Month: February 2016

The 2016 Bubble Watch

The Bubble Watch is BACK for 2016. Here’s the Bubble Watch from last year.

Had no recollection of being that spot on, and actually impressed myself. The 41 Locks all made the tournament and were not in a play-in game. The 3 Near-Locks all made the tournament. And as anticipated, 2 of the 4 bubble teams made it. Of these 5, 4 were in a play-in game. Hard to be much better than that.

As a reminder, Crotistics does things the right way. There’s no point in doing a bubble watch in January when if a #1 team lost all of their remaining games, they could miss the field. And teams with 7 losses and 5 games still left to play in conference are not locks. There are 4 categories to look at:

  1. Locks – Teams that would still be in the field if they lost all of their remaining games.
  2. Near-Locks – Teams that could drop out with a truly pitiful performance, but extremely unlikely.
  3. Looking Good – Teams that should make the field with a reasonable performance down the stretch.
  4. The Bubble – Teams that are going to play their way in or out depending upon performance.

Once a team moves to Lock status, they’ll never leave, per the definition. There’s nothing a team can do that would leave them out of the field. As teams get moved to Locks, I’ll attach a date for when a team “officially” punches their dance ticket.

Bubble Watch as of: 3/12/2016


  1. Villanova
  2. Kansas
  3. Xavier
  4. Virginia
  5. Miami (FL)
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Duke
  8. Oregon
  9. Maryland
  10. Iowa
  11. Michigan St.
  12. West Virginia
  13. North Carolina
  14. Arizona
  15. Kentucky (2/18)
  16. Iowa St. (2/20)
  17. Baylor (2/20)
  18. Indiana (2/20)
  19. Utah (2/21)
  20. Texas (2/22)
  21. Texas Tech (2/23)
  22. Dayton (2/23)
  23. Notre Dame (2/24)
  24. California (2/25)
  25. Texas A&M (2/27)
  26. Purdue (2/27)
  27. St. Joseph’s (2/27)
  28. Seton Hall (2/28)
  29. Wisconsin (2/28)
  30. Pittsburgh (2/28)
  31. Butler (3/2)
  32. Providence (3/5)
  33. St. Bonaventure (3/5)
  34. Cincinnati (3/6)
  35. Colorado (3/9)
  36. USC (3/9)
  37. Oregon St. (3/9)
  38. VCU (3/11)
  39. Temple (3/11)


  1. Michigan – Most likely still in even if they lose in the Big 10 semis. But they got a huge win, and are looking very strong.

Looking Good

  1. Connecticut – Needed a 70 footer to do it, but they should be in. One more win will lock up their spot.

The Bubble

There are 41 teams listed above. There are an additional 23 AQs, with 1 more likely. That leaves just 3 places for the teams below as well as others not mentioned.

  1. Saint Mary’s – Gaels appear to be on the outside looking in right now, and unfortunately they have no more games to get back into it. Could surprise and get in.
  2. South Carolina – Know how many games South Carolina has PLAYED against teams in the tournament? 3. And that’s if Vandy gets in. If they don’t, it’s two. That’s absolutely unimaginable for a big conference team. Not safe by any means.
  3. Syracuse – Lost to Pitt in the ACC tourney and now must wait. Right now, we have them in, but things could change ahead of Sunday.
  4. Wichita St. – Got upset by Northern Iowa in the MVC and now must wait. Depends how the committee discounts the games without VanVleet. If not at all, they’re a bubble team.
  5. Vanderbilt – Got upset by Tennessee and now must wait. We’ll see what happens.

That’s it. GW might be in the discussion, but ultimately they should fall short. There’s a pretty big gap between these teams and GW, and then another sizable gap between GW and Florida. Tulsa blew any chance of the dance by getting destroyed by Memphis.

Unique Cases

As you’ll see below, the MAAC is a one-bid league. Monmouth is really not in consideration for us as an at-large at all. Although they have two good wins over Notre Dame and USC, they have 3 bad losses to Canisius, Army, and Manhattan, and have also picked up another loss to Iona. To be in the at-large consideration, they’d have to also lose in the MAAC tournament, which would be another bad loss. That is too much to overcome with the other teams on the bubble.

If San Diego St. wins out and loses in the Mountain West championship, they’ll be in the at-large discussion.

Automatic Qualifiers not Listed Above

  1. America East
  2. Atlantic Sun (Florida Gulf Coast)
  3. Big Sky
  4. Big South (UNC Asheville)
  5. Big West
  6. Colonial (UNC Wilmington)
  7. Conference USA
  8. Horizon (Green Bay)
  9. Ivy (Yale)
  10. MAAC (Iona)
  11. MAC
  12. MEAC
  13. MVC (Northern Iowa)
  14. Northeast (Fairleigh Dickinson)
  15. OVC (Austin Peay)
  16. Patriot (Holy Cross)
  17. Southern (Chattanooga)
  18. Southland
  19. Summit (South Dakota St.)
  20. Sun Belt
  21. SWAC
  22. WAC
  23. WCC (Gonzaga)