Can a Southern Conference group win an at-large bid? We’ll shortly uncover out.
Mike Youthful’s group has gained 11 straight video video games on account of fantastic taking photos and a low turnover cost that, granted, went shortly missing inside the Terriers‘ 78-76 further time win at East Tennessee State. Nevertheless, Fletcher Magee scored 32 components and sealed the win inside the closing seconds with a heady and actually well-executed intentional miss on a free throw.
- Too many potential match teams are beneath .500 in conference play.
- Indiana’s win at Michigan State is often a launching pad to the tourney, and completely different college hoops scorching takes I can present.
You perceive Magee as a result of the perimeter scoring machine who, in 2017-18, chased Steph Curry’s Division I report for made 3-pointers in a season. The Wofford guard bought right here up merely temporary in that pursuit, nonetheless this season he’s as soon as extra averaging spherical Four made 3-pointers per sport.
With Magee, Nathan Hoover and Storm Murphy hitting 3s and Cameron Jackson ruling the paint, the Terriers have lit up opposing SoCon defenses to the tune of 1.23 components per possession. Make due allowance for opponent energy, nonetheless that’s about what we’re seeing Tennessee do to the SEC.
Anyway, opponent energy inside the SoCon is nice. The rationale Wofford‘s at-large chances are high excessive of higher than purely speculative curiosity is that it’s from a foregone conclusion that the Terriers will win the automated bid. UNC Greensboro, ETSU and Furman might all have one factor to say about that.
With the addition of the Terriers to the Watch, right here is how we’re projecting the bubble correct now:
Bids from typical “one-bid” leagues: 23 teams
Locks: 11 teams
The bubble: 40 teams for 34 accessible spots
Must be in: 20 teams
Work to do: 20 teams
ACC | Large 12| Large East | Large Ten | Pac-12 | SEC | American | Others
Locks: Virginia, Duke, North Carolina
Must be in: Louisville, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Syracuse
Work to do: NC State
Must be in
A fleeting look beneath “should be in” is barely knowledgeable forma closing area to be checked for the Cardinals on their answer to full lock standing. Absent an entire Oklahoma-in-2018 collapse (and even the Sooners purchased in!), nothing will preserve Jordan Nwora and his mates from an elite seed.
Virginia Tech Hokies
See “Louisville,” above, closing area to be checked, and so forth. Buzz Williams apparently has one of the best safety inside the historic previous of school basketball. We youngster, we youngster, nonetheless, severely, the Hokies’ neutral-floor win over Purdue appears increased with each passing day, offsetting on the very least part of that full “lost at Penn State” issue.
Florida State Seminoles
FSU now owns wins over Purdue (at home), LSU (on a neutral floor) and Syracuse (on the Service Dome). The ultimate sport in that group was primarily essentially the most spectacular one, as Terance Mann led the Seminoles to an 18-point win on the freeway. Florida State’s safety has shut down the ultimate two opponents it has confronted (Georgia Tech and the Orange), and, if this turns right into a sample, Leonard Hamilton’s males might earn themselves a greater seed.
The official motto of Syracuse in 2019 is “We won at Duke.” That could be a very good motto (certain, certain, the Blue Devils had been short-handed, duly well-known), one that may stability some demerits — akin to Four Orange losses in Quads 2 and three and, certain, a significantly listless effectivity at home in an 18-point loss to Florida State. To not level out few Bubble Watch teams are blessed with as many upcoming alternate options: Louisville, Duke and Virginia are all coming to the Service Dome inside the subsequent few weeks.
Work to do
NC State Wolfpack
NC State is trending in a dangerous path. Even sooner than the Wolfpack hosted Virginia Tech, they’d already misplaced Four of their earlier seven video video games. Now, after two wild losses marked by scoring extremes (the 47-24 defeat at home by the fingers of the Hokies, and a 113-96 drubbing at North Carolina), the Pack is 4-6 in ACC play. The home win in opposition to Auburn in December appears pretty good on their profile, nonetheless NC State desires wins in February. For that to happen, this safety ought to uncover a second wind.
