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NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - First Round - Villanova v BYU

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Bubble Watch: 3/6/23

Projecting the NCAA Basketball Tournament field of 68

Photo by Tim Fuller/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Next Update Thursday Morning 3/9 (Future Updates in the AM of: Saturday 3/10, Selection Sunday 3/11 – FULL BRACKET REVEAL with locations and matchups)

A&M adds another key, elusive Quad 1A win over Alabama and sees another significant jump up in the seed line. The number of “data points” between now and Selection Sunday is officially dwindling quickly, meaning seedings are just about completely locked in. As of right now, we have moved up to a 6 seed. Given the worst-case scenario for A&M is a loss to Auburn or Arkansas on a neutral court the floor for how far we can drop is absolutely worst-case scenario a 7 seed (although realistically, a 6 is much more likely). How high can we go? Certainly, up to a 5, but given how locked in the top 4 seed lines are and what some of their resumes look like, I think the highest we can realistically get is the top 5 seed. For the full math on why that is, read on to the A&M section below.

After a crazy last few days of frantic movement – the next 3 days will feel like watching paint dry. Very little bubble activity – take a step back, watch some entertaining small conference finals and scout out some potential 12 seeds. Other than a few exceptions at the bottom of this page, there won’t be much to watch from either a bubble perspective or for A&M’s seeding.

In terms of tracking the bubble, we start as always by tracking considering the automatic bids that are taken out of the equation, starting with the “Likely one-bid leagues”. These are the leagues that will be 1 bid going to the conference tournament winner, regardless of who that winner is. After accounting for these we have a better picture of how many bids are truly up for grabs.

Likely One-bid leagues

Once teams start getting locked in this section will begin to project the 12 through 16 seed lines.

Conference (Projected Champ, Current Net – Bold teams have already won the automatic bid)

Note: List has been reordered and now is reflective of the projected seeding of the auto bids.

12 Seeds

  1. MVC Drake (64) – Drake comes off the bubble to earn the automatic bid. Bradley stays on the bubble and will maintain very slim hope, but almost certainly will be headed to the NIT.
  2. A10 (VCU, 68) Championship 3/12

13 Seeds

3. MAC - (Kent State, 70) Championship 3/11

4. MAAC – (Iona, 66) Championship 3/11

5. Ivy – (Yale, 62) Championship 3/12

6. WAC - Sam Houston State (59) 3/11

14 Seeds

7. Sun Belt – 3/6 Louisiana^ (91) vs. South Alabama (108)

8. Southern 3/6 Furman^ (87) vs. Chattanooga (183)

9. Big West – (UC Irvine, 95) 3/11

10. Patriot 3/8 Colgate^ (101) vs. Lafayette (272)

15 Seeds

11. Atlantic Sun. Kennesaw State (116)– Liberty is too far off the bubble to merit consideration; they will be a misdeed in the NIT.

12. Big Sky (Montana State, 103) 3/8

13. Horizon (Youngstown State, 118) 3/7

14. America East (Vermont, 112) 3/11

16 Seeds

15. Big South (UNC Asheville, 139)

16. SWAC (Grambling State, 177) 3/11

17. %Southland (Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 189) 3/8

18. %MEAC (NC Central, 185) 3/11

19. %Ohio Valley (Southeastern Missouri, 243)

20. %Northeast (Fairleigh Dickinson, 300)

^= projected winner of championship game
%= 16 seed play in game participant

And just like that we are down to 12 conferences battling for 48 spots.

3 conferences (CUSA – FAU, Summit – Oral Roberts, CAA – Charleston) will likely be one bid leagues also but for now all 3 teams are in the field and their auto bid placeholder is counted when we get to their at large profile.

Multi-bid conference/at-large seeds

For the other 9 conferences, they each have multiple teams that as of right now would make the field and get an at large. Their conference leader (in NET) will be counted as their auto bid and will be bolded. Those 8 leagues are (ACC, AAC Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, Big East, MWC, Pac 12, and WCC). Only the AAC is in danger of being a 1 bid league if Houston wins the tournament, but for now Memphis looks solid enough to still get an at large.

So, what about the 48 bids remaining? Let the counting begin…

Teams without any detail after their team’s name are considered locks. Net ranking listed by each bubble team name. Bold teams count as the auto bid placeholder for their respective conference.

