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NCAA Tournament Berth Update 3/2

Welcome to March! Less than 10 days until Selection Sunday! 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, Duke

Should Be In: None

Bubble: Pittsburgh, NC State, North Carolina

Almost Flat Bubble: Clemson

Pittsburgh had moved into the "should be in" category after last weekend, but it did the only thing it could not do, pick up a bad loss. Pitt remains in the field, but its position is a bit more dicey than last week. NC State is also in the field, but does not have any more games before the conference tournament to improve its case. North Carolina must beat Duke this weekend to have a shot at getting into the field, otherwise the Tar Heels with be Next 4 Out heading into conference tournaments that the committee historically undervalues. Clemson likely needs to win the ACC Tournament but at-large hopes are not 0%.


Locks: Houston

Should Be In: None

Bubble: Memphis

Almost Flat Bubble: None

No changes here. Memphis will move into "should be in" with a win over SMU, avoiding the bad loss. A win over Houston locks it up, or avoiding any bad losses in the AAC tourney next week. Every other team must win the AAC.

Big 12

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

Should Be In: None

Bubble: West Virginia, Oklahoma State

Almost Flat Bubble: Texas Tech

This conference is fascinating. We have six clear locks, and West Virginia would move from bubble to lock instantly with a win this weekend. A win in the B12 tournament opener would likely also do this. Oklahoma State is in a tougher spot without the non-conference wins WVU has and a bad loss. Oklahoma State must beat Texas Tech this weekend to have a shot of being back in the field on Monday. Texas Tech meanwhile must win against Oklahoma State to keep its at-large hopes above 0%. Otherwise, like OU, TTU will need to win the Big 12.

Big East

Locks: Xavier, Marquette, UConn, Creighton

Should Be In: Providence

Bubble: None

Almost Flat Bubble: Villanova

Gut says Villanova needs to win the Big East to secure a bid. But, the Cats do have a unique injury situation with Justin Moore coming back. Do not believe that will be enough, but if Villanova wins this weekend, the at-large hopes will be above 0%. Everyone else not listed must win the Big East for a bid.

Big Ten

Locks: Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State

Should Be In: Maryland, Rutgers

Bubble: Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan

Almost Flat Bubble: None

Michigan State moved into lock status for us. Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan remain firmly on the bubble. All needing a win this week at least to feel in a better spot. But one win won't make any a lock. Rutgers needs one more win with Minnesota still on the schedule to become a lock. Maryland is likely a lock already, solid metrics and good wins. But boy, the Terps don't have anything close to a good road win. So we will leave them as "should be in" for now. One more win will make it 100%.

Mountain West

Locks: San Diego State

Should Be In: Boise State

Bubble: New Mexico, Nevada, Utah State

Almost Flat Bubble: None

Nevada's loss to Wyoming kept them in the field, but are now straddling the last 4 byes/last 4 in line. Utah State and New Mexico remain out of the field, and must win its final regular season game this weekend, plus something next week. Boise State's big win over San Diego State shifted the Broncos up to "should be in". A win this weekend will make it a lock.


Locks: Arizona, UCLA

Should Be In: None

Bubble: USC, Arizona State, Oregon

Almost Flat Bubble: None

Arizona State (vs UCLA) and USC (vs Arizona) have massive bubble opportunities tonight against the best of the Pac-12. A win for either would shift USC/ASU above last 4 in, and in a very good position. USC would even move to "should be in" within the above. Oregon does not have any quality win opportunities remaining. If the Ducks lose 1/2 this week, Oregon will need to win the Pac 12 to get a bid.


Locks: Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Missouri

Should Be In: Arkansas

Bubble: Mississippi State, Auburn, Vanderbilt

Almost Flat Bubble: None

The only team not in the current field in the above is Vanderbilt. The Vanderbilt bubble got a bit more air in it after the road win over Kentucky, but the Commodores will need to win again this weekend. Otherwise, primarily metric driven + bad losses, Vandy will need to win the SEC. Mississippi State and Auburn are both in the field, above the last 4 in, but not safe yet. Arkansas could become a lock without even playing depending on other results, but a win this weekend would make it 100%. Missouri and Texas A&M are the newest locks here.


Locks: Gonzaga, Saint Marys

Should Be In: None

Bubble: None

Almost Flat Bubble: None

This conference has been this way for awhile. Two locks, any other team will need to win the WCC.

Other Mid-Majors

Locks: None

Should Be In: FAU

Bubble: Oral Roberts, Charleston

Almost Flat Bubble: None

Apologies in advance if this puts a jinx on FAU. If the Owls go 2-0 this week (vs Rice & LA Tech), FAU is a lock. If FAU could hand pick a loss, it would be preferable for it to be against Rice, but that would still make its position dicey. Both are Q3 losses, but the Rice loss will not "feel" as bad. In either case, a loss would move FAU back to bubble, but still in the field even without a C-USA AQ. Oral Roberts and Charleston have strong overall records, but little to no quality wins to back it up. They remain on the bubble simply in case there is chaos that causes the committee to need to take an extra long good at that record.

Thanks for reading! You can also check out our latest Bracketology update from 2/28 and/or our Week 16 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!


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