Bubble / Tournament Picture

A lot of teams are creeping towards lock status. Keep in mind, how many wins a team needs to become a lock isn’t just based on their current resume, but the potential bad losses and good wins that remain on their future schedule. So a team like Houston might need to win more games than Creighton to lock a bid since Creighton has a much more difficult remaining schedule. With that in mind, the bubble has now trimmed itself and we have four distinct categories of teams: Tourney Bound, Looking Solid, Truly Bubbly, and Longshots.

Let’s break down each category.

TOURNEY BOUND – These 18 teams, including some new additions, are going to the NCAA Tournament:

Villanova, UNC, Kansas, Virginia, Xavier, Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Wichita State, Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan, Arizona, Duke, Ohio State, and Purdue

LOOKING SOLID – These 16 teams are likely to be in the field and will cement a spot with the following number of regular season wins:

Alabama – 1
Arkansas – 1
Butler – 1
Clemson – 1
Gonzaga – 1
Missouri – 1
Florida State – 1
Seton Hall – 1
TCU – 1
Texas A&M – 1
Rhode Island – 1
Miami – 2
Oklahoma – 2
Arizona State – 2
Houston – 2
Virginia Tech – 2

TRULY BUBBLY – These teams represent the “true bubble.” Some will play themselves in comfortably, some will play themselves out, and some will stay on the bubble all the way through the Selection Show:

Providence, Creighton, Texas, USC, Nevada, St Mary’s, Syracuse, Marquette, Washington, Kansas State, UCLA, Georgia, Middle Tennessee, NC State, Louisville, Florida, Utah, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Temple, St Bonaventure, Baylor, and LSU

LONGSHOTS – These teams aren’t totally out of it, but their bubble is on the verge of being popped:

South Carolina, UCF, Notre Dame, Penn State, Western Kentucky, Loyola-Chicago, and Oklahoma State

If you were keeping count, 34 teams from 8 conferences are Tourney Bound or Looking Solid. That means there are only ten bids available for teams that are Truly Bubbly or Longshots.

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