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NCAA Tournament Bid Watch 2/22

With now less than a month until we have an official NCAA Tournament bracket, questions loom 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!


Definitions:

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

Work to Do: fall somewhere in the 8-9 seed range all the way to just outside the field. Are in, or just barely out, but not quite safe yet

Fringe Bubble: have not been eliminated from at-large contention yet, but are just about in “win out” territory


Conferences:


ACC

Locks: Duke

Should Be In: None

Work to Do: Miami, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, North Carolina

Fringe Bubble: Virginia, Virginia Tech

Most of the ACC remains the same. The teams in "work to do" still find themselves on the bubble, some safer than others. VA Tech drops down to the fringe bubble as the Hokies are still searching for a big time win. Florida State falls off the bubble after the loss to Boston College.


American

Locks: Houston

Should Be In: None

Work to Do: Memphis, SMU

Fringe Bubble: Cincinnati, Wichita State

Cincinnati still has games on the road against Houston and SMU so with those opportunities in mind, we will leave the Bearcats on the fringe bubble. If Wichita State wins out, which would include a win at Memphis, and makes the AAC final, things could get interesting. However, it may be auto-bid or bust for the Shockers. With the selection committee referencing Houston as the closest team to the Top-16 during the reveal, we have moved the Cougars to a lock. Quality wins are lacking, but the metrics and 22-4 record will keep Houston in regardless.


Atlantic 10

Locks: None

Should Be In: None

Work to Do: Davidson, VCU, Dayton, St Bonaventure

Fringe Bubble: Saint Louis

No changes to the groups for the Atlantic 10 from the last update. Davidson remains in the best spot of the work to do group, but is by no means safe yet. Saint Louis will need a significant run to get closer to the field.


Big 12

Locks: Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas

Should Be In: None

Work to Do: Iowa State, TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas State

Fringe Bubble: West Virginia

TCU and Iowa State very well could be in the "should be in" group. Neither have a bad loss, and have numerous quality wins. The Horned Frogs and Cyclones could be there before the week is over, and could be a lock as soon as early next week. Oklahoma, Kansas State and West Virginia remain on the bubble, but all need wins quickly.


Big East

Locks: Villanova, Providence, UConn

Should Be In: Marquette, Xavier, Seton Hall

Work to Do: Creighton

Fringe Bubble: St Johns

UConn, welcome to lock status! The win over Xavier on Saturday wrapped it up for us. Marquette, Xavier and SHU remain in a similar spot to the last update, in a good spot but still need a win or two more to be a lock. Creighton's win over Marquette has them above our last 4 in today, while St Johns will need to stay hot to move up.


Big Ten

Locks: Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio State

Should Be In: Michigan State

Work to Do: Indiana, Iowa, Rutgers, Michigan

Fringe Bubble: None

Ohio State's win over Indiana Monday night moved the Buckeyes to lock status for us! Michigan State remains most likely one win away from being a lock, while the others are all firmly on the bubble with Iowa being in the best position of the group.


Mountain West

Locks: None

Should Be In: Colorado State

Work to Do: Wyoming, Boise State, San Diego State

Fringe Bubble: Fresno State

No changes for the Mountain West bid situation. Boise State and Wyoming are very close to the should be in group, probably one win away and two from a lock. Fresno State has road games upcoming against Wyoming and SDSU which are great opportunities so we will leave them on the fringe bubble for now.


Pac-12

Locks: Arizona, UCLA

Should Be In: USC

Work to Do: Oregon

Fringe Bubble: Stanford, Colorado

Stanford and Colorado may need to win out, but both have huge opportunities ahead that could change the outlook, so for a few more days both remain on our bubble. USC is one win away from a lock for us, while Oregon is moving in the wrong direction.


SEC

Locks: Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee

Should Be In: Alabama, LSU, Arkansas

Work to Do: Florida

Fringe Bubble: Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt

Florida's win over Auburn did wonders for the Gators as they were close to moving towards fringe bubble for us. All three programs in the "should be in" category need just one more win to lock themselves in for us.


WCC

Locks: Gonzaga, Saint Mary's

Should Be In: None

Work to Do: San Francisco, BYU

Fringe Bubble: None

Saint Mary's wins over San Francisco and BYU locked in the Gaels. Only two regular season games remain for SMC, and with the WCC auto-advancing the top two teams in the conference to the semifinals, there are not enough potential losses remaining for Saint Mary's to miss the field. San Francisco and BYU remain on the bubble.


Other Mid-Majors

Locks: None

Should Be In: Murray State

Work to Do: Loyola Chicago, Belmont, North Texas

Fringe Bubble: Iona, South Dakota State

South Dakota State enters "fringe bubble" territory as its impressive win streak continues. A trip to the Summit finals is probably necessary to have any at-large and even then it is slim. However, we are not counting them out yet. Murray State moves to "should be in" for us as the Racers can afford a loss to Belmont on Thursday. That game is huge for the Bruins. If Murray State wins at SE Missouri State on Saturday, they'll be very close to a lock.



Thanks for reading! You can also check out our latest Bracketology update from 2/20 and/or our Teams of the Week 2/14-2/20 to see who is on the rise of late. DM @TBracketology with questions about the bubble watch or any other CBB questions!

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