Posted by Daniel Evans on March 11th, 2013
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.
Bracket Math: Below there are 34 locks along the right column. Basically, that number means that if none of my “locks” clinches an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament, there are only four at-large spots available. In most years, an average of around six “locks” win automatic bids, meaning there are 10 unclinched spots for the NCAA Tournament. I also have one team in the “should be in” category, meaning I project their odds of getting an at-large bid at 70% or higher. If that team ultimately gets in, there are eight total spots available for the teams you see below in my bubble watch. Remember that bid stealers will potentially shrink that number.
“SHOULD BE INS”: 1
TOTAL: 35 (minus six for projected auto bid winners = 29)
PROJECTED AT-LARGE SPOTS AVAILABLE: 8
- Odds Improving: Memphis (now a lock), Wichita State (lock), Creighton (auto bid), Belmont (auto bid), Tennessee, Kentucky, Baylor
- Odds Decreasing: Louisiana Tech, Maryland, Minnesota, Oklahoma
In the upcoming days, I can start doing a better job at pinpointing exactly how many auto bids will be taken by teams I currently have in lock status.
UPDATED THROUGH ALL GAMES OF MARCH 10, 2013
|Atlantic 10: Three Locks, Four Bubble Teams
|Temple (23-8, 11-5; RPI: 44): A win on Sunday over VCU was very big for the Owls’ at-large hopes. This is team that has now won seven straight games and defeated Syracuse outside of conference. The Owls are in good shape right now. Temple will play the winner of Massachusetts and George Washington in round two of the Atlantic 10 tournament. AT-LARGE ODDS: 60%
La Salle (21-8, 11-5; RPI: 40): 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 Saturday, the Explorers lost their season finale to Butler. Unfortunately for La Salle, they might see Butler again really soon. The Bulldogs play Dayton in round one with the winner set to take on La Salle. AT-LARGE ODDS: 50%
Massachusetts (19-10, 9-7; RPI: 57): The Minutemen only have one win against the RPI top 50, but seven against the RPI top 100. Thursday night’s loss to Butler may have sealed this team’s fate though. Massachusetts has some decent wins (as I noted) but nothing that really catches attention. AT-LARGE ODDS: 40%
Charlotte (20-10, 8-8; RPI: 70): Wins over La Salle and Butler keep the 49ers here, but they have to make the Atlantic 10 final to have any real bubble case.. AT-LARGE ODDS: 35%
|Big 12: Three Locks, Three Bubble Teams
|Oklahoma (20-10, 11-7; RPI: 33): Welcome to March. Just when a team appears to be in good shape, they screw it up. That’s the case for the Sooners who somehow lost to TCU on Saturday. Now, a first round Big 12 tournament game against Iowa State may decide the Sooners’ fate. This team went from a high percentage last week to one of the last teams in with their bad loss. AT-LARGE ODDS: 55%
Iowa State (21-10, 11-7; RPI: 46): It’s really too bad that the Cyclones could not finish off either of their upset bids against Kansas. A win against West Virginia in the season finale kept their at-large hopes alive, with a huge Big 12 tournament quarterfinal against Oklahoma coming up. AT-LARGE ODDS: 50%
Baylor (18-13, 9-9; RPI: 61): Saturday was a one-game season for Baylor and the Bears destroyed Kansas to pick up a signature win to highlight their profile. Baylor also has a victory against Oklahoma State. A first round Big 12 tournament game against Oklahoma State will be huge for this team’s at-large hopes. AT-LARGE ODDS: 45%
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