Tournament / Bubble 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 Rhode Island might need to win more games than Seton Hall to lock a bid since Seton Hall has a much more difficult remaining schedule. With that in mind, the bubble has now trimmed itself and we have five distinct categories of teams: Tourney Bound, Looking Solid, Truly Bubbly, and Longshots.

Let’s break down each category.

TOURNEY BOUND – These 14 teams are going to the NCAA Tournament:

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

LOOKING SOLID – These 21 teams are likely to be in the field and will cement a spot with the following number of regular season wins:

Michigan – 1

Alabama – 1
Arkansas – 1
West Virginia – 1
Arizona – 1
Clemson – 1
Missouri – 1

Texas A&M – 1
Kentucky – 1
Creighton – 2
Butler – 2

Seton Hall – 2
Florida State – 2
TCU – 2
Oklahoma – 2

Providence – 3
Arizona St – 3
Gonzaga – 3
Miami – 3
Houston – 3
Rhode Island – 3

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:

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

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

South Carolina, Buffalo, Colorado, Loyola-Chicago, Western Kentucky, Boise State, Oklahoma State, and Indiana

If you were keeping count, 35 teams from 8 conferences are Tourney Bound or Looking Solid. That means there are only nine bids available for teams that are Truly Bubbly or Longshots.

Sunday Bracket

The Depth of the Big XII:

Kansas completed another big comeback against West Virginia, Texas picked up a huge road win at Oklahoma, Kansas State beat Iowa State, Baylor beat league leader Texas Tech, and TCU defeated Oklahoma State at home. All told, it was a great day for Big XII bubble teams (giving the conference eight tournament teams), and also gives the league a new number one seed – Kansas.

The Five Teams Just Out of the Field:

LSU has a whopping seven Quadrant 1 wins, but a poor RPI and 11 losses.  Washington has four Quadrant 1 wins, including at Kansas, but they have really bad predictive-based metrics for a tournament contender (averaging about 110th in the country).  Marquette has three road wins against RPI top 40 foes, but their 15-11 record leaves a bit to be desired.  Utah has a decent collection of wins and  a solid record, but they were destroyed by UNLV early in the season and that could be a differentiator.  And Georgia has a great collection of wins, but still has three bad losses to keep them just out of the field.

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Southern / FGCU

8 Providence
9 Michigan

5 West Virginia
12 Middle Tennessee

4 Tennessee
13 Louisiana

6 Rhode Island
11 Syracuse

3 Texas Tech
14 Murray St

7 Arizona State
10 Florida

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

WEST

1 Kansas
16 Savannah St / Nicholls St

8 Creighton
9 Miami

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Missouri
11 NC State / Texas

3 Michigan St
14 Wright St

7 Seton Hall
10 St Bonaventure

2 UNC
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 UNCA

8 Florida State
9 Nevada

5 Alabama
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Arkansas
11 Baylor / UCLA

3 Cincinnati
14 Rider

7 Oklahoma
10 Butler

2 Duke
15 UCSB

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Penn

8 TCU
9 Virginia Tech

5 Kentucky
12 Buffalo

4 Wichita State
13 ETSU

6 Gonzaga
11 Kansas St

3 Clemson
14 Charleston

7 Houston
10 St Mary’s

2 Auburn
15 Wagner

Saturday Morning Bracket

The only impact on the bracket was Saint Bonaventure getting closer to a bid by beating Rhode Island, moving them out of the First Four and dropping Rhode Island to a six (Wichita State moved up).

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Penn / Ark Pine Bluff

8 Arkansas
9 Michigan

5 Oklahoma
12 Middle Tennessee

4 Tennessee
13 Charleston

6 Rhode Island
11 Louisville / Washington

3 Michigan State
14 Murray St

7 Arizona State
10 Kansas State

2 Cincinnati
15 Northern KY

WEST

1 Auburn
16 FGCU

8 Seton Hall
9 Nevada

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Kentucky
11 St Bonaventure

3 N Carolina
14 ETSU

7 Providence
10 Virginia Tech

2 Kansas
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Wagner

8 Florida State
9 Houston

5 Missouri
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Alabama
11 NC State / UCLA

3 Texas Tech
14 UCSB

7 Creighton
10 St Mary’s

2 Duke
15 UNC Asheville

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Nicholls St / NC A&T

8 TCU
9 Florida

5 Wichita State
12 Buffalo

4 West Virginia
13 Louisiana

6 Gonzaga
11 Texas

3 Clemson
14 Rider

7 Miami
10 Butler

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

Tournament / Bubble 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 Cincinnati might need to win more games than Providence to lock a bid since Providence 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 9 teams are going to the NCAA Tournament:

Villanova, UNC, Kansas, Virginia, Xavier, Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Purdue

LOOKING SOLID – These 26 teams are likely to be in the field and will cement a spot with the following number of regular season wins:

Duke – 1
Ohio St – 1
Tennessee – 1
West Virginia – 1
Alabama – 2
Arizona – 2
Arkansas – 2
Cincinnati – 2
Clemson – 2
Creighton – 2
Missouri – 2
Providence – 2
Wichita State – 2
Arizona State – 3
Butler – 3
Florida – 3
Florida State – 3
Kentucky – 3
Miami – 3
Oklahoma – 3
Seton Hall – 3
Texas A&M – 3
Gonzaga – 4
TCU – 4
Rhode Island – 4
Houston – 5

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:

Louisville, Texas, USC, Nevada, Michigan, St Mary’s, Syracuse, Marquette, Washington, Kansas State, UCLA, Colorado, Middle Tennessee, Notre Dame, NC State, Virginia Tech, Utah, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Temple, St Bonaventure, Penn State, Baylor, and LSU

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

South Carolina, Buffalo, Georgia, Oregon, Maryland, Wyoming, Loyola-Chicago, UCF, Boston College, BYU, Iowa State, Stanford, Western Kentucky, Boise State, New Mexico State, SMU, Oklahoma State, and Indiana

If you were keeping count, 35 teams from 8 conferences are Tourney Bound or Looking Solid. That means there are only nine bids available for teams that are Truly Bubbly or Longshots.

Friday Bracket

Auburn vs Purdue for the one line:

All indications from the selection committee on Sunday were that the four one seeds, including overall four Purdue, were “solid.” But things can change quickly, and Auburn adding a win over Kentucky gave the Tigers a very strong argument for the one line, as they were able to best Purdue in strength of schedule, number of losses, and Quadrant 1 wins, while matching the Boilermakers’ 11 total Quadrant 1 and 2 wins. But last night’s loss by Purdue to Wisconsin seals it. The Boilermakers drop from the one line and Auburn moves up.

A Strong Bubble:

It seems every year now, the media starts talking about how weak the bubble is. This year, the cutline looks like a monster. Look at some of the teams hovering on the bubble: Virginia Tech (four Quadrant 1 wins, including at Virginia), NC State (five Quadrant 1 wins, including at UNC), Kansas State (four Quadrant wins and four Quadrant 2 wins), Texas (five Quadrant 1 wins), Washington (five Quadrant 1 wins), and LSU (five Quadrant 1 wins). A plethora of quality wins are there for bubble teams and that usually isn’t the case. We are likely going to see at least three teams with 5 or more Quadrant 1 wins get their bubble popped on Selection Sunday, and it is rare to see teams with those kind of quality wins headed to the NIT.

West Virginia replaces Oklahoma on the four line:

Losing at Texas Tech isn’t a bad loss for Oklahoma, but they were already the worst-rated four seed by the committee on Sunday. Meanwhile, West Virginia is now at six Quadrant 1 wins, rather than the five they had on Sunday. With a season sweep of Oklahoma, the Mountaineers replace their Big XII brethren as the sixteenth overall seed in the bracket.

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Penn / Ark Pine Bluff

8 Arkansas
9 Michigan

5 Oklahoma
12 Middle Tennessee

4 Tennessee
13 Charleston

6 Wichita St
11 Louisville/ St Bonaventure

3 Michigan State
14 Murray St

7 Arizona State
10 Kansas State

2 Cincinnati
15 Northern KY

WEST

1 Auburn
16 FGCU

8 Seton Hall
9 Nevada

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Kentucky
11 Washington

3 N Carolina
14 ETSU

7 Providence
10 Virginia Tech

2 Kansas
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Wagner

8 Florida State
9 Houston

5 Missouri
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Alabama
11 NC State / UCLA

3 Texas Tech
14 UCSB

7 Creighton
10 St Mary’s

2 Duke
15 UNC Asheville

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Nicholls St / NC A&T

8 TCU
9 Florida

5 Rhode Island
12 Buffalo

4 West Virginia
13 Louisiana

6 Gonzaga
11 Texas

3 Clemson
14 Rider

7 Miami
10 Butler

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell

Monday Bracket

Welcome, Bonnies!

