Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Biggest Seeding Questions

As the Selection Show began, we went into it wanting to hate it since they decided to move away from the suspenseful format that kept viewers on the edge of their seats throughout the show wondering who was getting in until the last 11 seed was revealed. Surprisingly, this format was better than we expected, but we don't think it will ever beat the traditional way though. 

With this being said, there were a few head scratchers in the seeding department.

1. Most Over Seeded Team: Creighton
- Many people predicted the Bluejays as a #10 because they had only 2 Q1 wins (H-Villanova and N-UCLA). There was a few good Q2 home wins, but if there is this point system that values quality Q1 wins, Creighton should have been closer to the cut line. Instead, they were rewarded with a #8 seed.

2. Most Under Seeded Team: Providence
- Many people predicted the Friars to be a 7 or 8 but fell victim to a seed bump that moved them to a 10 from a 9. This was because Creighton and Seton Hall were already #8 seeds in the brackets that didn't have Xavier or Villanova's 1 seed. Since they cannot face a Big East opponent to the Sweet Sixteen, they were pumped. However, the Friars beat Xavier twice and Villanova once giving them 5 Q1 wins. Their resume was clearly better than Creighton's, but somehow are seeded 2 lines lower.

3. CS- Fullerton a 15 seed and Penn a 16 seed?
- When you compare the 2 teams, Penn's resume is better in almost every aspect and even look much better when watching them. Surprisingly, this was't the only odd thing on these lines.

4. Xavier Plays Winner of Teams 67 and 68, Not Virginia
- Virginia is the overall #1 seed and got matched with UMBC instead of the winner of 67/68. Xavier, the 4th #1 seed, gets the winner instead. Obviously, a 16 seed has never beat a #1, and UMBC likely will not be the first one too. 

5. Injuries Mattered For Some Teams' Seeding But Not Others
 a. Arizona lost 4 of their 7 games when a key player was out, and it didn't seem to matter in their final seed
 b. Texas Tech received a 3 seed instead of being lower since they lost a few games when star Keenan Evans was out with an injury.
 c. Wichita State started the season without Marcus McDuffie, and it seemed to help land them a 4 seed.
 d. Texas A&M struggled in December and January as they had multiple key pieces out. They managed to get 7 Q1 wins. We did get their seed correct, but thought that they have been higher if injuries were considered.

6. Notre Dame was 1st Team out?
 a. Notre Dame ended as the 1st team out since they lost most of their games when Bonzie Colson was hurt. At the beginning of the season, they beat short handed Wichita State in the Maui before being upset by Ball State and Indiana, which were 2 bad losses in which Bonzie played in. We still cannot figure why they were this close.
b. If Notre Dame was this close, then why wasn't Stanford considered. Stanford started the season 6-7 without Dorian Pickens. When he returned, he led them to 4th place in the PAC-12. Had Pickens been available for out of conference play, this team may have picked up the wins needed to make the dance.



Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018 NCAA Bracket Projection- 3/11/18-FINAL

SOUTH(1)- Atlanta, GA
Charlotte, NC
1 Virginia
16 LIU-Brooklyn/TX-Southern 
8 Nevada
9 Butler
Boise, ID
Gonzaga
12 South Dakota State
4 Kentucky
13 Murray State
Detroit, MI
6 Florida
11 Texas/Arizona State
Michigan
14 Wright State
Nashville, TN
7 Texas A&M
10 Kansas State
2 Cincinnati
15 Penn

WEST(4)-Los Angeles, CA
Pittsburgh, PA
1 Xavier
16 UMBC
8 Rhode Island
9 NC State
San Diego, CA
5 Clemson
12 New Mexico State
4 Auburn
13 NC-Greensboro
San Diego, CA
6 Miami (FL)
11 Loyola-Chicago
3 Arizona
14 Montana
Nashville, TN
7 Seton Hall
10 Oklahoma
2 Duke
15 Lipscomb


EAST(2)-Boston, MA
Pittsburgh, PA
1 Villanova
16 Radford/NC Central
8 Virginia Tech
9 Alabama
Boise, ID
5 Wichita State
12 San Diego State
4 West Virginia
13 Marshall
Wichita, KS
6 Arkansas
11 Davidson
3 Michigan State
14 Stephen F. Austin
Charlotte, NC
7 TCU
10 Creighton
2 North Carolina
15 Georgia State

MIDWEST(3)-Omaha, NE
Wichita, KS
1 Kansas
16 CS-Fullerton
8 Providence
9 UCLA
Dallas, TX
5 Houston
12 Buffalo
4 Texas Tech
13 College of Charleston
Dallas, TX
6 Ohio State
11 USC/St. Bonaventure
3 Tennessee
14 Bucknell
Detroit, MI
7 Missouri
10 Florida State
2 Purdue
15 Iona

Danger Zone
Last 10 in:  Butler, UCLA, Florida State, Oklahoma, Creighton, Kansas State, St. Bonaventure, USC, Texas, Arizona State 
First 7 Out:   Syracuse, Marquette, St. Mary's, MTSU, Louisville, Utah, Baylor

Multiple Bid Conferences
ACC-8
SEC-8
Big 12- 7
Big East-6
Pac-12- 4
Big Ten- 4
AAC-3
A-10- 3
MWC-2

Friday, March 9, 2018

2018 NCAA Basketball Bracket Projection- 3/9/18

SOUTH(1)- Atlanta, GA
Charlotte, NC
1 Virginia
16 LIU-Brooklyn/Ark.-Pine Bluff
8 Providence
9 St. Bonaventure
Boise, ID
Gonzaga
12 Buffalo
4 Wichita State
13 Murray State
Detroit, MI
6 Houston
11 Arizona State/Syracuse
Michigan
14 Bucknell
Nashville, TN
7 Miami (FL)
10 Butler
2 Auburn
15 Stephen F. Austin

