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Let's Talk Bubbles

With one week left in most teams' regular season, let's take a look at who needs to do the most work to get in the NCAA Tournament

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

I tried this last week and my stupid computer blew up my entire story. So I'm trying again. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat. Well, here goes nothing.

If you look at the two more reputable "bracketologists" Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi, you would have to assume most teams seeded 8 or better would be near "locks". Going by that, the two have 32 teams they feel are so-called locks.

They are: Arizona, Virginia, Duke, Florida, Louisville, Wichita St, Creighton, Villanova, Kansas, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, UCLA, VCU, Cincinnati, Michigan State, North Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut, Iowa State, San Diego State, St. Louis, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Harvard (Ivy League automatic), Arizona State, Texas, Memphis, George Washington, and Massachusetts.

The following teams are "in" both of the brackets, but need to continue their push:

  • Pittsburgh
  • SMU
  • Gonzaga
  • Oklahoma State
  • Stanford
  • Baylor
  • Xavier
  • Kansas State
  • Providence
  • St. Joe's
  • California
  • Colorado

Now just because they're currently in doesn't mean they can't lose their way out. Pittsburgh, SMU, Gonzaga, Kansas State appear to be in very good shape. As does Xavier, who despite only being 10s in both brackets clinched their bid Saturday in knocking off Creighton.

Oklahoma State is a very interesting team due to the suspension of Marcus Smart and how the committee will look upon that. Will they punish the Cowboys or will they look at what they did in the other games?

The Bubble (Lunardi seed/Palm seed):

  • Tennessee (12/out)
  • Oregon (12/10)
  • Baylor (11/9)
  • BYU (12/out)
  • Arkansas (out/11)
  • Providence (out/11)
  • Green Bay (12/out...could get auto)
  • St. Joe's (10/10)
  • Minnesota (11/out)
  • Missouri (out/12)
  • Dayton (out/12)
  • California (10/11)
  • Colorado (10/11)
  • Southern Mississippi (11/12)

Teams currently on the outside with the most work to do:

  • Utah
  • Florida State
  • St. John's
  • Louisiana Tech
  • Clemson
  • Maryland
  • Georgetown
  • Nebraska
  • Marquette
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • LSU
  • Georgia

Locally, it appears teams in the "Cincinnati loop" who are in are UC, Xavier, OSU, Kentucky, Louisville. Dayton is close but they need help. Indiana beating Ohio State Sunday helped them but they're still a few big wins away from getting consideration. Purdue is not getting in. Neither is Butler...thank God.

Obviously no one knows what the committee looks at more between RPI, BPI, KenPom, or (please no) the actual voter rankings. There will be plenty of upsets in the conference tournaments and there will be teams left out that should be in and teams in that have no business being included. All of this makes March a very entertaining time in college basketball and perhaps the best month in all of sports.