Thursday, February 5, 2009

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, Wake Forest, Clemson
Looking Good: Florida State
Work Left to Do: Boston College, Virginia Tech, Miami (Fl.), Maryland
Big East
Locks: Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Marquette
Looking Good: Syracuse, West Virginia, Villanova
Work Left to Do: Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Cincinnati

Big Ten
Locks: Michigan State
Looking Good: Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, Ohio State
Work Left to Do: Penn State, Northwestern, Michigan, Wisconsin

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

Locks: NONE
Looking Good: Washington, UCLA, Arizona State
Work Left to Do: California, USC, Arizona, Washington State, Stanford

Locks: NONE
Looking Good: NONE
Work Left to Do: Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, LSU, Kentucky, Mississippi State

Locks: Xavier
Work Left to Do: Dayton, Saint Joseph’s, Temple

Work Left to Do: UAB, Tulsa

Mountain West
Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: UNLV, Utah, BYU, San Diego State

West Coast
Locks: Gonzaga
Work Left to Do: Saint Mary’s

Locks: Butler
Work Left to Do: NONE

Work Left to Do: Siena

Missouri Valley
Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: Northern Iowa, Illinois State

Locks: NONE
Looking Good: Davidson

Locks: NONE
Work Left to Do: Utah State

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

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