chances.

Remaining schedule: Boston College (3/13), ACC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Florida State (18-13, 7-9, 64, 16)- out

Florida State has really come on as of late, winning 4 of their last 5 to join the bubble discussion. They have questionable losses in a pre-season tournament to South Florida and Cleveland State in Daytona. The RPI is average, but the SOS great. The Seminoles beat UAB (Daytona Beach, FL) and Florida in Gainesville, so that helps in head-to-head bubble comparisons. They also beat Clemson and swept Miami. Florida State will probably have to reach the ACC finals to have a decent shot.

Remaining schedule: Wake Forest (3/13), ACC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Atlantic 10 (updated 3/13)

Locks: Xavier
Should be in: Massachusetts
Bubble: Dayton, St. Joseph's, Temple

Massachusetts (21-9, 10-6, 43, 70)- should be in

Massachusetts has emerged as the second team in line for a bid in the Atlantic 10. After a very good non-conference performance which included wins at Syracuse and against Houston, UMass struggled to open up A-10 play. Now on a 6-game winning streak, the Minutemen look to be in very good shape for an at-large bid. They have wins at Dayton and two wins over Rhode Island in conference play. A good RPI and SOS help them as well. A win in the conference tournament over Charlotte should be enough for Massachusetts.

Remaining schedule: Charlotte (3/13), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Dayton (21-9, 9-8, 29, 33)- out

Dayton got a much needed win yesterday over St. Louis, and now play Xavier in another must-win game. Dayton started off the year red hot- a 14-1 start that included road wins over Miami-Ohio and Louisville and home wins against Pittsburgh, Akron, and Rhode Island. Dayton finished 8th in the Atlantic 10, which will definitely be an argument made against them. The RPI and SOS are good. Bad losses include Richmond, George Washington, and Duquesne. If Dayton does well in the A-10 Tournament with Chris Wright, the committee might consider his injury to Dayton's advantage.

Remaining schedule: Xavier (3/13), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/14-3/15)

St. Joseph's (19-11, 10-7, 56, 62)- out

St. Joseph's had one of the toughest collections of non-conference losses in the nation. Every one of their non-conference losses (at Syracuse, Gonzaga, Holy Cross, at Creighton) were within 6 points or less. The RPI and SOS are decent. They do have a wins against Villanova, at Rhode Island, two against Massachusetts, and Xavier. The Hawks are 3-6 in their last 9, so a few wins in the A-10 Tournament will do them well. They beat Fordham yesterday, which is a good start. They now need to handle Richmond today to improve their resume even more.

Remaining Schedule: Richmond (3/13), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Temple (18-12, 11-5, 61, 38)- out

Temple has gotten hot at the right time. They are winners of 4 in a row, and have a win at S. Joe's in that span. They finished in sole possession of second in the A-10 with 11 wins. The RPI is average, but it isn't what you want for an at-large. The SOS is good thanks to their 15 games played against the RPI top 100. They have 6 top 100 wins, including wins over Xavier, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in their only meetings. Their best non-conference win was against Ohio. A few wins in the conference tournament might do it, but a trip to the A-10 finals might be necessary.

Remaining Schedule: La Salle (3/13), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Big 12 (updated 3/13)

Locks: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma
Should be in: Kansas State, Baylor
Bubble: Texas A&M, Nebraska

Kansas State (19-10, 10-6, 45, 21)- should be in

Kansas State went 10-6 in the Big 12 regular season last year, but did not get into the NCAA Tournament. The RPI and SOS are good, and they are 2-4 against the RPI top 25. Their only non-conference worth noting was against Cal. Wins at Oklahoma and home against Kansas are their best conference wins. They are in a very good position, and even a first round loss in to Texas A&M or Iowa State might not be enough to knock them out.

Remaining schedule: Big 12 Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Baylor (20-9, 9-7, 32, 27)- should be in

Baylor is having a surprise season this year that will probably result in a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is much better than Kansas State's, and the SOS is good as well. They missed a big chance against Washington State for a marquee non-conference win, but they did beat Notre Dame and Winthrop in a pre-season tournament. Baylor has 2 good conference wins: the 5 ovetime thriller against Texas A&M and Kansas State. Despite a 5-5 record in their last 10 games, and a 3-8 record against the RPI top 50, the Bears will be in for sure with a win over Colorado in the Big 12 Tournament.

Remaining schedule: Colorado (3/13), Big 12 Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Texas A&M (21-9, 8-8, 47, 61)- in

The Aggies are ice cold right now. They got a huge win against Baylor over the weekend to finish .500 in Big 12 play. The RPI is ok, and the SOS is bad for a Big 12 team, mainly due to their 233rd ranked non-conference SOS. Neutral wins over Washington and Ohio State, and home wins against Oral Roberts and Alabama are decent, but not great. They beat Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor in conference play for good wins. They are 4-6 against the RPI top 50. Texas A&M is 2-5 in their last 7, but a win over Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament should be enough.

