As the college basketball regular season enters its final two weeks, the marathon NCAA Tournament dash enters its final miles. In this race, the winner has basically lapped the field, as Kentucky appears to be headed to an undefeated regular season.
In this 5-month competition, it’s the teams that finish between number 58 and number 78 that create all the excitement. For 20 conferences, there is no guessing to be made. The winners of their conference tournaments will be the only teams receiving dance invitations. The Ivy League champion will receive a the conference’s lone bid as well, making it 21 guaranteed teams.
When you add teams like Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Wisconsin, and all the other teams that already have resumes worthy of dancing, it really leaves about 15 spots at most to be filled by at-large teams. This amount will drop some as unexpected teams win conference tournaments in leagues where more than one team will receive a bid. For instance, if somebody other than Northern Iowa or Wichita St. wins Arch Madness in the Missouri Valley Conference, the league will receive three bids instead of two.
Here are the Bubble teams as of today. They are listed in order of strongest to weakest according to our bracketology experts. The dandy two dozen plus experts will submit their formal new list to me late Sunday night, and I will post the updated bracketology on Monday afternoon.
|Last 16 In the Field|
|59||N. C. St.|
|Out For Now|
Now for this weekend’s key games involving top 25 teams as well as teams from the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC.
Our PiRate Red and White Ratings continue to top 76% accuracy, while our Blue Ratings are lagging behind at 71%+. For those not aware of how we computer our experimental ratings, we use the “Four Factors” popularized by Dean Oliver and others and then create three separate algorithms to come up with raw ratings. We then adjust these ratings for home and road teams as well as for strength of schedule to come up with a margin. The actual margins are Figured to 4 decimal places, but we round it to the nearest whole number. If the nearest whole number is 0, we round it to 1 in the favored teams’ direction, even if the margin is .0001.
|Miami (FL)||North Carolina||-5||-4||1|
|Wichita St.||Northern Iowa||4||5||5|
|Kansas St.||Iowa St.||-9||-6||-5|
|San Diego St.||Boise St.||8||5||6|
|Boston College||N. C. St.||-11||-5||-6|
|South Carolina||Mississippi St.||8||9||7|