Must be in: Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma
Work to do: Baylor, Texas, TCU
Must be in
Texas Tech Pink Raiders
One more top-20-NET group shifting in the direction of lock territory, so let’s observe one factor notable inside the meantime. The NCAA’s switch this season to reformat group sheets and extra refine sport outcomes inside each of the Four quadrants is particularly revealing with respect to the Pink Raiders. In opposition to the very best of Quad 1, as an illustration, Texas Tech is 0-5. Conversely, when collaborating in the remainder of Quad 1, Jarrett Culver & Co. are undefeated, with victories over Nebraska (neutral floor), at home in opposition to Kansas State and at Texas.
Iowa State Cyclones
Like Texas Tech, ISU is a chief candidate to be marked as a lock inside the very near future. In distinction to the Pink Raiders, nonetheless, the Cyclones bought right here away with the win when these two teams met in Lubbock in January. That, along with beating Kansas in Ames and this week’s victory at Oklahoma, characterize the principle bullet components on the résumé for Marial Shayok, Tyrese Haliburton and their fellow Clones.
Kansas State Wildcats
With a freeway win over Iowa State and victories at home in opposition to every Texas Tech and Kansas to their credit score rating, the Wildcats are wanting like an precise menace to complete KU’s streak of 14 consecutive Large 12 titles. Nevertheless, even when that doesn’t pan out, this nonetheless appears to be a bunch on its answer to a seed merely outdoor the very best Four strains. In any event, Okay-State might want to preserve the momentum going. Once more-to-back freeway video video games at Baylor and Texas are up subsequent.
Lon Kruger’s group swept its season sequence with Oklahoma State and as well as beat TCU in Norman. Earlier that, nonetheless, OU has posted seven Large 12 losses. The mock brackets are unconcerned to this point, and undoubtedly the Large 12 will ship a great deal of “good win” alternate options the Sooners’ methodology, as a lot as and along with a home sport in opposition to Kansas inside the closing week of the season. That being said, Oklahoma ought to win a number of of those video video games in the end.
Work to do
The Bears are coming off their worst margin of defeat of the conference season, a 12-point loss at Texas. Even so, Scott Drew’s group continues to be lurking correct behind Kansas State inside the conference race. If BU stays this close to the very best of the league, its seed might rise significantly from its present 9-10 fluctuate. Briefly, Baylor has come a good way since struggling Quad 4 losses to Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin. (updated: 2/7)
If there’s a 5-5 group in major-conference play that’s being uncared for, it might be Texas. The perimeter-oriented Longhorns are utilizing Kerwin Roach and the rim safety of Jaxson Hayes. That’s combination on paper — one that may presumably translate into further wins and a further sturdy bracket standing than Texas’ current “in, but don’t mess it up” perch. (updated: 2/7)
TCU Horned Frogs
The Horned Frogs wished a buzzer-beater from JD Miller to beat Oklahoma State in Fort Value. That stopped a foul loss in its tracks, nonetheless TCU continues to be beneath .500 (4-5) in Large 12 play. True, this generally is a group that’s displaying up as a powerful heart seed inside the brackets, with wins over Baylor, Texas and Florida to its credit score rating. Nevertheless, Jamie Dixon’s group is allowing conference opponents to hit 54 p.c of their 2s. Each the Frogs will start collaborating in increased, or the “solid middle seed” bit will most likely be a memory. (updated: 2/7)
Must be in: Marquette, Villanova
Work to do: St. John’s, Seton Hall, Creighton, Butler
Must be in
Marquette Golden Eagles
The one-point loss to St. John’s at home was a heartbreaker, nonetheless the males from Milwaukee nonetheless appear headed for this technique’s best seed in years. Particularly, Marquette’s wins in 2018-19 have confirmed an uncanny tendency to look increased with age, as vanquished foes like Louisville, Kansas State, Wisconsin and Buffalo have charted upward trajectories as a result of the season has progressed.
Sooner than they started as quickly as as soon as extra treating the Large East as their non-public plaything, Phil Gross sales area, Eric Paschall and their colleagues had been possibly increased recognized to you for dropping to Furman and to Penn. These defeats aren’t as harmful in NET phrases as you might assume (they fall beneath Quad 2, the place they appear alongside seven Villanova wins), nonetheless they do preserve the potential to worth the Wildcats in seeding. Put it this way, the higher Nova rises inside the rankings, the stronger the qualitative distinction inside the “loss” division will most likely be with peer teams.
