A few notes on what makes this bubble watch different than others you may have seen. First, this bubble watch doesn’t just have a blurb on each team that says "LSU needs to go 4-1 down the stretch to get in" – what it does is show exactly how many other bubble contenders they need to pass. If they all lose down the stretch, 3-2 may be good enough. If the bubble improves they may need to go 5-0. For the teams that are IN (like Texas A&M) it shows exactly how safe we are and how many teams would need to pass the Aggies before you should start to be nervous.
Also - a lock is a lock. A lock could lose their star player and lose all remaining games and still be in the field of 68. Period. So you may see a few more teams that are on the bubble that have been locked up by other sites. Once a team reaches "lock" status their "ranking" doesn't matter, it is just a placeholder to count how many spots are left.
We will look at the potential multiple bid conferences and then rank the teams 1-N. This is not a ranking of how good teams are or how much of a threat they are for a deep tourney run, it is a measure of if the season ended today based on past selection committee behavior, who is in and who is out and how relatively safe teams are.
Updated: Friday Night, February 19.
Next Update: Monday Morning February 22
Moving Up: Texas Tech, Alabama, St. Joseph’s
Moving Down: Low Majors that each suffered devastating blows in the last week or so (Chattanooga, Akron, AR-Little Rock, St. Mary's, Gonzaga, Wichita St. & Valparaiso), South Carolina, St. Bonaventure
Locked Up: Virginia, Miami, UNC, Michigan St.
Eliminated: William & Mary, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ole Miss
Teams by Conference
A real down year for the AAC with SMU the only "good" team and them being ineligible for postseason play. A potential for this to be a 1 bid league this year, although 2 is more likely.
Bubble: Tulsa, UConn, Cincinnati Temple
Dayton looks like the class of the league so far, but St. Joeseph’s isn’t far behind. GW and VCU look like last 4 in/first 4 out cases
Bubble: Dayton, George Washington, St. Joseph's, VCU, St. Bonaventure
The ACC has separated into tiers with the top achieving lock status and the bottom falling off the face of the map. There should be plenty of bubble drama as we enter March with the middle tier.
Locks: UNC, Virginia, Miami
Bubble: Duke, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Florida St. Georgia Tech, Clemson
Another great year for the Big 12, which is clearly the class of the country from top to bottom. The Big 12 could have multiple #1 seeds and up to 7 or even 8 tournament teams being a realistic possibility.
Locks: Kansas, Oklahoma
Bubble: Iowa St., West Virginia, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech. Kansas St.
This could definitely be referred to as a down year for the Big East and getting as few as 3 teams in shouldn't shock anyone. It will likely be 4 however.
Locks: Villanova, Xavier
Bubble: Providence, Butler, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Creighton
Wisconsin really shook up the Big 10 race winning 7 in a row(before losing @Michigan St. last week) and the Big 10 may have a little bit of bubble drama after all this year.
Locks: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan St.
Bubble: Purdue, Michigan. Indiana, Ohio St., Wisconsin
The Pac 12 has quietly ascended to the #2 Conference RPI in the country. That should pay dividends with at least 6 bids for the conference.
Bubble: Oregon, USC, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Arizona St.
Despite what some national analysts have claimed - this could be an "up" year for the SEC especially in terms of how many bids the NCAA tournament the conference gets. The middle tier of the conference is a lot more competitive this year and that could lead to quite a bit of bubble drama.
Bubble: Texas A&M, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Alabama, LSU
Non Power Conferences
There don't look to be too many bid thieves out there this year and the last week almost assured that with just about every mid and low major "good" team dropping devastating games. Monmouth, Wichita St. and the Gonzaga/St. Mary's regular season winner in the WCC are really the only teams that are worth watching at this point but none of them are guaranteed to be a bid thief if they lose in their conference tournaments.
Who's in? (Conference listed indicates projected auto bid)
Projected one bid leagues/automatic bids are listed first. Then locks from multi-bid conferences.
At large teams if listed with an italic conference this is the conferences auto bid projection.
