Tournament Picture

The post below this one contains my new bracket.  But the Tournament Picture is rapidly changing, as well.

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 (3) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia

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:

A-10 (1) – Dayton

AAC (1) – SMU

ACC (2) – Virginia Tech, Miami

Big XII (2) – Oklahoma State, Iowa State

Big East (1) – Xavier

Big Ten (1) – Northwestern

Pac-12 (1) – USC

SEC (2) – South Carolina, Arkansas

WCC (1) – Saint Mary’s

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (2) – VCU (they will lock if they win their final three regular season games, but will move up a category even if they win just two), Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they have; winning their last three regular season games looks like a must just to be in the picture)

ACC (5) – Clemson (the last three regular season games are at home, and the Tigers likely need all three), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers), Pitt (needs at least two of their last three regular season games to have a chance; all are very difficult games), Georgia Tech (losing to NC State at home changed their whole outlook; still alive if they can win at least two of the last three with one preferably being at Notre Dame), Syracuse (the importance of the Duke win cannot be overstated; winning one of the last two is a must)

Big XII (3) – Kansas State (the Cats are falling quickly; winning the last three regular season games looks necessary to have a chance), 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 (they need at least two of their last three, but probably all three)

Big East (3) – Seton Hall (they will go dancing if they win their last three; two of three should put them on the right side of the bubble entering the conference tournaments), Marquette (they’ll dance if they win their last three, they’ll probably dance if they win two, they’re right in the hunt with one, and it’s unlikely if they can’t get one of their last three), Providence (they have an easy closing stretch; they probably can’t drop more than one of their last three, and even that is pushing it)

Big Ten (6) – Michigan (they have a difficult closing stretch; two of three should do it), Indiana (has a difficult last three games, meaning the opportunity is there if they can win all three), Illinois (has a decent profile, but they need at least two of their last three), Michigan State (will likely go dancing if they win three of four and are still in decent shape if they take just two), Penn State (is going to need their last three to have a chance), Ohio State (keep an eye on them if they can win their remaining regular season games; not dead yet)

Pac-12 (1) – California (must win their last three to have a chance; that Dillon Brooks three is unfairly damaging to their profile)

SEC (5) – Vanderbilt (is almost .500 overall, but two of the last three might be enough), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile that needs at least three more regular season wins added to it), Ole Miss (probably won’t have much of a chance unless they win their last three), Tennessee (will likely move back to the right side of the bubble if they win their last three), Alabama (has some resume-building games ahead, but might need all four to get a strong look)

Others (5) – Middle Tennessee (will get a serious look if they need it; they should be UNC-Wilmington and Vandy’s biggest fans), 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; their best hope is the rest of the bubble failing miserably), Nevada (will find it extremely hard to overcome the sweep by Fresno St, but they’ll get a look if they win out until the MWC final), UT-Arlington (it’s a longshot, but if the committee loves Saint Mary’s, then a road win over the Gaels might do it)

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