Monday, March 7, 2016

Bubble Watch- 1 Day Until Selection Sunday

1 Day Until Selection Sunday

Gonzaga has moved to the safe zone after capturing the WCC auto bid. 
Oregon State is safe after defeating Arizona State. 
Providence beat Butler and does not have to worry about being left out of the dance.
St. Joseph's defeated Dayton to move to the A-10 Finals, which moves them to the safe haven.

- Current Projection: #8 Seed
The Badgers fell at Purdue on Sunday, but overall seem like they should be fine  However, with 5 bad losses, they need to avoid bad losses. Avoiding a bad loss in Big Ten tourney would likely seal it. Of course, they would lose to Nebraska giving them a 6th loss vs 100+ opponents. The Badgers will likely get in, but if they are left out, it is clear they did not choose to accept an at-large team with this many bad losses. Good thing for Wisconsin they have 5 Top 50 wins to lean back on, which should put them in.

- Current Projection: #9 Seed
 The Bulldogs have been barely hanging on for weeks now and remain as they defeated Creighton to avoid falling down.  They have the sweep of Seton Hall to go with their win over Purdue and  a few bubble teams. Butler has a little more room to breathe now. They lost the autolock game vs Providence that would have sealed it for them. The Bulldogs likely will get in, but it will be a long couple days.

- Current Projection:  #9 Seed 
The Bearcats picked up their best win of the season over SMU after falling to Houston. Cincy is very much on the bubble and could swing either way. Up next is a date in the quarterfinals with fellow bubbler UConn. Win this one, and they will at least be ahead of UConn in pecking order. They fell in a 4OT classic after it seemed victory and safety was present. Now, they will have to wait. Odds are looking pretty good for them.

- Current Projection: #9 Seed 
The Huskies were dismantled at SMU and bounced back beating the not so mighty golden knights. They beat Cincy in a must win game in the quarters by the ultimate prayer. A loss would have done them in. They are not safe yet. Bubble dweller Temple is up next.

- Current Projection: #10 Seed 
 VCU does not have too many good wins with only 2 Top 50 wins and were oh so close to huge road win at Dayton that would have greatly increased their chances and gave them the regular season crowd. There is work to do in the A-10 tourney.  Reaching the finals is probably the minimum at this point. Their semifinal game vs. Davidson is huge for the Rams.

- Current Projection: #10 Seed
The Panthers followed their domination of Duke with losses at Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. They rebounded again by seating Syracuse for a third time. This win helped a little as they should be ahead of Syracuse in pecking order. They played UNC tough for a while then eventually fell it, so they wait and see. Overall, it looks pretty good, but they still have a 2-7 record vs Top 50. A trip to Dayton could around the corner. How much would the Panthers like to reschedule the Gonzaga game now?

St. Bonaventure
- Current Projection: #10 Seed 
 The Bonnies completed their season sweep of St. Joe's giving them another Top 50 win and won at St. Louis. St. Bona is still a bubble team, but their odds are getting better. They were the 3 seed in the A-10 tourney and lost a heartbreaker to Davidson. 1 more win would have been enough. Now, it is in the committee's hand. If they miss, their lack of good wins in their non-conference play will be the reason.

Wichita State
- Current Projection: #10 Seed (Last 4 In)

 The Shockers do not have a great at-large profile. Some think they are a lock, but once you dissect their resume that features their  worst loss when they had their entire team. Only win good win, which was a big one against Utah, added with a few other Top 100 wins(at Northern Iowa and a sweep of Evansville) does not sound too good. After losing in semifinals to Northern Iowa, it will be a long week for the Shockers. 

St. Mary's
- Current Projection: #10 Seed (Last 4 In)

The Gaels do not have a great at-large profile either with their best wins being a sweep of Gonzaga. They reached the WCC title game and lost to Gonzaga. They are right on the cut line, but with a poor strength of schedule especially their non-conference where they did not leave the state of California, this 27 win team could be left out. It is going to be a long 4 days.

- Current Projection: #11 Seed- American Auto Bid
 The Owls beat Memphis and won at Tulane to win the American regular season crown. However, this team needs more good wins. They are only 8-9 vs Top 200, which was why they were left out last season. A trip to the American finals is a must to have a great chance to dance this March.

- Current Projection: #11 Seed(Last 4 In)
A loss at Florida State is not too damaging, but their overall resume is starting to depreciate and continued after losing to Pitt for a 3rd time. They currently have the worst RPI of all at-large teams on our projected bracket. This will be a nerve wracking few days for Orange fans as their fate could go either way. They had a great case behind their slide during the games with Boeheim until they lost 5 of their last 6 with him.


- Current Projection: #11 Seed (Last 4 In)

The Hawks finished 1st in the MAAC and lost in the MAAC tourney finals. The entertaining Hawks had some great road wins out of conference, but the Georgetown and UCLA ones have really depreciated. With three bad losses, it is going to be very close. 

