Bubble Picture

SHOULD BE IN

Butler – Despite the loss to Providence, they should be dancing. But it isn’t a 100 percent thing, so I won’t lock them.

Pitt – Beating Syracuse for the third time should do it, but only two top 50 wins keeps the Panthers from locking a bid.

Cincinnati – Losing the way they did to UConn shouldn’t do much damage. They’re looking at a ten seed at best, but they’ll likely get in (even if it is the First Four).

UConn – They had to beat Cincinnati, and they got it done in one of the games of the year. They then beat Temple to probably seal a bid. They wI’ll get in, but the only reason I’m not locking them is the highly unlikely event of a blowout loss to Memphis and a surprisingly tough judgment from the committee.

TRUE BUBBLE

Vanderbilt – The Commodores are in serious trouble. All they needed was a win over Tennessee to make the field. Instead, they are squarely on the bubble. This could go either way, but I have them just barely in right now.

South Carolina – With only one win against the RPI top 40, a horrid non-SEC schedule, three bad losses, and three losses to Georgia,  South Carolina is in serious trouble.  Never underestimate the committee’s desire to punish bad non-conference schedules.

St Bonaventure – Losing in the A-10 quarters will likely prevent a bid,  but they will have a chance. A lot of other bubble competitors her themselves, too.

Little Rock – Make the conference tournament finals and it might happen. Lose before that and I can’t see it.

St Mary’s – They lost to Gonzaga and they will be right on the cut line. That’s what happens when you play eighteen home games out of the WCC. Schedule tougher, St. Mary’s. You’ve known this for years. And it’s looking like they’ll just miss.

Wichita State – Losing before the MVC final really hurts. The resume simply doesn’t stack up. Their fate will be determined by how other bubble teams perform this week. They enter Friday as my first team to miss the field, but would at least temporarily make it if Florida loses to Texas A&M.

Syracuse – They would’ve been in with a win over Pitt, but they lost by one. They will be right on the edge of the bubble. This one could go either way. I am keeping them in for now because of four good wins holding more weight than three bad losses. But they have a lot of losses for a SOS that isn’t great.

Florida – The Gators were in my First Four before falling to Texas A&M. That romp over West Virginia isn’t likely enough to get it done.

Temple – They have a chance to lose on Saturday and still make it. It may take beating UConn. Win that, and they’ll be in.

Michigan – Beating Indiana was needed to be in the competition, but they still find themselves squarely on the bubble after losing to Purdue.

Monmouth – Those wins over Notre Dame, UCLA, USC, and Georgetown are looking worse, but the ambitious scheduling and non-conference performance help. Losing to Iona leaves them cheering against bubble teams. But despite many talking heads saying they will be in the tournament, I simply don’t see it. They are really leaning hard on wins over Notre Dame and USC, which are good but not great wins. And they have three horrible losses on the resume that aren’t going away (Canisius, Army and Manhattan). It’s close.

LONGSHOTS

Georgia Tech – The Jackets were on a roll until UVA cooled them off. They have three top 50 wins and a strong SOS. They are likely out, but they could be this year’s UCLA, shocking the world with a bid.

Valparaiso – The Crusaders couldn’t take a loss to Green Bay in the semis and expect to have a strong chance. They will certainly merit a lot of consideration, but a road win at Oregon State is the only really strong selling point. That’s just not quite enough.

San Diego State – Making the Mountain West final before losing to Fresno State likely won’t work but… maybe? They do have a fourteen-point win over Cal on a neutral court.

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