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It is almost time for the madness. Conference tournament play is looming and the bracket is changing on a nightly basis. In the last bracket projection before March, several storylines have taken hold.
Villanova is the overall one seed in the field. The Wildcats are 24-3 overall, and tonight’s trip to Xavier (another one seed this week) provides the opportunity to expand their lead on the field even more.
Duke and Kentucky continue to trend up, both appearing to peak at the right time. Additionally, Michigan State is sneaking up the seed list, as well, and I would not be surprised to see the Spartans end up as a one seed on Selection Sunday. Despite its current place in the Big Ten standings, Michigan State could very well be the best team from that conference. True to Tom Izzo’s form, the Spartans are playing their best when it matters the most.
The proverbial “bubble” is the area of the bracket that inevitably gets the most attention this time of year, and the overall balance (some might say weakness) of the bubble has ensured that we are on #BubbleWatch nearly every night. At the moment, Vanderbilt, Michigan, St. Bonaventure and Gonzaga are clinging to spots in the field, while Tulsa, Cincinnati, Alabama and Butler are lurking closely behind. This current alignment is anything but solid, so these teams (and several others) still have plenty of work to do to solidify bids.
It is worth noting that the absence of SMU and Louisville due to ineligibilities is a contributing factor to the lower quality of the bubble. Those two teams would be locks to make the field (and potential picks to make the Final Four), but both will be watching from home thanks to well-documented controversies.
I will continue to update the bubble over on @ScoutBrackets, so stay tuned on Twitter.