Bubble Watch: the bubble keeps shrinking

Editor's Note: The NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch was updated in Friday's games.

The Atlantic 10 has become an extremely reliable source of thieves. For the third consecutive year, the league is in charge of erasing an auction from the board.

This time, it's Rhode Island that has accomplished the act. URI eliminated VCU 75-70 in the quarterfinals A-10.

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The bubble had already contracted from an open position when Saint Mary's beat Gonzaga by 13 in the West Coast Conference title match. Now, with the Rams joining the Gaels in the Thieves category, there are two teams of bubbles that will stay home or accept invitations to NIT next weekend.

With the frantic flight that reorganizes the terrain, here's how Bubble Watch sees the medium take shape. The figures below show 23 teams competing for 11 places available. Four of these aspirants are so-called "should be" teams: Oklahoma, Minnesota, VCU and Utah State.

  • Florida State faces Duke Saturday in the final of the ACC tournament, after thwarting No. 1 seed, Virginia.

These four players seem very likely to remain intact in the field as a foursome. The "effective" bubble could be thought of as follows: 19 teams competing for only seven places.

In a parallel universe where Gonzaga and VCU are doing business in their conference tournaments, these same 19 teams are competing for nine open offers. These are the breaks.

Of course, we can not be sure that the bubble is shrinking. By beating Washington in the Pac-12 final, Oregon would win another bid, just as Bowling Green would defeat Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference finals.

Here's how we project the bubble:

Offers of traditional leagues to "an offer": 20 teams
locks: 37 teams
The bubble: 23 teams for 11 places available
Should be in: 4 teams
Work to do: 19 teams

ACC | Big 12| Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SECOND | American | Other


locks: Virginia, duke, North Carolina, Louisville, State of Florida, Virginia Tech, Syracuse
Work to do: NC State, Clemson

Work to do

NC State Wolfpack

A win over Clemson was followed by a 20-point loss against Virginia. The NC State course in the ACC tournament is over. Has the Wolfpack done enough between November and March for a global offer? When Kevin Keatts's men took the lead against the Cavaliers, they were ranked in the '30s on the NET and projected as the No. 11 seed, with six teams below the 68 average. In other words, there may be room here for a safe landing and, in any case, what penalty will the committee impose for losing to the 29-2 Hoos? On the other hand, at 22-11, did NC State really beat the proverbial player this season? The best win on the profile is without a doubt the 78-71 home win against Auburn in December. After this time, you plan to win neutral ground wins on Penn State and Clemson, and these are your three wins in Quad 1. Finally, this team played statistically in an exceptionally versatile manner. This fact is already reflected in the NET ranking and quadrant registers, but who knows, the committee may wish to express its dissatisfaction with this. Otherwise, the 19-2 card outside the Quad 1 and in particular the NET ranking could suffice. (Updated on March 14)

Clemson Tigers

After losing a point against NC State in the ACC tournament, Clemson will feature on a few "last four" and maybe more "first four" lists. It's better than the "next four outings", admittedly, but it's still a precarious position to occupy amidst what is still a wild and tumultuous week of racing. The slightest contraction of the bubble caused by a single thief, for example, could be disastrous for the Tigers. Certainly, in the end, there could still be a public offering in sight for Brad Brownell's group, which ended its playing days revealing itself in the 30s in the NET rankings. Strange things have happened in the committee room, God knows. A more appropriate working hypothesis for Brownell and his men, however, is that their 1-10 record in Quad 1 matches will either have to be completely ignored, or smuggled by the committee so that this team gets an outstanding result. . (Update: March 13th)

Big 12

locks: Kansas, Texas Tech, State of Iowa, Kansas State, Baylor
Should be in: Oklahoma
Work to do: TCU, Texas

Should be in

Oklahoma Sooners

The profile is frozen for the Sooners. Presented as a No. 8 seed leading to a 72-71 loss to West Virginia in the Big 12 tournament, Lon Kruger's group defeated Wofford at home, Florida's busy on neutral ground and is 4-10 in Quad 1.. (For the record, the Sooners are 15-3 in the Quads 2 and 3 and 0-0 against the Quad 4.) The premature exit from the conference tournament could bring Oklahoma down to a double-digit position, but at 7- 11 In the Big 12, the Sooners will become the first team in more than 20 years to win a lot of wins with fewer than eight wins in an 18-game conference season. TCU could also join this club. (Update: March 13th)

Work to do

Horned frogs TCU

The Horned Frogs closed their profile with a little roller coaster in three games. After a victorious victory in Texas after a win in Texas on the 12th and 11th lines, Jamie Dixon's team lost 21 points in the second half and nearly lost to Oklahoma State in the first round of the season. Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. Fortunately for the TCU fans, the Frogs escaped 73-70, but lost 70-61 to advance to Kansas State in the quarter-finals. At 20-13 years old with a sweep of the season in the state of Iowa and a win in Austin to show in the case of the Quad 1 trophy, the Horned Frogs may have done enough for an offer . But it's going to be close. (Update: March 14th)

Texas Longhorns

Bubble Watch was very eloquent (of course) on not letting the teams out of "work to do" just because we saw them lose their last game. In the particular case of the Longhorns, however, we are faced with a totally different question. Will the committee make an offer to a team with a 16-16 record? This answer had never been "yes" before, either with regard to the 16 defeats or the .500 record. Words like "never" do not look promising for UT tournament prospects. (Update: March 14th)

Big East

locks: Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall
Work to do: St. John's, Creighton, Georgetown, Xavier

Work to do

St. John's Red Storm

St. John's was projected as a No. 11 seed in the Marquettes match, and Bubble Watch assumes that if some other Bubbles teams had won a few more games this week, it might be question of whether this team is now in reality. difficulty. Chris Mullin's men were swept 86-54 by Marquette, and NET's Red Storm classification, even after an unbalanced defeat, was already in the mid-1960s. scoring, the Johnnies were playing a home game at Madison Square Garden after being hit by 32 points. This means that this NET ranking can become ugly. However, there are two things that go in favor of this team. First, even after the debacle against the Golden Eagles in the Big East tournament, St. John's still has a 3-2 record against Marquette and Villanova for the season. Second, the committee must come to 68. (Update: March 14th)

Creighton Bluejays

A two-point loss to Xavier in the Big East tournament probably leaves Creighton a little less of the tournament pitch. The Bluejays have come a long way to go so far and a win against the Musketeers would have changed the game a lot. Instead, CU stopped playing at 18-14, leaving it hard to point to any facet of the profile that recommends Greg McDermott's team at the expense of the other over-qualified candidates. The Creighton NET ranking is in the 50s, which is good but not great, a description that could also apply to the 3-10 Quad 1 and 13-3 recordings of Quads 2, 3, and 4. It This was a lively turnaround from 13 -13, but that does not seem to be enough. (Update: March 14th)

Georgetown Hoyas

Georgetown has tried its luck while virtually no one in mid-February has seen it coming, but it seems that the Hoya have been disappointed. Losing by 16 in the quarterfinals of your conference tournament (at Seton Hall) when you are presented as "content of the next four outings" does not usually mean receiving a large auction. The first year of the year James Akinjo and Mac McClung gives the Hoyas all sorts of hope for the future, and who knew before the season that it would be the fastest team in Big East? Alas, it was apparently not enough, apparently, to go to the field this time. (Update: March 14th)

Xavier Mousquetaires

Xavier needed this game against Villanova, and the Musketeers led for about 28 minutes of regulation before the Wildcats took the procedure too long. You know the rest: Travis Steele's men were disappointed, and the same can be said of XU's attempt to get into a special offer. At 18-15, the Musketeers are a respectable 4-9 against Quad 1 but only 8-6 against Quads 2 and 3. This, added to a dull NET rating, meant that this team had to win that win against Nova. It's almost happened. (Update: March 15th)

Big Ten

locks: Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa
Should be in: Minnesota
Work to do: State of Ohio, Indiana

Should be in

Golden Gophers of Minnesota

At this rate, the Gophers will end up with a better seed than a nominal Big Ten lock like that of Maryland. Minnesota needed extra time to return to Penn State in their first game in the conference tournament, but no extra session was needed to win a much bigger 75-73 victory over Purdue. Jordan Murphy scored 27 points and the Gophers will play in the semi-finals of Big Ten for the first time since 2010. We could see this seed still improve. After all, having two wins against the Boilermakers 10 days apart is a good topic for discussion. (Update: March 15th)

