Daniel Evans (@bracketexpert) is Rush the Court’s resident bracketologist. He will update his brackets at least twice a week through the rest of the regular season here at RTC, but his updated brackets can be viewed daily at Bracketology Expert. As we approach March Madness, he’ll also provide occasional blind resumes. Evans has been ranked by the Bracket Matrix as the nation’s 11th-best bracketologist out of hundreds of entries.
Here’s what has changed on Friday and earlier today:
- Albany (America East) and Tulsa (Conference USA) have clinched bids by winning their conference tournaments.
The NCAA Tournament Picture (full S-curve after the jump)
- NCAA Tournament Locks (38): Arizona, Florida, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Kansas, Duke, Villanova, Virginia, Creighton, Michigan, San Diego State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Louisville, North Carolina, Saint Louis, Cincinnati, UCLA, Texas, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Kansas State, Vcu, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Iowa, Ohio State, George Washington, Memphis, Arizona State, New Mexico, Oregon, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Stanford, Pittsburgh, Saint Joseph’s
- Clinched NCAA Tournament Auto-Bids (15): Harvard (Ivy), Eastern Kentucky (OVC), Wichita State (MVC), Mercer (ASUN), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Manhattan (MAAC), Wofford (SOCON), Milwaukee (Horizon), Mount St. Mary’s (NEC), North Dakota State (Summit), Gonzaga (WCC), Delaware (CAA), American (Patriot), Albany (America East), Tulsa (Conference USA)
I have 38 locks above, but when you consider nine conferences figure to have at least three bids or more (American, ACC, A10, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC) it’s fair to assume that in MOST — if not all — of those leagues, the automatic bid will also come from an already “locked in” team. Therefore, we subtract nine from 38, which leaves us with 29 “true locks”. Add in the 32 automatic bids awarded to teams that win their conference tournament (which is where the nine conference champs we discounted a second ago will end up) and you’ve got a total of 61 locks.
Since 68 teams make the NCAA Tournament, that leaves us with 7 spots remaining for bubble teams. Now, let’s take a look at the bubble:
Projected Bubble Spots Left: 7
- Probably In (4): Nebraska, Dayton, Xavier, SMU
- Bubble In (3): Tennessee, BYU, Providence
- Bubble Out: Minnesota, Arkansas, California, Green Bay, Florida State, Southern Miss, N. C. State, St. John’s, Belmont, Missouri, Georgia, Louisiana Tech
Potential Bid Thieves Left: 3
- ACC (1): N. C. State
- A-10 (1): St. Bonaventure
- SEC (1): Georgia
The Projected NCAA Tournament Field