$ = Lock

1 seeds

21. $Houston AAC auto bid – Locked into a 1 seed.

22. $Kansas Big 12 auto bid – Locked into a 1 seed. Passes Houston for #1 overall by winning 2 Conference Tournament games or if Houston loses.

23. $Alabama SEC auto bid - Locked into a 1 seed. Gets #1 overall if they win the SECT and get some help.

24. $UCLA Pac 12 auto bid – Controls destiny for a 1 seed.

2 seeds

25. $Purdue Big Ten auto bid – Possible 1 seed if UCLA falters.

26. $Texas – Locked in as a 2 seed.

27. $Baylor – Locked in as a 2 seed.

28. $Arizona – Controls destiny for a 2 seed.

3 seeds

29. $Marquette Big East auto bid – Locked in as a 3 seed, possibly could rise up to a 2 if Arizona falters.

30. $Kansas State – Locked in as a 3 seed. Possibly could rise up to a 2 with help.

--------0% Chance that A&M catches anyone above this line, even by winning out and these teams making an early exit in their tournament----------------------

31. $Tennessee (3, 22-9) – Almost certainly locked in as a 3 seed. A&M has the H2H obviously, does the committee drop them for no longer having their starting PG? Despite the great OOC, finished 4 games behind A&M in conference. (3/9 SEC 2nd Round South Carolina / Ole Miss)

32. $Gonzaga WCC Auto bid (9, 25-5) – Controls destiny for a 3 seed. Will fall to a 4 if they do not win the WCC Tournament. OOC wins over Michigan State, Kentucky, Alabama, Xavier. Obviously, a lighter schedule in conference, so if they don’t win the conference tournament maybe slightly vulnerable. (3/6 WCC Semis San Francisco)

4 seeds

33. $UConn (6, 24-7) - Likely locked into a 4 seed unless they win the Big East tournament and Gonzaga doesn’t. OOC wins over Alabama, Iowa State, Oregon, Oklahoma State and Florida. Only 1 bad loss to Saint Johns. (3/9 Big East Quarterfinals Providence)

34. $Xavier (22, 23-8) - Likely locked into a 4 seed unless they win the Big East tournament and Gonzaga doesn’t. 13 Quad 1 and 2 wins make them tough to catch. A few questionable losses in conference @DePaul, @Butler, Villanova, but none of the quad 4 variety. Outside chance to fall to a 5 with a poor tournament result. (3/9 Big East Quarterfinals Seton Hall/DePaul)

35. $Indiana (28, 21-10)

  • Why they are above A&M: No bad losses, beat UNC OOC, 2 wins over Purdue
  • Why they are vulnerable: The predictive metrics don’t love Indiana. They are behind A&M in everything. They aren’t very vulnerable unless they lose their next 2 and we notch multiple victories over Alabama. In that case Indiana has 12 losses to A&Ms 8 and maybe we get the benefit of the doubt.

(3/10 Big 10 Quarterfinals Maryland/Nebraska/Minnesota)

36. $Virginia ACC auto bid (30, 23-6)

  • Why they are above A&M: Wins OOC over Baylor, Illinois, Michigan, only 1 bad loss at BC.
  • Why they are vulnerable: Only 1 Quad 1 win in conference (on their home floor vs. Duke.)

(3/9 ACC Quarterfinals UNC/BC/Louisville)

------Highly Unlikely we can pass anyone above this point, could we get it within the margin of error, that depending on what metric you are looking at a committee member could make an argument….I won’t say it’s a 0%/impossibility -------------

5 seeds

37. $Miami (35, 24-6) – Would be tough to catch, it’s hard not to see them getting a 5 seed at worst.

  • Why they are above A&M: 9-1 OOC, 7 quad 1 wins, 7-4 on the road, beat Rutgers and Providence OOC, there is a lot to like about this resume in addition to their overall record.
  • Why they are vulnerable: Well, that loss on their home court last week to Florida State is a big reason for concern. Predictive metrics are also an issue for Miami.

(3/9 ACC Quarterfinals Syracuse/Wake Forest)

38. $St. Mary’s (8, 24-6) – SMC does have a lack of quality wins compared to every other team around this area of seeding. This is a catchable team especially if they do not win the WCC tournament.

