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

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Bubble Watch: 3/9/23

Projecting the NCAA Basketball Tournament field of 68

Photo by Tim Fuller/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Future Updates: Saturday Morning 3/11 and on Selection Sunday 3/12 – FULL BRACKET REVEAL/projections with locations and matchups! Note - Will update with a comment on Thursday Evening/Friday morning with the major movements & games to watch for Friday.

It has been mid-major madness the last three days since the Monday update with fantastic finishes and 12 teams officially punching their ticket as automatic bids into the tournament. With that, we now have a bit of a better idea what bids are officially one-bid leagues and where on the seed line each conference champ is projected to slot in.

Not much news around the bubble so far this week. ACC bubblers Pitt, UNC and NC state scored big victories (although I have been calling NC State a lock for almost three weeks and never regretted it). Wisconsin took a very bad loss and is almost certainly done.

If you are just checking in for the first time on championship week, don’t worry there has been very limited impact for A&M. Gonzaga moved to uncatchable territory, and St. Mary’s stays vulnerable to being passed. Other than that, all of the other drama is ahead of us and will play out in the next 84 hours.

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

  • Current NET ranking listed in parentheses
  • Bold teams have already won the automatic bid
  • List has been reordered and now is reflective of the projected seeding of the auto bids.

12 Seeds

1. Summit League – Oral Roberts (38) – ORU saves the committee a nightmare scenario of having to leave out a team that scheduled tough, lost 4 competitive quad 1 games, went undefeated in conference and ended the year with only 4 losses. I could easily see the committee rewarding them with an 11 seed, but their metrics (KPI, BPI, etc.) are terrible

2. CAA – Charleston (51) – Committee was popping champagne bottles Tuesday night when not only ORU got the auto bid but 31 win Charleston did also. Again I can see them getting an 11 seed and pushing the last 4 in down to the 12 line, however from an overall resume standpoint they likely slot in as a 12.

3. MVC – Drake (52) – 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.

4. A10 (VCU, 67) Championship 3/12

13 Seeds

5. MAC - (Kent State, 68) Championship 3/11

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

7. Ivy – (Yale, 64) Championship 3/12

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

14 Seeds

9. Sun Belt – Louisiana (89)

10. Southern – Furman (88)

11. Big West – (UC Irvine, 95) 3/11

12. Patriot – Colgate(101)

15 Seeds

13. Atlantic Sun – Kennesaw State (114)– Liberty is too far off the bubble to merit consideration; they will be a midseed in the NIT.

14. Big Sky – Montana State (103)

15. America East (Vermont, 111) 3/11

16. Big South UNC Asheville, 139

16 Seeds

17. Horizon - Northern Kentucky (157)

18. SWAC (Grambling State, 178) 3/11

19. %Southland – Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 180

20. %MEAC (NC Central, 186) 3/11

21. %Ohio Valley – Southeastern Missouri, 243

22. %Northeast – Fairleigh Dickinson, 300

%= 16 seed play in game participant

And just like that we are down to 10 conferences battling for 46 spots.

1 other conference, CUSA will likely be a one-bid league but would require FAU to win the tournament to do so. FAU is firmly in the field as a lock and their auto bid placeholder is counted when we get to their at large profile.

Multi-bid conference/at-large seeds

For the other nine conferences, they each have multiple teams that as of right now would make the field and get an at large. Their conference leader will be counted as their auto bid and will be bolded. Those eight 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 46 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

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

24. $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.

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

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

2 seeds

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

28. $Texas – Locked in as a 2 seed.

29. $Baylor – Locked in as a 2 seed.

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

3 seeds

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

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

33. $Gonzaga WCC Auto bid – Locked in as a 3 seed.

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

34. $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 Ole Miss)

4 seeds

35. $UConn (7, 24-7) - Likely locked into a 4 seed unless they win the Big East tournament and Tennessee loses on Friday. OOC wins over Alabama, Iowa State, Oregon, Oklahoma State and Florida. Only 1 bad loss to Saint Johns. (3/9 Big East Quarterfinals Providence)

36. $Xavier (22, 23-8) - Likely locked into a 4 seed unless they win the Big East tournament and Tennessee loses on Friday. 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 DePaul)

37. $Indiana (29, 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/Minnesota)

38. $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)

------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

39. $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 Wake Forest)

40. $St. Mary’s (8, 24-6) – SMC opened the door slightly by losing by 26 to Gonzaga in the WCC Final. SMC does have a lack of quality wins compared to every other team around this area of seeding.

  • 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 and analytics love SMC, although they took a bit of a hit on Tuesday night.
  • Why they are vulnerable: Lack of top end wins – Just 2-3 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.

(Regular Season Over)

41. $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)

42. $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

43. $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)

44. $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-------

45. $ 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)

46. $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)

7 Seed

47. $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/LSU)

48. $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)

49. $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/Ohio State)

50. $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/Ole Miss)

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

8 Seed

51. $Maryland

52. $Illinois

53. $West Virginia (25, 19-13)– 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. They did beat Texas Tech in the 1st round to keep the threat alive.

54. $Iowa

9 seeds

55. $Florida Atlantic CUSA auto bid

56. Memphis (34, 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)

57. $Auburn

58. $USC

10 Seeds

59. $NC State – they were already a lock for me but the blow out win on Wednesday night leaves no doubt and probably avoids Dayton.

60. $Providence – there are many that do not consider this profile a lock. I stand by my decision to lock them in and keep them locked.

------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 for essentially 10 teams, other teams may play their way into this picture, and many of the 8 spots will disappear as they get locked in over the next 12 hours.

61. Arkansas (18, 19-12) I will be honest, I struggle a bit with what to do with Arkansas. Their NET and most of the metrics suggest they would be under seeded even as an 8 seed. Most bracketologist have them safely in as a 9 at worst and locked them up weeks ago. The more I dissect this resume, I still am hesitant to call Arkansas a lock. The analytics are a part of the selection criteria, but putting those aside for just a moment to look simply at who have you beaten it’s a much more bleak picture. The #3 SOS carries every part of the resume (it’s amazing what it can do for you to not play Q4 OOC games), but OOC they beat San Diego State and Oklahoma. I mean – that’s good….but hardly something that would differentiate them from most of their bubble competition. And OOC is clearly the stronger part of the resume as the 8-10 SEC record with wins against A&M and at Kentucky really the only notable ones which I am not sure if they counter losses to LSU and Vanderbilt. I don’t think they should feel completely safe unless they beat Auburn on Thursday. At the very least there is a very real possibility they get sent to Dayton if they go 0-1 in Nashville. (3/9 SEC 2nd Round Auburn)

62. 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 bad loss in the MWC tournament they should get an at large, and I am not sure if a loss to UNLV would be bad enough to drop them to #69. 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)

11 seeds

63. Penn State (56, 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)

64. Pitt (57, 22-10) – Pitt was one of the few bubble teams that was in action on Wednesday and survived a scare against Georgia Tech. They probably would have fallen out had they lost that game. The win doesn’t really do much for the profile other than keeping them basically where they are and advancing them to the Quarterfinals to play Duke where a loss there would not hurt nearly as bad as GT would have. A win in that one would likely make Pitt a lock. 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 beat 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. (3/9 ACC Quarterfinals Duke)

65. *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. I wasn’t giving their metrics enough credit initially. Not only is the NET impressive, their KPI is up to #14 and their profile in the computers doesn’t look all that different than St. Mary’s. 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. I still think they are in trouble if they don’t win a MWC game but if they can beat New Mexico on a neutral court they should feel pretty safe, depending on how the rest of the bubble fares. (3/9 MWC Quarterfinals New Mexico)

66. *Rutgers (42, 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)

67. *Mississippi State (46, 20-11) I was a bit too harsh on this resume after they failed to beat Vanderbilt to end the year and finished below .500 in the SEC. That was based on comparing their profile compared to my then #68 team Utah State and MSU didn’t measure up. After revisiting Utah State and moving them up a bit and then recomparing MSU to each of the other last 4 in, I am comfortable moving them just inside the field…for now. They still absolutely need a win against Florida, but I am now fairly comfortable keeping them in should they lose to Alabama on Friday. The win over Marquette, and how well Marquette has played the last month may ultimately be what gets the Bulldogs in (3/9 SEC 2nd Round Florida)

68. *Oklahoma St (43, 17-14) Oklahoma State got each of the 2 can’t lose games in their last 2 against the bottom of the conference Texas Tech and Oklahoma. That is enough for now to move them in as the last team into the field and bump Nevada out. The road gets a whole lot tougher now and they likely will still fall out of the field if they are unable to beat Texas on Thursday. On the other hand, a win there would significantly solidify their bid (maybe not quite a lock but 95% chance of being in). Not great OOC (lost to Southern Illinois and UCF and their best win was over Sam Houston State). (3/9 Big 12 Quarterfinals Texas)

*Play In game Participants

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

69. Arizona State (62, 20-11) Went 0-2 on their trip to LA to end the regular season. The win over Oregon State in the 1st round does nothing for the resume. Feels like a win and in, lose and out game coming up vs. USC on Thursday night. (3/9 Pac 12 Quarterfinals USC)

70. Nevada (36, 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, there is an argument to be made that Nevada should still be the 3rd team out of the MWC ahead of Utah State. That argument may become obvious one way or the other depending on Thursday’s results. (3/9 MWC Quarterfinals San Jose State)

----------If today was selection Sunday I would call anyone below this line a shocker if they made it in. A few teams still have a chance to play themselves above this line---------------

71. Wisconsin (78, 17-14) – I was on a bit of an island still having Wisconsin in my field going into the tournament giving more weight to the quality of their wins to overshadow their horrid metrics and analytics. The profile reminded me a lot of Rutgers from 2022 who was one of the last 4 entries to the field. I try not to react to much to 1 game, which is hard to do with a lot of rhetoric about “win and in/play in game” this time of year. But getting blown out by an Ohio State team that won’t even make the NIT is just indicative of the type of year it has been and at 17-14 while they may get some consideration for 6 quad 1 wins and 5 more quad 2 at the end of the day this team simply isn’t good enough and all of the advanced stats bear that out. (Regular Season Over)

72. North Carolina (49, 20-12) – 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. Blowout over BC was a good start but it feels like they are still needing 2 more wins to play their way in (3/9 ACC Quarterfinals Virginia)

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 (40, 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, 18-13) 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. Michigan (54, 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)

78. Bradley (74, 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)

Eliminated Since Last Edition:

  • None

Bid Thieves Remaining (Teams outside of 1st 4 out that are still alive in potential multi bid leagues) – Big list for now…this will dwindle quickly.

