Bubble Watch 3/7

Conference tournaments have started and already there have been a couple bid stealers. In the last 5 days, there have been lots of shifting and the bubble continues to change. Since my last update on 3/1, the bubble has shrunk from 32 teams to 26 teams. As of this evening, the teams with automatic bids already locked up are: Northern Iowa (MVC), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), NC-Asheville (Big South), Yale (Ivy League), Austin Peay (Ohio Valley).

As bids are filled up throughout the week, I will making edits to this and reposting. However, because of sudden changes in RPI and other variables, I will not be adding those to each bubble watch. The summaries of each team will change for each update. With all this being said, click read more to see how the bubble is shaping up.

My seed for each team is in parenthesis next to their name.

American Athletic

Lead-Pipe Lock: none.

Controls own destiny: none.

Needs some help: Connecticut, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Temple

Connecticut (11) – Big opportunity to solidify themselves in the AAC tournament with a first round game against Cincinnati. If they can get that win, the Huskies will likely be dancing.

Tulsa (N/A) – Tulsa has a decent resume but might need to win the AAC tournament to solidify their place in the tournament next Sunday.

Cincinnati  (11) – Same situation as Connecticut, except they have to play each other. With the way the tournament is set up, the AAC could easily be a 1 or 2 bid conference.

Temple (11) – Need a good performance in the tournament and probably lose in the conference final to earn a bid.

Atlantic 10

Lead-Pipe Lock: Dayton

Controls own destiny: Saint Joseph’s

Needs some help: Saint Bonaventure, George Washington, VCU

Saint Joseph’s (8) – Just play their game and win a game and Joe’s should be in the tournament.

Saint Bonaventure (11) – Currently in the tournament, if they don’t win the conference tournament, the Bonnies should feel alright if they make the final, but if they don’t, lots of sweating.

George Washington (N/A) – Need to make it to the conference tournament final and then start sweating it out.

VCU (11) – So close against Dayton, but a loss is still a loss. Beating Dayton on the road would have been so helpful, but it just didn’t happen. Probably two more wins will lock it up.

ACC

Lead-Pipe Lock: Virginia, Miami, North Carolina, Duke, Notre Dame

Controls own destiny: Pittsburgh

Needs some help: Syracuse

Pittsburgh (10) – Pitt is falling and falling hard. Down to a 10 seed in my bracket and they need a couple ACC wins to make their case a little stronger.

Syracuse (10) – Just like Pitt, the Orange needs a couple wins to make themselves comfortable in the tournament field.

Big 12

Lead-Pipe Lock: Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech

Controls own destiny: none.

Needs some help: none.

Big East

Lead-Pipe Lock: Xavier, Villanova, Seton Hall

Controls own destiny: Providence, Butler

Needs some help: none.

Providence (8) – The Friars may have one 3 straight, but their quality of opponents have gone down. Providence vs. Butler in the Big East will be a big matchup, where if it’s a close battle, both teams will probably make it.

Butler (9) – Butler took care of business in the past week, going 2-0. Seton Hall at home was a big win and dismantling Marquette was certainly a statement. Beating Providence in the Big East tournament and you’ll see the Bulldogs in the tournament for yet another season. A loss and they’ll probably still make it, but more sweating.

Big 10

Lead-Pipe Lock: Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue

Controls own destiny: none.

Needs some help: Michigan, Ohio State

Michigan (N/A) – Missed opportunity against Iowa, but the Big Ten tournament offers even more. The Wolverines probably need 2 or 3 wins to have a chance, but you never know.

Ohio State (N/A) – The Buckeyes really need a big run in the Big Ten tournament to make it, but they have that shot. Currently on the wrong side of the bubble, if they can make that run and Michigan plays well, the Big Ten might be an 8 bid league.

Pac-12

Lead-Pipe Lock: Oregon, Arizona, Utah, California, Colorado

Controls own destiny:

Needs some help: Oregon State, USC

Oregon State (9) – Good win against UCLA, but it isn’t going to solidify anything. Two wins in the Pac-12 tournament should do it.

USC (8) – Oregon was a missed opportunity, but the Trojans can lock themselves up with 2 tournament wins, maybe 1.

SEC

Lead-Pipe Lock: Kentucky, Texas A&M

Controls own destiny: South Carolina

Needs some help: Vanderbilt, Florida, Alabama

South Carolina (9) – In a recent collapse, SC has fallen to a 9 seed, and if they don’t grab a win or 2 in the SEC tournament, we somehow might see them miss the Big Dance.

Vanderbilt (10) – Vandy is playing strong ball right now and should make the tournament with one more win, but depending on the play of teams around them, I’ll be safe and say they need 2 wins to feel comfortable.

Florida/Alabama (N/A) – Both of these teams need runs in the SEC tournament if they want to make it. They need to impress and grab 2 or 3 wins and maybe lose in the conference final to have a chance. Not going to say it isn’t possible, but they need some help, especially for Bama.

Other

Sweating, but not too much: Wichita State

Sweating, but a lot: Valparaiso, Arkansas-Little Rock, Monmouth, Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

And the title says it all. Wichita State has a decent shot, but they are still praying. If any of the teams on the second line lose without a conference tournament title, they are praying and sweating an awful lot.

And that’s all I have for now, so this is me…signing off. -Lukas.

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