Work to do
St. John’s Pink Storm
Congratulations to Shamorie Ponds and the Johnnies, proud homeowners of a two-game sweep over Marquette. Chris Mullin’s guys will get one different shot at Villanova in Madison Sq. Yard, nonetheless, for now, two victories over Steve Wojciechowski’s group are the clear headliners on SJU’s profile. St. John’s is wanting an increasing number of sturdy as a result of the Large East’s third match group.
Seton Hall Pirates
Bracket positions don’t get further precarious than the one in the meanwhile inhabited by SHU. The Pirates are variously projected to be one in all many closing teams in or one in all many first teams out, relying in your alternative in mock brackets. You might check out the Hall and see a 4-6 Large East group that’s misplaced six of its earlier eight. An entire-season connoisseur, then once more, sees a gaggle that moreover beat Kentucky on a neutral floor and Maryland in Faculty Park.
Bubble, thy establish is Large East. If Seton Hall might go each methodology, properly, Creighton’s correct there, too. It appears the Bluejays really might have used a win in on the very least one in all many two further time video video games they carried out in opposition to Marquette (closing month in Omaha) and Villanova (Wednesday in Philadelphia). Instead, it bought right here up temporary every events. Now Creighton’s all the way down to solely two remaining regular-season Quad 1 alternate options, at Seton Hall and at Marquette.(updated: 2/7)
The Bulldogs are lurking on the fringes of the bubble dialogue, and a two-point nail-biter at home in opposition to Seton Hall did on the very least put a capper on what had been a three-game dropping streak. That being said, BU’s already misplaced home video video games to every Marquette and Villanova. At 4-6 inside the Large East and with freeway video video games at Georgetown and St. John’s coming subsequent, LaVall Jordan’s group may very well use a win — or increased nonetheless, two.
Locks: Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue
Must be in: Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa
Work to do: Minnesota, Ohio State, Indiana
Must be in
The Badgers beat Michigan, their freeway victory at Iowa retains enhancing with age and Ethan Happ and his eager minions are above .500 (6-4) in Quad 1 video video games. All of which is to say that you just seemingly is not going to be seeing Wisconsin in non-lock territory for for for much longer. (updated: 2/7)
Shut school college students of the bubble are about to get some wished seeding readability with regard to the Terps. Really, no one will begrudge a youthful group dropping on the freeway to Michigan State and Wisconsin. The 11-point loss to Illinois at Madison Sq. Yard, nonetheless, was a shock. So the place inside the bracket should Bruno Fernando and Anthony Cowan Jr. be slotted? The next three video video games will converse volumes, with exams upcoming not solely at home in opposition to Purdue however as well as on the freeway at Michigan and Iowa. (updated: 2/7)
Locks that haven’t misplaced many video video games of any sort nonetheless, Iowa has one in all many sweetest no-bad-loss profiles you will note wherever. This group’s “worst” loss is a freeway defeat at Minnesota. In another case, you’re taking a have a look at setbacks in opposition to Michigan State (twice), Purdue and Wisconsin. That’s it. Under no circumstances ideas the questionable safety, if Luka Garza retains blowing up into the next tall Large Ten non-Happ going down, Iowa can earn a really good seed.