  • Why they are above A&M: Wins OOC over San Diego State, Oral Roberts, Vanderbilt and in conference over Gonzaga. Challenged themselves OOC and did well. The predictive metrics love SMC
  • Why they are vulnerable: Lack of top end wins – Just 2-2 vs. quad 1, splitting with Gonzaga, SDSU is a quad 1 and losing to Houston. They also have 2 quad 3 losses. That said, if they don’t go 0-1 in the WCC tournament they are a 5 seed at worst.

(3/6 WCC Semis vs. BYU)

39. $San Diego State MWC auto bid (16, 23-6) – Similar to SMC, they are vulnerable to being passed, partly since they haven’t had the opportunity of the high major conference teams to rack up a huge quantity of quad 1 wins.

  • Why they are above A&M: 22-6 vs. the #7 SOS. Only 1 loss outside of quad 1. Challenging OOC (even though they lost to the top end competition), and then have dominated the MWC.
  • Why they are vulnerable: They won’t be unless they lose to Wyoming. Lack the real high-end wins. Wins at Utah State and Nevada are great, but it doesn’t top beating Bama twice and Tennessee.

(3/9 MWC Quarterfinals Colorado State/Fresno State)

40. $TCU (29, 20-11) – Lost to OU to end the season and all of a sudden are very catchable.

  • Why they are above A&M: If you are a believer in the eye test it is hard to watch TCU and not think they are a really good team, especially when Mike Miles is healthy. 7 Quad 1 wins and 5-0 vs. Quad 2. Only 1 loss outside of the Quad 1.
  • Why they are vulnerable: That loss happens to be a quad 4 loss to Northwestern State, whom A&M beat. They also have 10 losses, if they lose their next 2 while A&M adds critical wins, they get a bit closer.

(3/9 Big 12 Quarterfinals Kansas State)

6 Seeds

41. $Iowa State (19, 18-12) – Count me amongst those that counted Iowa State out after losing 6 of 7. And then they go to Waco and blow out Baylor. Huh? Iowa State leaps back over A&M after that showing.

  • Why they are above A&M: No bad losses, 7-0 vs quad 3 and 4. 9 quad 1 wins, including OOC vs. UNC and in the Big 12 over Kansas, Texas, KSU, TCU (x2) and Baylor (x2)
  • Why they are vulnerable: 12 losses already. Got blown out at Mizzou. Just .500 in conference.

(3/9 Big 12 Quarterfinals Baylor)

42. $Texas A&M (23, 23-8) – Nothing like getting the biggest win of the season in the last game of the regular season. That one shoots the Aggies up over a number of teams that they were formerly very tightly bunched with. This 2nd Quad 1A win is a differentiator between many of the teams on the 7 and 6 line and moves the Aggies all the way to the top of the 6 line. More importantly, the floor of worst case scenarios moves all the way up to a 7 at absolute worst. Realistically, even with a 0-1 SEC Tournament a 6 would be the most likely seed. How high can we go? A 5 is certainly in range. The teams on the 4 line and higher have clearly differentiated themselves however and it would be hard to get there barring something completely unforeseen. One thing to remember – once you are up in this territory, everyone else is really good too and also wins a lot of games. It’s kinda like being a top 10 team in football, just winning isn’t necessarily enough to keep going up since the base expectation is that the teams above you are probably going to win also.

I know many reading this may disagree and by the eye test this looks like a 3 seed (I would agree with that), there are a lot of statements out there like “how can 2nd in the SEC, a top 15 in the AP poll team, that has won 17 of their last 20 not be at least a 4 seed?” Here are some things that don’t matter AT ALL in the selection process

  • AP Poll
  • Trend (Last 10, Last 20 etc.) - “the entire body of work” is a mantra you will hear repeated over and over on selection Sunday
  • Conference record/conference standings – This isn’t an anti A&M bias here folks. Pitt was 1st in the ACC going into yesterday and finished 3rd. They are probably an 11 seed. Michigan entered the day 2nd in the Big 10 – they probably won’t make the tournament.

What does matter is who have you beaten and who have you lost to. Beating Alabama and Tennessee the last 2 weeks is huge (as were wins over Auburn (2), Missouri (2) and Arkansas.) Over a 30 game season, everyone on the top 4 seed lines also has a ton of really quality wins also. By my estimation, likely too many that we would be able to overcome given we didn’t beat anyone good OOC.