Work to do

Buckeyes State of Ohio

At best, the Ohio State ended its conference tournament at a time when the committee listed it as one of the last four byes on the field. At worst, the Buckeyes were something closer to the last team on the field, period. You are not part of the committee and Bubble Watch either, so we do not know where OSU was located when the team lost 77-70 against Michigan State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. If the first is closer to the correct, the state of Ohio has a good chance to stay in the group of 68. If, on the contrary, the last scenario is closer to the truth, the team of Chris Holtmann is in difficulty. Being the last team on the field before the VCU falls into the Atlantic 10 tournament (most likely an auction off the auction) means that, in fact, you are no longer on the field. The Buckeyes will wait Sunday to see which of these two assumptions is valid. (Update: March 15)

Indiana Hoosiers

That would quite fit with an Indiana team that confused all expectations, good and bad, throughout 2019, if the Hoosiers were not only accounted for, but scored high. . Alas, it seems on the contrary that these wild and always unpredictable roller coasters have finally reached their last turning point. With the loss of four points against Ohio State, Archie Miller's team is at 17-15. After all, the goal of this Michigan State season has never been that these two games propel Indiana in the group of 68. It was rather expected that two victories against the Spartans give the Hoosiers the opportunity to show could really do it. But a first outing of the Big Ten tournament could have put an end to this conversation. (Update: March 14th)


Lock: Washington
Work to do: State of Arizona

Work to do

Arizona State Sun Devils

The Sun Devils, who were supposed to be No. 10 seed, fell to Oregon in overtime in the Pac-12 semifinal, leaving Bobby Hurley's team 22 to 10. L & # ASU played in six Quad 1 games throughout the season and won three. In theory, a team that claims a neutral ground win against the state of Mississippi is its best win and a lower NET ranking than any other candidate in general, but only St. John's risk of feel a bit uncomfortable right now. In practice, Arizona State does not compete with what should be a good profile. This group is rather competing with other bubble teams and, on that basis (and avoiding additional auction thieves), ASU could well win a global bid. (Update: March 15th)


locks: Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, State of Mississippi, Auburn, Ole Miss
Work to do: Florida, Alabama

Work to do

Florida Gators

It should do it. After a 76-73 win over LSU in the SEC tournament quarterfinals, Florida is 19-14. The Gators are 2-1 against the Tigers and Mike White's team has four wins in Quad 1 (though 11 losses). In particular, UF has a higher NET ranking than those of Oklahoma, Baylor, Iowa and Syracuse. It was thrilling for a while, but Florida won a big win by placing in the "last four" and at a time when other bubble teams seemed to record losses to the right and left. The Gators should be in. (Update: March 15th)

Scarlet tide of Alabama

After a five point win over OIe Miss, reality has settled for Alabama in the form of an 18 point loss against Kentucky. The Wildcats had Reid Travis Back in training for the first time since mid-February and even though the senior came off the bench, the UK played as a team at full strength. As for the Crimson Tide, an 18-14 record with a mark of 3-10 in Quad 1 matches and a NET ranking in the top 50 must be sufficient for a global offer. Is that enough? Speaking normatively, it seems a little thin. For comparison, however, these figures are more or less in line with the many other bubble candidates. The least we can say is that there was no punched ticket here, but Bubble Watch is not sure that this case is over. No more. (Update: March 15th)


locks: Houston, Cincinnati UCF
Work to do: Temple, Memphis

Work to do

Temple owls

An 80-74 loss to Wichita State in the American quarterfinals greatly increases Temple's chances, but may not be enough to knock the Owls out of the field. Fran Dunphy's men took part in the contest and were seeded at number 11. To be sure, Temple is now in a position where he must carefully count each bidding thief. That said, a 23-8 record that includes a win over Houston, even with a 2-6 mark in the Quad 1 contests, seems pretty solid next to some of the competing bubble profiles. (Updated: March 15)

