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ODBubble Watch

A Baylor fan’s guide to the dreaded NCAA bubble

Dan Friend-USA TODAY Sports

With just 12 days remaining until the NCAA Tournament brackets are announced, we are coming down to the wire in the race for the final at-large berths. Your Baylor Bears have played their way back onto the right side of the bubble but still have work to do to solidify their bid to the craziness we call March Madness. However, the Bears' at-large fate does not entirely rest in their own hands. I thought it would be worthwhile to look at the bubble picture and what lies ahead for each bubble team:


20-9, 9-7 SEC
RPI: 53
SOS: 77
This Week: 3/5 v. Ole Miss; 3/8 @ Alabama
Current Status: IN

Arkansas was almost out of the NCAA discussion before a 5 game win streak highlighted by an OT win at Kentucky last week. It turns out somebody else in the SEC besides Florida actually wants to make the tournament! The Hogs need to avoid a bad loss the rest of the way with Ole Miss and Alabama left. If they do so, they will probably find a way into the field of 68.


19-10, 7-9 Big 12
RPI: 42
SOS: 11
This Week: 3/4 v. Iowa State; 3/8 @ Kansas State
Current Status: IN

After splitting last week with Texas and Texas Tech, it's pretty simple for the Bears this week. There are 2 opportunities left to impress the selection committee. Win one of the 2 and the Bears are likely tournament bound given the overall strength of the Big 12 and assuming they avoid a bad loss at the Big 12 Tournament (that means you, TCU).


21-10, 13-5 WCC
RPI: 36
SOS: 28
This Week: WCC Tournament
Current Status: IN

The Cougars are another team that got hot at the right time, closing the regular season with 8 wins in their final 9 games. BYU also can hang it's hat on non-conference wins against Texas and Stanford. BYU can probably lock up a bid by getting to the WCC finals but may have to sweat out Selection Sunday without the automatic berth.


18-11, 9-7 Pac-12
RPI: 51
SOS: 45
This Week: 3/5 @ Stanford; 3/8 @ California
Current Status: IN

Cal is an interesting case. Outside of knocking off Arizona on February 1st, they have no standout wins and there are a few head scratching losses as well (UC-Santa Barbara and USC come to mind). Cal should be in if they take care of business at home this week but they probably shouldn't get too comfortable.


20-9, 9-7 Pac-12
RPI: 29
SOS: 12
This Week: 3/5 @ Stanford; 3/8 @ California
Current Status: IN

The Buffs have the profile of an obvious at-large selection and were playing like one until the season-ending injury to star Spencer Dinwiddie. Prior to the injury, CU was 14-2 with a marquee win over Kansas but are just 6-7 since. Colorado is going to be in if they win another game but if they lose out, they could be on the outside looking in.


20-9, 8-6 A-10
RPI: 50
SOS: 55
This Week: 3/5 @ Saint Louis; 3/8 v. Richmond
Current Status: OUT

Remember these guys from Maui? The Flyers got a massive win Saturday at UMass to stay in the running. But with a few bad losses on the resume, Dayton will need to keep winning to receive a bid to the tournament and possibly play at home for the play-in round. They have opportunities this week and must take advantage.

Florida State

17-11, 8-8 ACC
RPI: 55
SOS: 43
This Week: 3/4 @ Boston College; 3/9 v. Syracuse
Current Status: OUT

The opportunity to pick up a quality win against Syracuse is really the only thing keeping Florida State in this discussion. The Seminoles simply haven't won enough games or beaten enough quality opponents to merit serious at-large consideration.If they're able to pull the upset at home on Sunday, FSU will give themselves a chance.


16-12, 7-9 Big East
RPI: 60
SOS: 21
This Week: 3/4 v. Creighton; 3/8 @ Villanova
Current Status: OUT

Georgetown's resume is propped up by a trio of key non-conference wins against Kansas State, VCU, and Michigan State. Like Florida State, Georgetown hasn't won enough games to this point but have the 2 top teams in the Big East this week which gives them the opportunity to move up the ranks. But they probably will need to win both to play onto the right side of the bubble.


25-6, 15-3 WCC
RPI: 27
SOS: 99
This Week: WCC Tournament
Current Status: IN

It's strange to see the Zags on this list as they have appeared in every NCAA Tournament since 1999. Gonzaga has racked up the wins yet again this year but didn't secure any marquee wins as they typically do. Add in a couple of bad losses and you have a bubble team. The Zags are almost certainly in but they could make it a moot point by winning the WCC Tournament.

Green Bay

24-5, 14-2 Horizon
RPI: 52
SOS: 166
This Week: Horizon Tournament
Current Status: OUT

Green Bay is a bubble team as an at-large mainly due to a home win over ACC champion Virginia on December 7th, before Virginia really hit their stride. The Phoenix do not have the number of quality times as the other teams on this list and will likely need to win the Horizon Tournament to get a bid.


18-12, 7-10 Big Ten
RPI: 47
SOS: 3
This Week: 3/8 v. Penn State
Current Status: OUT

The Gophers are going to see just how far a ridiculous schedule can take a team when their resume is presented to the selection committee as they are just 3-7 since a home win over Wisconsin. Minnesota will need to avoid a bad loss this weekend and make some noise at the Big Ten Tournament to lock up their ticket to the dance.


20-9, 8-8 SEC
RPI: 49
SOS: 88
This Week: 3/5 v. Texas A&M; 3/8 @ Tennessee
Current Status: OUT

Mizzou has been incredibly inconsistent in a down SEC and have found themselves squarely on the bubble as a result. The inability to win away from Columbia has been the main thorn in the Tigers' side this season. They do have one more opportunity in what could be a winner take at-large bid game at Tennessee. Otherwise it may be M-I-Z...N-I-T.


17-11, 9-7 Big Ten
RPI: 54
SOS: 35
This Week: 3/5 @ Indiana; 3/9 v. Wisconsin
Current Status: OUT

Nebraska has suddenly gotten hot in the final month of the season and has forced their way into the bubble picture behind the play of Terran Petteway. The Huskers still have a weak non-conference performance to overcome but if they can keep winning, they aren't far from their first NCAA birth since 1998. Side note: Nebraska has NEVER won an NCAA Tournament game.

Oklahoma State

20-10, 8-9 Big 12
RPI: 45
SOS: 37
This Week: 3/3 v. Kansas State (W); 3/8 @ Iowa State
Current Status: IN

It's hard to know what exactly to make of OSU but one thing is for sure: the Cowboys appear to have rescued a lost season with critical home wins in over Kansas and Kansas State. Marcus Smart seems to be rejuvenated after his suspension and the rest of the team has responded. Only a bad loss in the Big 12 Tournament may keep them out at this point.


20-8, 8-8 Pac-12
RPI: 33
SOS: 48
This Week: 3/4 v. Arizona State; 3/8 v. Arizona
Current Status: IN

Oregon is another team that started the season red hot, cooled off considerably, and has recently started winning again. The Ducks' current 5 game winning streak could be a product of their schedule more than anything else. They close the regular season with 2 home opportunities to make a statement to the selection committee against Arizona State and Arizona.


19-10, 9-7 Big East
RPI: 58
SOS: 80
This Week: 3/4 v. Marquette; 3/8 @ Creighton
Current Status: OUT

Providence continues to do just enough to hang around the bubble picture but not quite enough to cement a spot in the dance. As is the case with several teams in this race, Providence has an opportunity to pick up a quality win against Creighton, whom the Friars already beat at home on January 18th. Providence will otherwise need to make noise in the Big East Tournament.

Southern Miss

25-5, 12-3 C-USA
RPI: 37
SOS: 164
This Week: 3/6 @ Tulane
Current Status: OUT

I don't really consider Southern Miss to be a bubble team but their 25 wins and top-40 RPI are working in their favor. However, their best RPI win came against North Dakota State. In November. Unless there are a lot of bubble losses in front of them, Southern Miss will need to win the C-USA Tournament to get into the NCAAs.


18-10, 9-7 Pac-12
RPI: 40
SOS: 27
This Week: 3/5 v. Colorado; 3/8 v. Utah
Current Status: IN

Stanford had an opportunity to lock down an at-large bid last week but lost at Arizona State and Arizona to remain in a bit of NCAA limbo. The Cardinal have several quality wins on their resume, including a non-conference win at UConn, so they should be safe if they take care of business at home this week.

St. John's

19-11, 9-8 Big East
RPI: 62
SOS: 42
This Week: 3/8 @ Marquette
Current Status: OUT

A 6 game win streak in February got St. John's into the tournament picture but back-to-back losses to Villanova and Xavier dealt a serious blow to the at-large chances of the Red Storm. With only Marquette left on the regular season schedule, they will have to go on a run in the Big East Tournament in New York to have a shot to get back into the field of 68.


18-11, 9-7 SEC
RPI: 48
SOS: 13
This Week: 3/5 @ Auburn; 3/8 v. Missouri
Current Status: IN

Tennessee may be the bubbliest of all bubble teams. ESPN has the Vols as one of the last teams in while other bracket projections have them as the first team out. Non-conference wins over Virginia and Xavier are the only things that stand out on the Tennessee profile. The game Saturday against Missouri may very well determine who gets in and who doesn't.


20-10, 10-7 Big East
RPI: 46
SOS: 81
This Week: 3/3 @ Seton Hall (L); 3/6 v. Villanova
Current Status: IN

Need to add a late addition to the ODBubble Watch. Will the real Xavier please stand up? Just when it looked like the Musketeers had locked up a bid with a quality win over Creighton, they go off and take a bad loss to Seton Hall. Xavier is likely to dance in spite of last night's result but a win over Villanova on Sunday would be of great benefit.