(3/10 SEC Quarters Auburn/Arkansas)

-----Note: No one is going to pass A&M unless A&M loses, we don’t have to worry about getting caught from behind by other teams playing high level competition, if you are worried about a potential loss on Friday, then worry about this list-------

43. $ Creighton (14, 20-11)

  • Why they can catch A&M: No bad losses (Nebraska – maybe?), predictive metrics love this team almost as much as SMC. Good win OOC over Arkansas and Texas Tech.
  • Why they are below A&M: Lots of reasons you could argue right now for them to be behind A&M. 6 game losing streak. Just 3-7 vs. quad 1. OOC outside of those Ark/Tech wins was brutal. 11 losses already.

(3/9 Big East Quarterfinals Villanova/Georgetown)

44. $Duke (24, 23-8)

  • Why they can catch A&M: Only 1 loss outside of quad 1 (@Wake Forest – quad 2). Beat Xavier and Iowa OOC.
  • Why they are below A&M: Just 3-7 vs. Quad 1 and 9 of their wins are over quad 4.

(3/9 ACC Quarterfinals Pitt/GT/FSU)

7 Seed

45. $Kentucky (20, 21-10)

  • Why they are behind A&M: 3 questionable losses to Georgia, Vanderbilt & South Carolina. Just 6-7 vs. Quad 1. 10 losses.
  • Why they can catch A&M: Beat Tennessee twice. Has H2H over A&M, 6-0 vs. Quad 2 is outstanding. Challenging OOC schedule. 11 wins vs. quad 1 and 2. o losses outside of Quad 1. OOC wins over Illinois and Iowa State. Win at Tennessee is huge. Good predictive metrics.

(3/10 SEC Quarterfinals Vanderbilt/Georgia/LSU)

46. $Northwestern (45, 21-10)

  • Why they are behind A&M: Not an impressive OOC other than maybe a win over Liberty. Of note they did lose to Auburn. Outside of a 2 week stretch from Feb 5-19 there isn’t much here on this resume – of course that was a very impressive 5 game winning streak during those 2 weeks. Predictive metrics show NW as solidy in the NIT. Just 4-5 vs. Quad 2.
  • Why they can catch A&M: Once again, no bad losses. 10 wins vs. quad 1/2 (9 for A&M).

(3/10 Big Ten Quarterfinals Illinois/Penn State)

47. $Michigan State (31, 19-11)

  • Why they are behind A&M: Where are the top end wins? Not sure if Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Rutgers really count. Just 5-7 on the road.
  • Why they can catch A&M: 6 wins vs. quad 1, 5 more vs. quad 2. Only 1 bad loss (Notre Dame). Beat Kentucky & Oregon OOC

(3/10 Big Ten Quarterfinals Iowa/Wisconsin/Ohio State)

48. $Missouri (48, 23-8)

  • Why they are behind A&M: Got swept by A&M H2H, just 5-8 vs. Quad 1. Predictive metrics are not good.
  • Why they can catch A&M: No losses outside of Quad 1. OOC wins over Illinois and Iowa State. Win at Tennessee is huge.

(3/10 SEC Quarterfinals Tennessee/South Carolina/Ole Miss)

-----------No chance for anyone below this line (except WVU) to pass us regardless of any outcome-----

8 Seed

49. $Maryland

50. $Illinois

51. $West Virginia (25, 18-13)– Note – as crazy as it seems if WVU were to somehow win the Big 12 tournament and add 4 more Quad 1 wins, they could rise up enough to consider leaping A&M IF we lose our 1st game. Playing in the Big 12, they have a higher ceiling than the others around them.

52. $Iowa

9 seeds

53. $Florida Atlantic CUSA auto bid

54. $USC

55. Memphis (36, 23-8) – I am not going to officially lock Memphis up since its possible they take a really damaging loss in the AAC tournament. By the eye test they absolutely look like a tournament team with the only losses in the last month 2 close losses to Houston. In all likelihood, Memphis is ok and will not need the auto bid. Won all of their “can’t lose” games down the stretch. Just 2 quad 1 wins (A&M, Auburn), getting swept by Tulane wasn’t great. 4-1 vs. the SEC including winning the head-to-head over A&M, outside the losses to Tulane, there really isn’t anything negative on the resume, SOS isn’t great given they play in the AAC. Win one more and I will lock them in officially.

