Daniel Evans (@bracketexpert) is RTC’s new resident bracketologist. According to Bracket Matrix, he ranks as one of the top several bracketologists among those who have produced brackets for more than three years, including two seasons with perfect bracket projections. He updates the field daily on his site, Bracketology Expert, and will be producing a weekly bracket update here at RTC on Fridays. RTC Bubble Watch will publish on Sunday nights and Thursday afternoons for the rest of the season.
“SHOULD BE INS”: 0
TOTAL: 38 (minus eight for projected auto bid winners = 30)
PROJECTED AT-LARGE SPOTS AVAILABLE: 7
BID STEALERS STILL ALIVE:
- ACC: Maryland
- Atlantic 10: Massachusetts
- Conference USA: Southern Miss
- SEC: Vanderbilt
THIS UPDATE: Charlotte is out after losing in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals. Iowa is now a long shot after losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten quarterfinals.
There are currently 19 teams fighting for 5 spots. If you believe (as I do) that Baylor, Louisiana Tech and Akron are long shots at best (very small chance, if any to make the field) you can bring the numbers down to 16 teams fighting for 5 spots.
- Virginia (21-11, 11-7; RPI: 67): The Cavaliers have been a strange bubble case all season. They have some of the worst losses a bubble team can have, but they also have six impressive wins. One of those wins is against Duke, who might be the nation’s best team now that Ryan Kelly is back. On Friday, a loss in the ACC quarterfinals to N. C. State might have left Virginia one win short of what they needed to get into the field. AT-LARGE ODDS: 50%
- Maryland (22-11, 8-10; RPI: 85): A second upset of Duke this season keeps Maryland’s faint at-large hopes alive. The Terps now can say they are the only team with a win over Ryan Kelly this year, but that may not be enough. This team’s fourth best RPI win is against Stony Brook. AT-LARGE ODDS: 40%
- Temple (23-9, 11-5; RPI: 37): Friday night’s loss to Massachusetts ended the Owls’ seven game winning streak, but in the end I think the Owls have done enough to snare an at-large bid. AT-LARGE ODDS: 70%
- La Salle (21-8, 11-5; RPI: 38): La Salle has five wins over the RPI top 100 including victories against Butler and VCU, two of the Atlantic 10′s best teams. The Explorers only have one bad loss, which came in mid-November against Central Connecticut State. On Friday, a second loss to Butler in a week pushed the Explorers closer to the at-large cut-line. AT-LARGE ODDS: 50%
- Massachusetts (20-10, 9-7; RPI: 57): The Minutemen upset Temple in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals Friday to pick up an eighth victory against the RPI top 100. This team has a shot to get in, but must make it to the Atlantic 10 finals. AT-LARGE ODDS: 40%