Sunday, March 09, 2014

Bubble Watch Heading Into March 9th

The story of Saturday for the bubble was the fact that it's thinning out. A few teams moved away from the bubble with big wins (Baylor and Oregon the most prominent) while several others teams fell off the bubble with losses (Clemson, Arkansas and Utah). The effect is that the bubble is now just 13 teams for 8 spots.

Eastern Kentucky earned the second auto bid into the Tournament after upsetting Murray State and Belmont on consecutive nights. I also decided that New Mexico has to move in as a Tournament lock even with the loss. A competitive loss at San Diego State won't hurt their resume, and enough teams around them in the S-Curve lost. In total that gives us now 25 Tournament bids locked up with 43 still to be earned over the next 8 days.

Teams that move up a group are colored green while teams that drop a group are colored red. Here is how the bubble stands as we head into March 9th:

Tournament locks (25 teams):
Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia, Creighton, Villanova, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Harvard, Wichita State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Eastern Kentucky, Arizona, UCLA, Florida, Kentucky

Automatic bids yet to be awarded (30, of which 21 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, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, MVC, MWC, NEC, Pac-12, Patriot, SEC, SoCon, Southland, Summit, Sun Belt, SWAC, WCC, WAC

Teams that look safe (9):
Memphis, SMU, UMass, Saint Louis, VCU, Ohio State, Baylor, Kansas State, Oregon

Teams definitely in the Tournament... for now (8):
Pittsburgh, George Washington, Saint Joseph's, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Colorado, Gonzaga

The Bubble (13 teams for 8 bids):
Florida State,  Dayton, Georgetown, Providence, St. John's, Xavier, Minnesota, Nebraska, Toledo, California, Stanford, Tennessee, BYU

Best of the rest (12):
Clemson, Marquette, Indiana, West Virginia, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Green Bay, Stephen F Austin, North Dakota State, Utah, Arkansas, Georgia

Long shots (13):
Maryland, NC State, Illinois, Middle Tennessee, UTEP, Ohio, Indiana State, Boise State, UNLV, LSU, Mississippi, Missouri, Saint Mary's

[/Editor's note at 12:45 PM on March 9th: I intended to drop Iowa a category and that edit somehow did save. I have now fixed that mistake.]

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