1. ACC (Virginia)
2. America East
3. Atlantic Sun
4. Big 12 (Oklahoma)
5. Big 10 (Maryland)
6. Big East (Villanova)
7. Big Sky
8. Big South
9. Big West
11. Conference USA
24. Sun Belt
30. North Carolina
32. Michigan St.
60 teams fighting for 36 spots
33. (Pac 12) Oregon (RPI 3: 19-6, 8-4) Cracks in the Duck armor finally started to appear with Oregon going on the road to Northern California and dropping 2 in a row at Stanford and Cal. Oregon is still in pretty darn good shape but their bid for a #1 seed definitely took a hit. They had won 6 straight prior to this stretch and still have 14 wins over the top 100 and only 1 really ugly loss at home to UNLV. (Next Up: 2/20 Oregon St.)
34. Duke (RPI 9: 20-6, 8-4) Winners of 5 in a row, 3 of which are their best wins of the season winning at UNC and beating Virginia and Louisville. Duke did ok in the OOC but nothing jumps off the page other than winning vs. some bubble teams at home vs. Indiana, and on a neutral court vs. VCU and Georgetown. Only 1 loss outside of the top 50 (@Clemson) so Duke just needs 1 more win to make their lock status official.(Next Up: 2/17 @UNC)
35. (SEC) Kentucky (RPI 10: 20-6, 10-3) 4 wins in a row and all of them were huge for the profile by beating Florida, Georgia and blowing out South Carolina on the road and then coming home and avenging a bad loss to Tennessee by beating them handily. that along with OOC wins over Louisville and Duke has Kentucky on the verge of lock status if they can win at Reed Arena this weekend. (Next Up: 2/20 @Texas A&M)
36. (Atlantic 10) Dayton (RPI 8: 21-4, 10-2) Even after their midweek loss at St. Joseph’s they have still won 14 out of 16 and have a really nice RPI mainly due to some nice OOC RPI wins over William & Mary, Monmouth, Iowa & Alabama. Given the record it would normally be a lock but if disaster strikes it would entail some really bad losses down the stretch so I will keep them here another week. (Next Up: 2/20 St. Bonaventure)
37. Utah (RPI 16: 19-7, 9-5) Utah has struggled on the road this year with a handful of close losses but has been decent enough at home and got good OOC wins on a NC vs. Duke, Texas Tech, Temple and SDSU. No bad losses and 13 wins against the top 100. Just 1 win away from lock status. (Up Next: 2/21 @USC)
38. Texas (RPI 22: 17-9, 8-5) Good win over West Virginia this week to complete the season sweep. Won 8 of the last 11. 11 top 100 wins including OOC over UNC and a host of quality Big 12 wins. The schedule over the next couple of weeks is brutal so they just need to take advantage of the home games to not let the number of losses escalate too much. (Next Up: 2/20 Baylor)
39. Notre Dame (RPI 20: 18-7, 9-4) 3 big wins in a row beating UNC, @Clemson and against Louisville. Those plus the OOC win over Iowa and no losses outside of the top 50 and this resume is really starting to come together. (Next Up: 2/20 @Georgia Tech)
40. Iowa State (RPI 18: 18-8, 7-6) Treading water over the last couple of weeks, but they do have maybe the best trio of wins in the country over Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa. Just 2-4 over their last 6 but all 4 losses were to top 30 teams. 7 wins against the top 50, only 1 bad loss (Northern Iowa). Assuming they just win the easy gimme games against the bottom of the Big 12 conference at home (TCU and Oklahoma St) they have nothing to worry about. (Next Up: 2/20 TCU)
41. West Virginia (RPI 11: 20-6, 9-4) The Big 12 schedule is also starting to get to West Virginia’s record, but their worst loss on the season is @Florida and this is a team that beat Kansas, so it is hard to get too worried about WVU. (Next Up: 2/20 Oklahoma)
42. St. Joseph's (RPI 24: 22-4, 11-2) The Hawks got an enormous win over Dayton this week and that is now 11 of 12 and much needed legitimacy to a team that’s previous best win was over Princeton. With a worst loss to VCU as their only loss outside of the top 50 and that Dayton win and fantastic record so long as they don’t absolutely collapse down the stretch they are solidly in. (Next Up: 2/20 @Davidson)
43. Texas A&M (RPI 26: 19-7, 8-5) Finally got off their skid by beating Ole Miss at home which is about as close to a must win in February as you get for a safely in team. That win halted a 5 game conference losing streak ahead of a tough test against Kentucky this weekend. The win also signaled it is still not a panic situation in terms of getting into the tournament but there is still significant concern about what realistic expectations should be for postseason play from what was looking like a 2 seed profile just a few weeks ago. I don’t like to make predictions in a vaccum because things change, but Texas A&M should be safely in so long as they can just win 2 out of 3 of the games that they will be significant favorites in (Mississipi St., @Missouri and @Auburn). Win all 3 and they will be a lock (even if they lose to Kentucky and Vanderbilt to book end that 3 game stretch). (Next Up: 2/20 Kentucky)