Work to do
Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Gophers could possibly be spherical a No. 10 seed if the sphere had been bracketed as we converse, and that freeway win at Wisconsin is an excellent chip to have in your pocket. Moreover, who knew the neutral-floor win over Washington would look this good? Now Richard Pitino’s group travels to Michigan State, the place the Gophers will face an opponent that seems to have misplaced its methodology. (updated: 2/7)
Ohio State Buckeyes
That true freeway win OSU recorded at Cincinnati in its very first sport of the season continues to pay dividends. Nonetheless, if the Buckeyes are to stay “in” the sphere (quotation marks level out no one is inside the topic, it’s February), the group will presumably ought to go from 5-6 inside the Large Ten to a near-.500 finish. That’s no sure issue with a closing schedule that options freeway exams at Indiana, Michigan State, Maryland and Purdue, to not level out home video video games in opposition to Iowa and Wisconsin. (updated: 2/7)
Historic previous and customised suggest that Indiana should get to 9 wins inside the new 20-game-schedule Large Ten to be considered for an at-large bid. The Hoosiers profitable 5 of their earlier eight is certainly attainable, however it is not going to be easy. For the sake of dialogue, rely the season finale at home in opposition to Rutgers as a win, and go ahead and movie victory inside the subsequent sport in opposition to Ohio State (moreover in Bloomington). Previous that, nonetheless, every sport is each on the freeway or at home in opposition to Purdue, Wisconsin or Michigan State. (updated: 2/7)
Must be in: Washington
Work to do: Arizona State
Must be in
A win at Arizona State in Washington’s subsequent sport would carry defensive artist Matisse Thybulle and his cohorts to 11-Zero in league play. The game in opposition to the Photo voltaic Devils moreover probably will mark the Huskies’ closing Quad 1 contest of 2018-19. The question would then turn into what kind of seed a bunch earns if it runs the desk inside the 2019 Pac-12. On the season as a complete UW’s best wins on the subject of the NCAA’s quadrants are all freeway video video games, at Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona. (updated: 2/7)
Work to do
Arizona State Photo voltaic Devils
The Photo voltaic Devils are holding on to their place in Bubble Look forward to now, nonetheless dropping at home to Washington State by 21 components is previous a foul loss. It is the profile equal of not displaying up for the job interview. Having fun with the Cougars at home licensed as a Quad 4 sport, which means that’s now a Quad 4 loss on Arizona State’s résumé. Bubble Watch is pledged to certainly not overreact to a single sport, nonetheless Bobby Hurley’s group now desires a win at home in opposition to Washington higher than ever. (updated: 2/7)
Locks: Tennessee, Kentucky
Must be in: LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn
Work to do: Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida
Must be in
Take one step forward when you occur to predicted inside the preseason that LSU could possibly be in a second-place tie with match lock Kentucky, solely a sport in once more of match lock Tennessee. Led by the ball-hawking of Tremont Waters and Skylar Mays, this safety has recorded an enormous year-to-year enchancment, one which’s pointing in the direction of a top-6 seed. The Tigers are about to host Auburn sooner than collaborating in at Kentucky. These are some choice alternate options. (updated: 2/7)
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Dropping to LSU at home in further time was highly effective, nonetheless the Bulldogs have neither the time nor the need to dwell on that sport. A superb increased various is coming to Starkville inside the kind of Kentucky. With a gaudy 6-2 Quad 1 report already to its credit score rating, MSU can take but yet one more giant leap forward with a win in opposition to the Wildcats. (updated: 2/7)
Aside from a lopsided loss at Ole Miss inside the conference season opener, the Tigers have confirmed an uncanny knack for profitable blowouts and dropping nail-biters. This tendency most undoubtedly consists of AU’s 82-80 loss at home to Kentucky in January. Make no mistake, Bryce Brown and Jared Harper can ranking components in a rush. Which suggests, whereas this group is in the meanwhile projected as a middle seed, Bruce Pearl’s males have the potential to play their methodology onto a greater line. (updated 2/6)
Work to do
Ole Miss Rebels
The Rebels are demonstrating how persistence of imaginative and prescient manifests itself in match alternative. Ole Miss has misplaced 5 of its closing seven, nonetheless good work carried out in November (neutral-floor win over Baylor) and notably in early January (beating Auburn in Oxford and Mississippi State in Starkville) is, for now, preserving Terence Davis and agency in projected single-seed territory. Barely. (updated: 2/7).
Alabama Crimson Tide
Welcome to the precarious far reaches of the match topic. Definitely, if Selection Sunday had been held as we converse, Alabama could possibly be a sort of “could go either way” teams. Beating Kentucky in Tuscaloosa is an excellent start to any résumé, definitely, nonetheless that’s sort of the aim. Avery Johnson’s males have not bought quite extra to level out apart from a home victory over Mississippi State. Within the occasion that they did, the Crimson Tide’s place wouldn’t be pretty so tenuous.