Remaining schedule: Iowa State (3/13), Big 12 Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Nebraska (18-11, 7-9, 97, 119)- out

Nebraska has been so inconsistent all year. The RPI and SOS are nowhere near at-large quality, so a run to the Big 12 finals might be necessary. Nebraska has wins over Pac-10 bubble teams Oregon and Arizona State. The Huskers had a surge in late February when they beat Kansas State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma in succession. Nebraska has 3 wins against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: Missouri (3/13), Big 12 Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Big East (updated 3/13)

Locks: Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Should be in: none
Bubble: Syracuse, Villanova

Syracuse (19-13, 9-10, 52, 8)- out

Syracuse suffered a huge loss to Villanova yesterday that pretty much knocks them out of the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is decent, but it's the SOS that makes the Orange stand out. Wins over St. Joe's, Washington, and Siena are their best non-conference wins. Home losses to Rhode Island and Massachusetts really hurt, especially since Rhode Island is really struggling. Wins at Villanova and home against Georgetown and Marquette really stand out as well. Syracuse probably needs 2 wins in the Big East Tournament to feel safe, but one win might be good enough. They are 2-10 against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Villanova (19-11, 9-9, 50, 54)- out

Villanova won a huge game against Syracuse to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. They now must beat Georgetown to get in. The Wildcats have a decent RPI and SOS, so that should help them. They lost 2 games (North Carolina State and Georgetown) due to questionable foul calls, so the committee may consider that. A neutral win against George Mason is their best win in a fairly weak non-conference schedule. They have had a few bad road losses this year to DePaul and Rutgers. A road loss to crosstown rival St. Joseph's by 22 isn't good either. They have conference wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Connecticut, but all three were at home. A win at fellow bubbler Syracuse is a nice win as well.

Remaining schedule: Georgetown (3/13), Big East Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Big Ten (updated 3/13)

Locks: Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Should be in: none
Bubble: Ohio State

Ohio State (19-12, 10-8, 48, 17)- in

Ohio State has come on as of late, winning their final 2 games against Michigan State and Purdue (both were at home). Ohio State did not have any top 50 wins for awhile, but got 2 last week, and got a 3rd when Syracuse moved into the top 50 of the RPI. The RPI is good, and the SOS is fantastic. Wins against Florida, Purdue, Michigan State, and Syracuse are the best wins on their schedule, but the Buckeyes missed on early chances against North Carolina, Butler, and Texas A&M. Michigan State gets another shot at Ohio State on Friday. That game is a must-win for Ohio State. A loss in that game will put the Buckeyes in a deep hole. A win pretty much gets the Buckeyes back into the NCAA Tournament.

Remaining schedule: Michigan State (3/14), Big Ten Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Conference USA (updated 3/13)

Locks: Memphis
Should be in: none
Bubble: UAB, Houston

UAB (22-9, 12-4, 46, 85)- out

UAB has had a good season so far with 22 wins. Their only good wins include Kentcuky in Louisville and Houston in the only meeting between the two teams. A couple of close losses to Rhode Island, Florida State, and Memphis could hurt them. The RPI is decent, and the SOS is ok. UAB had lost to Memphis by 1 their previous meeting before the last game of the season. The Blazers put forth a lackluster effort, losing by 38. A few wins in the C-USA Tournament should get them into the field. UAB has one win against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: Tulsa (3/13), Conference USA Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Houston (22-8, 11-5, 67, 146)- out

Houston had second pretty much locked up heading into March, but they had a really bad road loss to East Carolina, and a road loss to UTEP. The Cougars finished the season 1-2 in their last 3, which meant a third-place finish in Conference USA. Like UAB, Houston also beat Kentucky, but the Cougars beat them at home. They missed opportunities for good wins against VCU (Puerto Rico), at Massachusetts, Arizona, Memphis (twice), and UAB. The loss to UAB really hurts Houston, who is currently third in line in C-USA. Two wins in the conference tournament should be enough, but it depends on how the rest of the bubble performs. The RPI and SOS are not where the Cougars want it to be.

Remaining schedule: UYEP (3/13), Conference USA Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Missouri Valley (updated 3/13)

Locks: Drake
Should be in: none
Bubble: Illinois State, Creighton, Southern Illinois

Illinois State (23-9, 15-6, 34, 72)- in

Illinois State has a good RPI, an average SOS, and a good record, but they are still on the bubble. The reason is the lack of marquee wins. They did beat Cincinnati, Southern Illinois (twice), and Creighton (twice). The Redbirds missed out on chances against Indiana and Kent State. Illinois State also lost to Drake 3 times- the last loss was by 30 in the conference championship game, so that did not give a good impression to the committee. The 0-5 record against the RPI top 50 is bad, but they have 6 wins against the RPI 51-100. Two wins in the conference tournament help as well. Illinois State could be left out for major conference bubble teams, but they deserve a bid.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Creighton (20-10, 11-9, 51, 75)- out

Creighton had a disappointing season, but that doesn't mean they don't have a good season. They had another 20 win season, which makes nine 20 win seasons in the last 10 years. The RPI is decent, and the SOS is average. The Bluejays have wins against St. Joseph's, Southern Illinois, and two over Bradley. Creighton went 1-5 against the top 3 teams in the MVC, and finished 4th in a non-BCS conference. An 0-6 record against the RPI top 50 won't help them either. They won a game in the MVC Tournament, but then lost to Drake to basically end their at-large hopes. They cannot build on their resume, so their NCAA Tournament hopes are all but over.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Southern Illinois (17-14, 11-8, 63, 12)- out


