The boundaries of the bubble

12:30 AM ET

John GasawayESPN Insider

CloseESPN Insider faculty basketball contributor
First started masking faculty hoops in 2004
Has written for Basketball Prospectus and the Wall Road Journal

Editor’s observe: The NCAA event Bubble Watch has been up to date by way of Wednesday’s video games.

It has lengthy been the acknowledged place of the NCAA males’s basketball committee that groups are usually not evaluated instantly on metrics comparable to straight wins and losses, convention information or their rating on varied score techniques.

Strictly talking, that’s certainly appropriate. Bubble Watch has spoken to sufficient individuals who have been “within the room” to know that no argument on behalf of this or that group was ever received by citing wins and losses or a straight rating.

Nonetheless, event groups do, after all, are likely to cluster inside sure numerical boundaries … with a caveat. Merely being inside these boundaries is itself no assure of a bid.

Nonetheless, realizing the situation of those limits may help flag simply how anxious sure groups ought to be, and for which causes, as we transfer nearer to Choice Sunday.

Here is how the boundaries of the 2019 bubble are wanting in the mean time:

Wins and losses:

Guess which group Bubble Watch goes to begin with right here? Indiana is incomes critical consideration from the mock brackets regardless of an total file of 15-14. That is a decrease quantity for wins than another group within the “lock,” “ought to be in” or “work to do” classes, and it is also a bigger variety of losses than any peer in that inhabitants besides Texas (which additionally carries 14 losses).

Naturally, the Hoosiers can level to extenuating circumstances to elucidate this anomaly. IU swept Michigan State and in addition received house video games in opposition to Marquette and Louisville. No group in reminiscence with so many losses has however had wins this good.

NET rating:

Some of the attention-grabbing questions raised by the NCAA adopting a brand new score system is the place, precisely, “the road” will fall by way of groups that earn at-large bids vs. these that don’t. Clearly, the committee is not simply going to go down the NET rankings from Nos. 1 to 36 to populate the at-large subject, nevertheless it did not try this with the RPI, both, and a line nonetheless emerged. It would take two or three choices, however we’ll ultimately get a way of that cutoff for the NET as effectively.

The bottom-ranked group present in Bubble Watch is at present Georgetown, which clocks in at No. 72 on the NET. The Hoyas do have competitors for this distinction, nonetheless. Xavier (No. 70) and Arizona State (68) are each lurking on this identical numerical neighborhood.

Then once more, rating extremities are a two-edged sword. The best-ranked group that is not displaying up in mock brackets is Penn State, at No. 48. (Why are the Nittany Lions getting no love? See the earlier class, “wins and losses.” Penn State is 13-17.)

Convention file:

On the one hand, speaking about convention information by way of event choice is, in accordance with some observers, fully irrelevant. Alternatively, a brand new rule ought to be enacted, in accordance with different observers, in order that event groups are required to have a convention file of .500 or higher.

This contradiction seems to be coming to a head in 2019 thanks to groups like Indiana and TCU. The Hoosiers are 6-12 in Large Ten play, the Horned Frogs are 6-11 within the Large 12, and in any “regular” season we would even be speaking about Oklahoma being 7-10 in league play.

For 20 years as much as and together with the 2018 event, no group that received fewer than eight video games in an 18-game convention schedule earned an at-large bid. Nevertheless, it seems that this unwritten rule might be adjusted downward in 2019. We may be witnessing the redrawing of at the very least one bubble boundary.

