Tournament Picture

A lot of teams are “moving up” a category as the regular season is nearly done, meaning there are less chances to take on costly losses.

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

ACC (6) – Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Duke

Big XII (4) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State

Big East (3) – Villanova, Butler, Creighton

Big Ten (4) – Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota

SEC (2) – Kentucky, Florida

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

Others (1) – Gonzaga

These teams should make the tournament, but aren’t locks:

AAC (1) – SMU

ACC (2) – Virginia Tech, Miami

Big XII (1) – Oklahoma State

Big East (1) – Xavier

Big Ten (1) – Northwestern

Pac-12 (1) – USC

SEC (1) – South Carolina

WCC (1) – Saint Mary’s

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (3) – VCU (the profile is more bare than you would think, but some close wins will likely get them in), Dayton (not in bad shape with plenty of top 100 wins, but the lack of top 50 wins keep the Flyers from feeling comfortable), Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they have; the loss to Fordham puts them on their last legs)

ACC (4) – Clemson (lots of solid wins over other bubble contenders, and the win over Wake Forest gets them back towards the cut line), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers), Pitt (is on the radar because of a strong start to the year, and the win over Florida State has them right back in the chase), Georgia Tech (the OOC portion of the schedule was bad, but the Jackets have great wins over Florida State and North Carolina to get them squarely in the mix)

Big XII (3) – Kansas State (near the cut line because of a very weak non-conference slate, but the wins over West Virginia and at Oklahoma State and Baylor really help), Texas Tech (despite wins over Baylor and West Virginia, the Red Raiders are nearly done; they will fall off the page if they don’t win their last three regular season games), TCU (lacks marquee wins, and suffered a really damaging home loss to Oklahoma State that they desperately needed)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (really benefits from the win over Creighton because they were lacking high quality victories, but still not much that sticks out), Marquette (may regret playing so many RPI 200+ teams, but still right on the bubble), Providence (may be able to overcome some bad losses with a strong finish, but it’s not looking great)

Big Ten (6) – Michigan (has a middling profile that should put them near the cut line, but likely just on the right side of the bubble), Indiana (is just about done, barring an epic run), Illinois (has a decent profile, but may be done in by the home loss to Winthrop and too many losses to other bubble teams, Nebraska (has pretty much ruined an excellent non-conference schedule and a good start to conference play; hanging by a thread), Michigan State (has decent computer numbers that makes a so-so team likely to make the tournament), Penn State (is unlikely to overcome a couple bad OOC losses, but they have done enough to stay on the page for now)

Pac-12 (2) – Utah (is only on here because winning out until the PAC-12 final might be enough), California (has a nice win at USC and a solid profile overall)

SEC (6) – Vanderbilt (is almost .500 overall, but is under consideration because of a great OOC schedule and a win at Florida), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile that likely won’t get it done, which includes a blowout home loss to Alabama), Arkansas (a couple bad losses, but they also have a handful of good wins and their numbers are solid), Ole Miss (has a great non-league slate but no great wins to get them in serious consideration), Tennessee (the Vols find themselves close to the cut line), Alabama (is only on here because of the win at South Carolina)

Others (6) – UNC-Wilmington (is probably done already), Middle Tennessee (has some good wins, but still probably needs the auto bid), Illinois State (they have a few bad losses and only Wichita State as a top 50 win, so it likely won’t happen), Wichita State (has excellent efficiency numbers, but didn’t do anything notable in the OOC except lose to competitive teams), Nevada (will find it extremely hard to overcome the sweep by Fresno St), UT-Arlington (it’s a longshot, but if the committee loves Saint Mary’s, then a road win over the Gaels might do it; but this is a REAL longshot)

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