Thursday, March 07, 2013

Bubble Watch: Heading Into March 7th

Wednesday night was definitely an active night for the bubble. Two teams locked their way into the NCAA Tournament: North Carolina and UNLV. At the same time, Villanova and Iowa State pulled themselves off the bubble in the right direction.... and Maryland pulled themselves off the bubble in the wrong direction. UCLA's loss doesn't quite knock them back to the bubble, but close. California did fall onto the bubble.

So where does that leave us? I don't think Wednesday was a good night for the bubble teams that did not play. The wins for teams like Villanova, Iowa State, Temple and La Salle made the bubble tougher, which is bad news for teams like Iowa, Virginia and Kentucky. The bubble shrunk again, and I now see 13 teams fighting for 8 spots.

What's up for the bubble tomorrow? Kentucky and Virginia both have dangerous road games that they need to get past. Also, don't sleep on the Butler/UMass game. The UMass at-large hype could really get going if they can win that game.

Here we go. The bubble watch as we head into March 7th:

Tournament locks (21 teams):
Duke, Miami (Fl), North Carolina, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, New Mexico, UNLV, Arizona, Florida, Gonzaga

Automatic bids yet to be awarded (31, of which 24 are not projected to be won by teams currently locked into the Tournament):
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 (8):
NC State, St. Louis, VCU, Notre Dame, Memphis, Colorado State, San Diego State, Missouri

Teams definitely in the Tournament... for now (11):
Butler, Cincinnati, Villanova, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Creighton, Wichita State, UCLA, Oregon,

The Bubble (13 teams for 8 bids):
Virginia, La Salle, UMass, Temple, Iowa, Boise State, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee, St. Mary's, Louisiana Tech

Best of the rest (7):
Maryland, Baylor, Southern Miss, Akron, Arizona State, Alabama, Arkansas

Long shots (12):
Charlotte, St. Joseph's, Xavier, Florida State, Providence, St. John's, Air Force, Stanford, Washington, LSU, Middle Tennessee, BYU

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