Here is how we’re projecting the bubble proper now …

Bids from conventional “one-bid” leagues: 25 groups
Locks: 29 groups
The bubble: 30 groups for 14 out there spots
Must be in: 7 groups
Work to do: 23 groups

ACC | Large 12| Large East | Large Ten | Pac-12 | SEC | American | Others


Locks: Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Virginia Tech
Must be in: Syracuse
Work to do: NC State, Clemson

Must be in

Syracuse Orange

You already know it is March when Bubble Watch not makes use of the hopeful future tense with regard to seed-improvement potentialities. Syracuse took its swings at Duke, North Carolina and Virginia, in that order, over a nine-day interval, and got here up Zero-for-Three. The upcoming go to to Clemson is, to make sure, a Quad 1 affair, however that consequence alone shouldn’t be going to maneuver the whole-season needle. No, in need of a really massive win or two on the ACC event, it seems the Orange actually will get that No. Eight seed, or one thing near it, that everybody has been speaking about for some time now. In that capability, Jim Boeheim’s males can be eminently effectively outfitted to scare the wits out of some zone-phobic high seed within the spherical of 32. That ought to be enjoyable to observe. (Up to date: March Four)

Work to do

NC State Wolfpack

Not solely did NC State lose 63-61 at house to Georgia Tech, NC State misplaced at house to a short-handed model of Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets had been taking part in with out Curtis Haywood, who’s been sidelined with an ankle damage. Nonetheless, Josh Pastner’s group obtained the win. Conversely, Kevin Keatts’ males obtained the Quad Three loss. Now the Wolfpack end the season with a street sport at Boston Faculty that all of the sudden seems fraught with peril. NC State is 20-10 and gave the impression to be ticketed for a No. 10 seed, however this identical group is simply 2-Eight in Quad 1 video games. The Wolfpack’s nonconference schedule was somewhat famously mushy, and, if the committee nonetheless needs to flex these explicit schedule-preferring muscle groups, NC State clearly provides it the very best alternative to take action. The March outlook has turn into much more unsure in Raleigh. (Up to date: March 7)

Clemson Tigers

After watching Clemson barely escape with a 64-62 win at Notre Dame, Bubble Watch is much less sure than ever that the Tigers can win an at-large bid primarily based on regular-season exertions alone. It’d as an alternative require at the very least one neutral-floor victory in opposition to a giant identify within the ACC event. Sure, successful at house in opposition to Syracuse within the season finale could be nice. However that is not going to be a Quad 1 sport, and even a victory leaves Clemson 19-12 total, 9-9 within the ACC and 1-9 in Quad 1 video games. These numbers pretty scream “simply missed.” It seems Brad Brownell’s group might need work to do in Charlotte, North Carolina, later this month. (Up to date: March 7)

Large 12

Locks: Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, Baylor
Work to do: Texas, Oklahoma, TCU

Work to do

Texas Longhorns

For a group that is 16-14, Texas is arousing little discover or controversy with its projected No. 10 and even 9-seed. Presumably that is a tribute to a profile that features wins on a impartial flooring over North Carolina and in Austin over Purdue. Maybe the Longhorns are moreover getting bonus factors for closing in on that type of seed as Kerwin Roach II continues to sit down due to a suspension. In any occasion, the relative quiet would possibly mirror a wholesome intuition. Even after a 19-point loss at more and more formidable-looking Texas Tech, Shaka Sensible’s group remains to be outscoring the Large 12 by a wholesome margin on a per-possession foundation. Furthermore, previous to the laugher in Lubbock, the Horns had been displaying up within the high 35 nationally within the NET rankings. This isn’t your abnormal 16-14 group, and a No. 10 and even 9-seed would possibly find yourself being nearly proper. (Up to date: March Four)

Oklahoma Sooners

Pay no thoughts to that 7-10 file in Large 12 play. For one factor, it was 5-10 only a few days in the past, so the development line for Oklahoma is constructive. Beside, the Sooners are 19-11 for the season after beating Kansas 81-68 in Norman and placing the ultimate nail within the coffin of the Jayhawks’ 14-year streak of Large 12 titles. Proven as a No. 9 or 10-seed heading into the sport in opposition to KU, Lon Kruger’s group has crushed Wofford at house, taken care of Florida on a impartial flooring and now stands at Four-9 in Quad 1 video games. OU will end the common season at Kansas State, so going into the Large 12 event at 19-12 and 7-11 is a really actual risk. Nonetheless, there are many groups under the Sooners on the proper aspect of the mock minimize line. The committee will decide the true minimize line, however, barring a serious shock, Oklahoma seems to be on strong floor. (Up to date: March 5)