44. Purdue (RPI 19: 21-6, 9-5) Purdue got their signature win of the season a week ago when they beat Michigan St., prior to that they had some nice ones but none that would demand unquestioned inclusion into the field of 68 (Florida, @Pitt, @Wisconsin, Vandy, Michigan). Given the tough schedule down the stretch a 2-2 finish should be more than enough for Purdue. (Next Up: 2/20 @Indiana)
45. Arizona (RPI 27: 22-5, 10-4) 6 wins in a row, got the season split vs. USC & UCLA, swept both Washington schools and Arizona St. Only 2 wins vs. the top 50 but with only 5 losses on the season unless they lose out they are still solidly in. (Next Up: 2/24 @Colorado)
46. Baylor (RPI 29: 18-7, 8-5) Good win this week over Iowa State to stop a streak where they lost 3 of 4. Their worst loss of the season is against Texas Tech who has a top 30 RPI, but they are only 3-7 vs. the top 50 and 7-7 vs. the top 100. 4 of their last 5 are against the top 50 and a 1-4 finish is entirely possible. If that is how it ends up, they will really be banking on the no bad losses defense with lots of warts showing on their resume. (Next Up: 2/20 @Texas)
47. USC (RPI 23: 19-7, 8-5) USC has really struggled on the road this year but they have been very good at home beating Colorado, Arizona, Monmouth, Arizona St., winning on a NC vs. Wichita St. and sweeping UCLA. They have successfully avoided bad losses which may be the most important thing you can do when playing in the Pac 12 with a weak OOC schedule. (Next Up: 2/21 Utah)
48. California (RPI 21: 18-8, 8-5) Cal is on a 4 game winning streak during which they got a huge win over Oregon and got the huge win over Oregon and then won at Washington which may not sound like much but that was their first road win in conference play and only their 2nd road win of the season. Now 11-7 vs. the top 100 which would suggest that they are pretty solidly in at the moment. Good wins in Pac 12 play vs. fellow bubble teams Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Arizona St. & Stanford. (Next Up: 2/21 @Washington St.)
49. South Carolina (RPI 34: 20-5, 8-5) USCe took maybe the most damaging loss of anyone on the bubble watch by losing @Missouri this week for their 5th loss of the season. The Gamecocks are still in pretty good shape considering their record but that is now their second loss to a sub 100 team and only 3 top 50 wins highlighted by the win in College Station. They went undefeated OOC but their best wins were to Tulsa and Hofstra, which are nice but not anything special. Very interesting game coming up this weekend vs. Florida (Next Up: 2/20 Florida)
50. Syracuse (RPI 39, 18-9, 8-6) Syracuse lost at Louisville this week but has still won 8 of their last 10 including a win at Duke which looks better and better. Also good OC wins over Texas A&M and UConn and only 1 bad loss. (Next Up: 2/20 Pitt)
51. Florida (RPI 31: 17-9, 8-5) Thank goodness for OOC play for the Gators which is where they got their only 2 top 50 wins of the season vs. St. Joseph’s and West Virginia. Only 1 bad loss on the season at Tennessee. They are comfortably in for now but each of the next 4 are pretty difficult tests and the losses could really start to pile up with not many big wins to counter balance.(Next Up: 2/20 @South Carolina
52. Colorado (RPI 33: 18-8, 8-6) Only 3-7 vs. the top 50 but the win over Oregon is hard to ignore. Missed 2 big chances OOC losing in their first game on a NC vs. Iowa St. and their final OOC game vs. SMU. They won all the ones in between however and have treaded water enough that they have a good RPI and if they can just keep it going should be on the right side of the bubble. (Next Up: 2/20 @UCLA)
53. Indiana (RPI 35: 21-6, 11-3) Got their best win of the season vs. Iowa a few weeks ago to give a big boost to their struggling RPI. They also have a great NC win vs. Notre Dame and a stellar Big 10 record. The real blemish on the resume is the 3 WTF losses to Wake Forest, Penn St. and UNLV. (Up Next: 2/20 Purdue)
54. Texas Tech (RPI 28: 16-9, 6-7) Texas Tech may be the hottest team in the country right now and have gone from the brink of elimination to now having a little bit of a margin for error after beating 3 straight AP top 25 team against Iowa St., @Baylor and then over Oklahoma. Prior this this 3 game stretch they had lost 8 of 10 and they still have a losing record in conference play so they are not completely out of the woods yet. The next 2 are of the "shouldn’t lose" variety for an NCAA tournament team against the bottom of the Big 12 so they really need to win those to keep their place here heading into March when the competition level steps back up. (Next Up: 2/20 @Oklahoma St.)