Southern Illinois has an ok RPI and a very good SOS. They challenged themsleves in the non-conference portion of the schedule, and they did not fare very well. Losses to Southern California, Indiana, Charlotte, and Butler are quality losses, but they lost 3 of them by more than a dozen. They have a few bad losses to St. Louis, Western Michigan, Indiana State, and Missouri State, but all of them were on the road. Good wins include Western Kentucky, St. Mary's, Creighton, Drake, and Nevada. Southern Illinois went one and done in the conference tournament, so their chances at making the NCAA Tournament are very slim, despite their 4 wins against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Mountain West (updated 3/13)

Locks: BYU
Should be in: UNLV
Bubble: New Mexico

UNLV (22-7, 12-4, 26, 52)- should be in

UNLV has quietly had another great season under Lon Kruger. They have a good RPI and a decent SOS, so the Rebels are good there. Good non-conference wins are hard to come by, but wins against Nevada and at San Diego aren't too bad. Wins over BYU, New Mexico, and a sweep of San Diego State are good conference wins. UNLV missed big opportunities against Louisville and Arizona, but they should be safe. A win in the Mountain West Tournament should lock up a bid for UNLV. UNLV has the conference tournament played on their home court, so that gives them a big advantage.

Remaining Schedule: TCU (3/13), Mountain West Tournament (3/14-3/15)

New Mexico (24-7, 11-5, 53, 164)- in

New Mexico has won 8 of their last 9 to put them in position for an at-large bid. The RPI is decent, but the SOS is horrible. New Mexico has a collection of good, but not great wins (Texas Tech, San Diego, New Mexico State, San Diego State). They went 1-3 against the top 2 teams in the conference, which is not a good indicator of how good this team is. They managed to beat UNLV, but lost a heartbreaker to BYU in overtime. A win in the conference tournament might be good enough, but the Lobos better get 2 to feel safe.

Remaining schedule: Utah (3/13), Mountain West Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Pac-10 (updated 3/13)

Locks: UCLA, Stanford, Southern California, Washington State
Should be in: none
Bubble: Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon

Arizona (18-13, 9-10, 31, 3)- in

Arizona won a must-win game last night against Oregon State convincingly. The RPI is good, and the SOS is the best in the nation, but the Wildcats are 4-6 in their last 10 games. They had to adjust to Kevin O'Neill's style of coaching, which is much different than Lute Olson's. Nic Wise missed 7 games, and Jerryd Bayless missed 4, so injuries have also been a part of their season. Their schedule was incredibly tough, especially going through a long and rigorous Pac-10 schedule. Good wins include Texas A&M, at UNLV, at Houston, at Southern California, and a sweep of Washington State. They have had losses against quality teams, most notably against Memphis, Kansas, and UCLA twice. The loss against Virginia was a bad loss. A win over Stanford tonight will definitely get them in.

Remaining schedule: Stanford (3/13), Pac-10 Tournament (3/13-3/15)

Arizona State (19-11, 9-9, 76, 86)- in

ASU has had a surprising season under second year head coach Herb Sendek. The RPI and SOS are weak from a Pac-10 bubble team, but there are plenty of good wins on the schedule. Wins over Xavier, Stanford, USC, and Arizona (twice) will certainly help their claim, but only one of those wins (over Arizona by 5) was on the road. They have a 5-4 record in their last 9 after a 5 game losing streak. A loss against Illinois was horrible considering the year the Illini are having. A win over Southern Cal in the Pac-10 quarterfinals is a must-win for the Sun Devils. A win should get them into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003 (they beat Memphis as a 10 seed), but a loss gets them into one of the lesser known postseason tournaments.

Remaining schedule: Southern California (3/13), Pac-10 Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Oregon (18-12, 9-9, 54, 26)- out

The Ducks did just what they needed to last weekend, and that was a sweep of the Arizona schools. The Ducks have now won three straight to put themselves in decent position for an at-large bid. They have been inconsistent all season long, but they found a way to win. The RPI is ok, and the SOS is good. Wins over Kansas State, Arizona (twice), Stanford, and Arizona State are good wins that will help the Ducks. A very bad loss at Oakland will really hurt, and the loss against Nebraska was a game the Ducks had a late chance in. A win over Washington State in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament might be enough for Oregon.

