Monday, March 11, 2013

Bubble Watch: Heading Into March 11th

Two more NCAA Tournament bids were sealed on Sunday: Creighton won the Missouri Valley title and Liberty won the Big South. That raises the number of locked up NCAA Tournament bids to 28. That leaves 40 bids to be earned in the final week before Selection Sunday.

The bubble did not change size at the end of the day. Temple lifted themselves off the bubble with their big win over VCU, while the lame loss Illinois had to Ohio State edged them back onto the bubble. At the end of the day, we still have 14 teams fighting for 9 spots.

Monday will not be a day with serious bubble implications, but there will be five automatic bids on the line. The most interesting of those games is the WCC title game between Gonzaga and St. Mary's, because the Gaels have not yet locked up their at-large bid. With a loss they will definitely have to sweat out Selection Sunday. So a win there will lock in the WCC as a two-bid league. Other teams on the bubble will be rooting for a Gonzaga win, for obvious reasons.

Bubble implications will pick up on Tuesday, when the Mountain West and Big East tournaments tip off. But I'll get to that in tomorrow's bubble watch.

Here is how the bubble stands as we head into Saturday, March 11th:

Tournament locks (28 teams):
Duke, Miami (Fl), North Carolina, Florida Gulf Coast, St.Louis, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Liberty, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Harvard, Creighton, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV, Belmont, Arizona, Florida, Gonzaga

Automatic bids yet to be awarded (26, of which 18 are not projected to be won by teams currently locked into the Tournament):
America East, ACC, A-10, Big East, Big Sky,  Big Ten, Big 12, Big West, Colonial, CUSA, Horizon, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, MWC, NEC, Pac-12, Patriot, SEC, SoCon, Southland, Summit, Sun Belt, SWAC, WCC, WAC)

Teams that look safe (6):
NC State, Butler, VCU, Notre Dame, Memphis, Missouri

Teams definitely in the Tournament... for now (9):
Cincinnati, Villanova, Temple, Minnesota, Iowa State, Wichita State, San Diego State, UCLA, Oregon

The Bubble (14 teams for 9 bids):
Virginia, La Salle, Illinois, Iowa, Baylor, Oklahoma, Boise State, California, Colorado, Alabama, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee, St. Mary's

Best of the rest (5):
UMass, Southern Miss, Arizona State, Arkansas, Louisiana Tech

Long shots (11):
Charlotte, Xavier, Florida State, Maryland, Providence, St. John's, Akron, Air Force, Stanford, LSU, Middle Tennessee 


luciente said...

Perhaps the mistake is in the 2nd category, where it seems most likely to end up, but I count seventy slots in the tournament in your categories (28 + 18 + 6 + 9 + 90. xoxo

luciente said...

that's supposed to be 9).

Jeff said...

It's not a mistake. I'm allowing Memphis and VCU to win auto bids. Unless somebody steals the CUSA or A10 auto bids, you'll see that it adds up to 68.