(3/10 Quarterfinals SMU/UCF)

56. $Auburn

10 Seeds

57. $Providence

58. $NC State

------The bubble starts here, all teams below this line, except noted exceptions have not yet clinched their bid----

8 at large spots up for grabs

59. Arkansas (18, 19-12) I will be honest, I struggle a bit with what to do with Arkansas. Their NET suggest they would be criminally under seeded even as an 8 seed. Most bracketologist have them safely in as a 9 at worst. I look at the results that are here and…tell me what separates this resume from Mississippi State? I know on paper the SOS for Arkansas is much tougher, but they also lost more games. Also, if OOC is the differentiator, lets take a closer look – Arkansas beat San Diego State and Oklahoma. Mississippi State beat Marquette. If anything, the edge there is MSU. In conference there isn’t much to separate the resumes either. MSU relied a bit more on quad 4 games to build their record. Maybe that is all that it takes to separate a team that is in vs. out but for now Arkansas is still not safe and an 11 seed is certainly in play for them. They may even need to win over Auburn next week to feel safe. (3/9 SEC 2nd Round Auburn)

60. Boise State (27, 22-8) – Unable to beat Utah State in the finale to reach lock status. They still feel relatively safe to me as the 2nd best team out of the MWC. As long as they don’t take a really bad loss in the MWC tournament they should get an at large. 3-3 vs. quad 1 is meh. 2 bad losses (quad 3). Lacking true high-end wins (beat A&M, San Diego St.). 7-2 vs. quad 2 is pretty good.

(3/9 MWC Quarterfinals UNLV/Air Force)

11 seeds

61. Penn State (57, 19-12) – 2 games in March and 2 buzzer beaters over teams that were in the tournament. That’s the way to play your way in. It’s also 5 wins in the last 6 games to finish .500 in conference, and all of a sudden this resume is clearly better than fellow bubble contender Wisconsin (and probably Rutgers too). They won’t feel safe unless they can win a few games next week but for now I have them in. (3/9 Big Ten 2nd Round Illinois)

62. Rutgers (37, 18-13) Losers of 6 of 8 Rutgers is in a bit of a free fall. They aren’t just losses, but that’s now 3 losses on the year that are quad 3 losses. Only good win OOC was over Wake Forest. They do have 5 quad 1 wins. It is a good thing RPI isn’t an official metric anymore because RPI clocks in at #102 in that metric. What is a metric is 13 losses against the #67 SOS. It feels like if they lose to Michigan on Thursday they are giving the committee every reason needed to leave them out. (3/9 Big Ten 2nd Round Michigan)

63. *Pitt (55, 21-10) – Pitt faltered down the stretch and went from sole possession of 1st in the ACC to dropping their last 2 games and all of a sudden in a lot of trouble. Due to how terribly the ACC is from a metrics standpoint, they lose a blind resume to almost every bubble team you compare them to. They also didn’t really do much OOC. They did Northwestern but lost 4 games to VCU, Vandy, Michigan and West Virginia. Also, with the unbalanced schedules they have mainly beat up on some bad ACC teams. They absolutely need to win 1 this week and possibly may even need a 2nd win which would be vs. Duke to really feel safe. (3/8 ACC 2nd Round Florida State/Georgia Tech)

64. *Wisconsin (78, 17-13) – The Badgers are the Rutgers of last year. The NET ranking suggest that they shouldn’t even be in the conversation but the 6 quad 1 wins and 4 more quad 2 is tough to ignore. It is a good thing conference standings don’t officially matter because 12th place in the Big 10 is an eye sore. May need 2 wins next week to feel safe. (3/8 Big Ten 1st Round Ohio State)

12 Seeds

65. Oral Roberts – Summit League auto bid (42, 24-4) – Finished Summit League play a perfect 18-0. All 4 losses are respectable to quad 1 opponents on the road (@St. Mary’s, @Houston, @Utah State, @New Mexico). Not enough ink is being written about the possibility of a 2 bid Summit League. I think it is going to be extremely hard to keep ORU out if they take their 1st bad loss of the season in the conference tournament. Especially considering the tournament is being played on the home court of the conference #2 seed. All bubble teams should be watching the Summit League Tournament very closely and cheering for 2 more wins for Oral Roberts. (3/6 Summit League Semis St. Thomas)