Remaining schedule: Washington State (3/13), Pac-10 Tournament (3/14-3/15)

SEC (updated 3/13)

Locks: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
Should be in: Kentucky
Bubble: Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida

Kentucky (18-11, 12-4, 49, 11)- should be in

Kentucky looked all but dead coming into SEC play after a poor non-conference performance that included home losses to San Diego (which is looking a lot better) and Gardner-Webb. They do have some losses to good teams as well (North Carolina, Indiana, Louisville). Losses to Conference USA teams Houston and UAB certainly do not help, but both teams are decent enough that those losses shouldn't hurt that much. Their best non-conference win was against Liberty, who has an RPI in the 250-260 range. Since the beginning of the SEC season, the Wildcats have been on a surge winning games over Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida, Arkansas, and Mississippi. One problem, though- all of those wins were at home. The Wildcats have won 11 of their last 13, but they will have to do the rest without star freshman Patrick Patterson, who was lost for the season. 12 SEC wins should get them in, but getting a win in the SEC Tournament wouldn't hurt. The RPI is good, and the SOS is one of the best in the nation.

Remaining schedule: SEC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Arkansas (20-10, 9-7, 42, 39)- in

Arkansas is 3-5 in their last 8 games, but they are in good position. The RPI and SOS are good, and there are wins on the schedule worth noting. The Razorbacks win at Baylor and against VCU in San Juan, but lost at home against Appalachian State. Wins over conference play include Mississippi State, Florida, Mississippi, and Vanderbilt, but like Kentucky, all of those wins are at home. The Razorbacks are 2-7 in true road games with their only wins against LSU and Auburn. Arkansas is 4-5 against the RPI top 50, which isn't bad. Arkansas should be safe with a win in the SEC Tournament.

Remaining schedule: SEC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Mississippi (21-9, 7-9, 41, 56)- out

Mississippi got off to a fast start, starting out 13-0. The RPI is good, and the SOS is average. Unlike Kentucky, once SEC play started, Mississippi started losing. The Rebels wound up losing 9 of their first 13 conference games, but finished on a 3 game winning streak. Wins over South Alabama, New Mexico, and Clemson highlight a good non-conference run. Conference wins include Florida, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Arkansas, but again, all of them were at home. The Rebels also lost to LSU by 20 and got swept by Auburn, which are horrible losses for a team on the bubble. Two wins in the SEC Tournament may be enough, but a trip to the conference tournament finals might be necessary.

Remaining schedule: Georgia (3/13), SEC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Florida (18-10, 8-8, 65, 90)- out

Florida also got off to a very good start, starting the season 18-3. The RPI is quickly falling, and the SOS is bad thanks to their 268th ranked non-conference SOS. The defending champs are 3-7 in their last 10, which is not going to help them at all. They are 3-9 against the RPI top 100, so there isn't much help there. Wins over Temple, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt are quality wins, but they were all at home. The Gators might have to win the conference tournament to get in the field of 65, although a close loss in the finals to Tennessee might be good enough.

Remaining schedule: Alabama (3/13), SEC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

WAC (updated 3/13)

Any of these teams are capable of winning the WAC Tournament, so I decided to put them all in my bubble watch. The WAC is a one-bid league in a very bad year for the conference.

Locks: none
Should be in: none
Bubble: Utah State, Nevada, Boise State, New Mexico State

Utah State (22-9, 12-4, 71, 166)- out


Utah State has had the best season out of anyone in the WAC, but that is not saying much this year. Despite having 22 wins overall, the Aggies do not have any great wins. They have wins over Oral Roberts, UC-Santa Barbara, and Austin Peay in non-conference play, not the type of wins a team really looks for. Utah State was 4-2 against the top 4 in the conference. They have 6 top 100 wins, but none of them are aginst top 50 teams. The RPI and SOS do not help their case.

Remaining schedule: San Jose State (3/13), WAC Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Nevada (19-10, 12-4, 74, 128)- out

Nevada has a better RPI and SOS than Utah State, but has 4 less top 100 wins. Nevada struggled in non-conference play, but have been hot lately winning 7 of their last 9 games. Losses to UNLV, Cal, and North Carolina are acceptable, but the loss to San Jose State is not. The Wolfpack are 3-3 against the top 4 in the conference. A win over San Diego is their best win not in WAC play. A conference tournament title is the only way they get into the field.

Remaining schedule: Fresno State (3/13), WAC Tournament (3/14-3/15)

Boise State (21-8, 12-4, 99, 205)- out

The RPI and SOS really hurt Boise State, who has had a decent season. They took two very bad losses early in the year to Montana State and Loyola Marymount. Boise State did beat BYU earlier in the season, as well as WCC champ San Diego. They also lost to Washington State and Siena at home- both tournament teams. The Broncos have 4 top 100 wins, but are 2-4 against the other top teams in the WAC. Boise State needs to win the conference tournament in order to get in the field.

Remaining schedule: Hawaii (3/13). WAC Tournament (3/14-3/15)

New Mexico State (18-13, 12-4, 119, 115)- out

New Mexico State struggled at the beginning of the season; they went 5-9 in non-conference play. The non-conference was rough for a WAC team, which included Ohio, Duke, Texas, UTEP (twice), New Mexico (twice), and Louisville. They only won one of those games (New Mexico at home), which really hurt. If the Aggies won 3 more of those games, we could be talking about them as a possible at-large team. As it is, New Mexico State needs to win the WAC Tournament, and having the conference tournament on your home floor really helps. They went 3-3 against the top 4 WAC teams, and they have 4 wins against the top 100. New Mexico State is 8-1 in their last 9.

