Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bubble Watch Heading Into March 10th

There wasn't quite enough on Monday night for a full Morning News post, so I'm just going to post a bubble watch today.

That said, things pick up each day during Championship Week. Today the first major conference tournament tips off, with the ACC tournament starting at 1 PM eastern. And the bubble battles will really start going tomorrow.

While the bubble didn't change last night, we did have three new teams earn auto bids: Manhattan (MAAC), Northeastern (Colonial) and Wofford (SoCon). That pushes us to 29 locks, and we'll add at least three more tomorrow (if Gonzaga loses the WCC title game we'll add a fourth).

The bubble remains 14 teams fighting for 9 spots.

Here is how the bubble stands as we head into Tuesday, March 10th:

Tournament locks (29 teams): 
SMU, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia, North Florida, Butler, Georgetown, Villanova, Coastal Carolina, Maryland, Wisconsin, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Northeastern, Manhattan, Northern Iowa, Wichita State, Belmont, Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, Kentucky, Wofford, Gonzaga

Automatic bids yet to be awarded (25, of which 18 are not projected to be won by teams currently locked into the Tournament):
AAC, America East, ACC, A-10, Big East, Big Sky, Big Ten, Big 12, Big West, CUSA, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, MEAC, MWC, NEC, Pac-12, Patriot, SEC, Southland, Summit, Sun Belt, SWAC, WCC, WAC

Teams that look safe (4):
Cincinnati, Providence, Michigan State, San Diego State

Teams definitely in the Tournament... for now (11):
Davidson, Dayton, Temple, VCU, St. John's, Xavier, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue, Colorado State, Georgia

The Bubble (14 teams for 9 bids):
Tulsa, Miami, NC State, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma State, Texas, Boise State, UCLA, Oregon, LSU, Mississippi, Texas A&M, BYU

Best of the rest (7):
Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, Richmond, UMass, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, Stanford

Long shots (15):
Connecticut, Clemson, George Washington, Kansas State, UTEP,  Green Bay, Iona, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Murray State, Arizona State, Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt, Stephen F. Austin


Anonymous said...

you really think Florida even qualifies as a longshot? why not put South Carolina there too? both need to win tourney or they will not get a bid.

Jeff said...

Well Florida has almost no chance of an at-large bid even if they lose in the SEC title game, but I have them on the list because if they did lose a competitive SEC title game they'd have picked up a win over Kentucky and a likely Top 50 RPI.

South Carolina is 6-12 in the SEC, and no team 6 games under .500 in conference play has ever gotten an at-large bid, and even if they made the SEC title game their RPI still wouldn't get back inside the Top 50.

So while Florida's chances are "basically none", South Carolina's are "zero". That's why I list the teams the way they do.

Realistically, at least half a dozen teams I've got listed are in the "no realistic chance" camp as Florida.

Anonymous said...

I don't see State on the bubble. I think they are safe in the tournament. Their resume is much better than most of teams that "should be safe"

Anonymous said...

You have Iowa as a "for now" team, but they seem like a lock to me. What would have to happen for them to fall out of the tournament?

Jeff said...

Which "State" don't you think is on the bubble?

As for Iowa, I think they're going to be okay. But if they go one-and-done in the Big Ten tournament there's a risk of them having to sweat out Selection Sunday.