Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 10/25/14


By Andy Bottoms, Midwest Sports Fans

After a busy Saturday of action, just four automatic bids remain up for grabs.  Of the eight teams slated to take the floor on Sunday, Ole Miss is the one that bubble teams will be most interested in, as the other seven teams are all safely in the field.

These projections have been updated through all games played on Saturday, March 16.

Please note one of the First Four games was moved to the 11 line based on scheduling and proximity to Dayton.

It’s also worth noting that I made a change to one of the final teams in the field.  As I mentioned last night, I wanted to take another look at things today, which led to La Salle getting into the field.  We’ve all made some regrettable decisions at 1:30 in the morning, and my exclusion of the Explorers yesterday falls into that category.  I plan to continue my review of the teams and seeds tonight and once again in the morning.

Last Four In

Saint Mary’s

The Gaels gained ground by simply sitting back and watching other bubble teams lose.  With just four top-100 wins and a mediocre strength of schedule, they shouldn’t get too comfortable.

La Salle

I mentioned Friday night I wanted to take another look at the Explorers’ profile, and I am glad that I did.  They have just one sub-100 loss and wins over Butler and Villanova at home as well as VCU on the road.  La Salle also has a winning record in road and neutral games, which should help its case.

Tennessee

Despite a quarterfinal loss to Alabama, I still have the Vols in the field.  They played a solid non-conference schedule and are 9-10 against  top-100 teams.

Middle Tennessee

Like Saint Mary’s, MTSU was able to sit back and watch the carnage on Friday.  The Blue Raiders are still in a precarious position with just one top-100 victory, but with such a soft bubble, I could see them being rewarded for playing the ninth-rated non-conference schedule and dominating their league in the regular season.

First Five Out

Ole Miss

My second look at La Salle pushed Ole Miss out of the field despite a win over Vanderbilt in the SEC semifinals.  The Rebels’ two best wins are over Missouri, but they played a very poor non-conference schedule and lost to both South Carolina and Mississippi State.  To be fair, they swept Tennessee, but the Vols did far more in the non-conference, which I think will come into play with the committee.

Virginia

The rest of these teams are in no particular order, and quite frankly I would be surprised to see any of them make it.  The Cavaliers have some solid top-end wins, but seven sub-100 losses will be their undoing.

Massachusetts

The Minutemen played well against VCU in stretches but came up short in the Atlantic-10 semifinals.  A winning record away from home helps, but they have no top-25 wins and finished just 9-7 in the A-10 regular season.

Alabama

Once again, Alabama was able to hang with Florida for a good portion of the game, but the Tide failed to pick up their first top-50 win of the season, which leaves them on the outside looking in.  Four sub-100 losses don’t help either.

Maryland

A late comeback fell short against North Carolina and will mean a trip to the NIT for the Terps.  They have two wins over Duke, but Maryland was just 3-7 in true road games and played an extremely weak non-conference schedule.

*******

Here is how the bids broke out by conference (Note: Teams that have earned an automatic bid are denoted with a *):

Big East (8): Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville*, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova

Big Ten (7): Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin

Big 12 (5): Iowa State, Kansas*, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

Mountain West (5): Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico*, San Diego State, UNLV

Pac-12 (5): Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, UCLA

Atlantic 10 (4): Butler, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU

ACC (4): Duke, Miami (FL), North Carolina, North Carolina State

SEC (4): Florida, Missouri, Ole Miss, Tennessee

Missouri Valley (2): Creighton*, Wichita State

Sun Belt (2): Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky*

West Coast (2): Gonzaga*, Saint Mary’s

America East: Albany*

Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast*

Big Sky: Montana*

Big South: Liberty*

Big West: Pacific

Colonial: James Madison*

Conference USA: Memphis*

Horizon: Valparaiso*

Ivy: Harvard*

MAAC: Iona*

MAC: Akron*

MEAC: North Carolina A&T*

Northeast: LIU Brooklyn*

Ohio Valley: Belmont*

Patriot: Bucknell*

Southern: Davidson*

Southland: Northwestern State*

Summit: South Dakota State*

SWAC: Southern*

WAC: New Mexico State

24 Comments:
  • I hope Calapari has enough sense to turn down the NIT bid, if they get one. Going to the NIT is not a reward.
  • Take a minute and discover how the rich are stealing from all of us. Google "WILD MONEY BAILOUT''"' then proceed to the top site. If you click on their PENNY STOCK pages, you will see all the ways that the wealthy are basically corrupting the system. More importantly, you will see how you can get ur share.
  • NONSENSE. Little East only deserves 6 in, take out Cinn and nova (a 10 seed, you're kidding!) Little 10 same thing. No, no way Minn deserves a bid and Ill is questionable as well; Wis a 5 seed you got to be kidding with 10 losses! with El dukey losing in the quarters, they lose a #1 seed. If zags were undefeated and even lost their tourney, they'd have been off the 1 seed--tell the truth. I'm surprised you even have Maryland off since you always treat Duke like they invented BB. State should be no better than a 4 and Ill probably a 12 (too many losses and RPI tells the story too)
  • Villanova should only get an Invite if it is a ticket package for the rafters. Louisville game showed they don't belong on the same floor as the championship caliber teams. 8 from the Big East is to many, 6 deserve, 1 bubble and Villanova should be left at home.
  • Villanova, has already beaten Louisville once, with Syracuse and, Georgetown .
  • agreed! Nova lost to Columbia and Alabama by 18 & 20 and blown out by Cincy, losses to LaSalle, Providence (2X), Pitt (2X), Seton Hall.....13 total losses. Nova lost to Louisville by 20 last game they played.
  • I can't believe you still have Duke as a number 1. Let's get real here - if Miami wins the ACC then they should be #1. If they lose and Louisiville wins the Big East, then they should be #1. Also, I see you loaded the East in favor of Duke.
  • Two comments: Duke should not be a #1 seed this year, and Arizona State should be in. Big East is over rated again. 8 teams? Please. The Sun Devils would take several of those teams to the cleaners, including Notre Dame, Marquette and Pitt. Nova too, for that matter.
  • Ihave found it interesting the Ohio Bobcats are never mentioned as a bubble team coming off a sweet 16 last year while returning EVERY PLAYER at 24-8 this year. They are co-champs of the MAC this season and in the MAC Championship game tonight competing for the automatic bid every bracketologist already has Akron penciled in for. Win or lose tonight, it is a pity only "1" MAC team will be in the tournament. Hope viewers love watching that 7th place team from a big conference lumber down the floor in comparison. Either Ohio or Akron will be an exciting game to watch and a handful as the #12 or #13 seed they always receive, much like last year. How many #3, #4 or #5 seeds want to draw the Bobcats if they make it into the tournament???
  • I think the Oregon and UCLA Pac 12 championship game is going to
    a real wild Game, That is unless bill walton will keep his "BIG"
    mouth shut. He cannot announce a fair game if UCLA is involved.
  • Larryone - you are spot on about Walton. I'm a Bruin fan but even I cringe when he denigrates the Bruin opponents. Just got to take him at face value, I guess. But back to the predictions - Duke still a #1 seed? That is just wrong. These people are just compelled to brown-nose Coach K, no matter what. Miami is the 1 seed. And I dearly love the Gophers, but if they get in then AZ State should get in too. The Sun Devils are a better team than San Diego State too, plus a couple of the Big Least teams. Sorry to be repeating myself.
  • I don't agree. I am a bruin fan too. I in fact went to UCLA. I was in school when UCLA won with O'bannon. I hope UCLA wins this year. As they say they don't hang FInal Four banners in Pauley Pavilion.

    Btw, I track my results of march madness using "Bracketology-Score-2013" through google play.
  • Hey, I'm a Bruin Dad, son was there at the same time. I hope they can go all the way too. Correct me if I'm wrong but with the exception of the Goodrich-Hazzard years, I don't think they ever made it into the final game without a bonafide big man in the post. These freshmen are talented but they are no Fab Five. Yet. And now without Adams, I just don't know. Hope they all come back next year. As for Walton, let's just say if I were a Duck or Wildcat fan, I would say he was biased.
  • Glad you looked at LaSalle again, Andy. They have had a special year with 21 wins and huge ones at VCU and over Butler and Nova and handled road wins very well. Tied for Big 5 Title with Temple and only 2 losses in a row all season were last 2 to St. Louis (top 20 team and conference champ) and Butler in a rematch....both games without star Center Steve Zack, injury.
  • I think you have been up to long working on your bracket!NO WAY Duke is 1 seed and Miami a 2! Every year I look at the brackets and the commity pats it for Duke. WHY I ASK? Then you have Old Miss out? Then all I here is Ky is out. This is what they done after Noel went down. If they still had Noel and still had the same record they would be in!!!!!!!!
  • Want to know how the wealthy are making thousands right now? Google "WILD MONEY BAILOUT'" and you will go to the top site. Finally, CLICK on the PENNY STOCK pages to learn how they are getting your money.
  • SO, when were these brackets updated? If last night, then it explains why AB is rated 34th in accuracy of all the prognosticators. Notre Dame still as a 6? Pitt still as a 6...Villanova and Cincinatti, despite losing in quarters of Big East and playing like Jr. High still in..Yet Maryland is out?

    Please, give me the "Body of Work" and disregard the fact that Villanova and Cincy are horrible shooting teams and only competitive if they can make games a physical slugfest.

    UNC makes it to ACC Title game and you have them at a 7? Really? Again, if your brackets haven't been updated as of yesterday, it's understandable, but if you updated this after yesterday and left UNC at a 7 and put Pitt and Notre Dame above, that's horrible, regardless of what happens today. WHO lately has Notre Dame beaten? Please don't say a fading Marquette is relevant...other than that, a win vs. Louisville in early February...Notre Dame is 6-4 in last 10, UNC is 8-2...Pitt is 7-3, and their big win is vs. a 'Cuse team that was struggling mighty. You appear to be giving THEM credit for those wins, but not UNC's performance since lineup change. NCAA is supposed to factor those things in to the discussion, based on injuries, changes, etc...NO way can you tell me Pitt or ND are 6 lines, if UNC is a 7...AND, comically you put them in Kansas region as a 2 for 2nd round game. NAH, you aren't doing this as a joke.

    There is a reason you are 34th ranked prognosticator...maybe you should stop doing things like that and start focusing on what makes sense. NCAA is very unlikely to do that matchup, as it makes no sense, especially considering they played last year. OH, and before you tell me they don't look at last year, don't dare suggest you didn't Look at WHO the 2 was when you put UNC there. Again, that's not a logical setup, but it appears you dropped UNC to a 7 to have that game. OH, and UNLV as a 6, above UNC, who beat them with similar records? Yes, I'm a UNC fan. It was interesting listening to Bilas/Phelps Friday after UNC game talking about the only reason UNC isn't ranked was because of the timing of their losses, as they should be. Your one fading hope is that you haven't updated, as otherwise, you deserve the 34 ranking.
  • UMass has a strong case for the dance. Middle Tennessee State is a complete garbage team from a garbage conference. If they wanted to get in then they shouldn't have lost to a 16 seed in Western Kentucky. UMass has won @Temple, @Xavier and @LaSalle. Show me comparable wins from St. Mary's or Mid Tenn State.

    http://aidanfromworcester.com/2013/03/16/i-challenge-joe-lunardi-in-bracketology-umass-tennessee-and-other-bubble-teams-that-should-be-dancin/
  • Gonzaga will win it all!!!!!!!! I have it directly from "GOD", the "BIG" fella..................
  • Apparently, most in the comment thread believe that the invites to the big dance as well as seed placement are based purely on conference tourneys and have nothing to do with the way the teams performed the rest of the year. Smdh....ridiculous.
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