TCU Horned Frogs

It’s a fact universally acknowledged that major-conference information do not matter by way of choice, significantly not in 2019. However what if TCU finishes 6-12 within the Large 12? Is the committee actually going to set that precedent? A group hasn’t received an at-large bid with fewer than eight wins in an 18-game convention schedule since 1998. The Horned Frogs had been regarded as a No. 11 seed going into their 64-52 defeat at house to Kansas State. TCU has misplaced six of its previous seven, is now 6-11 and closes with a street sport at Texas. The profile ace within the gap for Jamie Dixon’s group is its season sweep of Iowa State. We’d have the chance to see simply how a lot weight that carries. (Up to date: March Four)

Large East

Locks: Marquette, Villanova
Work to do: St. John’s, Seton Corridor, Creighton, Xavier, Georgetown

Work to do

St. John’s Purple Storm

St. John’s has misplaced three of its previous 4, and it is time to ask what the results may be if Chris Mullin’s group continues this tendency and comes up brief on the street at Xavier within the closing sport of the common season. In that case the Purple Storm would end the season at 20-11 total and Eight-10 in Large East play. The Johnnies, after all, posted a Three-1 file in opposition to Marquette and Villanova, however this identical group was additionally swept in its season sequence in opposition to each Windfall and DePaul. In actual fact, the Johnnies’ file in opposition to Quads 2 and three (6-6) is worse than their file in opposition to Quad 1 (6-Four). It is an odd profile that has brought about no small diploma of confusion. A vocal minority of mock brackets, for instance, is not forecasting any explicit bid jeopardy for St. John’s. Bubble Watch is not so positive about that within the occasion of a loss in Cincinnati. (Up to date: March Three)

Seton Corridor Pirates

Issues didn’t look particularly promising for Seton Corridor’s event probabilities when the Pirates trailed Marquette 64-55 at house with Four minutes, 40 seconds left within the sport. In any case, Kevin Willard’s males tipped off their sport in opposition to the Golden Eagles realizing they had been on a very good many “final 4 in” lists, and that their NET rating was one of many lowest within the bubble subject. However then SHU closed on an 18-Zero run and recorded a badly wanted 73-64 Quad 1 win. Myles Powell scored 34 factors, and now he and his mates have a worthy “high quality win” companion for the victories at Maryland and in opposition to Kentucky at Madison Sq. Backyard. Seton Corridor shouldn’t be within the subject but, however, with Villanova coming to the Prudential Middle for the season finale, the Pirates have a superb shot at getting there. (Up to date: March 7)

Creighton Bluejays

For the stability of the Large East season, Greg McDermott’s group was a pincushion for the cruelest of the hoops gods, because the Bluejays misplaced extra time video games not solely to the aforementioned Golden Eagles but additionally to Villanova and to Seton Corridor. Now, nonetheless, CU is beginning to even these accounts. Creighton obtained again into this dialogue by successful a detailed sport at Marquette, and the Bluejays adopted that up with a six-point victory at house, in extra time no much less, over Windfall. If McDermott’s males wrap up the season with a win at house in opposition to DePaul, they’re going to arrive on the Large East event at 18-13 total and 9-9 in convention. The Bluejays have a shot. (Up to date: March 7)

Xavier Musketeers

Xavier performed itself into this dialog by successful 5 in a row, capped off by a street victory over St. John’s in Queens. The Musketeers aren’t out of the working as a result of they then misplaced one sport at Butler, nevertheless it would not assist issues, both. The very best-case situation for Travis Steele’s males is now to win at house within the rematch in opposition to the Purple Storm and thus wrap up the common season with three Quad 1 wins at 17-14 total and 9-9 within the Large East. That may be a traditional “work to do” look heading into the Large East event. (Up to date: March 5)

