Selection Sunday is only 13 days away and the bubble is really tight with 10-15 teams possibly fighting for maybe 5 spots or less. All of these teams that I’m discussing are either in my updated bracket http://7citieswitness.com/updated-ncaa-bracket/ or I am considering them very closely for future inclusion.
Here’s a pretty deep list of true bubble teams with their current RPI and a brief description of what they need to do to distance themselves from the pack.
Virginia 64 @Florida State, Maryland
- I went directly for the Cavaliers because they are and will be the most interesting team discussed on Selection Sunday. They have the wins and look of a tournament team but find themselves in this position because of past resume sins. They need to find at least two more wins between the regular season and ACC Tournament to feel really good about their status.
Kentucky 51 @Georgia, Florida
- If the Cats are close the committee has to put them in, right? I don’t know but they need to get into position first and a split or sweep to close the season may be necessary. Failing to beat either Georgia or Florida would likely put Kentucky in a position needing to at the very least make it to the SEC Championship game and be very competitive in that game.
Villanova 55 Georgetown
- It doesn’t look too promising for these Wildcats, they have only red hot Georgetown before the Big East Tournament. Villanova has some big wins but I believe they need to beat Georgetown and then do damage in the Big East Tournament or if they lose to Georgetown they possibly need to reach the Big East final.
Saint Mary’s 37 Season Complete
- I don’t like their resume but the fact remains that if they reach the WCC finals the Gaels will have 27 wins and a RPI in the 30′s and that will be just too difficult for the committee to ignore. Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s have benefited from the carnage within college basketball this season.
Iowa State 53 Oklahoma State, @West Virginia
- I really like the Cyclones and believe they should be in the tournament but they own a funny looking top 100 record at 5-8 and almost need to redeem themselves and beat Oklahoma State at home. Winning that game would remove heavy pressure to make a deep run in the Big 12 Tournament.
Boise State 44 @UNLV, San Diego State
- Boise State is benefiting from playing in the number one ranked conference in the nation and has the resume to enter the Big Dance. The games remaining can only help their RPI but they should do themselves a favor and try to find a way to earn a split or they may have work to do in tournament play.
Tennessee 56 @Auburn, Missouri
- I’m also very high on Tennessee and believe they will find their way in. To do that they need to win their next two games and that would leave Tennessee with 9 top 100 wins before SEC Tournament play and that volume of wins is a recipe for tournament inclusion.
Mississippi 58 Alabama, @LSU
- The Rebels have swept Tennessee but don’t have the resume of the Vols but that could change. Mississippi has two very winnable top 100 games remaining before SEC Tournament play but I believe they need to find 3 more wins to have any chance at an at large.
Baylor 61 @Texas, Kansas
- I don’t see it happening for Baylor, they need to win out until the Big 12 Championship game and good luck with that. The Bears RPI is misleading as they are 4-10 against the RPI 100 and are currently hanging their hat on a win at Kentucky, not they need 3 or 4 better wins than that to get into the Big Dance.
Southern Mississippi 34 @Marshall, Central Florida
- This is the team with the best RPI that has very little chance to make the Big Dance. The Golden Eagles need at the very least to win until the CUSA Championship and lose to Memphis in an epic battle and then have the rest of these teams to falter down the stretch. It’s against all odds at this point, they needed to beat Memphis when they had two previous chances.
UMASS 54 Butler, @Rhode Island
- Here’s a team that is receiving very little attention and may get ripped on Selection Sunday when they get in over a team like Kentucky or Villanova. UMASS has 8 top 100 wins and is getting Butler at home, don’t be shocked at all if the Minutemen are dancing ahead of some bigger named teams in two weeks.
Alabama 60 @Mississippi, Georgia
- The Crimson Tide are very much alive with a multitude of top 100 wins and a non conference schedule that was decent. They could really use 3 or 4 more wins but a win at Mississippi and another to close the season against Georgia may have them in the bracket before SEC Tournament play begins.
Iowa 86 Illinois, Nebraska
- The Hawkeyes have an opportunity to get to 22 wins and 9-9 in easily the most difficult conference in the nation and that will not go unnoticed. I believe they need at least 3 more wins and that means a sweep coming in and a semifinal appearance in the Big 10 Tournament will get the job done. It’s a long shot but not out of the question.
Maryland 70 North Carolina, @Virginia
- I’ve been down on Maryland all year and voicing my opinion on how they have no shot to make the tournament but they actually do. The Terps need to beat UNC and then win at Virginia and then need to win an ACC Tournament game. My odds of them accomplishing that is about 50/1 but if it happens I will put them into my bracket.
Arkansas 80 @Missouri, Texas A&M
- The Razorbacks are down but certainly not out and a win at Mike Anderson’s old stomping grounds might catapult them into the front of the bubble. Two wins and a semifinal SEC appearance would likely jump their RPI by 25-30 points and give them 9 top 100 wins which would once again distinguish themselves from most of the rest of this bubble.