Remaining schedule: Idaho (3/13), WAC Tournament (3/14-3/15)
Other conferences (updated 3/13)

Locks: Butler, Davidson, Gonzaga, St. Mary's, George Mason, Winthrop, Cornell, Western Kentucky, Oral Roberts, Siena, Belmont, Austin Peay, Mount St. Mary's
Should be in: Kent State, South Alabama
Bubble: Virginia Commonwealth

Kent State (25-6, 13-3, 25, 117)- should be in

Kent State has had a very good year, and Kent State looks to be in very good shape for an at-large bid. Of course, they might not need it if they win the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The RPI is good, but the SOS is lacking, mainly due to the conference they play in. They got off to a bad start with a bad loss to Detroit. They lost to Xavier and North Carolina in the non-conference. They have wins over George Mason, Illinois State, and sweeps of Miami-Ohio and Akron. The signature win came on BracketBusters weekend when they won at St. Mary's. Kent State has 9 wins against the RPI top 100, which is a very good number. If they can grab a win in the MAC Tournament, they should get in.

Remaining schedule: Toledo (3/13), MAC Tournament (3/14-3/15)

South Alabama (24-6, 17-3, 39, 121)- should be in

South Alabama made bubble nation very mad when they lost to Middle Tennessee State in the Sun Belt semifinals. That loss meant that the Sun Belt will probably get two bids this year because South Alabama has a resume that is at-large quality. The RPI is good, but the RPI is not. All of the Jaguars' best wins keep getting better. Wins over San Diego, Mississippi State, and Western Kentucky (twice) are decent, but they missed out on opportunities for big time wins. They lost to Vanderbilt in double overtime by 3, Mississippi by 3 on the last possession, and Miami-Ohio by 5. South Alabama can no longer improve their record, but their RPI and SOS can increase if their oponents keep winning.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining

Virginia Commonwealth (24-7, 16-4, 55, 156)- out


VCU had another great season, but they are not assured an NCAA Tournament bid this year. The Rams had a dominating regular season in the Colonial, but an exit in the CAA Tournament semifinals have VCU's tournament hopes looking bad right now. The RPI is average, and the SOS is bad. Good non-conference wins include Houston, Bradley, Akron, and Maryland, but none of them are in position to make the NCAA Tournament, so those wins do not look as good. There aren't many other great teams in the CAA, but VCU went 2-1 against the top 3 in the conference. It will be a longshot for the Rams to get in, but with the way the bubble teams have been playing recently, they still have a chance.

Remaining schedule: No games remaining
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Bubble Watch
 
Posted on: March 10, 2008 8:54 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2008 8:36 pm
 

Bubble Watch

As we move closer to the NCAA Tournament, the bubble picture keeps becoming more unclear. So many bubble teams are losing games they have to win, and some of them are splitting games during the week, which makes it challenging deciding who is in and who is out. Here is an organized explanation of which teams are in good shape, and which ones need help.

Virginia Commonwealth now joins the bubble conversation because of their loss to William & Mary. South Alabama and Gonzaga now get at-large bids after losing in their respective conference tournament.

Locks (52): Locks are teams that I think will make the NCAA Tournament regardless of what they do in the conference tournament. They are subject to change on a week-to-week basis. I added the other conferences to see how many at-larges could be left. Teams in bold won the automatic bid.

ACC (3): North Carolina, Duke, Clemson
America East (1): ???
Atlantic 10 (1): Xavier
Atlantic Sun (1): Belmont
Big 12 (3): Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma
Big East (7): Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Big Sky (1): ???
Big South (1): Winthrop
Big Ten (4): Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Big West (1): ???
Colonial (1): George Mason
Conference USA (1): Memphis
Horizon (1): Butler
Ivy (1): Cornell
MAAC (1): Siena
Mid-American (1): ???
Mid-Eastern (1): ???
Missouri Valley (1): Drake
Mountain West (1): BYU
Northeast (1): ???
Ohio Valley (1): Austin Peay
Pac-10 (4): UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Southern California
Patriot (1): ???
SEC (3): Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
Southern (1): Davidson
Southland (1): ???
Summit (1): ???
Sun Belt (2): South Alabama, ???
SWAC (1): ???
WAC (1): ???

West Coast (3): Gonzaga, St. Mary's, San Diego

Should be in (6):
Teams that should be in are teams that I feel are not locks or on the bubble. These teams are subject to change.

ACC (1):
Miami
Big 12 (2):
Kansas State, Baylor
MAC (1): Kent State
Mountain West (1): UNLV
SEC (1):
Kentucky

Estimated at-larges available: 8

Oral Roberts, and Kent State will be in the at-large discussion if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Memphis, Butler, and BYU will get at-large bids if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Locks: 40
Non-lock Conference Champions: 12
Should be in: 5-6 (Kent State might not win the MAC)
Estimated at-large bids available: 7-8

*Format is: (D-I record, conference record, RPI, SOS). All RPI and SOS rankings are from ESPN's InsideRPI.

ACC (updated 3/10)

Locks: North Carolina, Duke, Clemson
Should be in: Miami
Bubble: Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida State, Wake Forest

Miami (20-9, 8-8, 28, 32)- should be in

Miami has a good RPI/SOS combo that should be good enough to get them in right now, but with a 2-2 record in their last 4, they are not locked in yet. A win over North Carolina State in the first round of the ACC Tournament will lock the Hurricanes in the field for the first time since 2002. They have wins at Mississippi State, Virginia Commonwealth (San Juan, PR) and Duke, so Miami is in very good position.

Remaining schedule: NC State (3/13), ACC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Virginia Tech (18-12, 9-7, 57, 45)- out

Virginia Tech let one get away at Clemson on Sunday, which is a huge blow to the Hokies chances to make the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is low for an at-large candidate. The best thing on their resume is a sweep of Maryland. Their best non-conference win was against UNC Asheville, so there is not much in the non-conference. One win in the conference tournament will probably not be enough, so they will have to win two games to feel safe.

Remaining schedule: ACC Tournament (3/13-3/16)

Maryland (18-13, 8-8, 69, 16)- out

Maryland has lost 5 of their last 7 games to fall to .500 in ACC play. The Terps do not have many quality wins, as they are 1-5 against the RPI top 50. The RPI is bad, but the SOS is good. They have some good losses against UCLA (Kansas City, MO) and VCU (Washington D.C.). Maryland also has some questionable home losses against American and Ohio. The best thing out of conference is a win at Charlotte. Maryland does have something that no other bubble team has- a win over North Carolina. The Terrapins are going to have to get at least 2 wins in the conference tournament to feel good about their chances.

Remaining schedule: Boston College (3/13), ACC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Florida State (18-13, 7-9, 63, 17)- out

Florida State has really come on as of late, winning 4 of their last 5 to join the bubble discussion. They have questionable losses in a pre-season tournament to South Florida and Cleveland State in Daytona. The RPI is not that good, but the SOS is. The Seminoles beat UAB (Daytona Beach, FL) and Florida in Gainesville, so that helps in head-to-head bubble comparisons. They also beat Clemson and swept Miami. Florida State will probably have to reach the ACC finals to have a decent shot.

Remaining schedule: Wake Forest (3/13), ACC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Wake Forest (17-12, 7-9, 86, 107)- out

It is going to be hard for Wake Forest to make the NCAA Tournament, but it is still possible. They beat BYU, Miami, Florida State twice, and most importantly, Duke. They have been very inconsistent at times, but this is a team that I think still has a shot. Granted, their chances are not as good as the number of available at-large bids decreases. With a strong ACC Tournament run that could include wins over Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and ends in a close loss to Duke, would that be enough? That would bring them to 20-13, which might be good enough. Their chances are very slim though.

Remaining schedule: Florida State (3/13), ACC Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Atlantic 10 (updated 3/10)

Locks: Xavier
Should be in: Massachusetts
Bubble: Dayton, St. Joseph's, Temple, Rhode Island

Massachusetts (21-9, 10-6, 40, 63)- should be in

Massachusetts has emerged as the second team in line for a bid in the Atlantic 10. After a very good non-conference performance which included wins at Syracuse and against Houston, UMass struggled to open up A-10 play. Now on a 6-game winning streak, the Minutemen look to be in very good shape for an at-large bid. They have wins at Dayton and two wins over Rhode Island in conference play. A win in the conference tournament should be enough for Massachusetts.

Remaining schedule: Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/12-3/15)

Dayton (20-9, 8-8, 35, 37)- out

Dayton started off the year red hot- a 14-1 start that included road wins over Miami-Ohio and Louisville and home wins against Pittsburgh, Akron, and Rhode Island. Freshman starter Chris Wright, who was Dayton's second leading scorer, got hurt for Dayton, and the collapse started. Since their hot start, the Flyers are 6-7. They finished 8th in the Atlantic 10, which is very bad for an at-large team. The RPI and SOS are decent. Bad losses include Richmond, George Washington, and Duquesne. If Dayton does well in the A-10 Tournament with Chris Wright, the committee might consider his injury to Dayton's advantage.

Remaining schedule: St. Louis (3/12), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/13-3/15)

St. Joseph's (18-11, 9-7, 55, 53)- out

St. Joseph's had one of the toughest collections of non-conference losses in the nation. Every one of their non-conference losses (at Syracuse, Gonzaga, Holy Cross, at Creighton) were within 6 points or less. They do have a wins against Villanova, at Rhode Island, two against Massachusetts, and Xavier. The Hawks are 3-6 in their last 9, so a few wins in the A-10 Tournament will do them well.

Remaining Schedule: Fordham (3/12), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/13-3/15)

Temple (18-12, 11-5, 60, 39)- out

Temple has gotten hot at the right time. They are winners of 4 in a row, and have a win at S. Joe's in that span. They finished in sole possession of second in the A-10 with 11 wins. The RPI is ok, but not what you want for an at-large. The SOS is good thanks to their 15 games played against the RPI top 100. They have 6 top 100 wins, including wins over Xavier, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island in their only meetings. Their best non-conference win was against Ohio. A few wins in the conference tournament might do it, but a trip to the A-10 finals might be necessary.

