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 21 conferences who are one-bid leagues and 11 conferences that could net multiple bids. So who should be going?
ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE (8)
LOCKS: Virginia, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia Tech
LOOKING GOOD: Florida State, NC State
BUBBLE OUT: Syracuse, Louisville, Notre Dame
The ACC will get 8 in ... but can they get more? Syracuse likely has no shot. Louisville probably is out as well. Their losses at the end of the season, albeit to really good teams, kills their chances. Notre Dame is a trickier deal. On paper, they don't get in. But they missed Bonzie Colson for much of the season. He's back now, making them a different team. Now comes the question of if the committee believes they deserve to be in off of a projection more than a resume. I think not.
BIG EAST (6)
LOCKS: Villanova, Xavier, Creighton, Butler
LOOKING GOOD: Seton Hall, Providence
BUBBLE OUT: Marquette
The Big East is pretty much set. The only thing up in the air is if Xavier can nab a No. 1 seed, giving the conference two.
BIG TEN (4)
LOCKS: Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Ohio State
BUBBLE OUT: Nebraska, Penn State, Maryland
There will be a lot of huffing and puffing about Nebraska ... who went 13-5 in the Big Ten ... not getting in. That's one of the issues with these new super conferences. With the lack of a round robin and the fact that there can be even more dead weight at the bottom of the standings, this kind of stuff happens. The Big Ten was down, but they've got four teams locked in. Show us what you got.
BIG 12 CONFERENCE (7)
LOCKS: Kansas, Texas Tech, West Virginia, TCU
BUBBLE IN: Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma
BUBBLE OUT: Oklahoma State, Baylor
The Big 12 is a great league and the fact that only Iowa State (who, ironically, won the league's automatic bid last year) is the lone school not in consideration for a bid. That bubble line is so tough. Oklahoma was such a lock early on but has stunk it up over the last two months that including them would almost be insulting. Oklahoma State beat Kansas twice (they are a No. 1 seed) and may not get in. K-State looks alright and Texas will probably get in but with this weird bubble you can't be too safe.
PAC-12 CONFERENCE (3)
BUBBLE IN: USC, UCLA
BUBBLE OUT: Arizona State, Oregon, Utah, Washington
The Pac-12 is down. Only Arizona is a lock, though the two Los Angeles team should be able to wiggle in. The fact the league is bad puts Oregon, Utah and Washington as long shots to get in. Then there is Arizona State who, like Oklahoma, has stunk up the joint since the calendar switched to 2018. The Sun Devils have beaten Kansas and Xavier ... two No. 1 seeds ... but may miss.
SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE (8)
LOCKS: Kentucky, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Texas A&M
LOOKING GOOD: Alabama, Arkansas
IN BUBBLE: Missouri
OUT BUBBLE: Mississippi State
The SEC seems to be cut and dry. Even the "Looking Good" and "In" teams look pretty solid.
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (3)
LOCKS: Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston
Nothing to see here. These three are in and no one else was close .
MOUNTAIN WEST, WEST COAST, ATLANTIC 10, CONFERENCE USA (8)
LOCKS: Gonzaga, San Diego State, Marshall, Davidson
LOOKING GOOD: Rhode Island, Nevada, Saint Mary's
IN BUBBLE: St. BonaventureOUT BUBBLE: Middle Tennessee, Boise State
Let's look right here for the bubble issues. San Diego State, Marshall and Davidson were bid stealers. None of them were going to get bids if they didn't win their conference tournaments. Since they did, Rhode Island and Nevada will nab at large bids while Middle Tennessee State will end up sitting at home. St. Bonaventure will probably still be in the dance. But these surprises really sting those on the bubble.
ONE BID LEAGUES (21):
OHIO VALLEY: Murray State
ATLANTIC SUN: Lipscomb
BIG SOUTH: RadfordMISSOURI VALLEY: Loyola Chicago
SOUTHERN: UNC GreensboroCOLONIAL: CharlestonNORTHEAST: LIU Brooklyn
HORIZON: Wright State
SUMMIT: South Dakota State
AMERICA EAST: Maryland-Baltimore County
BIG SKY: Montana
MEAC: NC Central
SOUTHLAND: Stephen F Austin
SWAC: Texas Southern
BIG WEST: Cal State-Fullerton
WAC: New Mexico State
IVY LEAGUE: Pennsylvania
SUN BELT: Georgia State