Saint Bonaventure is new to the bracket this week, thanks to three straight weeks of unbeaten basketball and some upheaval around the cutline.  While their spot in the bracket is tenuous, they do have three Group 1 wins, eight wins away from home, and the 50th-best out of conference strength of schedule.  For now, it’s just enough to get a First Four bid.

The First Four OUT of the Field:

LSU, NC State, USC, and Temple are just out of the bracket. LSU and NC State have great wins, but poor results-based metrics.  Temple has great wins, but way too many losses for a team in the AAC.  And USC’s profile doesn’t have great metrics or quality wins, which makes it just bland enough to leave them out.

Here is the new bracket following Sunday’s action / Bracket Preview:

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Penn / Ark Pine Bluff

8 Florida
9 Providence

5 West Virginia
12 Mid Tenn

4 Tennessee
13 Charleston

6 Wichita St
11 Louisville

3 Michigan State
14 Murray St

7 Alabama
10 Texas

2 Cincinnati
15 Northern KY

WEST

1 Purdue
16 FGCU

8 Butler
9 Virginia Tech

5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico St

4 Arizona
13 S Dakota St

6 Arizona St
11 Arkansas

3 N Carolina
14 ETSU

7 Seton Hall
10 Houston

2 Kansas
15 Montana

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Wagner

8 Florida State
9 Michigan

5 Kentucky
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Ohio State
13 Vermont

6 Miami
11 St Bonaventure / UCLA

3 Texas Tech
14 UCSB

7 Missouri
10 Washington

2 Duke
15 UNC Asheville

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 Nicholls St / NC A&T

8 TCU
9 St Mary’s

5 Rhode Island
12 Buffalo

4 Oklahoma
13 Louisiana

6 Gonzaga
11 Syracuse / Kansas St

3 Clemson
14 Rider

7 Creighton
10 Nevada

2 Auburn
15 Bucknell

Tournament / Bubble Picture

We are now officially four weeks from Selection Sunday. 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 8 teams are going to the NCAA Tournament:

Villanova, UNC, Kansas, Virginia, Xavier, Auburn, Michigan State, and Purdue

LOOKING SOLID – These 23 teams are likely to be in the field and will cement a spot with the following number of regular season wins:

Ohio St – 1
Texas Tech – 1
Clemson – 2
Creighton – 2
Duke – 2
Tennessee – 2
West Virginia – 2
Alabama – 3
Arizona State – 3
Arkansas – 3
Butler – 3
Cincinnati – 3
Florida – 3
Kentucky – 3
Miami – 3
Missouri – 3
Oklahoma – 3
Providence – 3
Seton Hall – 3
Texas A&M – 3
Wichita State – 3
Florida State – 4
TCU – 4
Rhode Island – 5

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:

Louisville, Texas, USC, Nevada, Michigan, St Mary’s, Syracuse, Boise St, New Mexico State, Western Kentucky, Marquette, Houston, Washington, SMU, Kansas State, Gonzaga, UCLA, Colorado, Middle Tennessee, Notre Dame, NC State, Virginia Tech, Utah, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Temple, St Bonaventure, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and LSU

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

South Carolina, Buffalo, Georgia, Oregon, Maryland, Wyoming, Loyola-Chicago, UCF, Boston College, BYU, Ole Miss, Tulane, Iowa State, Stanford, Memphis, and Indiana

If you were keeping count, 31 teams from 7 conferences are Tourney Bound, Looking Solid, or in Good Shape. That means there are only thirteen bids available for teams that are Truly Bubbly or Longshots.

Bracket Preview Reaction

The Last One Seed:

As mentioned on this site, there were three locks for one seeds (Virginia, Villanova, and Xavier), and one wildcard West one seed. That ended up going to Purdue. While it’s understandable to see why they are there, it’s a bit surprising they could lose to both Ohio State and Michigan State and still get a one seed. This isn’t a bad selection from the committee, as that last one seed was completely up for grabs.

Duke as a Two:

What?! What has Duke done to get a two seed over Texas Tech? They have more losses than them and three less G2 wins. Texas Tech also has the best win – at Kansas. This selection shows how important out of conference scheduling is. That seems to be the only reason Duke is on the two line.