Memphis Tigers
A win against Houston in the US semifinal should result in an honest conversation around Memphis. That's the situation at FedExForum after Penny Hardaway's team defeated UCF for the second time in 2018-19. Admittedly, these two victories represent the sum of the victories of the Tigers & # 39; Quad 1 over the season. Yet this is a group that has outperformed the American by the same margin of possession as the main bubble temple, and owls and tigers are also closely grouped in the NET rankings. (Last thing: Jeremiah Martin worth the price of admission.) A victory against the Cougars would ignite this discussion for real.


locks: Gonzaga, Nevada, Buffalo, Wofford, Saint Mary's, Murray State
Should be in: VCU, State of Utah
Work to do: Belmont, UNC Greensboro, Furman, Lipscomb

Should be in

VCU Rams

Mike Rhoades' men have had a series of 12 consecutive victories, mainly thanks to an excellent defense. Now, at 25-6 and carrying the title of the regular season 10 Atlantic, VCU is waiting for the number 8 or 9 ranking in a few days if we want to trust a dummy support. There is no opportunity for the Rams in the Quad 1, even in potential A-10 tournaments, but the 54-53 win in Texas in December will continue to fill that need fairly well. (Update: March 8th)

State of Utah Aggies

The Aggies are probably playing to improve their rankings at this stage, and beating a very good team of Fresno State 85-60 certainly contributes to that. USU is ready to face San Diego State in the Mountain West title game after the Aztecs have escaped from Nevada. As Craig Smith's team is projected to occupy a place on either Line 9 or 10, it is now clear that this program will make its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2011. The only question now is to know It will be an automatic or at-large offer. (Update: March 15th)

Work to do

Belmont Bruins

Now the Bruins have to wait. Ja Morant broke out for 36 points, and Murray State beat Belmont 77-65 in the title game of the Ohio Valley Conference. The team of Rick Byrd hopes that the committee will highlight the positive aspects of this profile. There is, to begin with, the NET ranking that was, at least when Belmont stopped playing, higher than those in Iowa, the state of Ohio, the United States. Indiana, TCU, Temple, Minnesota, Alabama, the state of Arizona and the entire Big East John bubble, Xavier and Georgetown). The Bruins were also outnumbered against the Racers and played without Nick Muszynski. Finally, Belmont was 5-3 this season against Quads 1 and 2. Conversely, Byrd's men will not want the committee to dwell on a negative result like the 3-2 record against Quad 3 Whatever the case may be, the Bruins' profile is set, but the bubble will continue to evolve to help or hinder Belmont's chances. (Update: March 9th)

UNC Greensboro Spartans

For 35 minutes in the game for the title of the Southern Conference, the Spartans were the top team against Wofford. Then the Terriers closed the competition on a 20-3 run and Mike Young's team captured the 70-58 automatic bid. With regard to the general possibilities, the UNCG shares some similarities of profile with Wofford. Like the Terriers, Wes Miller's team has an excellent record (28-6) built on a small number of "good" defeats, against LSU, Kentucky, Furman and, yes, Wofford (three times). The Spartans have two wins in Quad 1 (at East Tennessee State and Furman Neutral Ground in SoCon Semifinals), and Francis Alonso & Co. are immaculate 24-0 in Quads 2, 3 and 4. Will all the above as well as the impressive performance against the Terrier mastodon (21-0 against SoCon opponents this season) could be the subject a general offer from the committee? According to Bubble Watch, it's a long shot. (Update: March 11th)

Furman Paladins

The season is in the books for the Paladins after a 66-62 loss to UNC Greensboro in the semifinals of the South Conference tournament. Bob Richey's team is at 25-7 with the memorable win at Villanova under his belt. Alas, this win (plus a net ranking in the 40s) could be the sum total of the lawsuits against Furman on Selection Sunday. This is not a bad case, but Dins might have a hard time standing out from the crowd. Saint Mary's, to take an example, has a NET ranking that is even better than Furman's. (Update: March 10)

Comb bison

The Bisons have two Quad 1 victories on their profile, at TCU and Liberty, and their NET ranking is in the 40s. These are the elements that kept Casey Alexander's group in the plenary discussion for weeks, but Lipscomb let slip his safest chance when he lost 74-68 at home against Liberty in the title title of the Atlantic Sun conference. An at-large now seems to be a long shot. (Update: March 10)

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