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A NEW-LOOK COLLEGE BASKETBALL BUBBLE
January 29, 2008

SCS.comLet’s all take the time to do some quick math. There are 65 teams that will make the 2008 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. Of those 65 teams, 31 of them will be the winners of all the conference tournaments (except for the Ivy League, where the automatic bid goes to the winner of the regular season). This means we now have 34 at-large bids to give away. Of those 34, let’s assume that 21 teams would definitely make the tournament if today was Selection Sunday (see “Already In” below). This now leaves us with only 13 at-large bids to give away. Right now, there appears to be 26 teams sitting on the “bubble.” Of those 26, half of them will get in, half of them won’t. Which teams will get in, and which ones won’t?

ALREADY IN

ACC - North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Miami
BIG EAST - Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Notre Dame, West Virginia
BIG TEN - Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin
BIG XII - Kansas, Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M
PAC TEN - UCLA, Washington State, Arizona, Stanford, USC
SEC - Tennessee, Mississippi, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State
MID-MAJORS - Xavier, Dayton, St. Mary’s, Gonzaga, Drake, Butler

Obviously, there are 31 teams already in, not 21. We can only assume (and hope) that teams such as Drake, Butler, and St. Mary’s can win their mid-major conference tournaments and not let any at-large bids go to waste.

ON THE BUBBLE

ARIZONA STATE
Record (Conference Record): 14-5 (4-3 PAC 10)
RPI: 91 SOS: 152
The Good: Wins against #21 Xavier, #52 Oregon, and #18 Arizona.
The Bad: Have lost three straight games.
The Ugly: Only three road games played so far (1-2).
If Today Was March 16th: IN

ARKANSAS
Record (Conference Record): 14-5 (3-2 SEC)
RPI: 43 SOS: 59
The Good: 9-1 at home, 11-3 Out-Of-Conference record.
The Bad: 1-2 vs. Top 50 teams.
The Ugly: Losses to Appalachian State, South Carolina, and Georgia.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

BOSTON COLLEGE
Record (Conference Record): 12-6 (3-2 ACC)
RPI: 85 SOS: 44
The Good: Only one road loss (Virginia)
The Bad: Only two road wins (Maryland and Michigan)
The Ugly: Have lost 4 of their last 6 games, including a 57-51 defeat by Robert Morris.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

CONNECTICUT
Record (Conference Record): 14-5 (4-3 BIG EAST)
RPI: 24 SOS: 22
The Good: Have won three straight, including a win at #10 Indiana.
The Bad: Lost at home by double digits to Providence.
The Ugly: 11 of 14 wins came against non-Top 100 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

DUQUESNE
Record (Conference Record): 13-5 (3-2 ATLANTIC TEN)
RPI: 69 SOS: 147
The Good: Have won 7 of their last 9 games.
The Bad: A loss to Fordham.
The Ugly: 0-4 vs. Top 50 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

FLORIDA
Record (Conference Record): 18-3 (5-1 SEC)
RPI: 54 SOS: 189
The Good: An 18-3 record and 5-1 in the South Eastern Conference
The Bad: A horrible Strength of Schedule ranking.
The Ugly: Only 5 games played against Top 100 teams (2-3).
If Today Was March 16th: IN

FLORIDA STATE
Record (Conference Record): 13-8 (2-4 ACC)
RPI: 68 SOS: 29
The Good: An 11-4 Out-Of-Conference record including a win on rival Florida’s home floor.
The Bad: Have lost 4 of their last five games.
The Ugly: 0-5 against Top 50 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

KANSAS STATE
Record (Conference Record): 13-4 (4-0 BIG XII)
RPI: 39 SOS: 43
The Good: 9-1 in last ten games, with wins over Oklahoma, and Texas A&M.
The Bad: Lost by double digits to George Mason on a neutral court.
The Ugly: 9 of 13 wins have come against non-Top 100 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

LOUISVILLE
Record (Conference Record): 15-5 (5-2 BIG EAST)
RPI: 34 SOS: 37
The Good: Have won 10 of their past 12 games, including wins over West Virginia and Marquette.
The Bad: 11 of their 15 wins have come against non-Top 100 teams.
The Ugly: Losses to Cincinnati and Seton Hall.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

MARYLAND
Record (Conference Record): 12-7 (2-2 ACC)
RPI: 81 SOS: 32
The Good: Have won 6 of their past 7 games, including a HUGE upset at North Carolina.
The Bad: Losses to Virginia Commonwealth, Ohio, American, and Virginia Tech.
The Ugly: 3-6 against Top 100 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

MASSACHUSETTES
Record (Conference Record): 13-5 (2-2 ATLANTIC TEN)
RPI: 19 SOS: 18
The Good: Nice computer numbers and wins over Syracuse and Dayton.
The Bad: Only two wins vs. Top 50 teams.
The Ugly: Losses to Northern Iowa and IUPUI.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

MINNESOTA
Record (Conference Record): 12-6 (2-4 BIG TEN)
RPI: 78 SOS: 108
The Good: 10-2 Out-Of-Conference record.
The Bad: Have lost three straight games.
The Ugly: 1-6 vs. Top 100 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

MISSOURI
Record (Conference Record): 12-8 (2-3 BIG XII)
RPI: 79 SOS: 51
The Good: Wins over Maryland, Purdue, and Texas.
The Bad: 3-7 vs. Top 100.
The Ugly: Have lost 3 of their last 4 games, with losses to Iowa State and Texas Tech.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

NORTH CAROLINA STATE
Record (Conference Record): 13-6 (2-3 ACC)
RPI: 48 SOS: 50
The Good: 11-3 Out-Of-Conference Record with wins over Villanova and Davidson.
The Bad: 0-3 vs. Top 25 teams.
The Ugly: Losses to New Orleans, East Carolina, and Georgia Tech.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

OHIO STATE
Record (Conference Record): 14-6 (5-2 BIG TEN)
RPI: 23 SOS: 8
The Good: Wins over Florida, Syracuse, and Minnesota.
The Bad: 3-5 away from home.
The Ugly: 1-5 vs. Top 50 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

OKLAHOMA
Record (Conference Record): 14-5 (2-2 BIG XII)
RPI: 28 SOS: 14
The Good: A great Strength of Schedule ranking and wins over Gonzaga, West Virginia, and Baylor.
The Bad: 0-2 vs Top 25.
The Ugly: A loss at home to Stephen Austin.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

OREGON
Record (Conference Record): 12-8 (3-5 PAC 10)
RPI: 51 SOS: 13
The Good: Thirteenth-best Strength of Schedule Ranking
The Bad: Losses to Nebraska and Oakland on Neutral courts.
The Ugly: Have lost four straight games.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

PROVIDENCE
Record (Conference Record): 12-6 (3-3 BIG EAST)
RPI: 47 SOS: 30
The Good: Wins against Arkansas and Connecticut.
The Bad: 1-3 road record.
The Ugly: Losses to DePaul and South Carolina.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

PURDUE
Record (Conference Record): 15-5 (6-1 BIG TEN)
RPI: 59 SOS: 124
The Good: Won 8 of last 9 games with wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin.
The Bad: Strength of Schedule ranking.
The Ugly: Losses to Wofford and Iowa State.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

RHODE ISLAND
Record (Conference Record): 17-3 (3-2 ATLANTIC 10)
RPI: 27 SOS: 140
The Good: 14-1 Out-Of-Conference record with wins over Providence and Syracuse.
The Bad: 14 of 17 wins were against non-Top 100 teams.
The Ugly: Losses to St. Louis and Boston College.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

SETON HALL
Record (Conference Record): 13-6 (3-3 BIG EAST)
RPI: 50 SOS: 46
The Good: Three straight wins over South Florida, Louisville, and Providence.
The Bad: 0-4 vs. Top 25 teams.
The Ugly: Losses to Penn State and North Carolina State.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

ST. JOSEPH’S
Record (Conference Record): 12-5 (4-1 ATLANTIC TEN)
RPI: 40 SOS: 73
The Good: Have won 8 of their last 9 games and 2-0 vs. Top 25.
The Bad: 9 of 12 wins were against non-Top 100 teams.
The Ugly: Losses to Holy Cross and Charlotte.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

SYRACUSE
Record (Conference Record): 13-7 (3-4 BIG EAST)
RPI: 44 SOS: 6
The Good: A great Strength of Schedule ranking coupled with wins over St. Joseph’s, Washington, and Virginia.
The Bad: Have lost 4 of their last 5 games.
The Ugly: 1-5 vs Top 50 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

VILLANOVA
Record (Conference Record): 13-5 (3-4 BIG EAST)
RPI: 58 SOS: 114
The Good: Wins over Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
The Bad: Have dropped their last two games.
The Ugly: Losses to DePaul, Cincinnati, and Rutgers.
If Today Was March 16th: IN

WAKE FOREST
Record (Conference Record): 12-6 (2-3 ACC)
RPI: 66 SOS: 110
The Good: A perfect 11-0 home record.
The Bad: 9 of 12 wins were against teams ranked worse than 100.
The Ugly: 1-6 on the road.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

WASHINGTON
Record (Conference Record): 12-8 (3-4 PAC 10)
RPI: 90 SOS: 65
The Good: 10-2 Home mark.
The Bad: 12-8 Overall Record.
The Ugly: 0-7 Record against Top 50 teams.
If Today Was March 16th: OUT

Bubble Games For This Week
Note: These are all the games being played between two teams on the bubble for the week of Jan. 28 - Feb. 3.

Monday: Louisville at Connecticut
Wednesday: Massachusetts at Duquesne
Saturday: Syracuse at Villanova
Kansas State at Missouri
Florida at Arkansas
Sunday: Wake Forest at North Carolina State

How did this team get in over that team?! What does this team have to do to get into the tournament?! How can you put a team like this into the tournament?! For any comments or questions such as these, simply let me know.

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