66. Charleston CAA auto bid (52, 28-3) Charleston is in a similar position to Oral Roberts with the potential for a 2 bid CAA league. Charleston only had 1 quad 1 game, and they lost it at North Carolina. Their other 2 losses are @Hofstra and to Drexel, but they only have 3 losses to ORU’s 4. Hofstra is also a much more formidable 2nd team in the conference than South Dakota State for ORU. These 2 leagues are 2 and 2a in terms of bid stealing possibilities (with Florida Atlantic in the CUSA still representing the biggest threat). (3/6 CAA Semis Towson)

67. *Nevada (38, 21-9) Just when I was about to put Nevada into my bracket in ink they go and lose their last 2 games of the year to Wyoming and UNLV. Yikes. Not exactly the statement you want to make to leave the committee with. Still, its hard to compare this resume head to head with Utah State and then argue that Utah State should be ahead of them given the 4 quad 1 wins for Nevada. That may change if the Wolfpack put up 1 more clunker in the MWC tournament. (3/9 MWC Quarterfinals San Jose State)

68. *Utah State (21, 23-7) Incredible finish to the year to play their way into the tournament (for now). Won their last 5 games, the last of which being their 1st Quad 1 win of the year, something that had been glaringly missing from the profile previously. And now with a NET ranking of 21, that would be extremely high (historic?) to not get in at this point. They do have 2 bad OOC losses to Weber State and SMU. The best part of this resume is the Quad 2 record 8-1 which clearly looks like a tournament W-L record. 1 more win in the conference tournament probably does the trick. (3/9 MWC Quarterfinals New Mexico/Wyoming)

*Play In game Participants

------------------THE BUBBLE BURSTS HERE------------------

69. Arizona State (65, 20-11) Went 0-2 on their trip to LA, normally no shame in that, but when you entered that trip in the last 4 in, that’s a tough pill to swallow. Now just on the outside, looking in, really need a run in the Pac 12 tournament. Need at least 2 wins. (3/8 Pac 12 1st Round Oregon State)

70. Mississippi State (46, 20-11) Failed to beat Vanderbilt to end the year, finish below .500 in conference and now really have some work to do in the SEC Tournament. The win over Marquette, and how well Marquette has played the last month may ultimately be what gets the Bulldogs in. They certainly need to beat Florida and may need to top Alabama too in order to secure their spot depending on what the rest of the bubble does. (3/9 SEC 2nd Round Florida)

71. Oklahoma St (43, 17-14) Oklahoma State got the much win in basically an elimination game @Texas Tech to end the year. 5 quad 1 wins, but they were not great OOC (lost to Southern Illinois and UCF and their best win was over Sam Houston State). Given the bracket setup they probably need to beat Oklahoma and Texas to get in. (3/8 Big 12 1st Round Oklahoma)

----------Unlikely anyone from below this line makes it---------------

72. Bradley (60, 24-9) – I might be more optimistic about Bradley’s chances if they didn’t get run out of the gym and were completely non competitive in a 26 point loss to Drake in the Final. Then there is the little problem that they were 0-5 vs. quad 1. They were 3-1 vs. quad 2 however none of those wins really stand out. (Regular Season Over)

73. Oregon (47, 18-13) Just 3-8 vs. Quad 1, went 6-5 non-conference, losing to UC Irvine and Utah Valley, and haven’t really done anything notable in conference play other than the win on their home court vs. Arizona. If they can beat UCLA and then lose to Arizona in the Finals…maybe. (3/9 Pac 12 Quarterfinals Washington State/California)

74. North Texas (39, 23-6) Similar to Bradley, I don’t really see the committee taking a serious look at UNT unless there is a concerted effort to go find mid major teams because they don’t want to reward a 15 loss Oklahoma State. Still with a lack of quality wins, I don’t think there is any realistic chance unless their loss comes in the CUSA Final to FAU. (3/9 Quarterfinals FIU/LT)

