What a difference a few weeks make. Notre Dame put itself right back into the NCAA tournament mix, while fringe teams like Charlotte and Dayton may have played themselves out of the conversation. St. Louis could really throw a monkey wrench into the at-large maching, as will the recent play of Clemson and Arizona State.
Already in: Duke, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State
On the Bubble: Georgia Tech (19-10, 7-8)
Good wins: Siena, Charlotte, Clemson, Wake Forest
Bad losses: Georgia, Miami
Outlook: The Yellow Jackets could be sweating on selection Sunday. Tuesday’s 90-81 loss to Clemson was an absolute killer. But a home win against Virginia Tech on Saturday and at least one win in the ACC Tournament could have them back in the inside.
Already in: Temple, Xavier, Richmond, Rhode Island
On the Bubble: Dayton (19-9, 8-6, A-10)
Good wins: Georgia Tech, Old Dominion, Xavier
Bad losses: St. Joseph’s, Duquesne
Outlook: The Flyers may have crippled themselves with their 73-71 loss to Duquesne on February 21. They followed that up with a loss at Temple. But Dayton does have an RPI of 41 and wins over three teams with RPIs in the top 39. That said, the Flyers absolutely have to win at least one of its final two games (at Richmond, St. Louis). Winning both and a game in the A-10 tournament could lock things up.
St. Louis (19-10, 10-5)
Good wins: Richmond, Dayton, Rhode Island
Bad losses: Iowa State, Missouri State, Bowling Green, Georgia
Outlook: The Bilikens, despite a 93 RPI, are smack dab in the middle of the bubble. St. Louis’ conference record is pretty impressive. But the Bilikens don’t have any quality non-conference wins. A win at Dayton on Saturday would put them at 20 wins overall and give them an 11-5 conference mark. It’ll be hard for the selection committee to ignore a team that has an impressive record from a top six RPI conference.
Charlotte (19-9, 9-5)
Good wins: Louisville, St. Louis, Temple
Bad losses: Duquesne, George Washington,
Outlook: Charlotte looked like it had a bid locked up a few weeks ago. That was until they lost five of six games. Losing at home to Duquesne and at George Washington really hurt. Charlotte, with an RPI of 60, needs a decent run in the A-10 tourney to have a shot at an at-large bid.
Already in: Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Louisville
On the Bubble: Notre Dame (20-10, 9-8 Big East)
Good wins: St. Louis, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Georgetown
Bad losses: Rutgers, St. John’s, Loyola Marymount
Outlook: Luke Harangody’s absence has really helped the Irish. But not the way most people think. Consecutive wins over Pittsburgh, Georgetown and UConn without him put the Irish back on the radar, because it proves what kind of depth they have. A win at Marquette on Saturday will lock things up. A loss won’t kill Notre Dame, but it will make them sweat a lot on selection Sunday.
Already in: Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, Wisconsin
No bubble teams here.
Already in: Kansas, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Missouri, Texas, Baylor
On the Bubble: Oklahoma State (20-9, 8-7)
Good wins: Texas Tech, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Baylor
Bad losses: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Outlook: The Cowboys have dropped two of their last three, but don’t worry state fans, earlier wins against Texas Tech, Kansas State, Texas A&M and Baylor should be enough to get an at-large bid. A home win against Nebraska would certainly help their cause, though.
Already in: The tournament winner, if it isn’t Old Dominion.
On the Bubble: Old Dominion (21-7, 13-3 CAA)
Good wins: Georgetown, Charlotte
Bad losses: None
Outlook: Wins at Georgetown and home against Charlotte are likely to be enough for the Monarchs, who have won five of their last six. A run to the CAA final will be the clincher. Failure to win at least one game in the CAA tourney will make things very tough.
Already in: UTEP
On the Bubble: UAB (23-6, 11-4)
Good wins: Cincinnati, Butler
Bad losses: Kent State, Marshall
Outlook: Losing for the second time to Memphis could be the final nail in the coffin if the Blazers, who have a decent RPI of 42, don’t win a couple of games in the C-USA tourney. But they do have home games against Butler, Cincinnati and road win against Arkansas. Winning at UTEP on Saturday should make the Blazers breathe a little easier on selection Sunday.
Memphis (22-8, 12-3)
Good wins: UAB (2),
Bad losses: Massachusetts, SMU, Houston
Outlook: Memphis (51 RPI) doesn’t have any quality non-conference wins to hang its hat on. But they lost to Kansas by two, to Tennessee by seven and Gonzaga by eight. Sweeping UAB should help the Tigers’ cause, but a run at least to the Conference USA could put them over the top.
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Already in: Conference tournament winner
Good wins: Northeastern
Bad losses: Niagara
On the Bubble: Siena (24-6, 17-1 MAAC)
Outlook: Setbacks at Niagara and Butler did some serious damage to Siena’s at-large hopes. The Saints have no wins over top-50 RPI teams and no games against any top-50 RPI teams. That notwithstanding, they have a 40 RPI and played well in the tournament last year.
Aleady in: New Mexico, BYU
On the Bubble: UNLV (22-7, 10-5 Mt. West)
Good wins: Louisville, New Mexico, BYU
Bad losses: USC
Outlook: The Rebels earned a lot of points with their win over BUY on February 6. So did wins over Louisville and New Mexico with RPIs of 36 and 23. With an RPU of 44, the Rebels need to stay on course in the Mountain West tournament.
Already in: California
On the Bubble: Arizona State (20-9, 10-6 PAC-10)
Good wins: None
Bad losses: USC, UCLA, Arizona
Outlook: The Sun Devils’ best win was over Washington back in early January. Washington was ranked 24th at the time. But the Huskies have an RPI of 55 now. Finishing with 20 wins overall and 10 in the conference is usually enough. But the PAC 10 has an RPI rank of eight, below the Atlantic 10 and Mountain West.
Already in: Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Florida
On the Bubble: Mississippi State (21-9, 9-6)
Good wins: Old Dominion, Mississippi (2),
Bad losses: Rider, Western Kentucky, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas
Outlook: Mississippi State has a ton of bad losses, but was on a roll, winning five of six until a terrible loss at Auburn on Wednesday. Mississippi State has just one win over a top-50 RPI team (Old Dominion 39). The Bulldogs finish up with a home game against Tennessee. A win against the No.16 Volunteers could lock up an at-large bid.
Already in: Gonzaga
On the Bubble: St. Mary’s (24-5, 11-3 WCC)
Good wins: New Mexico State, Northeastern
Bad losses: USC, Portland
Outlook: The Gaels have a decent RPI (45), but no wins over a top-50 RPI opponent. Losing to Portland on February was exactly what they didn’t need. A run to the West Coast conference final might do it, though.