Well, the first time slot of the evening showed Indiana demolishing Iowa to knock them out of contention for the NCAA tournament. We saw Xavier solidify and lock up its big with its upset victory of #18 Butler in the Big East Tournament. I also do believe that Vanderbilt is safely in the tournament with their victory over Texas A&M, they avoided a bad loss. So they can count on their ticket being punched.
I’m continuing to work on the bubble as we speak here is an update:
I’m down to 13 teams for 5 spots (or 6 if MTSU wins CUSA)
Providence Friars: They have a good enough draw in the big east tourney, to either lock themselves in with a big win or two. They will not be hurt all that much, they are close to being a lock now, may lock them in before the end of the night especially with a victory over Creighton
USC Trojans: The Trojans also did themselves by eeking out a victory over Washington last night. If they had loss that game, they would be hosting a couple NIT games in Los Angeles. A victory over UCLA tonight and they become a lock for the tournament field.
Rhode Island Rams: Well originally I thought Dan Hurleys team needed to make the final of the A10 tournament to make a legitimate case for an at-large bid. After further review I have changed my position and when I release my next seed list projection you will see the Rams in it, as the second to last team to make it in. A loss to the Bonnies tomorrow will officially take them out of my bracket, and they will also be hosting some games in Kingston during the NIT. Beat the Bonnies and I will lock them into the field as long as Dayton is also victorious in their game.
Middle Tennessee St Blue Raiders– They are still alive in the CUSA Tournament and will be an ultimate referendum on the mid majors. If they lose do they take them over the likes of Syracuse, Kansas St, TCU, Iowa, or Illinois? I’ve decided to cross that bridge when we get there, but hopefully we don’t and they just win their conference tournament.
California Golden Bears: Cal continues to rise in my projections, now just two teams below the cut line. I tried to justify their inclusion after beating Utah earlier today, but just couldn’t do that. They must beat Oregon tomorrow to be included in the field.
Kansas State Wildcats: This is an easy blurp to write. If they beat Baylor tonight, they are in the tourney. If they lose, I will keep them in the bubble watch but it will pretty much be a longshot at that point. Too many teams have better overall resumes such as Illinois St, Rhode Island, Syracuse, USC, and Marquette. They can take care of it on the court.
TCU Horned Frogs: They were out of the conversation until this afternoon when they took down the #1 team in the nation. So they are still worth another review as they will face definite tournament teams no matter what, as that is all that’s left in the BIG XII. I still think they need to win the auto bid to have any chance, but we will continue to look at them.
Houston Cougars: They need another marquee win and they cant afford any bad losses. This makes this a tough road for the Cougars, they need to reach the American final to have any shot or they will be headed to the NIT. They must beat UConn/USF and hope to meet Cincy in the semifinals, or they will need to secure the auto bid.
Georgia Bulldogs– Georgia is in a very tenious bubble position, they have A LOT of work to do. First task beat Kentucky and then we will talk a little further. Can that really happen?
Ole Miss Rebels– Ole Miss doesn’t have the best resume, but still earn a mention here because of the weak bubble this year. They need to beat Missouri tonight, then Arkansas tomorrow, and hope to play Florida in the semifinals to have any chance.
TEAMS ON BUBBLE WAITING FOR SELECTION SUNDAY:
Marquette Golden Eagles: They may have been eliminated from the Big East Tourney earlier today, but I think they are pretty safe. I will be locking them into the field when the number of teams that can still make a run gets lowered to four or five. It would be miraculous for many teams if the Golden Eagles are left out.
Syracuse Orange: The perfect bubble resume here, they are going to be the last team in or first team out more than likely. Their road/neutral record and bad losses in December are going to kill them. Change a couple of those bad losses are we are not even talking about the Orange right now. If they had beaten Miami on Wednesday we are not even talking about the Orange right now. This team had their chances but did whatever they could to stay right at the cut line. As of tonight, the Orange are my last team in. They can thank 3 Top 25 wins and 6 Top 50 wins for keeping them there.
Illinois State Redbirds: The biggest question I ask about the Redbirds is who did they beat? 1 Top 50 win at home against Wichita State is great, but that doesn’t stack up well to Syracuse’s 6 Top 50 wins at home. Illinois St had better success than the Orange on the road against subpar competition. Should that be rewarded? They didn’t go out and play a tough non conference SOS either. Some people say that mid majors are victims of unfair scheduling practices, and I agree with that. But, that just doesn’t matter when selecting teams into the field. Their resume lacks and they are probably NIT bound, but for the time being they are the first team out.
Any questions/comments let me know.