Georgetown Hoyas

It is not going to be simple for the Hoyas. Sitting at 18-12 total and Eight-9 within the Large East would possibly look bubbly sufficient, as do the three Quad 1 wins. However after a notably lopsided 101-69 loss at DePaul, Georgetown is simply Eight-6 this season in opposition to Quads 2 and three. Furthermore, the group’s NET rating going into that sport was within the 70s (which could, if the brand new metric seems for use a bit just like the outdated one was, become prohibitively low). It will not be simple, however Bubble Watch can at the very least envision a path to creating this an attention-grabbing query, one which begins with successful at Marquette and ends with beating both the Golden Eagles or Villanova within the Large East event semifinals. Go to it, Hoyas. (Up to date: March 7)

Large Ten

Locks: Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland
Must be in: Iowa
Work to do: Ohio State, Minnesota, Indiana

Must be in

Iowa Hawkeyes

On the danger of overreacting to occasions, Iowa is not doing its seed any favors. A group that Bubble Watch has been attempting to maneuver to a lock for over per week now has as an alternative misplaced back-to-back video games to Ohio State (on the street) and Rutgers (in Iowa Metropolis) by a mixed margin of 34 factors. Previous to the Quad Three loss to the Scarlet Knights, the Hawkeyes had been 17-Zero in opposition to Quads 2, Three and Four. Fran McCaffery missed the night due to a two-game suspension stemming from a postgame tirade in Columbus directed at referee Steve McJunkins, and maybe that had some connection to Iowa’s sleepy efficiency on senior night time. In any occasion, one thing within the neighborhood of the No. 7 seed the Hawkeyes had been taking a look at would possibly now require further wins, beginning with upcoming visits to Wisconsin and Nebraska. (Up to date: March 2)

Work to do

Ohio State Buckeyes

With out Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State is in free fall. The 6-foot-9 sophomore was suspended indefinitely and has now missed two video games, the second of which was a 68-50 loss at Northwestern. Chris Holtmann’s group had already seen its projected bracket place slip from the No. 9 line to a No. 10 seed, however now OSU has bigger considerations than mere seeding. The Buckeyes shut their season at house in opposition to Wisconsin, and a loss there would go away Ohio State 18-13 total and Eight-12 in convention. True, all season lengthy this group has clung to its street win at Cincinnati within the first sport of the season. That’s certainly an ideal win, it is simply that OSU hasn’t been capable of give that victory a lot in the way in which of firm. The Buckeyes’ different Quad 1 wins had been at Creighton, at Nebraska and at Indiana. That physique of labor may not be sufficient within the occasion of a loss to the Badgers and a fast, Wesson-less exit from the Large Ten event. (Up to date: March 7)

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Amir Coffey is the primary Golden Gopher to attain 30 factors or extra in back-to-back video games since Vincent Grier did it in 2004-05. The 6-foot-Eight junior’s explosion has coincided with badly wanted wins for Minnesota at Northwestern and, most crucially, at house in opposition to Purdue. The temptation is to say a bid is now safe (the Boilermakers entered the sport in Minneapolis at No. 11 within the NET rankings), however, at a minimal, Richard Pitino’s group will wish to preserve pushing. The sport at Maryland can be no simple activity, clearly, and a loss there leaves the Gophers at 19-12 and 9-11 within the Large Ten. The wins at house in opposition to Purdue and on the street at Wisconsin are stunning, and Minnesota’s in significantly better form than per week in the past. That stated, the bubble can shrink at any time and there is nonetheless basketball to be performed. (Up to date: March 5)

Indiana Hoosiers

With nonetheless one other thrilling win over Michigan State and a season sweep in opposition to the Spartans, Indiana is again within the bubble dialogue. The Hoosiers can declare six Quad 1 wins on the season, and whereas in addition they have suffered 9 Quad 1 defeats, the excessive variety of high quality victories is adequate for IU’s profile to at the very least get a listening to “within the room,” as they are saying. If (and it is no small if) Archie Miller’s males win at Illinois and at house in opposition to Rutgers, they’re going to end the season at 17-14 total and Eight-12 within the Large Ten. That might get the job accomplished. (Up to date: March 2)


Lock: Washington
Work to do: Arizona State

Work to do

Arizona State Solar Devils

Here is a Bubble Watch enjoyable truth: Arizona State is the one group within the “lock,” “ought to be in” or “work to do” classes that has misplaced video games in all 4 quadrants. Sure, the losses at house to Princeton and to Washington State qualify as Quad Four defeats, and certainly, the Solar Devils are a notably so-so 10-Four in opposition to Quads Three and Four. See, that is the type of factor we miss with our single-minded concentrate on simply one of many quadrants. Now, let’s focus single-mindedly on Quad 1: ASU’s win in Tempe in opposition to Kansas in addition to ones on a impartial flooring in opposition to Mississippi State and Utah State would possibly get this group a bid offered its NET rating is not too controversially low. Going into Sunday night time’s 74-71 win at Oregon State, that rating was within the excessive 60s and Bobby Hurley’s group was on Joe Lunardi’s “final 4 in” listing. It might work out as is, but when the Solar Devils wish to really feel protected, there’s work to do. (Up to date: March Three)


Locks: Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn
Must be in: Ole Miss
Work to do: Florida, Alabama

Must be in

Ole Miss Rebels

There must be a reputation for the paradox by which Ole Miss finds itself proper now. The Rebels are in zero hazard, however 40 extra minutes might change that. Kermit Davis and his males performed a troublesome sport at house in opposition to Kentucky and got here up simply brief, 80-76. Ole Miss went into that contest anticipating a No. 9 or a 10-seed, which, once more, conveys that there is little or no hazard lurking within the neighborhood. All true sufficient, however what if the Rebels had been to lose their closing sport of the season, at Missouri? You’ll then be taking a look at a 19-12 group that had misplaced 5 of its previous six. To make sure, wins on the street at Auburn and at Mississippi State are an ideal wind to have at your again, the sort that may land you within the subject of 68. Nonetheless, Bubble Watch is open to the chance that it might find yourself being a more in-depth name than we predict. (“The paradox of the unexpected shut name”? Too wordy. Bubble Watch will preserve at it.) (Up to date: March 5)

Work to do

Florida Gators

The ultimate minute has not been form to Florida over the previous two video games. First, the Gators misplaced by six factors at house to Georgia. Then, with mock brackets displaying them as a No. 9 or No. 10 seed, Mike White’s males took LSU to extra time in Gainesville earlier than falling 79-78. The loss drops UF to 17-13, and the hazard right here is that this file might rapidly flip to 17-14 with a loss at Kentucky within the season finale. Florida nonetheless has its street win at LSU as the center and soul of its profile, after all, however that is not stopping the Gators from sliding ever so steadily towards the precipice. Furthermore, the truth that different groups are even nearer to the current edge than UF does not imply the bottom itself cannot all of the sudden give approach within the type of a bid thief or two. Florida might have work to do on the SEC event. (Up to date: March 7)

Alabama Crimson Tide

Generally a win that everybody says is “big” in actual time truly seems to be much more essential. Alabama’s victory at house in January over Kentucky is wanting that approach in March. Take away these 40 minutes, and also you’re left with a Crimson Tide profile the place the very best win and certainly solely Quad 1 victory is the sport the place Avery Johnson’s guys prevailed at house in opposition to Mississippi State. That is a fairly good notch to have in your belt, positive, however the UK win has lifted the Tide to a distinct a part of the dialogue fully. Even so, at 17-13 total and Eight-9 within the SEC, Alabama now may be taking part in to remain within the subject of 68. A closing Quad 1 probability at Arkansas awaits earlier than the Tide play in what can be a loaded convention event. No fewer than seven SEC groups are at present ensconced within the high 50 of the NET rankings. Quad 1 alternatives will abound in Nashville, Tennessee. (Up to date: March 5)


