Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bubble Watch- Updated March 3rd

10 Days Until Selection Sunday

3/2/16 Results:

USC entered the safe zone after defeating Oregon State.

Bubble Teams in Action Wednesday Night

Texas Tech
- Current Projection: #7 Seed
The Red Raiders got Press Virginia'd out of Morgantown. Texas Tech still sits pretty. Kansas State comes to Lubbock this weekend for a must win for the Red Raiders. Then they will likely be #7 seed in the Big 12 tourney where they will need to avoid the bad loss. Magic Number is 2 to have a sweat free Selection Sunday.

Seton Hall 
- Current Projection: #7 Seed
The Pirates had won 8 of 9 going into the game at Butler where they fell just short after the Bulldog devoured the Pirate. A trip to sometimes dangerous DePaul is this weekend. Winning against DePaul would likely be enough to get in, but 2 more wins in general would silence any suspicion. 

St. Joseph's
- Current Projection: #8 Seed
The Hawks are close to the safe zone simply because they have been successful on the road and have no bad losses. They fell at St. Bona, which does not hurt their resume. Duquesne comes to town to close the regular season.Winning at least against Duquesne and then reaching the A-10 Semis would be enough or just picking up no bad losses could do the trick.

- Current Projection: #8 Seed
Their hot streak continued as they defeated Minnesota on the road as expected. Badgers need to keep winning and avoid bad losses. A road trip to Purdue is next. A win here would be the icing on the cake. A loss and then avoiding a bad loss in Big Ten tourney would seal it. 

Oregon State
- Current Projection: #8 Seed
The Beavers lost at USC and now the game at UCLA is huge. A loss there would not be worth risking. The Beavers have played the toughest schedule, have no bad losses, and have 6 Top 50 wins. However, they are currently 17-11 overall. A win at UCLA should erase doubts. Overall, two more wins will punch their ticket for sure.

- Current Projection: #10 Seed
The Friars have been limping to the finish line and are being carried by their win at Villanova and neutral court victory over Arizona. The bad thing is that more is needed to feel secure. They beat Creighton as instructed and now a trip to St. John's is next. They will have to look to get more in the Big East Tourney as more quality wins are recommended. 

- Current Projection: #10 Seed
The Panthers followed their domination of Duke with a questionable loss at Virginia Tech. This was not what the Panthers needed going into a game at fiesty surging Georgia Tech.  Winning this game is vital as well as getting another Top 50 win in the ACC tourney.

- Current Projection: 1st 4 Out
 The Crimson Tide suffered another slip up at home. This one was against Arkansas. Arkansas was a must win, so now Bama is on the outside looking in desperately needing to win in Athens this weekend to stay in the hunt. Avery Johnson's first season has been a success, but it might be spent in the NIT.


- Current Projection: #9 Seed
 The Bulldogs have been barely hanging on for weeks now. Last night, they completed 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. However,  Creighton comes to town next. A loss would set them back to where they began the week. Win and possibly a huge game with Providence may loom in the Big East quarters.2 more wins would almost definitely do the trick.

St. Bonaventure
- Current Projection: #10 Seed 
 The Bonnies completed their season sweep of St. Joe's giving them another Top 50 win. St. Bona is still a bubble team, but their odds are getting better. A tricky road trip at Saint Louis is next where a win is a must. From there, a trip to the A-10 Semis could be enough. Worst case scenario for this week is still to avoid the bad loss at Saint Louis.

- Current Projection: #11 Seed- A-10 Auto Bid
 VCU does not have too many good wins with only 2 Top 50 wins. A win over Davidson helps as it adds to their Top 100 win total. A trip to Dayton is next. A win could do wonders for their at-large hopes. Regardless, there will be work to do in the A-10 tourney.  

- Current Projection: Under Consideration
 The Huskies played both Oregon teams tough on the road before falling to the buzzer to OSU and in a close one against Oregon. Their arch rival Wazzu is up this week with the PAC-12 tourney following. A win against the Cougs is required. From there, a trip to semi-finals is a must to be in serious at-large contention.

Movement on the bracket

- Current Projection:  Moves up to #10 Seed (Last 4 In)
The Bearcats won at East Carolina and are currently in a position where they could could go either way. A huge week is here as they begin with a trip to Houston before coming home for a date with SMU. Winning both may surprisingly be enough. However, losing both would sting Mick's crew making a strong performance in the American tourney a must.

Other Bubble Teams

South Carolina
- Current Projection: #9 Seed
The Gamecocks picked up their third bad loss by losing at a surging Mississippi State team. Georgia comes to town and then a trip to the always tough Bud Walton Arena to take on the Razorbacks. A loss to Arkansas would be their 4th 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. Winning both games this week would seal the deal. Anything short of this and SC begins to be an interesting case. 

- Current Projection: #9 Seed
The Orange followed their win over the Wolfpack with a close loss at UNC. Syracuse still is in good shape due to their solid number of good wins. Up next is their regular season finale at Florida State. A win there and a win in the ACC tourney would punch their ticket. Anything less than that means Selection Sunday could be nerve wracking. 

