As the Jays get ready for their conference clinching game against Illinois St., there is talk about whether the Jays could get an At-Large bid if they needed it. Many say just win in St. Louis, but everyone always has to have a backup plan.
As we get down to the final few weeks it seems like there are so many teams on the bubble. But in reality it isn’t as many as some would think. ESPN would lead you to believe there are 30 teams on the bubble right now for basically 10 spots. However, if things go like they should, there should only be 13 teams in reality that are on the bubble at this point. Or let me state this a little differently–In a perfect world, the teams you want to lose the rest of their games. I’ll see if I can break it down a little bit.
Using ESPN’s Bubble watch from through games through February 25th. So the 34 at large spots break down like this:
Should be in: 7
- ACC (5)
- Big East (7)
- Big 10 (3)
- Big 12 (4)
- Pac-10 (5)
- SEC (1)
- MWC (1)
- Other (5)
Minus Conference Auto-bid (assuming it is one of the above from each conference and Other-Memphis, Butler, Xavier, Gonzaga wins their conference tourney) -11
At Large Spots available: 14
Now for the “Work to Do” teams, there are 30 teams on that theoretic bubble and would appear there are 30 teams fighting for the 14 spots. Well let’s break it down a little more:
Siena, