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College Basketball Bubble Watch

College Basketball Bubble Watch

College Basketball Bubble Watch

Let’s take a look at which teams are close to making the 68-team NCAA Tournament, which ones are locks, which teams will end up in the NIT, CBI or CIT tournaments and which teams are staying home. This is a very compelling basketball season and once the postseason starts, it’s anybody’s game. Let's take a look at where the bubble teams stand as of Tuesday, February 19, with emphasis on strength of schedule and RPI. The RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) is a tool that the selection committee will look before they select their NCAA Tournament picks.

Atlantic Coast Conference

Who's in?: Duke, Miami, Fla.

Who is on the right track?: NC State (18-7, 7-5 ACC, RPI: 22, SOS: 17) edged Virginia Tech at home in their only game of the week. They have four close losses in the ACC. A win over Duke helps but they have to a few more games.

Who needs help? North Carolina (16-8, 7-5 ACC, RPI: 30, SOS: 15) fell at Duke last week, despite playing well. Their win over Virginia was key but more big games are coming up. They need more to add to their resume’ and it might once against come down to a home game against rival. Duke.....Virginia (18-7, 8-4 ACC, RPI: 80, SOS: 146) is pretty close to being a lock but their RPI is still too high. A loss at North Carolina didn’t crush them as they still have Miami and Florida State on the road with Duke at home. That poor RPI could put them in a poor spot if they don’t take care of business.......Maryland (18-7, 6-6 ACC; RPI: 62, SOS: 90). Not our rivals? Maryland have played Duke at home for the last time in awhile since they are moving to the Big 10 after next season and may only play them once next year. That win put them back on the bubble but they can’t let down. A win over Virginia on the road at the end of the season would be huge.

Atlantic Ten Conference:

Who's in? none.

Who is on the right track? Butler (20-5, 8-3 A10, RPI: 18, SOS: 57) hasn’t been quite as dominant as some people though in the A-10. A home loss to Charlotte was tough, but they have so many quality wins, they should still be in barring a collapse.

Who needs help?: La Salle (18-6, 8-3 A10, RPI: 34, SOS: 73) has three winnable games in between road games against Temple and St. Louis. A win at VCU and a a home win over Butler is big, but they still need to keep winning.......VCU (21-5, 9-2 A10, RPI: 37, SOS: 85) is very close to being a lock, but they need more quality wins. Or at least one. A home game against Butler is huge........Temple (17-8, 6-5 A10, RPI: 51, SOS: 60) is struggling in close games. A home loss to Duquesne is huge so they leave little room for error....St. Louis (19-5, 8-2 A10, RPI: 46, SOS: 91) has a home game against VCU and a trip to Butler. If they split, it puts them in good shape.......Charlotte (18-7, 6-5 A10, RPI: 57, SOS: 95) has a win at Butler which is great, but they need to take care of business and win to not rely on one win.

Big East Conference

Who's In? Louisville, Georgetown, Marquette, Syracuse.

Who is on the right track? Pittsburgh (20-7, 8-6 BE, RPI: 39, SOS: 41) just doesn’t like prosperity. A terrible loss at home to Notre Dame and then at Marquette has hurt their profile and RPI. They aren’t in danger unless they start losing to sub-par teams......Cincinnati (19-7, 7-6 BE, RPI: 40, SOS: 29) has good wins over Marquette, Pitt and Oregon, but they need more. They lost at home to Georgetown and wound up 1-2 on their three-game homestand. If they finish .500 in the league, that should be enough to get them in.....

Who needs help?: Notre Dame (19-5, 7-4 BE, RPI: 44, SOS: 78). Notre Dame had a strange week, probably due to the effects of their five-overtime win over Louisville two weeks ago. A 17-point loss at Providence was awful, but that was followed by a shocking win at Pittsburgh on Monday. They get some rest this week and a home game against Cincinnati would be big for both teams............Villanova (16-10, 8-6 BE, RPI: 58, SOS: 29) keeps hanging in there. A win at UConn was big but they’ll likely need a win or two in the Big East Tournament. That loss to Columbia could come back and bite them......St. John’s (15-10, 7-6 BE, RPI: 58, SOS: 25) is not out of it but they have a lot of work to do. Wins over Cincinnati, UConn and Notre Dame do help. If they can wind up at 11-7 with wins over Marquette and Notre Dame, that should put them in. But it’s also asking a lot.

Big Ten Conference

Who's In? Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin

Who’s on the right track?: Minnesota (18-8, 6-7 B10, RPI: 13, SOS: 3) has a great RPI and strength of schedule. They also have 12 top-100 wins. But they’ve also lost 7 of their last 10 games and were crushed at Iowa..........Ohio State (18-7, 8-5 B10, RPI: 28, SOS: 22) has big wins over Michigan and Wisconsin, but they need more. Home dates against Minnesota and Michigan State are winnable and would put them in......

