Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bubble Watch


Bubble Breakdown and Comparison

According to the numbers, there are 12 bids still up for grabs, with 23 teams seriously vying for them:

Locks: 27
Automatic bids from the other conferences: 19
46 Locks Overall

ACC (3): North Carolina, Duke, Clemson
Big East (5): Georgetown, Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame
Big Ten (4): Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State
Big 12 (2): Kansas, Texas
Pac-10 (3): UCLA, Stanford, Washington State
SEC (3): Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
Atlantic-10 (1): Xavier
Conference-USA (1): Memphis
Horizon (1): Butler
Missouri Valley (1): Drake
Mountain West (1): BYU
West Coast (2): Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga

One-Bid Conferences (19): America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, SWAC, Summit, Sun Belt, WAC

Teams that need to keep winning to avoid the bubble – these bids are not up-for-grabs yet (7):
Miami (Fl.), Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Arizona, USC

Note: Teams like Kent State, South Alabama, Davidson and VCU are not in this category, as they are the current leaders in their respective conferences


  1. Jeff, this is quite helpful. I do, however, have a few criticisms.

    1. You need more consistency in your key wins/bad losses. Why is Nebraska a bad loss for TAMU, but not Oregon? If a team isn't even under consideration for the tournament, how can they be considered a big win (see Creighton, TTU)

    2. SIU has a misprint. They are 17-13, not 17-3. Why are they even being considered? They have 5 bad losses - more than any team other than Ole Miss or UAB (who, in my opinion, should not be on the bubble either).

    3. If VT is a legit bubble team, then why not Nebraska? 17-11, wins over KSU, TAMU, Oklahoma, and ASU, only 3 bad losses (four if you count Creighton), and a Non-Conference schedule much better than the 323 mark the RPI gives it (Playing @ Creighton and WKU, Home against ASU, semi-home vs. Oregon). In contrast, VT's 4 best non-con games were neutral courts against Butler and Gonzaga (not scheduled by them), Home against UNC-A, @ Richmond. Moreover, Nebraska has 4 wins against the top 50, while VT has none.

  2. It's a bad loss for A&M because the game was at home for the Aggies; Oregon played them in Omaha.

    SIU has the most big wins of any of the bubble teams; notice the teams with the most big wins also have the worst losses (Ole Miss, Arkansas, SIU).

    Nebraska is 6-9 in the Big 12, it has an RPI of 99, a 3-8 record away from home and a NC SOS of 323 (as you mention). Is that supposed to be serious?

  3. You missed the second part of my 1st point - How are TTU and Creighton big wins if they aren't even close to the tournament?

    Your response to Points 1 and 3 seem to contradict each other. If Nebraska is worthy of not being a bad loss, then how are they not worthy of being looked at.

    The Colton Index has NU ranked 65, with a non-con SOS of 288, whereas VT is 54 with a non-con SOS of 164. The difference in the SOS is not the quality of competitive games. Rather, it is in the fact that VT scheduled their cupcakes against teams in the 150-200 RPI, while NU scheduled theirs against 200-300 RPI. These bottom feeders drag down NU's SOS, even though there was no difference in the chance of winning.

  4. For're basically saying any team not on the bubble or in the NCAA Tournament is a bad loss? Again, does that make any sense?

    I said Nebraska is a bad loss when you play them at home and not a bad loss when you play them on the road, and that the Cornhuskers are not near the bubble right now -- how is that a contradiction?

    And Tech and Creighton are both "key" wins, not "big" wins. Beating top-50 teams are key wins no matter which way you slice it, even if they aren't at-large contenders.

    I don't even understand what you're saying -- is it that some top-50 wins aren't good or is that a 15-13 Texas Tech should be considered for the bubble?