Bubble Watch February 20th

American Athletic:

Should be in: SMU

Work to do: Temple, Cincinnati, Tulsa

Temple: Temple had been looking great until they lost a big lead at SMU. Still, at SMU is not at all a bad loss and Temple is sitting on the right side of the bubble right now.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats were in great shape especially after sweeping SMU but have now lost three straight and have fallen onto the bubble.

Tulsa: Tulsa is an interesting case. Just one top-50 RPI win but just one bad loss to Oral Roberts. They will need to find a way to beat at least one more top-50 RPI team to have a good chance to grab an at large bid.

Atlantic 10:

Should be in: VCU, Dayton

Work to do: Davidson, Rhode Island, UMass

Dayton: Dayton is in good shape right now. Barring any late bad losses they should be securely in as an 8 or 9 seed.

Davidson: Davidson is right on the fence right now. They have a good record with just two bad losses but few good wins. They will need to beat a team like VCU or Dayton to secure a spot.

Rhode Island: The Rams are very similar to Davidson. Just six losses on the year but no quality wins. They may need to win out and win at least 2 games in the A10 tourney to have a chance at an at large bid.

Massachusetts: The Minutemen have a good RPI (38th) but again like many other A10 teams, lack quality wins. They also have more losses than any team listed which means they also may have to go the farthest for a bid.

ACC:

Locks: Virginia, Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame, North Carolina

Work to do: NC State, Miami, Pittsburgh

NC State: NC State now has two great wins which has put them into RSN’s field of 68. One more good win may seal the deal as the committee has been high on NC State in the past with a similar resume.

Miami: Miami has been on a free fall in the last month but still has a chance for a bid. They survived in overtime at last place Boston College, but need to right the ship.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers have good wins but a few bad losses and a mediocre RPI. Pitt cannot afford anymore slip ups.

Big 12:

Locks: Kansas,  Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor

Should be in: West Virginia, Oklahoma State

Work to do:  Texas

Texas: The Longhorns may be the safest team out of all teams in the ‘work to do’ category. The only reason they could start to fall is their below .500 conference record. However this may not be a huge factor as the Big 12 is the best conference in the NCAA.

BIG EAST:

Locks: Villanova

Should be in: Butler, Providence, Georgetown

Work to do: Xavier, St John’s, Seton Hall

Xavier: Xavier is in good shape right now and will be comfortably in the field as long as they can win their winnable games.

St John’s: The Red Storm have been playing well lately besides a drubbing at Georgetown beating quality Big East teams. Next up is a must win at home vs struggling Seton Hall

Seton Hall: The Pirates collapse continued at Villanova as they lost their fifth straight. However, if the Hall were to win three of the last four games, and make some magic in the Big East tourney, they still would have a small shot given their strength of schedule and conference. An extremely tough task, especially after losing top scorer Sterling Gibbs to a suspension.

Big 10:

Locks: Wisconsin, Maryland

Should be in: Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State

Work to do: Iowa, Illinois, Purdue

Iowa: Iowa is arguably the most inconsistent team in the country. As long as they don’t lose any more bad games they will be ok.

 Illinois: Illinois has been red hot lately with their only loss coming at #5 Wisconsin. They may need one more big win to secure their spot but as of now they are in.

Purdue: Purdue keeps on winning in the Big 10. They currently sit at 10-4 in conference play, but have a horrible RPI and home losses to Gardner-Webb and North Florida holding them back.

Mountain West:

Should be in: San Diego St

Work to do: Colorado St, Boise St

Colorado State: The Rams have just 5 losses this year but all 5 have come in conference play. With a down year in the MWC fourth place in the conference may not cut it, but they’re safe for now.

Boise State: The Broncos have won 9 of 10 including 2 top 30 RPI wins. With just one tough opponent remaining (at San Diego State) they need to win every other game to avoid a third bad loss which could cost them a spot.

Pac 12:

Locks: Arizona, Utah

Work to do: Stanford, UCLA, Oregon

Stanford: The Cardinal, like Miami, have been on a downward spiral in the last two weeks. They are right on the edge and cannot afford any more slip ups.

UCLA: A loss at Arizona State was costly but not fatal. They are pegged as the last team in right now.

Oregon: Oregon would not make the cut right now but are very close. One more quality win could do it.

SEC:

Locks: Kentucky

Should be in: Arkansas, Ole Miss

Work to do:  Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU

Georgia: The Bulldogs’ bad losses are starting to pile up. They need to win their winnable games or else they’re in trouble.

Texas A&M: I am very fond of A&M and how they play. They are safer than most people think.

LSU: The Tigers are on the 10-11 seed line right now but their tight loss to Kentucky proved that they can play with anybody.

Mid-Majors with 2 Bid Chances:

Locks: Gonzaga, Northern Iowa, Wichita State

Work to do: BYU, Old Dominion

BYU: Led by high scoring Tyler Haws, the Cougars are slowly making it back onto the bubble.

Old Dominion: The Monarchs are very close to being off the bubble. Four bad losses and just two wins against top 50 opponents will not cut it.

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Bubble Watch February 20th