WEST(4)-Los Angeles, CA
Wichita, KS
1 Kansas
16 UC-Santa Barbara
8 Nevada
9 NC State
San Diego, CA
5 Clemson
12 Loyola-Chicago
4 Arizona
13 Louisiana
Wichita, KS
6 Texas A&M
11 Oklahoma
3 Michigan State
14 Montana
Nashville, TN
7 Seton Hall
10 Texas
2 North Carolina
15 Penn


EAST(2)-Boston, MA
Pittsburgh, PA
1 Villanova
16 Radford/Hampton
8 Rhode Island
9 Virginia Tech
Boise, ID
5 Kentucky
12 Western Kentucky
4 West Virginia
13 South Dakota State
Dallas, TX
6 Ohio State
11 USC
3 Tennessee
14 College of Charleston
Charlotte, NC
7 TCU
10 Alabama
2 Duke
15 Lipscomb

MIDWEST(3)-Omaha, NE
Pittsburgh, PA
1 Xavier
16 Iona
8 Florida State
9 UCLA
San Diego, CA
5 Florida
12 New Mexico State
4 Texas Tech
13 Vermont
Dallas, TX
6 Arkansas
11 Louisville/Kansas State
3 Cincinnati
14 NC-Greensboro
Detroit, MI
7 Missouri
10 Creighton
2 Purdue
15 Wright State

Danger Zone
Last 10 in:  Butler, Creighton, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, USC, Louisville, Arizona State, Syracuse, Kansas State
First 15 Out:   Marquette, Middle Tennessee State, St. Mary's, Utah, Baylor, Oregon, Notre Dame, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Washington,  Mississippi State, LSU, Penn State, Boise State, Nebraska

Multiple Bid Conferences
ACC-10
SEC-8
Big 12- 7
Big East-6
Pac-12- 4
Big Ten- 4
AAC-3
A-10- 2

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

NCAA Basketball Bubble Watch- 3/6/18

With only 5 days until Selection Sunday, Championship Week is really beginning to get going. Currently, there are  several bubble teams with some that could play their way out and some hoping to play their way in. Either way, March Madness is here, and it should be a very dramatic week. Beware of bid stealers!

Here is the current breakdown:


Safety Zone
AAC: Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston
ACC: Virginia, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Miami (FL)
A-10: 
Big East: Xavier, Villanova, Seton Hall, Creighton
Big 12: Texas Tech, Kansas, West Virginia, TCU
Big Ten: Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan
MVC: Loyola-Chicago
MWC:
PAC-12: Arizona
SEC: Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Florida
WCC: Gonzaga

Neutral Zone- Almost Locks
Oklahoma, Missouri, Rhode Island, Florida State, NC State,Virginia Tech, Nevada

Danger Zone- Current At-Large Contenders
St. Bonaventure, Butler, UCLA, Texas, Arizona State, USC, Providence, Middle Tennessee, St. Mary's, Syracuse, Alabama, Marquette, Washington, Kansas State, Baylor, Utah, Louisville, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, LSU, Nebraska, Penn State, 


St. Bonaventure (24-6)- RPI: 21 vs Tier 1 3-2, vs Tier 2 4-2
- The Bonnies beat URI and currently have a great overall profile with the exception of their 2 Tier 3/4 losses. It is important that they avoid losses to anyone besides URI, which means winning out until the A-10 championship.

Butler (19-12 RPI: 45 vs Tier 1 3-10, vs Tier 2 4-1)
- The Bulldogs only have three Tier 1 wins and haven't played well on the road this season. They get a third chance at Seton Hall. A win would probably solidify their chances. A loss would raise some question marks as the Bulldogs would have to wait to find out Sunday.

UCLA (20-10- RPI: 36 vs Tier 1 3-7, vs Tier 2 5-1)
- The Bruins now have 3 signature victories away from home after sweeping USC. With three strong Tier 1 wins and a good RPI, UCLA is in good position and probably just needs to beat Stanford in the quarterfinals.

Texas (18-13)- RPI: 48 vs Tier 1 5-10, vs Tier 2 3-3)
- The Longhorns have plenty of good wins and no bad losses. Good win over West Virginia on Saturday. The Longhorns need to avoid a bad loss to Iowa State. A loss would send them back the other way and could end their at-large hopes.

Arizona State (20-10  RPI: 59 vs Tier 1 3-5, vs Tier 4-4)
- Arizona State's wins at Kansas and over Xavier (N) have carried them to the finish line so far. At 8-10 in the Pac-12, the Sun Devils probably need to at least beat Colorado to feel safe. A loss would have them sweating it out Sunday.

USC (21-10) RPI: 34 Tier 1 4-6, Tier 2 5-3
- The Trojans picked up a huge win at Utah to go with their wins over Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State in Hawaii. Their resume looks great, but the lack of signature win is what stands out. The Trojans will play either Washington or Oregon State in the quarterfinals. A win the quarterfinals in recommended to feel better about their chances.

Providence (19-12 RPI: 42 vs Tier 1 3-8, vs Tier 2 5-1)
- The Friars play Creighton this week. With only three Tier 1 wins, Providence can feel better about their chances with a win. With three bad losses, a loss to Creighton and the Friars will have to sweat it out until Sunday.

Middle Tennessee State (23-6)- RPI: 28 vs Tier 1 2-3, vs Tier 2 3-1
- The Blue Raiders are the favorite in the C-USA tourney. Winning the auto bid is recommended. Their at-large profile took a hit by losing to Marshall at home Saturday. Anything short of making it to the C-USA Championship could be fatal to their at-large hopes.

