Friday, March 08, 2013

Bubble Watch: Heading Into March 8th

Despite the losses for Virginia and Kentucky, I don't think either team falls off the bubble. In fact, Virginia might still be in the Field of 68. Kentucky, at the very least, would be seriously considered by the Selection Committee if the season ended now. So that's good enough to be listed as a bubble team.

I can't say the same for UMass or Louisiana Tech. Those two teams dropped off the bubble because of their losses tonight. Colorado, with their big win, pulled themselves off the bubble in the good direction. Butler also firmed up their place in the NCAA Tournament.

Right now, I see 10 bubble teams fighting for 7 spots. Though remember, some of those spots are going to shrivel up and go away. Every year we see automatic bids stolen during Championship Week. Every team I have listed on the bubble still has serious work left to do.

Tomorrow will be a slow day for the bubble. The only real action is at Arch Madness, where Creighton and Wichita State will play their quarterfinal games. I don't think either team can afford to go one-and-done in the Missouri Valley tournament. Creighton will become a safe Tournament team by winning. Wichita State will probably need one more win, but they'll be in good shape by avoiding a bad loss to Missouri State tomorrow.

Here we go. The bubble watch as we head into March 8th:

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 (9):
NC State, Butler, St. Louis, VCU, Notre Dame, Memphis, Colorado State, San Diego State, Missouri

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

The Bubble (10 teams for 7 bids):
Virginia, La Salle, Temple, Iowa, Boise State, California, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee, St. Mary's

Best of the rest (8):
Maryland, UMass, Baylor, Southern Miss, Arizona State, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana Tech

Long shots (13):
Charlotte, St. Joseph's, Xavier, Florida State, Providence, St. John's, Akron, Air Force, Stanford, Washington, LSU, Middle Tennessee, BYU

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