55. (American) UConn (RPI: 36, 19-7, 10-4) Got the biggest win of the season by beating SMU this week. 2 other pretty good wins at Texas, and on a NC vs. Michigan. No terrible losses. With 19 wins already and a really soft schedule down the stretch UConn is in pretty good shape. (Next Up: 2/20 @Cincinnati)
56. Alabama (RPI 30: 16-9, 7-6) From the brink of elimination Alabama has now won 5 in a row including over Texas A&M, @LSU and @Florida. Alabama did decent in OOC with wins vs. Wichita St., Notre Dame and at Clemson, and also has a win over South Carolina, so there is enough meat here to look past a questionable record. The loss at Auburn is really the only black eye on the resume. A very favorable schedule down the stretch with 3 more games against sub 100 competition. (Next Up: 2/20 Mississippi St.)
57. Pitt (RPI 41: 17-7, 7-6) The OOC slate was pretty uninteresting, lost to Purdue, won on a NC vs. Davidson. Lost 3 straight in the ACC against tough competition. Good wins over Syracuse, Notre Dame and Florida State in conference play with only 1 really questionable loss to NC State. (Next Up: 2/16 Wake Forest)
58. Providence (RPI 37: 19-8, 7-7) Getting swept by Marquette who will not make the tournament is not a good look. Providence has lost 4 of 5 and is fading fast. They do have a huge win @ Villanova but really only one other quality win (vs. Arizona) and 3 losses outside of the top 100. Huge game coming up at Seton Hall (Next Up: 2/25 @Seton Hall)
59. (MAAC) Monmouth (RPI: 38, 22-5, 14-2) Won 8 in a row. Monmouth only played 1 home game before January and went on the road to win some tough games at UCLA and Georgetown as well as on a NC vs. USC and Notre Dame. That kind of scheduling and then getting the result is going to go a long way in that committee room and I have a feeling that even if Monmouth doesn't get the auto bid they have a good chance of stealing a bid and making a 2 bid MAAC (which would be pretty much unheard of). They do already have 3 ugly losses to Army, Canisius and Manhattan however and no games remaining vs the RPI top 150 the rest of the way so they may still need to win the last 4 in the regular season to feel good about their chances. (Up Next: 2/19 Iona)
60. Seton Hall (RPI 44: 18-7, 8-5) Only 1 top 50 win over a quickly fading Providence. No losses outside of the top 100. Decent wins over bubble maybes Wichita St., Georgia, Ole Miss, Georgetown (twice), Creighton. (Up Next: 2/21 @St. John’s)
61. Oregon St. (RPI 32: 14-9, 6-7) 5 wins vs. the top 30 all in conference. Only one good OOC win over Tulsa but no sub 100 losses. Just being an average team in the Pac 12 is probably good enough this year but they may need to go 3-2 down the stretch to finish at .500 in conference to feel good about their chances. (Next Up: 2/20 @Oregon
62. Wisconsin (RPI 48: 16-10, 8-5) Written off for dead in January the Badgers won 7 in a row before losing at Michigan St. this week. That winning streak speaks a little to how mediocre the Big 10 is but winning at Maryland by double digits is impossible to ignore. That win plus the wins over Michigan St., @Syracuse, vs. VCU and home against Temple, Indiana& Ohio St and it will be tough to keep them out even if they did lose 9 games before mid January including losing to 250+ Western Illinois as well as Milwaukee, Marquette and Northwestern. (Next Up: 2/21 Illinois)
63. Virginia Commonwealth (RPI 55: 19-7, 11-2) VCU took by far their worst loss of the season losing at UMass a week ago. Only 2 top 50 wins (St. Joe's & St. Bonaventure) and 2 more top 100 wins. They can't afford many more losses unless they plan on winning at Dayton in the regular season finale. (Next Up: 2/19 Richmond)
64. Butler (RPI 58: 18-8, 7-7) 2 top 50 wins over Purdue and @Seton Hall. Only 1 sub 100 loss. The RPI, conference record and lack of signature wins are big question marks. They can fix everything by knocking off Villanova on the road this weekend. (Next Up: 2/20 @Villanova)
65. (Missouri Valley)Wichita St. (RPI 53: 19-7, 13-2) WSU is really limping into March now with 2 sub 100 losses in the last 2 weeks to Northern Iowa and Illinois St. WSU only has 3 wins over the top 100 (Utah and Evansville twice) and don't play another top 100 team the rest of the season. They did challenge themselves in OOC but lost 4 in a row to average competition vs. Tulsa, USC, Bama & Iowa). Any more regular season losses and they will for sure need the auto bid. Even if they do win out an at large is not assured by any means. (Next Up: 2/21 @Indiana St.)