Syracuse (19-12) RPI: 39 Tier 1 3-7, Tier 2 3-3
- The Orange picked up a big win against Clemson and now play Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament. Need to avoid a damaging loss here and beat North Carolina to feel good about their chances.

Alabama (17-14 RPI: 58 vs Tier 1 5-6, vs Tier 2 4-6)
- The Crimson Tide have plenty of quality wins for an at-large bid. Their high number of losses is what is holding them back. Alabama can't afford to lose to Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament. A loss will send them to the NIT.

St. Mary's (28-5)- RPI: 43 vs Tier 1 2-1, vs Tier 2 2-2 
- Their overall record and win at Gonzaga carried them for a while. With 2 recent defeats especially the one at San Francisco, the margin for error is small.

Marquette (18-12) RPI: 57 Tier 1 4-7, Tier 2 4-3
- The Golden Eagles scored a strong Tier 2 win over Creighton on Saturday to completed the season sweep. They get DePaul in the first round. A win here and over Villanova would likely get them in. A loss to the Blue Demons would pack their bags to the NIT.

Washington (20-11)- RPI: 63 vs Tier 1 3-6, vs Tier 2 2-4
- The Huskies have 2 great wins with the wins at Kansas and over Arizona. A home loss to Oregon was damaging as their RPI dropped almost 20 spots. The Huskies need to beat Oregon State and USC if they want to feel better about their chances. A loss to the Beavers would send them to the NIT.

Kansas State  (21-10)- RPI: 62 vs Tier 1 3-7 vs Tier 2 6-3
- Kansas State plays TCU in the quarterfinals after a 4th place finish. 10-8 in the Big 12 sounds good enough but a bad N-SOS and lack of good wins stands out. With only three Tier 1 wins(TCU, at Texas, & at Baylor), the Wildcats need to beat TCU to enhance their chances. A loss here would send their RPI down around 70.

Baylor (18-13) RPI: 61 Tier 1 4-10, Tier 2 3-3
- Baylor has played well lately to move into the bubble picture. They are still 10-13 against Tier 1, 2, and 3 combined. This usually keeps you out of the tournament. Work in needed in the Big 12 tournament. A great opportunity against West Virginia awaits. Win this game and their odds get better.

Utah (19-10) RPI: 47 Tier 1 3-6, Tier 2 4-3
- The Utes have three Tier 1 wins(at Arizona State, at Washington, at Oregon) and two strong Tier 2 wins over Missouri and UCLA at home. The Utes will play Oregon or Washington State in the quarterfinals. A run to the Pac-12 championship game is recommended.

Louisville (19-12) RPI: 46 Tier 1 3-10, Tier 2 1-2
- Louisville has struggled against good competition all season as shown with their 3-10 Tier 1 record with their best win coming at Florida State.  The Cardinals need to beat Florida State to stay in the at-large conversation. A win over FSU and Virginia would be enough to get them in. A loss to the Seminoles would likely them to the NIT.

Boise State (22-7)- RPI: 41 vs Tier 1 2-2, vs Tier 2 4-3)
- The Broncos saw their resume get better with Loyola-Chicago and Oregon's RPI's soaring up. It is hard to see this team getting an at-large, but if enough teams ahead of them damage their profile, you never know. Winning the MWC tournament is recommended.


Oklahoma State (18-13)- RPI: 88 vs Tier 1 5-10, vs Tier 2 4-3)
- The Cowboys became the first team to sweep Kansas in the Bill Self era. They have great wins but have a bad RPI and N-SOS. No team has ever received an at large with an RPI worse than 75. Ok State must advance to Big 12 semis to feel decent about their chances.

Oregon (20-11)- RPI: 70 vs Tier 1 3-5, vs Tier 2 4-3)
- The Ducks picked up another Tier 1 win at Washington but suffered a Tier 3 loss at Washington State. The results offset as their position remains the same. The Ducks need to beat Washington State, Utah, and USC to have any chance at an at-large bid.

Mississippi State (20-10)- RPI: 72 vs Tier 1 2-7, vs Tier 2 3-3)
- The Bulldogs played a very bad N-SOS, which really shows now as their RPI is still in the late 60s. There are some good wins, but nothing on this resume is screaming pick me. A loss to LSU was damaging as they need to do work in the SEC Tourney.                                                                                    
Notre Dame (18-13)- RPI: 69 vs Tier 1 2-8, vs Tier 2 4-2)
- Bonzie Colson has returned to the Irish making them an interesting discussion for the selection committee. However, even though they did beat a shorthanded Wichita State with home, they also lost at home to Ball State and at a neutral site to Indiana, which are bad losses. The Irish need to beat Pitt, Va Tech, and Duke. Form them we will see where they stand.

Fringe Candidates:
New Mexico State, LSU, Nebraska, Penn State, Buffalo

Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 NCAA Basketball Bracket Projection- 3/7/18

SOUTH(1)- Atlanta, GA
Charlotte, NC
1 Virginia
16 LIU-Brooklyn/Ark.-Pine Bluff
8 Creighton
9 Nevada
Boise, ID
5 Gonzaga
12 Buffalo
4 Wichita State
13 Murray State
Detroit, MI
6 Houston
11 St. Mary's/Syracuse
3 Michigan
14 Bucknell
Nashville, TN
7 Miami (FL)
10 Arizona State
2 Auburn
15 UC-Santa Barbara

WEST(4)-Los Angeles, CA
Wichita, KS
1 Kansas
16 Radford
8 Missouri
9 NC State
San Diego, CA
5 Clemson
12 Alabama/Marquette
4 Arizona
13 Louisiana
Wichita, KS
6 Florida
11 Providence
3 Michigan State
14 Montana
Nashville, TN
7 Arkansas
10 Butler
2 North Carolina
15 Penn