75. Vanderbilt (82, 17-13) Winners of 8 of their last 9, Vandy has snuck up on the rest of the bubble field and is all of a sudden very much alive. The NET is an eye sore but if you can get past that they do have 4 quad 1 wins and 5 more quad 2. A few of those wins really stand out like against Tennessee, @Kentucky, Arkansas and over Pitt. It still feels like a run to the SEC Tournament Finals is needed, and then they have to hope the committee hasn’t already set the field by Saturday night. (3/9 Georgia/LSU)

76. Clemson (61, 22-9) There are a few decent wins here over Penn State, NC State (x2), @Pitt, @VT, Duke, but it is really hard to overlook just how terrible 4 of their losses are @Louisville, @BC, @South Carolina, and vs. Loyola-Chicago. (3/9 ACC Quarterfinals NC State/VT/ND)

77. North Carolina (49, 19-12) – UNC loses to Duke to end the regular season at just 1-9 vs. Quad 1 – and if Virginia slips just 1 spot down they will finish at 0-9. The best thing the resume has going for it is no bad losses but there still isn’t much to hang their hat on at this point in the season. I am not sure if even making a run in the conference tournament is enough. Their 1st game certainly doesn’t do anything for the resume. Does beating Virginia and Clemson really move the needle enough? I am skeptical. (3/8 ACC 2nd Round BC/Louisville)

78. Michigan (53, 17-14) It is likely over for Michigan Michigan’s magic run may be over after dropping their final 2 games to Illinois and Indiana. Just 3-11 vs. Quad 1 and have a quad 4 loss OOC to Central Michigan. They do have a path that would allow for some statement wins over Rutgers and Purdue. They would need both plus probably 1 more to get into the conversation. (3/9 Big Ten 2nd Round Rutgers)

Eliminated Since Last Edition:

  • Oklahoma (Lost 3/1 to Kansas State)
  • New Mexico (Lost 3/3 to Colorado State)
  • Texas Tech (Lost 3/4 to Oklahoma State)

What to Watch for (Aggie fans should cheer for the team in bold)

Monday 3/6

  • 6:00 ESPN2 Sun Belt Final Louisiana vs. South Alabama – No impact to A&M or the bubble, just listing the championship games.
  • 6:00 Summit League Semi Final Oral Roberts vs. Saint Thomas – Possible Bubble impact. If Oral Roberts loses this could represent a stolen bid.
  • 6:00 ESPN Southern Conference Final Furman vs. Chattanooga
  • 7:30 CBSSN CAA Semi – Charleston vs. Towson – Possible Bubble impact. If Charleston loses this could represent a stolen bid.
  • 8:00 ESPN WCC Semis Saint Mary’s vs. BYU – Unlikely that SMC is within range to catch, but if we are to do so they need to lose this one.
  • 10:30 ESPN2 WCC Semis Gonzaga vs. San Francisco – Highly unlikely that Gonzaga is within range to catch, but if we are to do so they need to lose this one.

Tuesday 3/7

  • 6:00 ESPN2 NEC Final Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Merrimack – FDU is already in the tournament and headed to Dayton, since Merrimack is ineligible, but we may still get a good championship game.
  • 6:00 ESPN Horizon Final TBD vs. TBD
  • 6:00 CBSSN CAA Final – TBD vs. TBD – Possible bid thief game if Charleston is in this one.
  • 8:00 ESPN WCC Final (Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s?) – if both favorites make this game we will want Gonzaga to beat SMC since SMC will be easier to catch.
  • 8:00 ESPN2 Summit League Final – TBD vs. TBD Possible bid thief game if Oral Roberts is in this one.

Wednesday 3/8

  • 1:30 ESPN ACC 2nd Round ESPN Pitt vs. Georgia Tech or Florida State
  • 4:00 ESPN2 Southland Final TBD vs. TBD
  • 5:30 BTN Big 10 1st Round – Wisconsin vs. Ohio State – Probably a must win for Wisconsin to get in.
  • 6:00 Big 12 1st Round Texas Tech vs. West Virginia – It seems unlikely WVU would rise all the way to where A&M currently is but them dropping this one would stop a potential rise before it gets started.
  • 6:00 ACC 2nd Round UNC vs. BC/Louisville – UNC needs a deep run next week to be considered, this is obviously a must win
  • 6:30 Patriot League Final Colgate vs. Lafayette
  • 8:30 Big 12 1st Round Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State – OSU needs a deep run in the Big 12 tournament to be an at large threat
  • 10:30 Big Sky Final TBD vs. TBD


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