New Podcast:

Check out the Bracket Talk link on the right side of the site or search BracketWAG on Apple Podcasts for a live Bracket reaction pod.

Sunday’s Bracket – Bracket Preview Edition

Wake up! It’s Bracket Preview Sunday!

Whew… what a Saturday of college hoops! We had tons of upsets that impacted the top of the bracket. But after some time to take it all in, we have three one seeds who will definitely be on the top line today (Villanova, Virginia, and Xavier), as well as one wildcard one seed in the West.

Here are my projections for how the four regions will shake out today:

EAST – 1 Villanova 2 Kansas 3 Clemson 4 Ohio St


WEST – 1 Texas Tech 2 Purdue 3 Duke 4 Texas A&M


SOUTH – 1 Virginia 2 Auburn 3 Cincinnati 4 Oklahoma


MIDWEST – 1 Xavier 2 Michigan State 3 UNC 4 Tennessee

The final one seed spot was not decided until after Texas Tech’s visit to Manhattan to play Kansas State. But I know pretty much everyone expects Michigan State to get a one, but I think Texas Tech is as good of a team as them, and they have a better resume. I’m calling for an upset – Texas Tech over Michigan State for the one line.

What’s odd is teams as far down as the four line actually have a reasonable argument for the one line, as Ohio State is the outright Big Ten leader with wins over both Purdue and Michigan State. Basically, I won’t be shocked if any team on the two line is determined to be the one seed in the West.

Here is the full bracket:

EAST

1 Villanova
16 UNC-Asheville

8 Florida
9 Virginia Tech

5 West Virginia
12 MTSU

4 Ohio St
13 S Dakota St

6 Arizona St
11 Kansas St

3 Clemson
14 Louisiana

7 Missouri
10 Butler

2 Kansas
15 UCSB

WEST

1 Texas Tech
16 NC A&T / Penn

8 Seton Hall
9 Washington

5 Arizona
12 New Mexico St

4 Texas A&M
13 Vermont

6 Alabama
11 Syracuse / UCLA

3 Duke
14 Montana

7 Creighton
10 Texas

2 Purdue
15 Rider

SOUTH

1 Virginia
16 Ark Pine Bluff / Nicholls St

8 TCU
9 Providence

5 Kentucky
12 Buffalo

4 Oklahoma
13 Belmont

6 Miami
11 Michigan

3 Cincinnati
14 Charleston

7 Florida St
10 Nevada

2 Auburn
15 Wagner

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 FGCU

8 St Mary’s
9 Houston

5 Rhode Island
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Tennessee
13 ETSU

6 Wichita State
11 Louisville / USC

3 North Carolina
14 Wright St

7 Gonzaga
10 Arkansas

2 Michigan State
15 Bucknell

Friday Bracket

 

The ACC and the First Four:

Currently, the last four teams in the bracket are all from the ACC: Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, and NC State.  Obviously, there is no more interesting conference as far as bubble teams goes.

EAST

1 Virginia
16 Penn / Nicholls St

8 Texas
9 Washington

5 Kentucky
12 Loyola-Chicago

4 Michigan State
13 S Dakota St

6 Seton Hall
11 Virginia Tech / Louisville

3 Cincinnati
14 Murray St

7 Wichita St
10 Arkansas

2 Texas Tech
15 UCSB

WEST

1 Kansas
16 Ark Pine Bluff / Nicholls St

8 Alabama
9 Butler

5 Arizona
12 MTSU

4 Ohio State
13 ETSU

6 St Mary’s
11 Houston

3 Duke
14 Louisiana

7 Florida St
10 Kansas St

2 Auburn
15 Rider

SOUTH

1 Villanova
16 NC A&T / Penn

8 Gonzaga
9 TCU

5 Miami
12 Buffalo

4 Oklahoma
13 Charleston

6 Creighton
11 NC State / Syracuse

3 Tennessee
14 Wright St

7 Providence
10 Michigan

2 Clemson
15 Wagner

MIDWEST

1 Xavier
16 UNCA

8 Arizona St
9 Florida

5 Rhode Island
12 New Mexico St

4 West Virginia
13 Vermont

6 Texas A&M
11 UCLA

3 UNC
14 Montana

7 Missouri
10 Nevada

2 Purdue
15 Bucknell