66. Michigan (RPI 54: 18-8, 9-5) Michigan has 3 top 25 wins this season over Purdue, Maryland and against Texas on a NC. The problem is they don't have any other top 100 wins after that. No bad losses but being 4-8 vs. the RPI top 100 is a metric that is a huge red flag and suggests Michigan is not a tournament team as the bubble shrinks in March as it always does. (2/21 @Maryland)
67. Florida St. (RPI 61: 16-10, 6-8) On a 3 game losing streak now the record is really starting to turn into an eye sore. Also still only 2 top 50 wins (Virginia &@Florida) and then 3 additional so-so top 100 wins. None of their losses are that bad (worst loss is at Clemson) but they may need to go 3-1 down the stretch to get the ACC record to .500 to feel good about an at large. (Next Up: 2/20 @Virginia Tech)
68. Temple (RPI 66: 16-9, 10-4) Before losing this last week to Villanova, they had won 5 in a row including over UConn to get back into the discussion. Regardless of how the last few weeks go they will be hanging their hat on their win over SMU to try to erase 2 bad losses outside the top 100. They also beat Cincinnati and UConn twice each so they have some head to head facts in their favor. The schedule sets up that they have a great chance to win out and they may need to do that to be in ok position heading into the conference tournament. (Up Next: 2/21 @Houston)
-------The Bubble Bursts Here------------
69. George Washington (RPI 46: 19-7, 8-5) 0-2 last week. Thank goodness they beat Virginia OOC because without that they may not even be in the discussion right now. Only 3 other top 100 wins and 3 sub 100 losses. Really need to dominate the poor competition over the next few games. (Next Up: 2/21 La Salle)
70. Tulsa (RPI 45: 17-9, 9-5) Huge win @SMU last week to boost them back into the at large conversation. An OOC win over Wichita St. has lost a lot of luster. Getting the season split vs. Cincinnati (as well as UConn) was huge and there could be a lot riding on the conference tournament to not only determine the auto bid but the pecking order to grab what may be 1 at large bid up for grabs as well. (Next Up: 2/21 @UCF)
71. Kansas St. (RPI 59: 15-11, 4-9) Got the huge win over Oklahoma but just way too many losses and despite how good the Big 12 is you have to be at least somewhat competitive in the conference to get an at large bid. And 4-9 just isn't good enough. If they can go 3-2 vs. the rest of the schedule to finish at 7-11 I guess it isn't impossible to sneak in but they probably need to win out with the exception of Kansas to really feel good about their chances at 8-10 in conference. (Next Up: 2/20 Kansas)
72. St. Bonaventure (RPI 49: 17-7, 8-4) The Bonnies had perhaps played themselves in by winning 5 in a row including over St. Joseph’s and GW but then lost @La Salle who has an RPI in the 200s. Ouch. That kind of loss makes the RPI tumble and causes you to take a serious look at the lack of quality wins on the resume (only 4 top 100 wins) and a loss to Duquesne and now La Salle. They can make up for that loss by knocking off Dayton on the road this weekend but assuming they don’t get it done there we are probably looking at St. Bonaventure needing to win out in the regular season to stay in the hunt. (Next Up: 2/20 @Dayton)
73. Cincinnati (RPI 60: 19-8, 9-5) Had won 6 of 7 before losing to Tulsa. Still no top 30 wins although they do have 3 top 50 wins, 5 top 100 doesn't exactly scream at large bid so they still have lots of work to do to separate from the rest of the conference. (Next Up: 2/20 UConn)
74. (West Coast) Gonzaga (RPI 63: 20-6, 13-2) Gonzaga hasn't had much of an interesting resume outside of the Battle4Atlantis where they lost to Texas A&M and won vs. Washington and UConn. They could have really made a statement had they beaten SMU last week but it didn't happen. Winning out including beating St. Mary's and winning @BYU is an absolute must at this point. If they can do that and get to the WCC final I think they may be able to sneak in with an at large. (Next Up: 2/20 St. Mary’s)