Remaining Schedule: Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/12-3/15)

Rhode Island (21-10, 7-9, 66, 112)- out

Rhode Island has fallen off so much since the beginning of February. They are 3-7 in their last 10, which includes 4 home losses and a bad loss to George Washington. The RPI and SOS are horrible for an at-large candidate, and the RPI is falling quickly because of all of their home losses. Wins against UAB in Daytona and at Syracuse are their best non-conference wins. Most of the Rams conference wins are against the bottom teams, but they do have a win over Dayton. Rhode Island probably has to win 2 games in the conference tournament just to be a legitimate bubble contender again.

Remaining schedule: Charlotte (3/13), Atlantic 10 Tournament (3/13-3/15)

Big 12 (updated 3/11)

Locks: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma
Should be in: Kansas State, Baylor
Bubble: Texas A&M, Nebraska

Kansas State (19-10, 10-6, 44, 23)- should be in

Kansas State went 10-6 in the Big 12 regular season last year, but did not get into the NCAA Tournament. The RPI and SOS are good, and they are 2-4 against the RPI top 25. Their only non-conference worth noting was against Cal. Wins at Oklahoma and home against Kansas are their best conference wins. They are in a very good position, and even a first round loss in to Texas A&M or Iowa State might not be enough to knock them out.

Remaining schedule: Big 12 Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Baylor (20-9, 9-7, 31, 28)- should be in

Baylor is having a surprise season this year that will probably result in a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The RPI is much better than Kansas State's, and the SOS is good as well. They missed a big chance against Washington State for a marquee non-conference win, but they did beat Notre Dame and Winthrop in a pre-season tournament. Baylor has 2 good conference wins: the 5 ovetime thriller against Texas A&M and Kansas State. Despite a 5-5 record in their last 10 games, and a 3-8 record against the RPI top 50, the Bears will be in for sure with a win over Colorado in the Big 12 Tournament.

Remaining schedule: Colorado (3/13), Big 12 Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Texas A&M (21-9, 8-8, 48, 64)- in

The Aggies are ice cold right now. They got a huge win against Baylor over the weekend to finish .500 in Big 12 play. The RPI is ok, and the SOS is bad for a Big 12 team. The 233rd ranked non-conference SOS doesn't help either. Neutral wins over Washington and Ohio State, and home wins against Oral Roberts and Alabama are decent, but not great. They beat Texas, Oklahoma, and Baylor in conference play for good wins. They are 4-6 against the RPI top 50. Texas A&M is 2-5 in their last 7, but a win over Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament should be enough.

Remaining schedule: Iowa State (3/13), Big 12 Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Nebraska (18-11, 7-9, 98, 120)- out

Nebraska has been so inconsistent all year. The RPI and SOS are nowhere near at-large quality, so a run to the Big 12 finals might be necessary. Nebraska has wins over Pac-10 bubble teams Oregon and Arizona State. The Huskers had a surge in late February when they beat Kansas State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma in succession. Nebraska has 3 wins against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: Missouri (3/13), Big 12 Tournament (3/14-3/16)

Big East (updated 3/11)

Locks: Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Should be in: none
Bubble: Syracuse, Villanova

Syracuse (19-12, 9-9, 46, 7)- in

Last year, Syracuse was 21-9 (10-6) entering the Big East Tournament. They won a game, and still missed the NCAAs. This year, their records are worse, but their SOS is much better. The RPI is ok, but it's the SOS that makes the Orange stand out. Wins over St. Joe's, Washington, and Siena are their best non-conference wins. Home losses to Rhode Island and Massachusetts really hurt, especially since Rhode Island is really struggling. Wins at Villanova and home against Georgetown and Marquette really stand out as well. Syracuse caught a bad break when Eric Devendorf was lost for the season. Syracuse probably needs 2 wins in the Big East Tournament to feel safe, but one win might be good enough. They are 2-8 against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: Villanova (3/12), Big East Tournament (3/13-3/15)

Villanova (19-11, 9-9, 56, 61)- out

Villanova is going to be one of the more interesting debates come Selection Sunday. They lost 2 games (North Carolina State and Georgetown) due to questionable foul calls, so the committee may consider that. A neutral win against George Mason is their best win in a fairly weak non-conference schedule. They have had a few bad road losses this year to DePaul and Rutgers. A road loss to crosstown rival St. Joseph's by 22 isn't good either. They have conference wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Connecticut, but all three were at home. A win at fellow bubbler Syracuse is a nice win as well. One win in the Big East Tournament might be enough, but that all depends on how heavily the committee considers the bad calls. 4 wins against the RPI top 50 is a decent amount. The game against Syracuse on Wednesday could be an elimination game.