EAST(2)-Boston, MA
Pittsburgh, PA
1 Villanova
16 Nicholls/Hampton
8 Rhode Island
9 Virginia Tech
Boise, ID
5 Kentucky
12 Loyola-Chicago
4 West Virginia
13 South Dakota State
Dallas, TX
6 Ohio State
11 Middle Tennessee
3 Tennessee
14 College of Charleston
Charlotte, NC
7 Oklahoma
10 UCLA
2 Duke
15 Lipscomb

MIDWEST(3)-Omaha, NE
Pittsburgh, PA
1 Xavier
16 Iona
8 Florida State
9 St. Bonaventure
San Diego, CA
5 Texas A&M
12 New Mexico State
4 Texas Tech
13 Vermont
Dallas, TX
6 TCU
11 USC
3 Cincinnati
14 NC-Greensboro
Detroit, MI
7 Seton Hall
10 Texas
2 Purdue
15 Wright State

Danger Zone
Last 10 in:  Butler, UCLA, Texas, Arizona State, USC, Providence, St. Mary's, Syracuse, Alabama, Marquette

First 13 Out:   Washington, Kansas State, Baylor, Utah, Louisville, Boise State, Oklahoma StateOregon, Notre Dame, Mississippi State, LSU, Penn State, Nebraska

Multiple Bid Conferences
ACC-9
SEC-8
Big East-7
Big 12- 6
Pac-12- 4
Big Ten- 4
AAC-3
WCC-2
A-10- 2

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Bubble Watch- Saturday's Key Games

March is here and with only 8 days until Selection Sunday, there are several teams that can still play their way in with what could be one of the deepest bubbles ever. This Saturday features several important games for bubble teams. 

Saturday's Key Bubble Games

West Virginia at Texas
- Texas needs this one to likely seal a bid. A loss here puts them at 17-14 with an RPI in the 60s meaning that if they don't win the Big 12 tourney, they will have 15 losses.

St. John's at Providence
- The Friars are in OK shape right now. A loss here will continue their drift towards the cut line. A win is definitely needed here.

Mississippi State at LSU
- LSU is hanging on by a thread and has to win this to keep their slim at-large hopes alive. Miss State also needs this one to keep them in the hunt. Either way, both teams will have plenty of work to do in SEC tourney.

Clemson at Syracuse
- This is a must win for Syracuse. A loss means that a deep run in ACC tourney would be their only way to have a somewhat realistic shot at a bid. Even with a win, work in ACC tourney is needed.

Alabama at Texas A&M
- Alabama has enough good wins but has almost lost too many games. A loss here would put them at 17-14. Like Texas, avoiding the 15 loss scenario is recommended.

Baylor at Kansas State
- Baylor is right on the cut line and a Tier 1 win here would be huge for them. Kansas State lacks quality wins and played a bad N-SOS, so they really need this one as well. With both teams on the cut line, this is the Bubble Game of the Day.

Creighton at Marquette
- This is a must win for Marquette. A loss here means that a run to the Big East tourney finals would likely be required to have a realistic shot.

Loyola-Chicago vs Bradley
- Loyola-Chicago has to win this game and advance to the MVC Finals to keep their at-large hopes alive. Winning the MVC tourney is definitely their best option.

Notre Dame at Virginia
- It is a tall task here, but the Irish need marquee wins to pursue the committee at this point as they are clearly on the outside looking in.

Purdue vs Penn State
- This is a must win for Penn State. A loss here very likely sends them to the NIT. A win must them in the running for a bid.

Oregon at Washington
- The Ducks have a long way to go, so winning the Pac-12 tourney might be their only option. The Huskies need this one to stay on the right side of the bubble.

Louisville at NC State
- This a huge bubble game in the ACC. NC State has plenty of signature wins but have a few bad losses and shaky computer numbers. Louisville has very few good wins, no bad losses, and great computer numbers. Louisville needs it more than NC State.

Colorado at Utah
- It is pretty simple for the Utes. Win and stay in the hunt. A loss means that a run to Pac-12 tourney finals is a must.

Wyoming at Boise State
- Like Utah, Boise State has to win this one. In the long run, a run to the MWC finals might not be enough though.

St. Bonaventure at Saint Louis
- If the Bonnies can avoiding losing to anyone besides URI and Davidson the rest of the season, then it would be hard to envision them missing the dance. Therefore, a win here is needed.

UCLA at USC
- This rivalry game is also a huge bubble game in the PAC-12. Both teams need it. UCLA likely needs it more as it would give them their 3rd Tier 1 win.

St. Mary's vs Pepperdine
- It stings for the Gaels that they face RPI albatross Pepperdine for a 3rd time, so their RPI will go down even with a win. A loss here will pop their bubble.



Safety Zone
AAC: Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston
ACC: Virginia, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina
A-10: 
Big East: Xavier, Villanova
Big 12: Texas Tech, Kansas, West Virginia, 
Big Ten: Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan
MWC:
PAC-12: Arizona
SEC: Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas
WCC: Gonzaga

Neutral Zone- Almost Locks
Seton Hall, Texas A&M, TCU, Creighton, Butler, Florida, Miami (FL), Rhode Island, Oklahoma

Danger Zone- Current At-Large Contenders
Missouri, Arizona State, NC State, Virginia Tech, Nevada, Providence, Florida State, USC, St. Bonaventure, Alabama, Middle Tennessee State, St. Mary's, Texas, UCLA, Washington, Louisville, Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse, Utah, Loyola-Chicago, Marquette, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Boise State, Oregon,Georgia, LSU, Temple, Louisiana, Nebraska, Western Kentucky, UCF, Buffalo



Friday, March 2, 2018

2018 NCAA Basketball Bracket Projection- 3/2/18

SOUTH(1)- Atlanta, GA
Charlotte, NC
1 Virginia
16 FGCU/Arkansas-Pine Bluff
8 Nevada
9 Butler
Boise, ID
5 Kentucky
12 Louisiana
4 West Virginia
13 South Dakota State
Detroit, MI
6 TCU
11 Alabama
3 Purdue
14 Bucknell
Nashville, TN
7 Seton Hall
10 NC State
2 Auburn
15 Montana

WEST(4)-Los Angeles, CA
Wichita, KS
1 Kansas
16 Penn
8 Miami (FL)
9 Missouri
San Diego, CA
5 Houston
12 New Mexico State
4 Arizona
13 Murray State
Dallas, TX
6 Texas A&M
11 UCLA/Texas
3 Wichita State
14 College of Charleston
Detroit, MI
7 Creighton
10 St. Bonaventure
2 Michigan State
15 UC-Santa Barbara


EAST(2)-Boston, MA
Pittsburgh, PA
1 Villanova
16 Nicholls/Bethune-Cookman
8 Arizona State
9 Florida State
Boise, ID
5 Gonzaga
12 Loyola-Chicago
4 Clemson
13 Vermont
Dallas, TX
6 Michigan
11 Providence
3 Tennessee
14 NC-Greensboro
Pittsburgh, PA
7 Rhode Island
10 USC
2 Duke
15 Northern Kentucky

MIDWEST(3)-Omaha, NE
Nashville, TN
1 Xavier
16 UNC-Asheville
8 Oklahoma
9 Virginia Tech
San Diego, CA
5 Ohio State
12 St. Mary's/Louisville
4 Texas Tech
13 Buffalo
Wichita, KS
6 Arkansas
11 Washington
3 Cincinnati
14 Rider
Charlotte, NC
7 Florida
10 Middle Tennessee
2 North Carolina
15 Wagner

Danger Zone
Last 10 in:  St. Bonaventure, USC, NC State, Providence, Alabama, Washington, Texas, UCLA, St. Mary's, Louisville

First 14 Out:   Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse, Utah, Marquette, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Temple, Boise State, Oregon, Georgia, LSU, Nebraska, Penn State

Multiple Bid Conferences
ACC-9
SEC-8
Big 12- 6
Big East-6
Pac-12- 5
Big Ten- 4
AAC-3
WCC-2
A-10- 2

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

NCAA Basketball Bubble Watch- 2/28/18

March is here and with only 10 until Selection Sunday, there are several teams that can still play their way in with what could be one of the deepest bubbles ever. This week features many battles of bubble teams. Conference tourneys also begin for at-large hopefuls in Big Ten, WCC, and MVC. This should be a fun final two weeks in a season that has gave us several surprising results keeping us on the edge of our seats. 

Here is the current breakdown:

- Arkansas is now safe after win over Auburn.

- Florida won at Alabama giving them a 9th Tier 1 win, and Miami (FL) scored their biggest win of the season at North Carolina. Both move to Neutral Zone.

-Georgia, Temple, and LSU picked up damaging losses and will now need a lot of work in their conference tourneys.


Safety Zone
AAC: Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston
ACC: Virginia, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina
A-10: 
Big East: Xavier, Villanova
Big 12: Texas Tech, Kansas, West Virginia
Big Ten: Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan
MWC:
PAC-12: Arizona
SEC: Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas
WCC: Gonzaga

Neutral Zone- Almost Locks
Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, TCU, Creighton, Butler, Florida, Miami (FL), Oklahoma

Danger Zone- Current At-Large Contenders
Missouri, Arizona State, NC State, Virginia Tech, Nevada, Providence, Florida State, USC, St. Bonaventure, Alabama, Middle Tennessee State, St. Mary's, Texas, UCLA, Washington, Louisville, Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse, Utah, Loyola-Chicago, Marquette, Mississippi State, Oregon, New Mexico State, Boise State, Notre Dame, Georgia, LSU, Temple, Louisiana, Nebraska, Penn State, Western Kentucky, UCF, Buffalo

Missouri (19-11 RPI: 40 vs Tier 1 6-7, vs Tier 2 5-2)
- Mizzou has many Tier 1 wins and has good computer numbers. Their high number of losses like their fellow SEC members is what is putting them in a potentially dangerous spot. The Tigers took care of business at Vanderbilt and now host Arkansas before SEC tourney begins. A win over Arkansas would solidify their ticket.

Arizona State (19-9  RPI: 42 vs Tier 1 3-4, vs Tier 4-4)
- Arizona State's wins at Kansas and over Xavier (N) have carried them to the finish line so far. At 7-9 in the Pac-12, beating Cal and Stanford this week should lock them in. A loss at home to either is something to avoid.

NC State (19-9)- RPI: 49 vs Tier 1 5-7, vs Tier 2 2-0
- The Wolfpack have some real quality wins including at UNC and Arizona in the Bahamas. If they avoid the bad loss at Georgia Tech this week, it is hard not seeing this team in the field.

Virginia Tech (21-9)- RPI: 46vs Tier 1 5-6, vs Tier 2 4-2
-The Hokies have quality wins at Virginia and at home over Duke, so quality wins are not the issue. The only thing that is holding them back in their Non-conference SOS and their RPI, so a couple more wins are recommended.

Nevada (25-5)- RPI: 15, vs Tier 1 2-2, vs Tier 2 4-1
- The Wolfpack have a great RPI and wins over Rhode Island and at Boise State. Avoiding losses to anyone besides Boise State will be enough.

