Saturday, March 7, 2015
Sportz' Bubble Watch 2015 (Updated 3/8)
Okay. I've been doing my whole Sportz' Bubble Watch for a few years now and I think it is time to start back up. With only a few weeks left in the season before conference tournaments, let's see how the bubble looks.
So, here are my locks ... yes, by conference. Locks are teams that I think are in no matter what. Looking good are teams that are in, barring a total collapse. I split the bubble teams either In or Out; self explanatory. Also there's a spot for teams that need a miracle. No more losses and maybe a deep conference tournament run.
I figure there are 20 conferences who are one-bid leagues and 12 conferences that could net multiple bids. So who should be going?
ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
LOCKS: Virginia, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame
LOOKING GOOD: NC State
BUBBLE OUT: Miami
MIRACLE: Pittsburgh, Clemson
The regular season is over, and I feel NC State are looking like a tournament team. They beat down Syracuse on Saturday and now get Pitt in the ACC tournament. That's a dangerous game, but if they can at least lose a close game, I think they're in. Miami spanked Va Tech, which they should've done. Now it is on to the ACC tournament where they will need to win at least one game to have any shot.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: Pitt vs NC State, Clemson vs Pitt (Tue), Wake/VaTech vs Miami (Wed)
LOCKS: Villanova, Butler, Georgetown, Providence
LOOKING GOOD: St John's
BUBBLE IN: Xavier
MIRACLE: Seton Hall
Xavier had to beat Creighton and they barely did. Still, it is a road win and that matters when locking up a tournament bid. They get Butler in the Big East tournament ... so they just need to show up and keep it close and they're good.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: Xavier vs Butler (Thu)
LOCKS: Wisconsin, Maryland, Ohio State, Michigan State
LOOKING GOOD: Iowa, Purdue
BUBBLE IN: Indiana
BUBBLE OUT: Illinois
Man. Indiana had every opportunity to beat Michigan State and couldn't do it. Just couldn't do it. Right now, I have them as the last team in. They just aren't playing well enough to make me feel good about that. Purdue beat Illinois which puts the Boilermakers in a much better spot and the Illini in need of a deep Big Ten tournament run.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: Wisconsin at Ohio State (Sun)
BIG 12 CONFERENCE
LOCKS: Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Baylor
LOOKING GOOD: Oklahoma State
BUBBLE IN: Texas
Oklahoma State lost to West Virginia handily, but I feel when looking at the entire bubble field, the Cowboys are pretty much in. Texas got a huge win over Kansas State that is their 2nd straight win after a 4-game losing streak.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: Big 12 tournament
LOCKS: Arizona, Utah
LOOKING GOOD: Oregon
BUBBLE OUT: UCLA, Stanford, Oregon State
MIRACLE: California, Arizona State
Stanford really needed to beat Arizona to have a good shot at a tournament bid. Instead, they were blown out of the building. The way the bubble is built right now, the Cardinal have a slim chance to get in.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: Pac-12 tournaments
LOCKS: Kentucky, Arkansas
LOOKING GOOD: Ole Miss, Georgia
IN BUBBLE: LSU
OUT BUBBLE: Alabama, Texas A&M
Saturday was a big day of bubble watching in the SEC. LSU got an absolute huge win at Arkansas with a buzzer beating three pointer. That win ... along with some sketchy bubble work elsewhere ... places LSU in a much better position. Texas A&M, on the other hand, were swept at home by Alabama. A&M's biggest wins have been their two over LSU. That's it. I just don't see them having the oomph to get into the dance without a big SEC tournament run.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: SEC tournament
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
LOOKING GOOD: Temple
IN BUBBLE: Cincinnati
OUT BUBBLE: Tulsa, Memphis
Temple blew out UConn and I think they're good now. The big test will be Cincy and Tulsa on Sunday.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: Memphis at Cincinnati, Tulsa at SMU (Sun)
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
LOCKS: San Diego State
LOOKING GOOD: Colorado State, Boise State
OUT BUBBLE: Wyoming
MIRACLE: Utah State
Not much to see here. SD State, Colorado State and Boise State all took care of business on Saturday and they all look like they'll be dancing.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: Mountain West tournament
LOOKING GOOD: Dayton
IN BUBBLE: Davidson
OUT BUBBLE: Richmond, Rhode Island
MIRACLE: UMass, George Washington
Davidson is on a hot streak and just blew out Duquesne. Believer? Yes I am. Dayton lost to LaSalle.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: A-10 tournament
MISSOURI VALLEY, WEST COAST, OHIO VALLEY
LOCKS: Gonzaga, Northern Iowa, Wichita State
IN BUBBLE: BYU
OUT BUBBLE: St. Mary's, Murray State
Murray State was upset in the final of the OVC and that could leave them without a bid. Shame since this is a team that could do some damage if they could get in. BYU got their big important win at Gonzaga. BYU will be one of the most interesting bubble teams on selection Sunday since their numbers are solid but they hadn't really beaten anyone. Well, now they have.
BIG BUBBLE GAMES LOOMING: Conference tournaments
ONE BID LEAGUES (21):
OHIO VALLEY: Belmont
ATLANTIC SUN: North Florida
BIG SOUTH: Coastal Carolina
AMERICA EAST: (3/14)
BIG SKY: (3/14)
BIG WEST: (3/14)
CONFERENCE USA: (3/14)
SUN BELT: (3/15)