  • ACC (Quarterfinals) Wake Forest
  • AAC – (1st Round) ECU, USF, SMU, UCF, Tulsa, WSU, Temple, Cincy, Tulane
  • Big East – (Quarterfinals) St. John’s, DePaul, Villanova
  • CUSA – (Quarterfinals) Western Kentucky, Charlotte, MTSU, La Tech, UNT, Rice, UAB
  • Big Ten – (2nd Round) Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan
  • MWC – (Quarterfinals) Colorado St., San Jose St, UNLV
  • Pac 12 – (Quarterfinals) Colorado, Wash. St, Stanford, Oregon St
  • SEC (2nd Round) – Florida, Ole Miss, LSU, Vanderbilt
  • Big 12 - None

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

Thursday 3/9

  • 11AM ESPN2 ACC Quarterfinals – Wake Forest vs. Miami – Miami is catchable, especially if they lose this one
  • 11AM BTN Big Ten 2nd Round Rutgers vs. Michigan – No A&M impact. Fun bubble game where other bubble teams should root for Michigan.
  • 11:30 AM ESPN Big 12 Quarterfinals – Iowa State vs. Baylor - A good chance to catch Iowa State if they lose
  • Noon SECN SEC 2nd Round – Miss. State vs. Florida – Minimal impact on A&M. Bubble teams should cheer for Florida.
  • 1:30 FS1 Big East Quarterfinals – Providence vs. UConn – Unlikely UConn is catchable but if they are they need to lose this one to stay that way
  • 1:30 FS1 ACC Quarterfinals – Pitt vs. Duke – Duke is behind A&M but if A&M stumbles in Nashville they could pass A&M.
  • 2:00 ESPN Big 12 Quarterfinals- West Virginia vs. Kansas – unlikely WVU threatens the Aggies seed but this would end any threat to it.
  • 2:00 SECN SEC 2nd Round – Ole Miss vs. Tennessee – If in your mind you consider Tennessee catchable we would need them to lose this one. On the other hand it significantly worsens one of our best wins on the year to do so.
  • 2:00 CBSSN MWC Quarterfinals – Colorado State vs. San Diego State – we are a direct competitor with SDSU for seeding
  • 4:30 CBSSN SJSU vs. Nevada – Fun bubble game, no impact on A&M, bubble teams should cheer for SJSU
  • 4:30 Pac 12 Quarterfinals – Wash St vs. Oregon – No impact on A&M, this would eliminate Oregon from consideration
  • 5:30 CUSA Quarterfinals – Western Kentucky vs. FAU – No impact on A&M, bubble teams need FAU to win 3 games in the tournament to prevent a bid from being stolen. FAU is a lock.
  • 5:30 BTN Big Ten 2nd Round – Penn State vs. Illinois – I do not believe Illinois is capable of catching A&M. Bubble teams want PSU to lose.
  • 6:00 ESPN2 Big 12 Quarterfinals – Oklahoma State vs. Texas – No impact on A&M. Bubble teams want OSU to lose
  • 6:00 ESPN ACC Quarterfinals – UNC vs. Virginia – Virginia is potentially catchable and is A&M’s most realistic path to getting all the way to a 4 by having them lose.
  • 6:00 FS1 Big East Quarterfinals – DePaul vs. Xavier – Potential for Xavier to fall back to where A&M is if they lose this one. As a bonus, DePaul likely represents A&M’s best OOC win
  • 6:00 SECN SEC 2nd Round – Arkansas vs. Auburn – Cheer for who you want A&M to play on Friday night
  • 8:00 SECN SEC 2nd Round LSU vs. Vanderbilt – Vandy needs a win to stay alive
  • 8:00 CUSA Quarterfinals La Tech vs North Texas – UNT needs a win to stay alive
  • 8:30 ESPN2 Big 12 Quarterfinals – TCU vs. Kansas State – TCU is a direct competitor for seeding
  • 8:30 FS1 Big East Quarterfinals – Villanova vs. Creighton – Creighton is a direct competitor for seeding.
  • 8:30 ESPN ACC Quarterfinals – NC State vs. Clemson – Clemson needs a win to stay alive.
  • 10:30 CBSSN MWC Quarterfinals – New Mexico vs. Utah State – No impact on A&M. Bubble teams need Utah State to lose

Friday’s games will be added as a comment to this posting on Thursday evening!

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