top of page
  • T3 Bracketology

NCAA Tournament Berth Update 2/22

18 days until we have an official NCAA Tournament bracket! Questions still remain about which teams are safely in the field, and who has some work to do still. We have broken down that information, by conference, below. Take a look and let us know your thoughts!


Lock: could theoretically lose out and still make the field

Should be In: would take a major collapse to miss the field, have a solid resume to this point

Bubble: fall somewhere in the 7-9 seed range all the way to just outside the field. Are in, or just barely out, but not quite safe yet

Almost Flat Bubble: have not been eliminated from at-large contention yet, but are just about in “win out” territory. 5% or less odds to make the field



Locks: Virginia, Miami

Should Be In: NC State, Duke

Bubble: Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Wake Forest

Almost Flat Bubble: Clemson, Virginia Tech

Miami moves into lock status since the last update. NC State and Duke are about one win away from a lock, but may also be able to lose out depending on what others around them do. Pittsburgh is the next closest, but with potential land mines against Syracuse and Notre Dame remaining, there is still work to do. North Carolina is not in the field today, and has work to do to get back. Wake Forest has a must-win game tonight against NC State to avoid falling back into an almost flat bubble. Clemson and Virginia Tech likely must win out, and even may need an ACC title to get in.


Locks: Houston

Should Be In: None

Bubble: Memphis

Almost Flat Bubble: None

No significant changes here. Memphis remains firmly on the bubble, but has another shot against Houston coming soon. If Tulane defeats Houston this week, we will give them another look.

Big 12

Locks: Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Kansas State, Iowa State, TCU

Should Be In: None

Bubble: West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech

Almost Flat Bubble: Oklahoma

TCU moves into lock status since our last update. West Virginia and Oklahoma State remain firmly on the bubble with a difficult remaining stretch to the schedule. Oklahoma falls to the almost flat bubble, and are nearing the need for a Big 12 title. Texas Tech, not previously in this section, has gotten hot of late. Still more work to be done, but the Red Raiders enter the bubble section.

Big East

Locks: Xavier, Marquette, UConn, Creighton

Should Be In: Providence

Bubble: Seton Hall

Almost Flat Bubble: None

Creighton moves into lock status since the last update, with the selection committee referencing them as one of the closest teams to the Top 16. The Bluejays have a favorable schedule remaining. Providence is one win away from locking up a bid to the dance. Seton Hall remains on the bubble, but will need to pick up good wins ASAP with others passing them on the bubble of late.

Big Ten

Locks: Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern

Should Be In: Rutgers, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State

Bubble: Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan

Almost Flat Bubble: Nebraska

Northwestern moved into lock status from a bubble position after its latest fantastic stretch of basketball. Rutgers, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland and Michigan State all sit in a position where it will take a lot to miss the field, but not a full lock yet. Wisconsin and Penn State remain firmly on the bubble, and Michigan's win over Michigan State pushes them up to the bubble as well, but still out of the field. Nebraska will need to win its next four games, at minimum, to start to have real berth conversations, but the chances are not at 0%.

Mountain West

Locks: San Diego State

Should Be In: None

Bubble: New Mexico, Nevada, Boise State, Utah State

Almost Flat Bubble: None

San Diego State moved to a lock after a dominate victory over Colorado State, avoiding the bad loss. Nevada and Boise State remain in the field but still on the bubble, while New Mexico and Utah State find themselves in an even thinning position on the bubble, but still with a shot.


Locks: Arizona, UCLA

Should Be In: None

Bubble: USC, Arizona State, Oregon

Almost Flat Bubble: Utah, Colorado

Arizona and UCLA are the clear locks, and are close to locking up a top 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament at minimum. USC, Arizona State and Oregon are squarely on the bubble, with work to do in all three cases. Colorado and Utah have not been removed from the page, but both will need to win out to even realistically begin to have the conversation.


Locks: Alabama, Tennessee

Should Be In: Missouri, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Auburn

Bubble: Mississippi State

Almost Flat Bubble: Florida, Vanderbilt

The SEC picture is really beginning to become the clearest of all the multi-bid leagues. So naturally, a bid thief will emerge in a few weeks! Alabama and Tennessee remain the only conference locks, but Missouri, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Auburn are not far off from 100% securing a bid. Mississippi State is the biggest question, as most have the Bulldogs barely in the field. Vanderbilt and Florida are just below the bubble, but both headed in opposite directions. Vandy is trending towards the bubble, while Florida is almost off the page althogether.


Locks: Gonzaga, Saint Marys

Should Be In: None

Bubble: None

Almost Flat Bubble: None

Gonzaga and Saint Marys have been locks for awhile, and the two meet this Saturday for a game with massive WCC and seeding implications. If Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara win out all the way until the WCC final, we may take another peak, but 99% chance those two and the rest of the conference, will need an AQ to get a bid.

Other Mid-Majors

Locks: None

Should Be In: None

Bubble: FAU, Oral Roberts, North Texas

Almost Flat Bubble: Charleston

FAU remains a "bubble team" but is the only group listed here that as of today, would be in the field without winning its conference tournament. The Owls cannot afford a bad loss though prior to the CUSA tournament that would make its hopes very dicey. Oral Roberts and North Texas continue winning, so move to the bubble section. Neither squad has quality win opportunities remaining in front of them, so it will be difficult to improve its resumes without numerous blowout wins over the next few weeks. Charleston is still in the conversation, but with a down year in the CAA leaving only bad losses remaining on the schedule, CofC almost certainly has to win its league. A OOC SOS in the 300s does not help its case either.

Thanks for reading! You can also check out our latest Bracketology update from 2/21 and/or our Week 15 Teams of the Week to see who is on the rise of late. DM @TBracketology with questions about the bubble or any other CBB questions!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page