Locks: Houston, Cincinnati
Must be in: UCF
Work to do: Temple

Must be in

UCF Knights

There was already loads to love a few UCF group that had only one unhealthy loss (Florida Atlantic in November) even when it did not have any actually nice wins. Now, that second want has been addressed. The Knights went on the street and did what no different group’s been capable of do in 2018-19: Johnny Dawkins’ males received 69-64 at Houston. Collin Smith picked a pleasant second to attain a season-high 21 factors on Eight-of-15 capturing contained in the arc. The victory marks, type of, UCF’s first Quad 1 win of the season. (The win at South Florida was Quad 1 when it occurred, however not for lengthy.) The Knights will probably carry a better seed than their earlier spot on the No. 11 line when the following set of mock brackets is launched. (Up to date: March 2)

Work to do

Temple Owls

This example is changing into clearer and clearer: Temple received a house sport in opposition to Houston, interval. That, it seems, may be kind of every thing the Owls have to indicate on their profile. True, Fran Dunphy’s group will get yet one more Quad 1 probability when it hosts UCF within the closing sport of the common season. Within the meantime, nonetheless, the Owls need to hope their signature victory is sufficient to get it accomplished, a want that, to be clear, was accomplished no favors by the Knights’ much more spectacular win on the Cougars’ house flooring. (Up to date: March Three)


Locks: Gonzaga, Nevada, Buffalo
Must be in: Wofford, VCU
Work to do: Utah State, Belmont, Murray State, Saint Mary’s, Furman, Lipscomb

Must be in

Wofford Terriers

The Southern Convention has by no means despatched an at-large group to the NCAA event, however there is a first time for every thing. Certainly, Wofford is quick changing into a foregone conclusion on this dialogue as a result of the Terriers are 26-Four, with the losses coming to North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kansas and Mississippi State. Mike Younger’s group moreover owns Quad 1 wins at Furman, UNC Greensboro and East Tennessee State. Lastly, it is price noting Wofford received at South Carolina by 20, although that reveals up on the profile as a Quad 2 victory. In actual fact, the Terriers are an ideal 20-Zero in opposition to Quads 2, Three and Four. (Up to date: March 2)

VCU Rams

Mike Rhoades’ males went on the street and made brief work of George Mason, holding the Patriots to only 36 factors in a 67-possession sport. That’s one excessive but however telling show of the type of defensive mastery the Rams have been exhibiting throughout this 11-game win streak. At 24-6 total and in sole possession of first place within the Atlantic 10, VCU has a No. 9 seed ready for it later this month if mock brackets are to be trusted. There are not any remaining Quad 1 alternatives for the Rams even in any potential A-10 event sport, however the 54-53 win at Texas in December will proceed to fill that want on the profile fairly satisfactorily. (Up to date: March 5)

Work to do

Utah State Aggies

Utah State got here actually, actually near furnishing us with a really attention-grabbing dialog. After everybody had declared the coronation full with the win at house in opposition to Nevada, the Aggies went on the street and wanted extra time earlier than escaping with a 100-96 win at Colorado State. Now Craig Smith’s group is certainly assured of at the very least a share of the regular-season Mountain West title. Projected as a No. 11 seed, USU actually has solely two remaining risks. One is a shrinking bubble, and the opposite could be an ostentatiously early exit from the convention event in Las Vegas. However, assuming each of these disasters fail to materialize, Utah State does look like in fine condition for its first bid since 2011. (Up to date: March 5)

Belmont Bruins

Belmont received a sport in Pauley Pavilion in opposition to UCLA in December, however (followers in Westwood will wish to cease studying proper right here) it is the truth that Rick Byrd’s group swept a nonconference home-and-away sequence with native rival Lipscomb that actually brightens a group sheet in 2019. Now the Bruins of Nashville are competing with Ja Morant and Murray State for Ohio Valley Convention supremacy. Morant possible has OVC Participant of the 12 months locked up (Bubble Watch is out on a limb right here), however in another season voters could be taking a really lengthy take a look at Dylan Windler and his prolific but extremely environment friendly scoring as a stretch-Four. Belmont is variously proven as one of many final groups in or as lurking simply exterior the sphere in most projections, however at 25-Four, Byrd’s guys have received 13 straight and wish to run the desk. (Up to date: March 2)