Providence (18-12 RPI: 43 vs Tier 1 3-7, vs Tier 2 5-1)
- The Friars have been drifting lately pushing them back into the Danger Zone. They lost at Xavier and now get St. John's at home this week. Losing this and their first game in Big East tourney could knock them out.

Florida State (19-10 RPI: 47 vs Tier 1 6-6, vs Tier 2 1-3)
- FSU has a good amount of Tier 1 wins, which should carry them in. However, losing their next 2 games could put them in an interesting spot as. This has not been great road team but does have home wins over UNC and Clemson.

USC (21-9) RPI: 31 Tier 1 4-5, Tier 2 4-3
- The Trojans picked up a huge win at Utah to go with their wins over Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State in Hawaii. Their resume looks great, but the lack of signature win is what stands out. They will likely have an opportunity for more Tier 1 games in the PAc-12 tourney. Avoiding a bad loss there is strongly recommended.

St. Bonaventure (23-6)- RPI: 21 vs Tier 1 3-2, vs Tier 2 5-2
- The Bonnies beat URI and currently have a great overall profile with the exception of their 2 Tier 3/4 losses. It is important that they avoid losses to anyone besides URI, which means winning out until the A-10 championship.

Alabama (17-13 RPI: 57 vs Tier 1 5-6, vs Tier 2 6-6)
- The Crimson Tide have plenty of quality wins for an at-large bid. Their high number of losses is what is holding them back. Losing out would give them 2 more losses and a 17-15 record. If they fail to win at Texas A&M and the SEC tourney, they will have 15 losses.

Middle Tennessee State (22-5)- RPI: 25 vs Tier 1 3-3, vs Tier 2 1-1
- The Blue Raiders are the favorite in the C-USA tourney. Winning the auto bid is recommended. Their at-large profile is pretty good. Anything short of winning out and losing to Western Kentucky or Old Dominion in the C-USA finals could be damaging though.

St. Mary's (27-4)- RPI: 38 vs Tier 1 1-1, vs Tier 2 2-1 
- Their overall record and win at Gonzaga carried them for a while. With 2 recent defeats especially the one at San Francisco, the margin for error is small. More losses like the San Fran one could be costly. They will likely open the WCC tourney against Santa Clara, which is a must win.

Texas (17-13)- RPI: 60 vs Tier 1 5-10, vs Tier 2 3-3)
- The Longhorns have plenty of good wins and no bad losses. At this point, improving their overall record is needed, so any win is helpful now. The bad thing for the Longhorns is that all that remains a  home date with West Virginia and the Big 12 tourney. A loss to the Mountaineers and a loss in Big 12 tourney would give them 15 losses.

UCLA (19-10- RPI: 54 vs Tier 1 2-6, vs Tier 2 4-2)
- The Bruins have 2 signature victories away from home but not much to add to them. UCLA is in danger and really needs to win at USC. If not, work in the Pac-12 tourney is definitely recommended.

Washington (19-10)- RPI: 51 vs Tier 1 3-6, vs Tier 2 2-2
- The Huskies have 2 great wins with the wins at Kansas and over Arizona. Washington just needs to win games at this point especially Tier 1 or 2. They end the season with Oregon and Oregon State coming to town. Both are a must.

Louisville (19-10) RPI: 39 Tier 1 3-8, Tier 2 2-2
- Louisville has struggled against good competition all season as shown with their 3-8 Tier 1 record with their best win coming at Florida State. A signature win or two is a must at this point as their lack of bad losses and RPI is   the only thing helping them now. Virginia comes to town next.

Baylor (18-12) RPI: 58 Tier 1 4-10, Tier 2 3-2
- Baylor has played well lately to move into the bubble picture. They still have a long way to go to feel good about their chances. Beating K-State would be great for them, but work in Big 12 is likely needed to feel somewhat decent about their chances.

Kansas State  (20-10)- RPI: 63 vs Tier 1 3-9 vs Tier 2 6-0
- Kansas State sits in 4th in the Big 12, but their current profile is not good. A bad N-SOS and lack of good wins stands out. The Wildcats badly need to finish strong and get some more quality wins. The Big 12 tourney will be very important for KSU.

Syracuse (18-12) RPI: 44 Tier 1 2-7, Tier 2 4-3
- The Orange are almost out of chances for a signature win. Their strong computer numbers are helping them out as the rest of their profile is lacking. Good wins are needed, and work in ACC tourney needs to be done.

Utah (18-10) RPI: 54 Tier 1 3-5, Tier 2 3-4
- The Utes had a home split with UCLA and USC. Beating Colorado is required and a run in PAC-12 tourney has to happen to feel decent about their chances.

Loyola-Chicago (24-5) RPI: 32 Tier 1 1-1, Tier 2 2-2
- The Ramblers have a win at Florida and relatively strong computer numbers. The resurgence from the Gators is likely needed to give them a realistic shot at an at-large. Winning the MVC is their best option. However, Clayton Custer did not play for the stretch where they went 2-3, which might be a factor.

Marquette (18-12) RPI: 62 Tier 1 4-7, Tier 2 3-4

- In recent years, this profile would look much better. Overall, winning games is needed as their RPI is not too good and their number of losses are stacking up. Big East tourney is very important for them.

Mississippi State (20-9)- RPI: 68 vs Tier 1 3-7, vs Tier 2 4-2)
- The Bulldogs played a very bad N-SOS, which really shows now as their RPI is still in the late 60s. There are some good wins, but nothing on this resume is screaming pick me. There is plenty of work to be done.

Oregon (19-10)- RPI: 74 vs Tier 1 2-4, vs Tier 2 4-4)
- The Ducks have really turned it on, which has allowed them to fly into the bubble picture. Winning at Washington and Wazzu this week would really draw some attention.