75. (Southern) Chattanooga (RPI 43: 22-4, 13-2) Took a really damaging loss to Western Carolina last weak which is their 3rd RPI sub 150 loss of the year. That is probably the last nail in the coffin for at large consideration when you consider that they have no games remaining vs. top 100 competition and any tournament loss would be the 4th really damaging loss. They did beat Dayton and Georgia OOC. (Next Up: 2/20 UNC Greensboro)
76. (Horizon) Valparaiso (RPI: 65: 20-5, 12-2) After losing to Wright St. for the 2nd time this season to go along with a horrible loss to Ball St. it is almost certainly auto bid or bust for Valpo who has no chances left to improve their standing on the bubble. (Next Up: 2/19 Oakland)
77. Vanderbilt (RPI 62: 15-11, 7-7) Vandy took a really damaging loss at Mississippi St. their 2nd sub 100 loss of the season. And looking just at the top 100 Vandy is only 4-9 which is definitely a red flag. 3 top 50 wins over A&M, Florida and Alabama. Vandy did nothing OOC which is troubling with a best win vs. Wake Forest on a NC and after that perhaps the Stony Brook win. They desperately need to beat Georgia this weekend to get some separation from that tier of the SEC and add a top 100 win to their resume. (Next Up: 2/20 Georgia)
78. LSU (RPI 81: 16-10, 9-4) LSU has started to turn it around but it may be too little, too late. They pass the eye test and they don’t have any losses outside the top 50 in conference while beating Kentucky, A&M and winning at Alabama. Still you can't just ignore November and December when they lost to Marquette, Charleston & Wake Forest and beat only Oral Roberts as their best OOC win. It is a challenging schedule down the stretch but they are each very winnable as well. Each of the next 2 are of the must win variety which when you go on the road is a tricky proposition (Next Up: 2/20 @Tennessee)
79. Clemson (RPI 89: 16-10, 9-5) Very Schizo profile here with OOC losses to UMass and Minnesota, then a 5 game win streak vs. Florida St, Syracuse, Louisville, Duke & Miami. Won an elimination game last week vs. Georgia Tech but with a soft schedule down the stretch they need to potentially win out with the exception of the game vs. Virginia. 6 wins vs. the RPI top 50 is a nice bonus. (Next Up: 2/20 @NC State)
80. (MAC) Akron (RPI 40: 20-5, 10-3) Just when the MAC was starting to get on radars with Akron winning 7 straight the Zips go and lose to Northern Illinois which is going to make any talk of an at large bid a pretty short conversation at this point. That is because there are still zero wins vs. the top 75 and 4 losses outside of the top 100, and with zero top 75 games the rest of the way their only chance is to run the record to 24-5 and just bank on a weak bubble getting them in. (Next Up: 2/19 @Kent State)
81. St. Mary's (RPI 68: 20-4, 12-3) After getting swept by Pepperdine the WCC is now officially in trouble and very likely will not have an at large bid this year even in a weak bubble. St. Mary's at this point has zero top 50 wins and hasn't beaten a top 200 team away from their home court. The record looks nice but really isn't any more impressive than Valpo or Arkansas Little Rock or Chattanooga when you dig into it. The game vs. Gonzaga feels more like an elimination game than a play in game that it normally is. (Next Up: 2/20 @Gonzaga)
82. (Mountain West) San Diego St. (RPI 50: 17-7, 12-1) That 11 game winning streak came to a sudden halt with a loss to Fresno St. which should significantly quiet the talk of a 2 bid MWC. Won on a NC vs. Cal and at Boise St, bad losses to San Diego, Grand Canyon and now Fresno St. probably mean auto bid or bust. (Next Up: 2/21 @San Jose St.)