Who needs help? Iowa (17-9,  6-7 B10; RPI: 81, SOS: 104). Iowa beat Minnesota and Wisconsin, but they are under .500 in the league. The Minnesota win helps but their RPI is still high. They have five sub-300 RPI non-conference games which kills their SOS (strength of schedule).

Big 12 Conference

Who's In? Kansas, Kansas State

Who’s on the right track?: Oklahoma State (19-5, 9-3 B12, RPI: 23 , SOS: 57) has a win over Kansas on the road and now they face them again on Wednesday. They also have Kansas State at home down the stretch. They should have enough quality wins to get in barring a collapse.

Who needs help?: Oklahoma (16-8, 7-5 B12, RPI: 17, SOS: 4) Oklahoma did beat Kansas and that could be the one that gets them in assuming they don’t fall apart down the stretch. A win over rival Oklahoma State would have been huge last Saturday (loss in OT)......Baylor (15-9, 7-5 B12, RPI: 54, SOS: 27) has a 20-point loss at Kansas State but has a chance to make amends when they take on Kansas State at home and Iowa State at home....Iowa State (17-8, 7-5 B12, RPI: 50, SOS: 77) fell at overtime to Texas and they now have five games left. A big one at Baylor, but it may come down to beating Kansas at home.

Missouri Valley Conference:

Who’s In? none.

Who needs help? Creighton (21-6, 10-5 MVC, RPI: 44, SOS: 103) fell out of lock status after losing three straight. Nobody saw that coming and now a BracketBusters game at Saint Mary’s would now put the back in as a lock.....Wichita State (22-5, 11-4 MVC, RPI: 33, SOS: 104) has a win over Creighton and if they can beat them on the road, that would put them in.

Mountain West Conference

Who's In? New Mexico

Who’s on the right track? UNLV (18-7, 6-5 MWC, RPI: 20, SOS: 22) beat New Mexico at home. But also get beat badly at Air Force, then beat San Diego State at home. They need to keep winning and to strengthen their conference record.....Colorado State (19-4, 8-2 MWC, RPI: 13, SOS: 46) beat San Diego State and then Air Force on the road. Things are looking good for the Rams who can win this league with New Mexico coming in.

Who needs help?:  San Diego State (16-7, 6-5 MWC, RPI: 32, SOS: 30) has a road game at New Mexico and Boise State. They are falling off the bubble so to get back on, they need to take care of business.

Pac-12 Conference

Who's In? Arizona

Who’s on the right track? Oregon (21-5, 10-3 P12, RPI: 38, SOS: 101) is very close to getting in despite not getting Dominic Artis back from injury. Wins over UCLA and UNLV on the road are solid.......UCLA (19-7, 9-4 P12, RPI: 40, SOS: 35) is a talented team and has a win over Arizona on the road and Missouri. They just need to keep winning.

Who needs help?: Colorado (17-8, 7-6 P12, RPI: 22, SOS: 11) has some quality wins including a home victory over Arizona that was huge. Losing to Arizona State at home in overtime didn’t help. They can’t afford to go less than .500 in the conference.....Arizona State (19-7, 8-5 P12, RPI: 72, SOS: 120) loss at Utah, but came back to win at Colorado to sweep the season series. They close with three on the road after taking on Washington and Washington State....

Southeastern Conference

Who's In? Florida 

Who’s on the right track? Missouri (18-7, 7-5 SEC, RPI: 35, SOS: 63) might need one more quality win to get in or win a game in the SEC Tournament. They are very close.

Who needs help? Mississippi (19-6, 8-4 SEC, RPI: 52, SOS: 115) has a chance but they aren’t making things easier with just one quality win over Missouri. A winning record in the SEC isn’t enough this year......Kentucky (17-8, 8-4 SEC, RPI: 45, SOS: 48) is in big trouble after losing Nerlens Noel for the season and then getting crushed at Tennessee. They don’t need to do a lot to get in since they are a marquee team but without Noel, they would likely be one-and-done.

Other teams:

Who's in? Gonzaga

Belmont (18-6, 11-2 OVC, RPI: 26, SOS: 72) has just one decent win over Middle Tennessee State. It’s unfortunate that Belmont’s BracketBuster game is against Ohio U..... ....Memphis (22-3, 11-0 CUSA, RPI: 24, SOS: 87) just keeps winning and a road game against Xavier looms large. That’s a big game for the Tigers....Middle Tennessee State (23-4, 15-1, Sun Belt, RPI; 25, SOS: 111) has a strong win over Ole Miss, which has lost some luster. They need to win out and to get to 19 wins in the league.....Louisiana Tech (23-3, 14-0 WAC, RPI: 47, SOS: 227) doesn’t have a lot of quality games left.  win over Utah State would be decent but they may have to win out to get the at-large. ...St. Mary’s (21-5, 11-2 WCC. RPI: 50, SOS: 146) beat BYU on the road and Utah State on the road. They play Creighton in the BracketBusters. A loss at home to Gonzaga hurts since they don’t have many quality games left.

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