Post-Thursday Games Tournament Picture

See the post below this one for Thursday’s bracket.

As for the bubble, there wasn’t much Thursday action. But Iowa’s win at Wisconsin was huge. It moves Iowa close to the field and sends Wisconsin closer to the dreaded 8-9 game.

These teams are locks to play in the NCAA tournament:

A-10 (1) – Dayton

AAC (1) – Cincinnati

ACC (8) – Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Duke, Miami, Virginia Tech

Big XII (5) – Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma State

Big East (3) – Villanova, Butler, Creighton

Big Ten (5) – Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan State

SEC (3) – Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina

Pac-12 (3) – UCLA, Oregon, Arizona

WCC (2) – Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

These teams should make the tournament, but aren’t locks until they win one (or in some cases two) more:

A-10 (1) – VCU

AAC (1) – SMU

Big East (2) – Xavier, Marquette

Big Ten (2) – Michigan, Northwestern

SEC (1) – Arkansas

These teams are on the bubble:

A-10 (1) – Rhode Island (a neutral court win over Cincinnati is about all they had until beating VCU; winning their last two regular season games looks like a must just to be in the picture)

ACC (4) – Clemson (they’ll need their last regular season game and  a run in the ACC Tournament), Wake Forest (they are lacking in quality wins, but greatly benefit from exceptional computer numbers; a win over Virginia Tech on the road would likely do it), Georgia Tech (losing to NC State at home changed their whole outlook; still alive if they can win their last regular season game, but it’s not looking good), Syracuse (the importance of the Duke win cannot be overstated; still need at least one more win to have a good argument)

Big XII (1) – Kansas State (the Cats salvaged their hopes with a win at TCU; winning the last regular season game and making a tournament run look necessary to have a chance)

Big East (2) – Seton Hall (they should go dancing if they win their last regular season game, but they still would not be a lock), Providence (they got DePaul out of the way; winning over Saint John’s will move them up a category to should be in status)

Big Ten (3) – Illinois (beat Michigan State to stay hot; they’ll likely dance with one more win), Ohio State (keep an eye on them if they can win their remaining regular season game over Indiana; not dead yet), Iowa (despite a high RPI, the Hawkeyes merit a serious look after winning at Wisconsin; still need to beat Penn State this weekend)

Pac-12 (2) – California (is hanging on by a thread; only a run to at least the PAC-12 semis will give them a shot now), USC (the Trojans drop from the land of the “should be in;” must win their last game before the PAC-12 tournament)

SEC (2) – Vanderbilt (may really regret losing at Kentucky, because that win would’ve been so strong that would be close to locking in; winning over Florida at home still might be enough to earn a bid), Georgia (has an unremarkable profile that needs at least two, but likely more, wins added to it; surviving LSU and Auburn at home were musts)

Others (5) – Middle Tennessee (will get a serious look if they need it; they should be UNC-Wilmington, Belmont, 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 even if they lose to Wichita in the Valley final), 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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