Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sportz Assassin Bubble Watch - Selection Sunday

As conference tournament time continues, so does the bubble bursting. For a full recap of who I think are locks, please check out my main Bubble Watch page. Below is what the bubble teams are doing. Just like before, the blue teams are who I think are looking good for a bid, orange teams are on the good side of the bubble to get in and the red are teams that I think are currently out.

As of now, I have only four true bubble spots.  I think Arizona State and Xavier are in safely and ... with no bubble team in action Sunday outside of St. Joseph's, there shouldn't be much movement in the Bubble Land today.  None of the conference championships today feature a team that could steal a bid so this is pretty much my take on who is in the field:

CAME IN FRIDAY AS BLUE (near lock): 

Arizona State: No game as they lost Thursday in the Pac-12 tournament. Still, they shouldn't have to worry about missing the field on Sunday.

Xavier: The Muskies are a tournament team in my eyes. Losing to a Creighton team that sees McDermott rolling isn't a crime. Again, look below and you should see why I'm confident in a bid.

Stanford: Sometimes it isn't always what you get done but what happens around you that solidifies a bid.  With it being Selection Sunday, I am moving Stanford into the lock category.  They're in.

CAME IN FRIDAY AS ORANGE ("in" side of the bubble): 

Nebraska: The Cornhuskers lost a close one to Ohio State that they led for most of the game. A win would have really moved them ahead of the rest of the bubble, but this loss leaves them a bit in limbo. They have nice wins and are hot of late, but if the Committee's last taste of Corn is this one, it could spell trouble.

Providence: The Friars just did what you need to do to make sure you are on the NCAA Tournament bracket: win your conference tournament.  The Friars won the Big East tournament and nailed down their bid.

Tennessee: The Vols avoided a bubble-popping loss to South Carolina in the SEC quarterfinals and had Florida on the ropes for most of their semifinal game. Tennessee already has a great SOS and decent numbers.  With the bubble watch reaching its end, I like the Vols chances for a bid.

St. Joseph's: While not a "wow" win over St. Bonnie's, winning that game and reaching the Atlantic 10 finals against VCU knocks them into a looking good status.  They've done the work and will either gain an automatic berth with a win or ... barring a 50 point blowout ... should be fine with a loss to a hot opponent that's securely in the field.

Dayton: The Flyers should be Dancing on Sunday.  They were tough down the stretch and played a darn good schedule.  Though it doesn't matter to the committee, we all want to see the Flyers get a First Four game in their own arena.  They are in to me.

CAME IN FRIDAY AS RED ("out" side of the bubble): 

Southern Miss
Louisiana Tech
NC State
Florida State
St. John's

I'm just going to go ahead and lump all these together.  Only NC State played on Saturday among this group and they needed next to a miracle to get an at-large bid anyway.  I can't see a real argument for any of these teams to get in ahead of Arizona State, Xavier, St. Joseph's, Nebraska, Tennessee or Dayton.  Unlike most years, I think the bids are pretty easy to figure out ... but there is always something that shocks us.

By the way, I haven't had either Southern Miss or Louisiana Tech in this category all Bubble Watch season because I didn't believe they had a shot at an automatic bid.  Neither won the Conference USA tournament (Tulsa did) so neither will be in the field in my eyes.  To me, that would be the lone curve ball the committee could throw at us on Sunday.

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