Friday, March 13, 2015

Schmolik Bubble Watch (3/13/15 AM)

Hello, college basketball fans!

Welcome to this season's second Bubble Watch.
I almost felt like yesterday was "play yourselves out of the NCAA field" day. Illinois got dumped by Michigan in a game they needed. Old Dominion struck out and killed any chance they had of getting an at large field. And two bubble teams in the SEC went one and done. Texas A&M now has zero chance to get in. Ole Miss still has some quality wins but all are in the category of not being a bubble team but not being an impressive enough win to help their cause. Georgia has an easier game now in the semifinals (South Carolina) but lost two top 50 wins (and a chance at a third) with Mississippi's loss. They probably need a win today. LSU and Georgia are the survivors in the SEC bubble mess. LSU won the head to head and also beat Arkansas and West Virginia (both on the road). But even though Old Dominion is out, that head to head loss could keep LSU out of the field if LSU also loses to Auburn.

The big winners yesterday are probably BYU, UCLA, and Texas, even though they lost on a buzzer beater to Iowa State. If teams continue to blow NCAA bids, someone has to make the field. And I still think Buffalo with a win improves its chances.

These are the teams I feel should be in the field at this time even if they lose their first game:

ACC: Duke, Va, ND, Lville, UNC, NCSt
A-10: VCU
Big 12: Kan, ISU, Okl, Bay, WV, OkSt
Big East: Vill, GTown, Butl, Prov, St. J, Xav
Big Ten: Wisc, Md, MSU, Iowa, OSU
MVC: Wich St
MWC: BSU, SDSt, ColoSt
Pac 12: Ariz, Utah, Ore
SEC: Ky, Ark

Friday Update:
Added to Locks: NC St, VCU, BSU, SDSt, ColoSt
Eliminated from Bubble Contention: Mia, Ill, ODU, Stan

Total: 32 (Since the ACC, Big 12, and Big East champions are guaranteed from the locks)
Automatic Bids: 24 (Including Gonz, N Iowa)

Remaining: 12

I only have 12 teams listed but keep in mind that doesn't account for party crashers.

RPI's courtesy of CBS Sports, accurate as of March 13.



Should be in if: Advances to SF
Should be on the bubble if: Loses to Memphis in QF


Should be in if: Advances to F
Should be on the bubble if: Loses in SF (assuming they don't lose to South Florida)
Should be out if: Loses to Houston in QF

Temple's resume is higher but Tulsa has the head to head sweep. Ironically Tulsa may want Temple to make the field to help their cause. If Temple doesn't make the field, Tulsa probably doesn't either.



Should be in if: Advances to SF
Should be on the bubble if: Loses to LaSalle in QF


Should be in if: Advances to SF
Should be on the bubble if: St. Bonaventure in QF

Both teams really deserve to be in but need to avoid the dreaded "bad loss".Davidson can claim a regular season title to help their cause and LaSalle is a top 100 team which might not damage Davidson's RPI that much. Dayton would be the most in danger with a loss, especially if they are the only one that loses.

Big 12:


Result: Lost to Iowa State in Big 12 QF

The buzzer beater must have been devastating, but if they look around they have to see other teams losing. Losing to Iowa State, a top 10 level team, on a buzzer beater is much better than losing to Auburn. I'm sure Texas really enjoyed seeing Texas A&M lose.

Big Ten:


Should be in if: Advances to SF
Should be on the bubble if: 
Should be out if: Loses to Penn State in QF


Should be in if: Advances to SF
Should be on the bubble if: Loses to Maryland in QF
Should be out if: Loses to Northwestern in 1st Round

Purdue is similar to Georgia and LSU. On one hand, a win probably gets them in and an easier opponent gives you a better chance to get you in. However, the loss will kill (or at least cripple) Purdue's at large chances. I believe Indiana should be rooting for Purdue to win. Indiana was swept by Purdue and if Purdue and Indiana both lose today, I think both are out. If Purdue wins, they are in and I think Indiana might still get in even if they lose. Now if Indiana wins, they should be in over Purdue (if they lose).

Mid American:


Should be in if: Wins tournament
Should be on the bubble if: Advances to F (or loses in the SF to a quality opponent)
Should be out if: Fails to advance to F

Buffalo had a good day as schools like Old Dominion, Mississippi, and Texas A&M hurt their causes. There are fewer teams Buffalo will have to fight for to get an at large bid. Buffalo got a bye to the semifinals (unusual) and they cannot afford to be one and done either.



Should be in if: Makes F
Should be on the bubble if: Loses to Arizona in SF

If UCLA upsets Arizona tonight, they will be the biggest bubble winner of the night. The bad news is Arizona at this moment is still in contention for a top seed and a loss could move Gonzaga ahead of them in the pecking order for 2 seeds.



Should be in if: Makes F
Should be on the bubble if: Makes SF 
Should be out if: Loses to South Carolina in QF


Should be in if: Makes SF
Should be on the bubble if: 
Should be out if: Loses to Auburn in QF

I think LSU should make the field with a win. They would clearly be the #3 team in the SEC pecking order. They do have a strong resume if they lose but the Old Dominion loss will still be hanging over their heads and, come on, Auburn? South Carolina wouldn't be as bad a loss for Georgia as Auburn would be to LSU but keep in mind they have ZERO top 50 wins and if neither win LSU is still ahead of them. I can see schools like UCLA and Buffalo moving ahead of the Bulldogs if Georgia loses.

I said at the beginning of the week only two SEC teams deserve to make the field. If LSU and Georgia both lose today and Kentucky and Arkansas make the final, I think two SEC bids is not out of the question.



Result: Lost to Gonzaga in WCC final

Their RPI is reasonable. They really have only one quality top 50 win but it's a huge one, at Gonzaga, the only team to win there all season. It should be interesting. If the NCAA wants to talk about quality wins, how can you top the Gonzaga win?

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