Sunday, March 02, 2014

Bubble Watch Heading Into March 2nd

For the final two weeks of the regular season I do a daily bubble watch. Don't look for a lot of analysis in this post (I can only write so much), but you will see teams moving up and down daily. Every team below is in black print, but from here on out the teams that move up each day will be colored green while teams that drop will be red.

Unlike my bracket projection, this is a measure of where teams are now, rather than a projection. So it won't perfectly overlap with my projected bracket.

One thing that shouldn't surprise regular readers is that I take "locks" seriously. You're not a lock unless you can lose every remaining game and still have no risk of missing out on the Tournament. So with two weeks to go? I see only 16 teams that are real locks. Those teams listed as "safe" will mostly slide in the "locks" category over the next week or two. By Selection Sunday, there will be somewhere between 50 and 55 locks, most likely.

The bubble is currently 16 teams fighting for 9 bids.

As always, teams are listed alphabetically, by conference and then by team within conference.

Anyway, here is how the bubble stands as we head into Sunday, March 2nd:

Tournament locks (16 teams):
Cincinnati,  Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia, Creighton, Villanova, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Kansas, Wichita State, San Diego State, Arizona, Florida

Automatic bids yet to be awarded (32, of which 24 are not projected to be won by teams currently locked into the Tournament):
AAC, America East, ACC, Atlantic Sun, A-10, Big East, Big Sky, Big South, Big Ten, Big 12, Big West, Colonial, CUSA, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, MVC, MWC, NEC, OVC, Pac-12, Patriot, SEC, SoCon, Southland, Summit, Sun Belt, SWAC, WCC, WAC)

Teams that look safe (17):
UConn, Louisville, Memphis, SMU, Pittsburgh, UMass, Saint Louis, VCU, Iowa, Ohio State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona State, UCLA, Kentucky

Teams definitely in the Tournament... for now (7):
George Washington, Saint Joseph's, Xavier, Harvard, Oregon, Stanford, Gonzaga

The Bubble (16 teams for 9 bids):
Clemson, Florida State,  Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Minnesota, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, Toledo, California, Colorado, Arkansas, Tennessee, BYU

Best of the rest (12):
Dayton, Nebraska, West Virginia, Louisiana Tech, Green Bay, Stephen F Austin, North Dakota State, Utah, Missouri, Boise State, Georgia, LSU

Long shots (18):
Maryland, UTEP, UNLV, Saint Mary's, NC State, Richmond, Illinois, Indiana, Penn State, Purdue, Middle Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana State, Oregon State, Washington, Mississippi, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt

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