Monday, March 02, 2015

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, 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.

Something to keep in mind, which something causes confusion, is what these categories mean. Remember that weird things can happen the final week of the regular season. What happens if UConn wins the AAC title, or Florida State wins the ACC title? What happens if Illinois gets to the Big Ten title game? Tournament bids can be stolen.

So, a team doesn't become a "lock" unless they can lose out and have a crazy and chaotic final week of the bubble and they still don't have to worry about sweating out Selection Sunday. Similarly, teams that are "safe" are just that... safe. Unless all hell breaks loose, they'll be in as well.

The bubble is larger than usual for two weeks out from Selection Sunday. Right now I've got 18 teams for for 11 spots. But by Selection Sunday last season the bubble was 9 teams for 5 spots, so things will clear up and thin out over the next two weeks.

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

Here is how the bubble stands as we head into Monday, March 2nd:

Tournament locks (16 teams):
Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia, Villanova, Maryland, Wisconsin, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wichita State, Arizona, Utah, Kentucky, Gonzaga

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 (9):
SMU, Notre Dame, Butler, Georgetown, Providence, West Virginia, Northern Iowa, San Diego State, Arkansas

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

The Bubble (18 teams for 11 bids):
Cincinnati, Temple, Tulsa, Miami, NC State, Pittsburgh, Davidson, Illinois, Purdue, Texas, Texas A&M, Boise State, UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, LSU, Mississippi, BYU

Best of the rest (6):
Connecticut, Rhode Island, Richmond, UMass, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech

Long shots (23):
Memphis, Clemson, George Washington, Seton Hall, Michigan, Minnesota, Kansas State, UTEP,  Green Bay, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Toledo, Wyoming, Murray State, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, Alabama, Florida, Vanderbilt, Wofford, Stephen F. Austin, Saint Mary's

No comments: