|A LOOK AT WHO THE BUBBLE TEAMS SHOULD ROOT FOR
March 5, 2008
Ben, SCS.com Staff Writer
After a wild weekend of hoops, the bubble list is rapidly changing. As teams continue
to make their way on and off the list, one thing stays the same - who the bubble teams should cheer for. If I
was a die-hard fan of a team that is on the bubble list, I would want to know what teams need to win and what
teams need to lose to better improve my school's chances of making the Big Dance. Luckily, I have compiled a
long and rather complicated list to help better explain what teams you should cheer to victory besides your
First Things First
Here are the teams that will be in the Tournament regardless of how many games they win or lose in their
conference tournaments. If your team is on the Bubble, you should root for these teams to win against any team
that they play that is ON the Bubble.
ACC (4)- North Carolina, Duke, Miami (FL), Clemson
Big East (7)- Connecticut, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Louisville,
Marquette, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Big Ten (4)- Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Purdue
Big Twelve (6)- Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas State, Texas
Pac Ten (5)- Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Washington State, USC
SEC (4)- Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Arkansas
Non-BCS (12)- Memphis, Butler, Drake, BYU, Kent State, St. Mary's,
Gonzaga, Xavier, Illinois State, UNLV, South Alabama, Massachusettes
On To The Bubble
Now that you know who is in, let's take a look at who is squarely on the Bubble. Included along with the list
of teams is their record, conference record, their RPI number, and their schedule for the rest of the year. If
your team is on the bubble, then you should hope for all of these teams to lose any remaining games that they
must play, including their conference tournaments.
Note: The teams listed are in order of likelihood of making the NCAA Tournament.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
Record: 18-9, 8-8
Remaining Games: @Oregon, @Oregon State
Record: 21-8, 11-3 C-USA
Remaining Games: Tulsa, @Memphis
Record: 21-8, 8-6 SEC
Remaining Games: Tennessee, @Kentucky
WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS
Record: 22-6, 12-2 SUN BELT
Remaining Games: Sun Belt Tournament
Record: 17-11, 7-9 BIG EAST
Remaining Games: South Florida, @Providence
NEW MEXICO LOBOS
Record: 22-7, 9-5
Remaining Games: UNLV, @Colorado State
Record: 18-12, 8-7 ACC
Remaining Games: @Virginia
VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES
Record: 17-11, 8-6 ACC
Remaining Games: Wake Forest, @ Clemson
Record: 16-11, 10-4 SEC
Remaining Games: @South Carolina, Florida
ST. JOSEPH'S HAWKS
Record: 17-10, 8-6 ATL. TEN
Remaining Games: Xavier, @Dayton
Record: 17-12, 7-9 BIG EAST
Remaining Games: @Seton Hall, Marquette
OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
Record: 17-12, 8-8 BIG TEN
Remaining Games: Purdue, Michigan State
WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS
Record: 16-11, 6-8 ACC
Remaining Games: @Virginia Tech, North Carolina State
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS SALUKIS
Record:17-13, 11-7 MVC
Remaining Games:MVC Tournament
Record:19-9, 10-8 MVC
Remaining Games:MVC Tournament
Record: 18-9, 6-8 Atl. Ten
Remaining Games: @ St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph's
Record: 19-9, 5-9 SEC
Remaining Games: Arkansas, @Georgia
Record: 21-7, 10-4 C-USA
Remaining Games: Central Florida, @ UTEP
RHODE ISLAND RAMS
Record: 21-9, 7-9 ATL. TEN
Remaining Games: @La Salle, Charlotte
Record: 16-12, 7-9 PAC 10
Remaining Games: Arizona State, Arizona
Adding It All Up
For those of you who haven't figured out the math yet, let me help you.
- There will be 31 bids handed out to the winners of the 31 conference tournaments.
- Right now, I have 42 teams who are locks for the NCAA Tournament.
- Of those 42, we can assume (and hope) that 14 of those will win their conference tournament and the
automatic bid that comes with it.
- This means that there are already 28 at-large bids handed out.
- If there are 34 at-large bids altogether, then we have only 6 bids to give away.
- Unlike most "bracketologists" that you will find out there, I believe that some mid-major team who
isn't a lock for the Tournament will steal an at-large bid away from the Bubble teams by winning their
- Unfortunately, we now find that there are only 5 at-large bids to give away.
The Conference Tournaments
Now that you've read about the teams that are in and teams that are on the bubble, it's time to take a look at
the Conference Tournaments. Of the 31 conferences in NCAA Basketball, 15 of them will be one-bid conferences,
regardless of who wins their conference tournament. The fifteen one-bid leagues are:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Ivy League (already won by Cornell, winner of the
regular season), MAAC, MEAC, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southland, SWAC, Summit League, and the
Note: These conferences are one-bid leagues because no team in any of the leagues are on the bubble or a
lock for the Tournament, meaning no matter which school wins, only one bid will be given.
To view each league's conference tournament bracket, click here.
Finally, Who To Root For
You already know to cheer for the 42 teams that are locks for the tournament, and root against the 20 schools
on the bubble, but what should you do once it's time for conference tournaments? Obviously, you want teams
that are clearly in like Memphis, UCLA, and North Carolina to win. But what if they're knocked out in the
first round? Also, should you cheer for a team on the bubble like Kentucky to win their first few tournament
games, or get eliminated by a team that is a lock?
Possible Two-Bid Conferences
These leagues are those that have ONE team that's clearly in the field of 65, but no more. For these
conferences, you should cheer for the team that is already in the tournament. If a team that is on the bubble
or not even within view of it were to win one of these conference tournaments, it would steal a bid away from
the bubble teams.
Listed is the conference, along with the school that you should root for.
Colonial- Virginia Commonwealth
Conference USA- Memphis
Horizon League- Butler
MAC- Kent State
Sun Belt- South Alabama
These leagues will definitely have multiple bids awarded. These conferences bubble teams shouldn't be as
worried about, because there are multiple teams that could win their conference and not steal an at-large bid
Listed is the conference along with the schools that you should root for.
ACC- Clemson, Duke, Miami, North Carolina
Atlantic Ten- Massachusettes, Xavier
Big East- Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, West Virginia
Big Ten- Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisonsin
Big XII- Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M
MVC- Drake, Illinois State
Mountain West- BYU, UNLV
SEC- Arkansas, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
West Coast- Gonzaga, St. Mary's
Well, hopefully I've informed you on all you need to know. You now know who is in, who is on the bubble,
who needs to win to keep at-large bids, and who needs to lose to help your bubble team. If you have any
questions or comments, feel free to write me at any time. Until
tournament time, happy cheering.