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College Basketball Bracketology and Bubble Update

We have officially entered my favorite time of the year now that conference tournaments have started up. Champ Week is in full force, as teams are competing to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. With that being said, teams that are not fortunate enough to win their conference tournament must receive an at large bid to reach the NCAA Tournament. Below is my updated Bracketology, and with this Bracketology, I believe that every team from seeds 1-9 is safe, leaving seeds 10-12 on the bubble, along with nine teams who are still alive.

Bracket Highlights

  • Wichita State takes UNC’s two seed after the Tar Heels lost at the buzzer to Miami. Wichita State will play Cincinnati Sunday to determine who really deserves to be a two seed.
  • Auburn and Tennessee both have arguments to be a 3 seed, so it was a tough choice to put Auburn there for now.
  • The 8 seed is made up of three mid-major schools (Nevada, Middle Tennessee, and St Marys)
  • Oklahoma is getting close to the cut line, as they continue to struggle.
  • Texas enters the bracket after I compared them to Utah and decided the Longhorns are more deserving currently.
  • UCLA will be playing USC Saturday for a spot in the bracket before the PAC 12 Tournament starts.
  • Notre Dame enters the bracket for now, but they still have a lot of work to do before Selection Sunday. Their work may be easier now that their star player Bonzie Colson is back, so watch out for the Irish.

 

Bubble

With just three days left in the regular season, teams have one more game, then one last chance in their conference tournament to make a push towards the tournament. Below are what I believe each bubble team needs to do to better their chances to be selected on Selection Sunday.

 

What has happened since the last update

  • Boise State lost to San Diego State ending their chances to receive a bid without winning the Mountain West.
  • Baylor moved closer to a bid by beating Oklahoma by double digits.
  • Alabama joins the bubble list as they raised questions after being blown out by Florida at home.
  • Kansas State made their good chance of getting a bid a lot tougher as they lost to TCU.
  • Mississippi States falls to Tennessee but moves up after I re-evaluated their resume.
  • Syracuse seems to be out of the tournament once again as they fall to BC.
  • St Bonaventure got us ready for March with an incredible triple overtime win over Davidson to keep them very much alive in bubble talks, and I think they are safe unless they lose to a terrible team in the A10 tournament.
  • Oregon has been eliminated after reaching the Final Four last season with their loss to Washington State.

Texas A&M (10 seed)- The Aggies are pretty safe because they have many fantastic wins. The only way that they may not get a spot in the tournament is if they do not win a game for the rest of the season.

Alabama (10 seed)- Alabama got blown out at home by Florida to enter the bubble unexpectedly. The Tide go to Texas A&M Saturday in a must-win game, but I still think with a loss they are fairly safe.

Oklahoma (10 seed)- Oklahoma is in trouble after getting blown out by Baylor, but I still think one meaningful win should be their key to get in.

Seton Hall (10 seed)- The Pirates have Butler coming to town to close the season, so a win over Butler or a win in the Big East Tournament should get them in with ease.

ASU (11 seed)- ASU is slipping big time. A loss to Stanford or Cal to close the season may really hurt them, plus they still may need one win in the PAC 12 Tournament.

Kansas State (11 seed)- KSU’s resume looked like a lock to me until I saw that other experts had them on their bubble. “I think just one more win before selection Sunday should get the Wildcats in” was said Tuesday, but with their loss to TCU Tuesday they have to either beat Baylor or win a Big 12 Tournament game which will not be easy at all.

Baylor (11 Seed)- Baylor has Kansas State left on the schedule where a win should be their ticket in. With a loss to Kansas State, getting a win in the Big 12 Tournament may not be easy since they are towards the bottom of the standings in the toughest conference in the nation. The Bears may or may not need that win depending on other bubble teams.

Providence (Last 4 In)- The Friars will be expected to win their final game with St Johns. Providence then may or may not need a win in the Big East Tournament.

Texas (Last 4 In)- The Longhorns are in a tough spot with West Virginia coming to town. This team is being viewed differently by experts so they may need to beat West Virginia or win one maybe two games in the Big 12 Tournament to receive a bid.

UCLA (Last 4 In)- UCLA needs a win over USC to close the season or else they may need two wins in the PAC 12 Tournament. With a win over USC they should be in with one PAC 12 Tournament win.

THESE TWO ARE VERY SIMILAR*

USC (Out)- USC needs a win over UCLA to close the season or else they may need two wins in the PAC 12 Tournament. With a win over UCLA they should be in with one PAC 12 Tournament win.

Loser will need two wins at least in the PAC 12 tournament.

Notre Dame (Last 4 In) – The Irish are an interesting story since they have been without their best player Bonzie Colson who has been injured. When Bonzie comes back, this team is easily a top-25 talent, and I know that I would not want to see them in March. Problem is ND may not even have a chance to make the tournament as they go to #1 Virginia to close the year. A loss to Virginia may mean that this team needs two wins in the ACC tournament or more. Before they play Virginia, I have them in my bracket until a team replaces them.

Mississippi State (Out) – Even with a loss to Tennessee, I like this Bulldog teams resume over these other bubble teams. I am not confident to say they are in yet, but they are close. They travel to LSU to end the regular season with a must win game.

Nebraska (Out) – The Cornhuskers can prove their worth with a win over Michigan today(Friday), but if they lose I do not see them getting a bid.

Utah (Out) – Utah has a must win game at home over Colorado left on the schedule plus they will need at least one win in the PAC 12 Tournament to be considered.

Washington (Out) – The Huskies have one must win game with Oregon left on the schedule, plus they may need a PAC 12 Tournament win unless the selection committee sees otherwise.

Louisville (Out) – Louisville blowing a significant lead and losing at the buzzer to Virginia may keep them out of the NCAA Tournament, but they still have a good chance to get in if they prove themselves by beating NC State to end the regular season or by winning meaningful games in the ACC Tournament.

Marquette (Out) – Marquette barely stayed alive barely beating Georgetown. Marquette has Creighton left on the schedule at home which to me is a must win game. After they beat Creighton they would likely need two Big East Tournament wins.

Syracuse (Out) – The Orange are basically done unless they pull off a major upset in the ACC Tournament.

Penn State (Out) – If the Nittany Lions can beat Ohio State for a third time today(Friday) who knows.

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