New Mexico State (23-5) RPI: 50 Tier 1 1-2, Tier 2 2-1
- The Aggies had a legit at large profile before their back to back losses to Utah Valley and Seattle. It is unclear if an at-large is possible, which makes the WAC tourney the obvious choice. Winning out until the finals is an absolute must to have any at-large hopes.

Boise State (21-7)- RPI: 48 vs Tier 1 1-2, vs Tier 2 4-3)
- The Broncos saw their resume get better with Loyola-Chicago and Oregon's RPI's soaring up. It is hard to see this team getting an at-large, but if enough teams ahead of them damage their profile, you never know. Losing at San Diego State is pretty damaging. No more losses to teams other than Nevada is required at this point.

Fringe Candidates:
Notre Dame, Georgia, LSU, Temple, Louisiana, Nebraska, Penn State, Western Kentucky, UCF, Buffalo

Monday, February 26, 2018

NCAA Basketball Bubble Watch- 2/27/18

With only 12 until Selection Sunday, there are several teams that can still play their way in with what could be one of the deepest bubbles ever. This week features many battles of bubble teams. Conference tourneys also begin for at-large hopefuls in Big Ten, WCC, and MVC. This should be a fun final two weeks in a season that has gave us several surprising results keeping us on the edge of our seats. 

Here is the current breakdown:


Safety Zone
AAC: Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston
ACC: Virginia, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina
A-10: 
Big East: Xavier, Villanova
Big 12: Texas Tech, Kansas, West Virginia
Big Ten: Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan
MWC:
PAC-12: Arizona
SEC: Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky
WCC: Gonzaga

Neutral Zone- Almost Locks
Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, TCU, Creighton, Arkansas, Butler, Oklahoma

Danger Zone- Current At-Large Contenders
Florida, Alabama, Arizona State, NC State, Nevada, Providence, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Missouri, USC, Miami (FL), St. Bonaventure, Middle Tennessee State, St. Mary's, Texas, UCLA, Washington, Louisville, Kansas State, Syracuse, Utah, Baylor, Boise State, Loyola-Chicago, Marquette, Mississippi State, Oregon, New Mexico State, Georgia, LSU, Temple, Louisiana,, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Penn State, Western Kentucky, UCF, Buffalo


Florida (18-11)- RPI: 56 vs Tier 1- 8-4, vs Tier 2 3-7 
- This is one of the strangest resumes ever which has more Tier 1 wins than almost every D1 team. Somehow, they struggle against Tier 2 teams and have been beaten at home 5 times. The Gators are almost a sure thing but their RPI is a bit shaky and would really test the committee if they lose out.

Alabama (17-12 RPI: 41 vs Tier 1 5-6, vs Tier 2 6-5)
- The Crimson Tide have plenty of quality wins for an at-large bid. Their high number of losses is what is holding them back. Losing out would give them 3 more losses and a 17-15 record. It is important to win at least one of the remaining regular season games.


Arizona State (19-9  RPI: 42 vs Tier 1 4-4, vs Tier 2 3-4)
- Arizona State's wins at Kansas and over Xavier (N) have carried them to the finish line so far. At 7-9 in the Pac-12, beating Cal and Stanford this week should lock them in. A loss at home to either is something to avoid.

NC State (19-9)- RPI: 47 vs Tier 1 5-6, vs Tier 2 2-1
- The Wolfpack have some real quality wins including at UNC and Arizona in the Bahamas. If they avoid the bad loss at Georgia Tech this week, it is hard not seeing this team in the field.

Nevada (25-5)- RPI: 15, vs Tier 1 2-2, vs Tier 2 4-1
- The Wolfpack have a great RPI and wins over Rhode Island and at Boise State. Avoiding losses to anyone besides Boise State will be enough.


Providence (18-11 RPI: 43 vs Tier 1 3-7, vs Tier 2 5-1)
- The Friars have been drifting lately pushing them back into the Danger Zone. They go to Xavier and get St. John's at home this week. Losing both and their first game in Big East tourney could knock them out.

Virginia Tech (21-9)- RPI: 59 vs Tier 1 5-5, vs Tier 2 4-3
-The Hokies have quality wins at Virginia and at home over Duke VA Tech, so quality wins are not the issue. The only thing that is holding them back in their Non-conference SOS and their RPI, so a couple more wins are recommended.

Missouri (17-11 RPI: 44 vs Tier 1 6-7, vs Tier 2 4-2)
- Mizzou has many Tier 1 wins and has good computer numbers. Their high number of losses like their fellow SEC members is what is putting them in a potentially dangerous spot. Losing out would put them at 17-14, which does not sound like an at-large worthy team. They go to Vanderbilt and host Arkansas before SEC tourney begins.

USC (21-9) RPI: 27 Tier 1 4-5, Tier 2 4-3
- The Trojans picked up a huge win at Utah to go with their wins over Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State in Hawaii. Their resume looks great, but the lack of signature win is what stands out. They will likely have an opportunity for more Tier 1 games in the PAc-12 tourney. Avoiding a bad loss there is strongly recommended.

Miami (FL) (20-8)- RPI: 31 vs Tier 1 4-5, vs Tier 2 2-2
- The Hurricanes have been a hidden bubble team as most people have not realized that this team's best win is (N) Middle Tennessee. Without a real signature win, it is hard to feel certain about their chances. Their overall profile is pretty good, but the overall lack of marquee wins especially a signature one could make this a sticky situation for the Canes. Like USC, avoiding a bad loss is a must.

St. Bonaventure (22-6)- RPI: 26 vs Tier 1 4-2, vs Tier 2 4-2
- The Bonnies beat URI and currently have a great overall profile with the exception of their 2 Tier 3/4 losses. It is important that they avoid losses to anyone besides URI, which means winning out until the A-10 championship.