- Current Projection: #10 Seed
The Huskies lost at home to Houston and have suddenly found themselves in the heart of the bubble.  A trip to SMU is next and then they finish their regular season at home against UCF. Winning both and their first game in the AAC tourney would do the trick. Winning one of out two would likely put them in the 4 vs 5 quarterfinal game that could be an elimination game.

- Current Projection: #9 Seed
The Wolverines lost at Wisconsin and barely clinging onto a spot in the dance. 3 Top 50 wins and only 5 Top 100 wins (2 vs. Penn St.) is low and will really sting if Penn State falls out of the Top 100. Good thing a slumping Iowa team is coming to town. Bad thing is that they could be due for a win. Michigan needs this one and some work in the Big Ten tourney to feel great about their chances.

- Current Projection: #10 Seed (Last 4 In)
 The Commodores were a big winner last week after following up the win in at Florida with a home win over Kentucky. They continues their hot streak and defeated Tennessee as expected. The finale on the road in College Station where an opportunity for a marquee road win looms. A win would be huge.

- Current Projection: 1st 4 Out
 The Golden Hurricane picked up a bad loss to Memphis and now probably have to do some work in the AAC Conference Tournament to get in. One game remaining: home against USF- a loss would really damage their at large hopes.

George Washington
- Current Projection: 1st 4 Out
 The Colonials followed up their costly home loss to VCU by defeating George Mason. A huge road trip to Davidson remains before A-10 tourney begins. Lots of work is needed. Another bad loss would do GW in.

- Current Projection: #11 Seed- MAAC Auto Bid
The Hawks finished 1st in the MAAC and the MAAC tourney is next. Winning it would obviously punch a ticket. Monmouth needs to make the finals to have strong consideration for an at-large if needed. 

Wichita State
- Current Projection: #11 Seed- MVC Auto Bid
 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 2 worst losses when they had their entire team, it is probably important that the Shockers win the MVC tourney. We will know Sunday if they have punched a ticket. 

Little Rock
- Current Projection: #11 Seed- Sun Belt Auto Bid 
The Trojans need to win their regular season finale and then make the Sun Belt Finals to be in a position 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.

- Current Projection: Next 4 Out
 The Gators lost at home to fellow bubble dweller Vanderbilt and on the road to Ben Simmons and company. Florida has now drifted off into the sea after a home loss to Kentucky. A 17-13 record with a lack of good wins has them drifting off the map. Up next is a potential bad loss at Missouri is next. Assuming they win, work needs to be done in the SEC tourney to dance.

- Current Projection: #12 Seed- American Auto Bid
 The Owls hung on against UCF and now still has chance for AAC regular season title. The only problem is that will not mean much to their resume. This team needs more good wins and this weeks games vs Memphis and at Tulane will not help them. A trip to the American finals is a must to have a great chance to dance this March.

- Current Projection: Next 4 Out
The Tigers could be the Ivy auto bid, but right now are tied with Yale. Princeton's only losses outside the Top 50 are Yale and Stony Brook which are in the 50's. However, they hold only 1 Top 100 win. If they win out and lose in the potential Ivy league playoff against Yale, the Tigers will be an interesting case.

St. Mary's
- Current Projection: #12 Seed- WCC Auto Bid
The Gaels do not have a great at-large profile either with their best wins being a sweep of Gonzaga. The WCC title game is a must for the Gaels to have a legitimate shot at an at-large. However, capturing the auto bid is always recommended in this situation. 

- Current Projection: Next 4 Out
The Bulldogs' streak is in jeopardy. Their at-large profile is very weak with their best win coming against UConn. Their only plus is no bad losses. However, a weak RPI and lack of good wins hurts. Winning the WCC tourney should be their goal. 

Florida State
- Current Projection: Under Consideration
 The Seminoles temporarily ended their burning dumpster fire by shredding Notre Dame. Their bubble almost popped, but they hung on with this win. Syracuse comes to town. A loss here means that a trip to the ACC finals might be their only chance at an at-large. 

San Diego State
- Current Projection: #12 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.

- Current Projection: #12 Seed- Horizon Auto Bid
 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 winning the Horizon auto bid is likely their only shot. Anything short of making the finals will not be enough.

- Current Projection: Under Consideration
 The Cardinal are a fringe candidate now, but they have some good wins and no bad losses. They do need more wins and have maxed out in the loss department. Road trips to the Arizonas are this week. Winning at least one has to happen and then a trip the PAC-12 finals too. Not likely, but it's possible.

Ohio State
- Current Projection: Under Consideration
 The Buckeyes picked up a big win over Iowa but still lack a good amount of quality wins and their RPI isn't very good. A road trip to Michigan State before the Big Ten Tourney. A win would be nice, but the Buckeyes are going to need to make a run in the Big Ten Tourney to have a chance at an at large bid.

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

Danger Zone(Safest Teams are listed 1st)- Current At-Large Contenders
 Texas Tech, Seton Hall, Wisconsin, St. Joseph'sSouth Carolina, Oregon State, Syracuse Providence, Connecticut,  Butler, Michigan, Pittsburgh, St. Bonaventure, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Tulsa, VCU, George Washington, Monmouth, Wichita State, Ark-Little Rock,  Alabama, Florida, Temple, Princeton, St. Mary's, Gonzaga,Washington, Florida State, San Diego State, Valparaiso, Stanford, Ohio State

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