Murray State Racers

The truth that Murray State hasn’t misplaced a sport since January is rightly touchdown the Racers on various “first 4 out” lists. Ja Morant and his mates at the moment are 25-Four, and it has been about three weeks since any opponent even got here inside a single-digit margin of defeat in opposition to MSU. Nonetheless, it is possible that an at-large would require a visit to the Ohio Valley Convention championship sport. Bubble Watch will even additional stipulate that Belmont should be the opposite group ready there for the Racers, and that, no, shedding a detailed sport to Austin Peay or Morehead State would not do the trick. As an alternative, it is possible that a Murray State group that is 1-Four in opposition to Quads 1 and a pair of however an immaculate 22-Zero in opposition to Quads Three and Four would require the closest and most spectacular title-game loss to the Bruins to get an at-large. Or, alternately, Matt McMahon’s group might simply win the sport and earn the auto bid. That is a sensible plan, as effectively.

Saint Mary’s Gaels

Oh, what might need been. No, Bubble Watch does not imply the 69-55 loss to Gonzaga in Moraga, California. The Bulldogs are wanting increasingly more like a group of future, and Mark Few’s guys working the desk within the West Coast Convention was by no means going to be an enormous upset. As an alternative, take into consideration the four-point losses Saint Mary’s recorded in opposition to Mississippi State and LSU in November and December, respectively. Both a kind of video games moved underneath the win column would make this a a lot stronger profile for the Gaels. As it’s, nonetheless, the one Quad 1 win approaching the street at New Mexico State may not be adequate to get SMC into the sphere of 68. That stated, Saint Mary’s stays in Bubble Watch resulting from its stunning NET rating and a collective and incorrigible ignorance on the earth exterior the committee room regarding what precisely that may imply in 12 months 1 of the brand new metric’s reign. (Up to date: March 2)

Furman Paladins
It is a mark of how robust the Southern Convention is in 2019 that Furman can lose at house to Wofford and, at 24-6 total, nonetheless be within the dialogue for an at-large bid. No, the Paladins aren’t “ought to be in” materials simply but, however Bob Richey’s group does have that memorable Quad 1 win at Villanova. Alas, that win (plus a candy NET rating within the 40s) would possibly type the sum whole of the case for Furman on Choice Sunday. The Dins had been accomplished no explicit favors by the SoCon event pairings, which is able to provide up the “chock filled with Quad 1 goodness” Terriers solely in a title sport. By that time, naturally, the at-large level is moot. (Up to date: March 5)

Lipscomb Bisons
After a expensive Quad Three loss at Florida Gulf Coast, Lipscomb completed its common season with wins at house over NJIT and on the street over North Alabama. The Bisons present two Quad 1 wins on their profile, at TCU and at Liberty, and their NET rating, even after the FGCU sport, remained larger than these of groups like St. John’s, Seton Corridor and Arizona State. Then once more, that very same rating can also be a couple of spots decrease than those carried by fellow bubbly aspirant Saint Mary’s. Maybe most daunting, nonetheless, is the truth that Lipscomb’s accomplished with Quad 1 alternatives. Even one other assembly with Liberty within the Atlantic Solar event will happen, if it happens, on the house flooring of the top-seeded Bisons and would thus qualify as Quad 2. Such a gathering, anyway, will happen within the title sport, so securing an auto bid by successful three house video games seems extra possible on paper than does an at-large. Certainly, Lipscomb is already a 3rd of the way in which there, having received its first-round A-Solar event sport in opposition to Kennesaw State. (Up to date: March Four)

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