South Carolina
- Current Projection: 1st 4 Out
The Gamecocks lost at home to Georgia and then seemed to be drifting out. But  bounced back at Arkansas preventing another bad loss. A resume with a bad non-conference SOS, lack of good wins, and bad losses is starting to possibly offset their low amount of losses. They lost to UGA for a third time. It's going to be a long night.

- Current Projection: 1st 4 Out

The Wolverines picked up a huge win over Indiana. They have 4 Top 50 wins, but  only 4 Top 100 wins. Their 4-12 mark against the Top 100 is bad. However, no bad losses is good and only one is outside the Top 50. They really let an opportunity get away when Iowa limped into town and flew away with a win. Now, it's time to join the the other bubblers to see who can sweat the most.

- Current Projection: 1st 4 Out
 The Commodores lost at Texas A&M and are stuck with 2 Top 50 wins, which were both at home.  Advancing to the semis was a must but they could not even make the quarterfinals after picking up their 3rd bad loss of the season. With an RPI in the 60s, only 2 Top 50 wins, a 7-10 mark vs Top 100, and 3 bad losses, their tourney picture is not looking so good. They will have to wait and see how other bubblers play out now.

San Diego State
- Current Projection: #11 Seed- MWC Auto Bid

 The Aztecs have a very low chance of receiving an at-large in this down year for the Mountain West. A trip to the MWC finals is required to even have a shot.

Little Rock

- Current Projection: #11 Seed- Sun Belt Auto Bid 

The Trojans lost their regular season finale, which was a huge blow to their at-large chances. Maiking the Sun Belt Finals is required to have a chance  for an at-large in case they need it. Facing UT-Arlington for the championship would be ideal if they happened to lose. Winning the Sun Belt auto bid is definitely recommended as their best wins at San Diego State and at Tulsa might not be good enough to fall back on.

- Current Projection: 1st 4 Out
 The Gators have an 19-14 record with a lack of good wins. Usually 14 losses is too many. A trip to the finals was needed but lost in a crucial game against Texas A&M. Not likely, but there are definitely being considered.

- Current Projection: Next 4 Out

 The Crusaders are more of a fringe bubble candidate as they could not beat Wright State or Ball State this season. A win at Oregon State is nice, but losing in the Horizon semis to Green Bay may be not be swallowed well by the selection committee. It doesn't look promising, but they will be in discussion at least. 


- Current Projection: Next 4 Out

 The Bulldogs are in the semifinals of the SEC tourney. Their profile is pretty barren with no Top 50 wins and a 6-11 mark vs Top 100. The game today vs Kentucky is a must.

- Current Projection: Next 4 Out

The Tigers picked up their only bad loss which cost them the auto bid. A profile with 1 bad loss and 1 Top 100 win likely will not secure a bid. The Tigers are still an interesting case because of their high RPI and low amount of losses(Most of which are to quality teams).

- Current Projection: Next 4 Out

The Pride lost to UNC-Wilmington in the CAA finals. They are 2-2 vs Top 50, 6-4 vs Top 100, but have 5 losses vs RPI 100-200. However, three of those losses are to teams between 100-110. The Pride are likely headed to the NIT, but  after looking into their profile, it is worth mentioning there is a slight chance.

- Current Projection: Under Consideration

 The Golden Hurricane got by a surprisingly fiesty USF squad. Work was needed in the American tourney, but they picked up a third bad loss, which was their second to Memphis in a game that the Golden Hurricane were blown out. NIT is probably next.

George Washington
- Current Projection: Under Consideration
 The Colonials followed up their costly home loss to VCU by defeating George Mason, but then lost at Davidson. There just is not enough good wins here with only 4 Top 100 wins and a few bad losses too. They are the 5 seed, where they could grab wins over St. Joe's and Dayton to get to the finals. That is the minimum and that may not even be enough.  


- Current Projection: Under Consideration

 The Huskies are the 8 seed in the PAC-12 tourney. They beat Stanford and fell short short against Oregon. A trip to the NIT is their likely fate.

Bubbles Burst: Alabama, Stanford, Florida State, Houston, Ohio State

Safety Zone
ACC: Virginia, UNC, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Duke
A-10: Dayton, St. Joseph's
Big East: Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence
Big 12: Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas Tech
Big Ten: Iowa, Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana, Purdue
PAC-12: Oregon, Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, USC, Oregon State
SEC: Kentucky, Texas A&M
WCC: Gonzaga

Danger Zone(Safest Teams are listed 1st)- Current At-Large Contenders
Wisconsin, Butler, CincinnatiConnecticut, VCU, Pittsburgh, St. Bonaventure, Wichita State, St. Mary's,  Temple, Syracuse,  Monmouth, South Carolina, Michigan, Vanderbilt, San Diego State, Ark-Little Rock, Florida, Valparaiso, Georgia, Princeton, Hofstra, Tulsa, George Washington, Washington

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