Middle Tennessee State (22-5)- RPI: 23 vs Tier 1 3-3, vs Tier 2 1-1
- The Blue Raiders are the favorite in the C-USA tourney. Winning the auto bid is recommended. Their at-large profile is pretty good. Anything short of winning out and losing to Western Kentucky or Old Dominion in the C-USA finals could be damaging though.

St. Mary's (27-4)- RPI: 38 vs Tier 1 1-1, vs Tier 2 2-1 
- Their overall record and win at Gonzaga carried them for a while. With 2 recent defeats especially the one at San Francisco, the margin for error is small. More losses like the San Fran one could be costly. They will likely open the WCC tourney against Santa Clara, which is a must win.

Texas (17-13)- RPI: 57 vs Tier 1 5-10, vs Tier 2 3-3)
- The Longhorns have plenty of good wins and no bad losses. At this point, improving their overall record is needed, so any win is helpful now. The bad thing for the Longhorns is that all that remains a  home date with West Virginia and the Big 12 tourney. A loss to the Mountaineers and a loss in Big 12 tourney would give them 15 losses.

UCLA (19-10- RPI: 54 vs Tier 1 3-6, vs Tier 2 3-2)
- The Bruins have 2 signature victories away from home but not much to add to them. UCLA is in danger and really needs to win at USC. If not, work in the Pac-12 tourney is definitely recommended.

Washington (19-10)- RPI: 51 vs Tier 1 3-5, vs Tier 2 2-3
- The Huskies have 2 great wins with the wins at Kansas and over Arizona. Washington just needs to win games at this point especially Tier 1 or 2. They end the season with Oregon and Oregon State coming to town. Both are a must.

Louisville (19-10) RPI: 39 Tier 1 3-8, Tier 2 2-2
- Louisville has struggled against good competition all season as shown with their 3-8 Tier 1 record with their best win coming at Florida State. A signature win or two is a must at this point as their lack of bad losses and RPI is   the only thing helping them now. Virginia comes to town next.

Kansas State  (20-9)- RPI: 61 vs Tier 1 3-8 vs Tier 2 6-0
- Kansas State sits in 4th in the Big 12, but their current profile is not good. A bad N-SOS and lack of good wins stands out. The Wildcats badly need to finish strong and get some more quality wins. Winning at TCU would help, but the Big 12 tourney will be very important for KSU.

Syracuse (18-11) RPI: 46 Tier 1 2-7, Tier 2 4-2
- The Orange are almost out of chances for a signature win. Their strong computer numbers are helping them out as the rest of their profile is lacking. Good wins are needed, and work in ACC tourney needs to be done.

Utah (18-10) RPI: 57 Tier 1 3-6, Tier 2 3-3
- The Utes had a home split with UCLA and USC. Beating Colorado is required and a run in PAC-12 tourney has to happen to feel decent about their chances.

Baylor (17-12) RPI: 63 Tier 1 4-10, Tier 2 2-2
- Baylor has played well lately to move into the bubble picture. They still have a long way to go to feel good about their chances. Winning games in the Big 12 is needed as win will improve their resume.

Boise State (21-6)- RPI: 45 vs Tier 1 1-2, vs Tier 2 4-2)
- The Broncos saw their resume get better with Loyola-Chicago and Oregon's RPI's soaring up. It is hard to see this team getting an at-large, but if enough teams ahead of them damage their profile, you never know.




Loyola-Chicago (24-5) RPI: 33 Tier 1 1-1, Tier 2 2-2
- The Ramblers have a win at Florida and relatively strong computer numbers. The resurgence from the Gators is likely needed to give them a realistic shot at an at-large. Winning the MVC is their best option. However, Clayton Custer did not play for the stretch where they went 2-3, which might be a factor.

Marquette (17-12) RPI: 66 Tier 1 4-7, Tier 2 3-4

- In recent years, this profile would look much better. Overall, winning games is needed as their RPI is not too good and their number of losses are stacking up.

Mississippi State (20-8)- RPI: 62 vs Tier 1 3-6, vs Tier 2 4-2)
- The Bulldogs played a very bad N-SOS, which really shows now as their RPI is still in the 60s. There are some good wins, but nothing on this resume is screaming pick me. There is plenty of work to be done.

Oregon (19-10)- RPI: 72 vs Tier 1 2-5, vs Tier 2 4-3)
- The Ducks have really turned it on, which has allowed them to fly into the bubble picture. Winning at Washington and Wazzu this week would really draw some attention.

New Mexico State (23-5) RPI: 50 Tier 1 1-2, Tier 2 2-1
- The Aggies had a legit at large profile before their back to back losses to Utah Valley and Seattle. It is unclear if an at-large is possible, which makes the WAC tourney the obvious choice. Winning out until the finals is an absolute must to have any at-large hopes.

Georgia (16-12) RPI: 70 Tier 1 4-8, Tier 2 4-2
- The Bulldogs have a good amount of good wins but are only 4 games above .500 in a year with a strong bubble. A lot of work is needed, and the margin for error is small.

LSU (16-12) RPI: 82 Tier 1 6-6, Tier 2 2-5
- In other years, this type of profile has received a lot more attention, which is likely because it is normally an ACC school. The Tigers have plenty of good wins but have rough computer numbers. A couple more Tier 1 wins would really make this interesting.


Temple (16-12) RPI: 40 Tier 1 3-8, Tier 2 5-0
- Wins over Clemson and Auburn at neutral sites are great. 4 losses against Tiers 3-4 are not. If the Owls win out until the AAC tourney and win a couple games there, it is interesting to see where they will stand. Avoiding any more losses is a must.

Fringe Candidates:
Louisiana, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Penn State, Western Kentucky, UCF, Buffalo