Remaining schedule: Syracuse (3/12), Big East Tournament (3/13-3/15)

Big Ten (updated 3/11)

Locks: Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Should be in: none
Bubble: Ohio State

Ohio State (19-12, 10-8, 50, 18)- in

Ohio State has come on as of late, winning their final 2 games against Michigan State and Purdue (both were at home). Ohio State did not have any top 50 wins for awhile, but got 2 last week, and got a 3rd when Syracuse moved into the top 50 of the RPI. The RPI is average, and the SOS is fantastic. Wins against Florida, Purdue, Michigan State, and Syracuse are the best wins on their schedule, but the Buckeyes missed on early chances against North Carolina, Butler, and Texas A&M. Michigan State gets another shot at Ohio State on Friday. That game is a must-win for Ohio State. A loss in that game will put the Buckeyes in a deep hole.

Remaining schedule: Michigan State (3/14), Big Ten Tournament (3/15-3/16)

Conference USA (updated 3/11)

Locks: Memphis
Should be in: none
Bubble: UAB, Houston

UAB (22-9, 12-4, 45, 85)- out

UAB has had a good season so far with 22 wins. Their only good wins include Kentcuky in Louisville and Houston in the only meeting between the two teams. A couple of close losses to Rhode Island, Florida State, and Memphis could hurt them. The RPI is decent, and the SOS is ok. UAB had lost to Memphis by 1 their previous metting before the last game of the season. The Blazers put forth a lackluster effort, losing by 38. A few wins in the C-USA Tournament should get them into the field. UAB has one win against the RPI top 50.

Remaining schedule: Conference USA Tournament (3/13-3/15)

Houston (22-8, 11-5, 67, 146)- out

Houston had second pretty much locked up heading into March, but they had a really bad road loss to East Carolina, and a road loss to UTEP. The Cougars finished the season 1-2 in their last 3, which meant a third-place finish in Conference USA. Like UAB, Houston also beat Kentucky, but the Cougars beat them at home. They missed opportunities for good wins against VCU (Puerto Rico), at Massachusetts, Arizona, Memphis (twice), and UAB. The loss to UAB really hurts Houston, who is currently third in line in C-USA. Two wins in the conference tournament should be enough, but it depends on how the rest of the bubble performs.

Mountain West (updated 3/11)

Locks: BYU
Should be in: UNLV
Bubble: New Mexico

UNLV (22-7, 12-4, 28, 55)- should be in

UNLV has quietly had another great season under Lon Kruger. They have a good RPI and a decent SOS, so the Rebels are good there. Good non-conference wins are hard to come by, but wins against Nevada and at San Diego aren't too bad. Wins over BYU, New Mexico, and a sweep of San Diego State are good conference wins. UNLV missed big opportunities against Louisville and Arizona, but they should be safe. A win in the Mountain West Tournament should lock up a bid for UNLV. UNLV has the conference tournament played on their home court, so that gives them a big advantage.

Remaining Schedule: TCU (3/13), Mountain West Tournament (3/14-3/15)

New Mexico (24-7, 11-5, 52, 167)- in

New Mexico has won 8 of their last 9 to put them in position for an at-large bid. The RPI is ok, but the SOS is horrible. New Mexico has a collection of good, but not great wins (Texas Tech, San Diego, New Mexico State, San Diego State). They went 1-3 against the top 2 teams in the conference, which is not a good indicator of how good this team is. They managed to beat UNLV, but lost a heartbreaker to BYU in overtime. A win in the conference tournament might be good enough, but the Lobos better get 2 to feel safe.

I will update this as much as I can within the next few days.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Bubble Watch
 
Posted on: March 9, 2008 5:36 pm
 

Bubble Watch (3/9/08)

As we move closer to the NCAA Tournament, the bubble picture keeps becoming more unclear. So many bubble teams are losing games they have to win, and some of them are splitting games during the week, which makes it challenging deciding who is in and who is out. Here is an organized explanation of which teams are in good shape, and which ones need help.

Locks (33): Locks are teams that I think will make the NCAA Tournament regardless of what they do in the conference tournament. They are subject to change on a week-to-week basis. Teams in bold won the automatic bid.

ACC (3): North Carolina, Duke, Clemson
Atlantic 10 (1): Xavier
Atlantic Sun (1): Belmont
Big 12 (2): Kansas, Texas
Big East (6): Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pittsburgh
Big South (1): Winthrop
Big Ten (4): Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Conference USA (1): Memphis
Horizon (1): Butler
Ivy (1): Cornell
Missouri Valley (1): Drake
Mountain West (1): BYU
Ohio Valley (1): Austin Peay
Pac-10 (4): UCLA, Stanford, Washington State, Southern California
SEC (3): Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
West Coast (2): Gonzaga, St. Mary's

Should be in (7): Teams that should be in are teams that I am certain will be in the field, but are not quite locks yet. These are subject to change daily.

ACC (1): Miami
Atlantic 10 (1): Massachusetts
Big East (1): West Virginia
Big 12 (2): Kansas State, Oklahoma
Mountain West (1): UNLV
SEC (1): Kentucky

Virginia Commonwealth, Davidson, Oral Roberts, Kent State, and South Alabama will be in the at-large discussion if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Memphis, Butler, and BYU will get at-large bids if they do not win their respective conference tournament.

Estimated at-large bids available: 9

Just wanted to start this so I can work on it later.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Bubble Watch
 
 
 
 
 
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