83. (Sun Belt) Arkansas Little Rock (RPI 52: 21-3, 13-2) Another low major with a gaudy record but no meat behind it. Won @SDSU and @Tulsa but the 2rd best win is @UTA. So in other words.they may not have beaten any tournament teams when it is all said and done. 2 really bad sub 150 losses. Win out until the final and if everyone else losesya probably still notbut with their record what it is we will keep them here until they get loss number 4. (Up Next: 2/20 @Georgia Southern)
84. Washington (RPI 73: 15-11, 7-7) Losers of 4 in a row and in the double digit losses club. NC split vs. Texas in OOC and 2 good wins so far in the Pac 12 vs, Colorado and USC but they still need to counteract 2 potentially devastating losses to Oakland and to UC Santa Barbara. They need to at a minimum win 3 of their remaining 4 regular season games if not outright win out. (Next Up: 2/20 Stanford)
85. Georgetown (RPI 86: 14-13, 7-7) After losing 5 of their last 6 they need to win out to be in the conversation. They have some nice wins highlighted by a road win at Xavier and OOC vs. Wisconsin and Syracuse, but the losses have piled up by dropping games to teams like Radford and UNC Asheville. (Next Up: 2/20 Xavier)
86. UCLA (RPI 76: 14-12, 5-8) The RPI is starting to be a major eye sore. They did beat Arizona, Kentucky and won @ Gonzaga and if this was 10 years ago that may qualify for a #1 seed, but it is 2016 and they have 11 losses already with more than a month to go. Every game the rest the way is vs. top 100 competition so either they win and the RPI won't be an issue or they lose and the record will disqualify them from at large consideration. (2/20 Colorado)
87. Stanford (RPI 69: 12-11, 6-7) Just when you thought it was safe to write off Stanford who had lost 4 in a row they go and beat Oregon to stay in the hunt. The record (12-11) is going to be very difficult to overcome especially since it only contains 5 top 100 wins but Stanford is the model of the no bad losses profile. All 11 losses are to tournament caliber teams (except for ineligible SMU) which isn't bad but that is too many losses at this point in the season to be IN at the moment. They really need to win out to stay in (or get in) the conversation. Best OOC win was on a NC vs. Arkansas. (Next Up: 2/20 Washington)
88. Georgia Tech (RPI 80: 14-12, 4-9) Lost 7 of their last 10. Beat VCU and Virginia earlier in the season but they are now in a must win out or be eliminated mode. (Up Next: 2/20 Notre Dame)
89. Ohio St. (RPI 79: 17-10, 9-5) OSU has been in must win mode the last 3 games and have gone 3-0 but they still have lots of work to do. A neutral court win over Kentucky is carrying them right now but still doesn't make up for back to back losses to La Tech and Memphis and 10 losses already. (Next Up: 2/20 @Nebraska)
90. Arizona St. (RPI 82: 14-13, 4-10) The record has gotten to a point where now they are required to win out in order to get back into the conversation. They do have 3 quality wins over USC, Texas A&M and Oregon St. (Next Up: 2/25 @Utah)
91. Georgia (RPI 672: 14-10, 7-6) Treading water the last few weeks by beating South Carolina and winning at Miss State but losing to Kentucky and Florida is not good enough for a team that needs to make major strides still to get into the field of 68. Huge game this weekend @Vandy to potentially leap frog them in the SEC pecking order. Good wins over the ACC in Georgia Tech and Clemson. No real terrible losses outside of maybe a loss to Ole Miss. (Up Next: 2/20 @Vandy)
92. Creighton (RPI 83: 17-10, 8-6) After losing at Butler the Blue Jays are in must win mode going into the home stretch. The win over Xavier is huge and they also won in conference against Georgetown, Butler and Seton Hall but they did not do themselves any favors OOC with a best win over Nebraska and a devastating loss at Loyola Chicago. (Next Up: 2/24 Marquette)
93. BYU (RPI 70: 19-8, 11-4) They are probably done now after losing to Pacific. That is their 4th loss outside of the top 100 with zero top 50 wins (although they did beat Gonzaga and St. Mary's). No doubt about it they need to win out and then get to the WCC final to have any chance at all. (Up Next: 2/20 San Diego)
94. Davidson (64: 14-9, 7-6) Really a fringe bubble candidate at this point, best win is against Charleston with 2 losses outside the RPI top 150. Need to win out against a tough schedule down the stretch. (Next Up: 2/20 St. Joseph’s)