D-3 BP68

As we head into the two most important days of the season for the bubble, it's worth having a little discussion about the final few spots.

For the time being, there are really only four spots up for grabs, but that can change for multiple reasons. Teams on the bubble can win or lose, of course, but we can also have bid stealers, either because a team steals an auto-bid in a major conference, or because a team like Kansas State or Illinois goes on a run in their conference tournament.

And that brings me to Illinois State, which is clinging onto the last projected spot right now. In the end, I expect Illinois State to end up (unfortunately) missing the NCAA Tournament. The power of the RPI is too strong. I just don't know at this point which team is going to jump up and grab that spot. But the odds are that somebody will.

There is a push for Syracuse to earn an at-large bid due to 6 RPI Top 50 wins, but even that RPI metric can't save them, I don't think. There's a bit of a fluke that, for example, their win over Monmouth counts as an RPI Top 50 win (for now). They are just 8-9 vs the RPI Top 100 and 12-13 vs the RPI Top 200, which really would be unprecedented. And, of course, an RPI of 84 would be unprecedented as well. Outside of RPI Top 50 wins, what other metric even suggests that Syracuse should be in the conversation?

With Syracuse dropping out of the bracket, Rhode Island slips back in. Meanwhile, we had three changes in auto bids due to tournament upsets. Northern Kentucky won the Horizon (replacing Green Bay), Iona won the MAAC (replacing Monmouth), and South Dakota State won the Summit (replacing South Dakota).

Just three teams were eliminated from at-large contention since Sunday: Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Ohio State. That leaves 17 teams not in the projected bracket that still have a chance for an at-large bid, but expect at least half a dozen of those to be eliminated over the next three days.

Capitalized teams are projected automatic bid winners. Remember that this is a projection of what the bracket will look like on Selection Sunday, and not a measure of where teams would be if the season ended now:

1. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)
1. KANSAS (BIG 12)
1. NORTH CAROLINA (ACC)
1. GONZAGA (WCC)

2. KENTUCKY (SEC)
2. Louisville
2. Baylor
2. ARIZONA (PAC-12)

3. Florida
3. Oregon
3. Duke
3. UCLA

4. Florida State
4. PURDUE (BIG TEN)
4. Butler
4. Virginia

5. West Virginia
5. CINCINNATI (AAC)
5. SMU
5. Minnesota

6. Notre Dame
6. South Carolina
6. Iowa State
6. Wisconsin

7. Maryland
7. Oklahoma State
7. DAYTON (ATLANTIC TEN)
7. Creighton

8. VCU
8. Saint Mary's
8. Arkansas
8. Michigan State

9. Miami FL
9. Virginia Tech
9. Michigan
9. Marquette

10. Northwestern
10. WICHITA STATE (MVC)
10. Vanderbilt
10. Providence

11. Wake Forest
11. Seton Hall
11. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (CONFERENCE USA)
11. Xavier
11. USC

12. Rhode Island
12. Illinois State
12. UNC-WILMINGTON (COLONIAL)
12. NEVADA (MOUNTAIN WEST)
12. TEXAS-ARLINGTON (SUN BELT)

13. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
13. PRINCETON (IVY LEAGUE)
13. AKRON (MAC)
13. BUCKNELL (PATRIOT)

14. EAST TENNESSEE ST (SOCON)
14. IONA (MAAC)
14. WINTHROP (BIG SOUTH)
14. CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (WAC)

15. FLORIDA GULF COAST (ATLANTIC SUN)
15. TEXAS SOUTHERN (SWAC)
15. NORTHERN KENTUCKY (HORIZON)
15. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (SUMMIT)

16. JACKSONVILLE STATE (OVC)
16. UC-IRVINE (BIG WEST)
16. EASTERN WASHINGTON (BIG SKY)
16. NEW ORLEANS (SOUTHLAND)
16. MOUNT ST MARY'S (NEC)
16. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (MEAC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Houston, Syracuse, California

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Illinois, Iowa,  Kansas State, Georgia

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Indiana, TCU, Utah, Mississippi

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
UCF, Boise St, Colorado, Alabama, Tennessee, BYU

About the Author: Taylor Coburn

Hi my name is Taylor C Copburn I love to play the odds and beat the point spread on NFL, NCAA and NBA games. Breaking down the risk value and finding the angle to collect on my wagers.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *