Thursday, February 1, 2007

A Look at the Bubble

It's that time of the year again. February. The stretch run of college basketball is set to begin. For the next five-plus weeks, we are all going to hear non-stop discussion about RPIs, quality wins, and most importantly, the bubble. With the release of our first full weekly bracket starting Monday, and our complete weekly "Bubble Watch" coming Thursday, it would be a good time to get people acquainted and familiar with who is in the running this season. Even if someone followed college basketball pretty closely, they might not know who's in, who's out, and who's on the bubble. This should help.

Let's look at the landscape conference-by-conference (for the bubble, it includes all teams that have even an outside shot at a bid, just not to leave anyone out; the complete Bubble Watch won't have all these teams):

Locks: North Carolina, Duke
Looking Good: Virginia Tech

Bubble: Clemson, Boston College, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Maryland

Big East
Locks: Pittsburgh, Marquette
Looking Good: Georgetown, Notre Dame

Bubble: Villanova, Louisville, West Virginia, Syracuse, Providence

Big Ten
Locks: Wisconsin, Ohio State
Looking Good: Indiana

Bubble: Michigan State, Michigan, Illinois, Purdue

Big Twelve
Locks: Kansas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State
Looking Good: Texas
Bubble: Texas Tech, Kansas State

Locks: UCLA, Oregon, Washington State
Looking Good: USC

Bubble: Stanford, Arizona, Washington

Locks: Florida
Looking Good: Kentucky
Bubble: Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU

Missouri Valley
Locks: Southern Illinois
Looking Good: Creighton

Bubble: Northern Iowa, Missouri State, Bradley, Wichita State

Locks: NONE
Bubble: Xavier, George Washington

Locks: NONE
Bubble: VCU, Drexel, Hofstra

Mountain West
Locks: Air Force
Looking Good: UNLV

Bubble: BYU

Locks: Nevada
Bubble: New Mexico State

One-Bid Conferences
America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Conference-USA, Horizon, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, Mid-Continent, MEAC, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, SWAC, Southland, Southern, Sun Belt, West Coast

Potential At-Large Contenders from the One-Bid Conferences: Butler (Horizon); Memphis (Conference-USA); Gonzaga (WCC); Appalachian State (Southern)

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