Bracketology: Bubble Update (UCONN Last In)

    
February 29th, 2012
Instead of the Bubble shrinking over the last couple of weeks, it has actually grown. Former locks like West Virginia, UCONN, and Mississippi St have struggled, while hot teams like Drexel and VCU have joined the fray. Thus, despite being less than two weeks away from Selection Sunday, the NCAA Tournament Bubble is as uncertain as ever.

Tuesday night, there were a couple of important bubble results: UCONN lost to Providence and Xavier fell at Saint Louis. (UCF also got crushed by Memphis, but I didn't have the Knights within ten spots of a bid coming into the night, although others did.) The Xavier loss is not crushing. Teams rarely win road games against Top 50 opponents, so the committee can't hold it against them. However, they did get knocked down to a 12 seed and in a First Four game. (Note that other Bracketologists such as Joe Lunardi had Xavier as a 12 seed coming into the night, so they'd presumably be out in those projections.)

The UCONN loss is more damaging. There's really no excuse losing to a 4-13 Big East team when they're playing for nothing but pride. UCONN is now the last team in the field, whereas coming into the today, they were somewhat sturdy 11 seed. A win by UCONN over Pitt to close the regular season doesn't really change their fate much. They need a good showing in NYC and other teams to falter.

Since the last Bubble Watch update, Arizona moved into the field, replacing NC state. NC State has been replace by Miami as the ACC's fifth and likely final bid. While the RPI is not in love with Arizona, other computer rankings don't love the alternatives like Dayton or St. Joseph's.

Long Beach St moved into a 12 seed, the highest they've been seeded in a couple of months. This means that they can still get a potential at-large bid even if losing in the Big West tournament. On the flip-side, Middle Tennessee has been taken out of at-large contention due to another loss.

Illinois is not completely dead yet. The Illini can make up a lot of ground in their final regular season games, not to mention the Big Ten tournament. Also in the Big Ten, Northwestern faces the reverse scenario.. they're in for now but have many chances to play their way out of the Dance. They host Ohio St tomorrow in a game that could end their lengthy Tournament drought.


The Bubble:

Seeds take into account my latest Bracketology Projection, as well as Tuesday night's action. **=Potential Conference Champions. Teams below the cut line would not make the field as an at-large team.


10 Seeds
Southern Miss

------- Above is Safe -------

BYU
Miami
**Washington

11 Seeds
Northwestern

Seton Hall

Cincinnati

**Harvard

12 Seeds

Mississippi St

**Long Beach St

West Virginia
Texas / Xavier

13 Seeds
Arizona/
UCONN
------- Cut Line -------

**Drexel

**Iona

**Oral Roberts

Just Out (in order of likelihood)

South Florida

St. Joseph's

Drexel

VCU

Dayton

Tennessee

Iona

Oregon

Colorado St

NC State

Illinois

Oral Roberts

 

Other teams with a chance of playing their way into the tournament with a strong finish, in no particular order: Ole Miss, Colorado, LSU, Stanford

 

Check out NITology for the other teams bringing up the rear. For questions, post a comment below or join the discussion @collegehoopsnet.