Speaking of might go each methodology, the Gators are correct there with the Tide. Florida’s win at Arkansas stands alone as its solely Quad 1 victory. Then as soon as extra, the SEC this season provides many chances to reinforce one’s profile. For UF, these chances will take the kind of video video games in opposition to Tennessee and Kentucky — every on the freeway — along with two images at LSU. (updated 2/6)
Must be in: Cincinnati
Work to do: UCF, Temple
Must be in
For a bunch projected to land within the midst of the bracket, Cincinnati’s seed reveals essential potential for volatility. Start with the reality that the Bearcats have carried out solely three Quad 1 video video games all season (they’re 2-1), throw in a sort of disagreeable Quad 4 losses (at East Carolina) after which add the coup de grâce of variability. UC will get 5 Quad 1 chances in its closing eight video video games, along with two images at Houston. This projected No. 7 seed might soar or fall significantly. Maintain tuned. (updated: 2/7)
Work to do
UCF had Houston on its home floor, nonetheless the tip end result was a swing and a miss. The Cougars left Orlando with a 77-68 win, and the implications for the Knights are stark: Johnny Dawkins’ group probably could possibly be correct on the in/out borderline if the selection had been held as we converse. Nevertheless, UCF does have no fewer than 5 upcoming Quad 1 alternate options (two video video games in opposition to Cincinnati and freeway video video games at Houston, Temple and South Florida). The Knights have work to do, nonetheless as well as they’ll get chances. (updated: 2/7)
That “1” in Houston’s 21-1 report in any case belongs to the Owls, who took down Kelvin Sampson’s group when the Cougars visited Philadelphia firstly of January. Speaking of “1,” properly, Temple’s 1-5 in its Quad 1 outings. It is a perfect win, nonetheless, by itself, it will not be adequate to get this group inside the topic. The Owls did possibly catch a break, nonetheless, in getting three upcoming freeway video video games at USF, Memphis and UConn. The combo of opponent and venue means each of those video video games, barely, could also be Quad 1 supplies.
Must be in: Nevada, Buffalo
Work to do: VCU, Utah State, Wofford
Must be in
Nevada Wolf Pack
Eric Musselman went after Pac-12 opponents in making his 2018-19 schedule, and, properly, that league is just not having its best season. The dip in what was alleged to be major-conference opponent energy explains how Nevada is in the meanwhile being projected as a No. 4 seed with a 21-1 report. It moreover accounts for the reality that Musselman’s group continues to be however to play a Quad 1 sport this season. Which will change, finally, when the Wolf Pack go to Utah State firstly of subsequent month.
It’s a mark of what UB head coach Nate Oats hath wrought that we’re proper right here talking a number of MAC group with freeway losses at Bowling Inexperienced and Northern Illinois in “should be in” phrases. Rightly so. Life on the freeway inside the MAC is tough in 2019, and, anyway, there’s the small matter of the Bulls’ 19-Three normal report with their freeway wins at West Virginia and Syracuse.
Work to do
The Rams gained at Texas by one stage firstly of December, and there are no Quad 1 alternate options remaining on the Atlantic 10 schedule for Mike Rhoades’ group. Who’s conscious of, an outright regular-season A-10 title could be adequate for an at-large bid (inside the event of a loss inside the conference match). Anyway, if VCU does play its methodology into the match, spectators and, notably, opponents will most likely be confronted with one fearsome safety.
Sam Merrill and his teammates spent the upper part of January beating up on the Mountain West’s lower division sooner than profitable a difficult freeway sport in opposition to group (at Fresno State, 82-81). That outing could be the Aggies’ best preparation predominant as a lot as subsequent month’s most likely profile-defining home sport in opposition to Nevada. (updated 2/6)
The SoCon has certainly not despatched an at-large group to the NCAA match, nonetheless there’s a first time for the whole thing. Wofford‘s on this dialogue on account of the Terriers are 20-4 with losses to North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kansas and Mississippi State. Mike Youthful’s males furthermore private Quad 1 wins at UNC Greensboro and at East Tennessee State. Lastly, it’s worth noting Wofford gained at South Carolina by 20, though that reveals up on the profile as a Quad 2 victory.