Saturday, March 14, 2015

Bubble Watch Heading Into March 14th

Texas Southern locked up the SWAC's auto-bid yesterday, because their opponent in the SWAC title game (Southern) is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament.

In addition, three other teams clinched at least at-large bids: Michigan State, VCU and Xavier.

In all that gets us to 39 locks. Throw in the auto-bids and the teams that are safe and that brings up to 54 spots realistically taken. This is why the potential auto-bid stealers in the AAC, Mountain West and elsewhere are crucial. They will really put pressure on a bubble that I currently have as 9 teams fighting for 6 spots.

Here is how the bubble stands as we head into Saturday, March 14th:

Tournament locks (39 teams): 
SMU, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia, North Florida, VCU, Butler, Georgetown, Providence, Villanova, Xavier, Coastal Carolina, Maryland, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Northeastern, Valparaiso, Manhattan, Northern Iowa, Wichita State, San Diego State,  Robert Morris, Belmont, Arizona, Utah, Lafayette, Arkansas, Kentucky, Wofford, Texas Southern, North Dakota State, Gonzaga

Automatic bids yet to be awarded (19, of which 10 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, Ivy, MAC, MEAC, MWC, Pac-12, SEC, Southland, Sun Belt, WAC

Teams that look safe (5):
Cincinnati, Davidson, St. John's, Iowa, Colorado State

Teams definitely in the Tournament... for now (8):
NC State, Dayton, Temple, Ohio State, Purdue, Oregon, Georgia, LSU

The Bubble (9 teams for 6 bids):
Tulsa, Miami, Indiana, Oklahoma State, Texas, Boise State, UCLA, Mississippi, BYU

Best of the rest (6):
Rhode Island, Richmond, Illinois, Old Dominion, Stanford, Texas A&M

Long shots (8):
Connecticut, Louisiana Tech, Green Bay, Iona, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Murray State, Stephen F. Austin

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