Thursday, February 7, 2008

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 on Monday, and our complete weekly "Bubble Watch" coming next Thursday (with breakdowns and analysis of all the bubble teams), 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 still has work left to do. 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: Duke, North Carolina
Looking Good: NONE
Work Left to Do: Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina State, Miami (Fl.), Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Florida State, Boston College

Big East
Locks: Georgetown, Connecticut
Looking Good: Louisville, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Notre Dame
Work Left to Do: Syracuse, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Providence, Villanova

Big Ten
Locks: Wisconsin, Michigan State
Looking Good: Indiana
Work Left to Do: Purdue, Ohio State

Big 12
Locks: Kansas, Texas
Looking Good: Kansas State
Work Left to Do: Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor

Locks: UCLA, Stanford, Washington State
Looking Good: Arizona
Work Left to Do: USC, California, Oregon, Arizona State

Locks: Tennessee
Looking Good: NONE
Work Left to Do: Arkansas, Mississippi, Vanderbilt, Florida, Mississippi State


Locks: Xavier
Looking Good: Rhode Island, Dayton

Work Left to Do: Saint Joseph’s, Massachusetts, Charlotte, Duquesne

West Coast

Locks: Saint Mary’s
Looking Good: Gonzaga

Missouri Valley

Locks: Drake
Work Left to Do: Illinois State

Mountain West

Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: UNLV, BYU


Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: Kent State, Ohio, Akron

Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: George Mason, VCU


Locks: Memphis
Work Left to Do: Houston, UAB


Locks: Butler
Work Left to Do: NONE

Sun Belt

Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: South Alabama, Western Kentucky


Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: Davidson


Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: Utah State

One-Bid Conferences
America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Ivy, MAAC, MEAC, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, SWAC, Southland, Summit


  1. I think that you've pretty well summed up whats going on. I do, however, take issue with Dayton "looking good" while Florida, Baylor, TAMU, and Oklahoma are not.

  2. I don't see how Oklahoma can be looking good, especially after losing at home last night and having Longar out indefinitely. If he comes back soon and they start winning again, then they'll definitely get a bid.

    Florida certainly has work to do -- losing by 40 something points in two games combined is not the way to enter the stretch run.

    Texas A&M and Baylor are both similar teams; a couple more wins and they should get a bid.

    As for Dayton, they have a tremendous RPI, two wins over Louisville and Pittsburgh, and the committee will take into account the injuries to Little and Wright (assuming the latter comes back healthy).