Analyzing the Bubble Field

The downward turn that Michigan's season took over the last month has left them on the proverbial NCAA Tournament bubble. With a 2-7 record in their last nine games, there is a very good chance that the Wolverines will bee on the outside looking in when the selections are announced this evening.

Of the 65 total bids, 31 are awarded automatically to the conference champions. Of the remaining 34 at large bids, 27 appear to be already slotted. That leaves seven bids for the bubble teams to fight over.

By our estimation, those bubble teams are as follows.

Team Overall / Conf./ Rec. Commentary
Alabama 17-12 / SEC / 10-7 RPI: 56 SOS: 11, Quality wins over Tennessee, @ Kentucky, Florida, and LSU
Florida State 19-9 / ACC / 9-8 RPI: 62, SOS: 93, Only quality win is over Duke
Seton Hall 18-11 / Big East / 9-8 RPI: 57, SOS: 36, Quality wins over Pittsburgh, West Virginia, @N.C. State, @ Syracuse, but 3-5 in last eight with opening round loss in Big East Tourney to Rutgers
Michigan 18-10 / Big Ten / 8-9 RPI: 46, SOS: 35, Quality wins over Illinois, Michigan State, and Wisconsin, but 2-7 in last nine with opening round loss to Minnesota in Big Ten Tourney. 3-8 vs. RPI Top 50, but 7-1 vs. 51-100
George Mason 23-7 / Colonial / 16-4 RPI 26, SOS 89, but lost twice to Hofstra at the end of the year and one of their best players (Tony Skinn) is suspended for the first round of th dance for a blow he delvered to the groin of a Hofstra player in the conference semifinal loss.
Hofstra 24-6 / Colonial / 16-5 RPI: 30, SOS: 129, Beat George Mason twice at the end of the year and made in it to the Colonial Conference final
Witchita State 24-8 / MVC / 14-4 RPI: 29, SOS: 57, Regular season champ in the Missouri Valley conference
Missouri State 20-8 / MVC / 12-6 RPI: 20, SOS: 46, Quality wins over Creighton, Bradley, Southern Illinois, and @Northern Iowa.
Creighton 19-9 / MVC / 12-7 RPI:39, SOS: 55, Blew out George Mason on the road and beat Xavier in non-conference, but 2-4 in last six.
Northern Iowa 21-9 / MVC / 12-8 RPI: 24, SOS: 39 Non-conference over Iowa and @ LSU, but finished the season 2-5 and was swept by Creighton.
Bradley 20-10 / MVC / 13-8 RPI: 34, SOS: 50, 8-6 vs. RPI top 50 (all from MVC conference), Beat regular season MVC champ Witchita State in conference semi-final.
Utah State 22-8 / WAC / 13-6 RPI: 47, SOS: 102, 6-2 against RPI 51-100, but five losses outside of the top 100.
Air Force 22-6 / MWC / 12-5 RPI: 50, SOS: 158, Upset by Wyoming in conference tourney and no real quality wins.

Pressing questions:

  • Will the Missouri Valley Conference (the #6 RPI conference) get more than four bids?
  • Will the committee hold Tony Skinn's opening round suspension against George Mason?
  • Can a team with one quality victory get into the tourney?

Stay tuned...


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