The Bubble Conversation in Major Conferences

Virginia Cavaliers - [21-10 (11-7), RPI: 66, SOS: 132] Let's start with the bubble watch in the ACC. The Virginia Cavaliers are fresh off an Overtime win vs. Maryland, a team in the ACC who will probably not make the big dance. The Cavaliers have a depressing resume with lots of poor losses on the season. Virginia has seven losses to teams ranked outside the RPI Top 100. Some history behind this stat foreshadows that's Virginia will not receive an at large bid. What really damages the Cavaliers chances is there extremely weak non conference schedule strength which sits at No. 299.

Maryland Terrapins - [20-11 (8-10), RPI: 83, SOS: 116] Maryland is a virtual lock not to make the tournament.  Even their two good wins this year vs. some top teams ( N.C. State & Duke) can't save their hopes.  Next year and in the future, the Terrapins need to schedule better teams to help their tournament hopes.

Big East

Villanova Wildcats - [19-12 (10-8), RPI: 51, SOS: 18] Villanova is one of the last teams regarded for one of the last four byes in the field. Villanova's fans, players and coaches would really like some good news so they do not have to wait it out an extra two days in Dayton to find out their destiny. But with a team literally on the bubble, their fate is left up to the committee.

Providence Friars - [17-13 (9-9), RPI: 81, SOS: 61] The Friars have almost zero chance to make the tournament this year. Providence is only 2-8 against teams in the top 50 and carries a 264th ranked nonconference schedule. This team also boasts a resume with 3 sub 150 losses and a record of 9-10 against teams in the top 150.

Big Ten

Minnesota Golden Gophers - [20-11 (8-10), RPI: 23, SOS: 2] Minnesota has a mysterious team where you never know which team is going to show up on any given night. Will the Tournament team capable of pulling the upset show up or will the disappointing Golden Gophers come out to play. Just as an example to back up this claim, Minnesota beat Indiana in Bloomington earlier this year and then followed this up with back to back losses to Nebraska and Purdue in a 10 day span. The first team they play in the Big Ten Tournament is Illinois. With a win vs. Illinois, they could seal their fate and make the Tournament.

Illinois Fighting Illini - [21-11 (8-10), RPI: 42, SOS: 8] This Fighting Illini team has some solid wins this year with a win vs. Gonzaga in Spokane. This Illinois team has lost 3 of their last 4 games but that is ok when those are losses against Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio State. With a win in the first round of the Big Ten Tourney, against Minnesota, they can really solidify a spot in the tournament.

Iowa Hawkeyes - [20-11 (9-9), RPI: 72, SOS: 124] Iowa could sneak into the tournament with a few wins in the Big Ten Tournament. There seems to be a lot at stake in this Big Ten competition, and all for good reason. The Hawkeyes biggest problem is the nonconference strength of schedule which sits at 305.

Big 12

Oklahoma Sooners - [20-10 (11-7), RPI: 35, SOS: 17] On March 9th, this Sooners team lost to TCU. This lost really hurt Oklahoma. The Sooners next games is vs. Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament, and a loss to Iowa State would really put a large dent in their resume. The Sooners will be fine with a victory in the first round.

Iowa State Cyclones - [21-10 (11-7), RPI: 47, SOS: 64] The Cyclones are in decent shape to make the dance and a win vs. Oklahoma would really solidify this team's resume. Their last two games were both victories vs. #13 Oklahoma State and also against West Virginia in Morgan Town.
Baylor Bears - [18-13 (9-9), RPI: 61, SOS: 21] The Bears disappointment of a season recently took a major change for the better with a convincing win against #4 Kansas. Before this game the Bears were doing everything in their power not to make the tournament.  Before their top notch win against the Jayhawks, Baylor lost 5 of their last 6 games. With a 3-10 record against top 50 teams, they are looking from the outside in. With a win in their next game against Oklahoma State on a neutral court, they can show the selection committee their best basketball is ahead of them.


Oregon Ducks - [23-8 (12-6), RPI: 52, SOS: 129] The Ducks suffered an ugly loss this final weekend of the season to Utah. This tough loss really hurt Oregon's chances but, they are not out of the equation yet.

Arizona State Sun Devils - [20-11 (9-9), RPI: 90, SOS: 123] Arizona State did not help themselves at all losing their last 4 games of the season. Other bad losses last month include DePaul and Utah. The Sun Devils RPI and SOS do not help this team in the eyes of the selection committee.


Kentucky Wildcats - [21-10 (12-6), RPI: 50, SOS: 66] The reigning NCAA Champions have had a rough season due to losing a majority of their championship team to the NBA.  Kentucky is coming off a huge win vs. #11 Florida. This victory should be enough to keep them on the right side of the bubble. Besides the Florida, Kentucky's best win was at Rupp Arena against Missouri. The Wildcats also suffered a bad loss to Georgia prior to the huge win in Florida.

Tennessee Volunteers - [19-11 (11-7), RPI: 54, SOS: 38] Tennessee arguably has a better record than Kentucky. The volunteers lost 2 Georgia both times this year but they were victorious over Wichita State, Florida, Missouri and Kentucky. UT is 4-4 against top 50 teams and 9-9 against top 100 ranked opponents. The Volunteers have a stronger schedule overall and out of conference compared with Kentucky. With a loss in the SEC Tournament, the Vols will be heading to the NIT tournament instead.

Ole Miss Rebels - [23-8 (12-6), RPI: 56, SOS: 152] The only statement this Rebels team can make is that they swept Tenessessee this season. Ole Miss has only 1 top 50 win over Missouri. Their 286 nonconference schedule really bruises there very mediocre resume.

Alabama Crimson Tide - [20-11 (12-6), RPI: 62, SOS: 91] About the best things this Alabama tide did this season was avoid a loss at home to Georgia this past weekend. Their other positive mark on their resume is a win against conference opponent Kentucky. This very bad team lost to Dayton, mercer, Tulane and Auburn.  What more is there to say?

Arkansas Razorbacks - [19-12 (10-8), RPI: 76, SOS: 82] The razorbacks just lost by a whopping 30 points against Missouri last week.  Arkansas did manage to beat Oklahoma, Florida, Missouri and Kentucky. These wins are the only hope for the Razorbacks to sneak onto the positive side of the bubble. The word hope really isn't a fair word to use in this situation. More appropriately stated this bad team barely has a glimmer of hope.

By Steven Spector - 3 -12-13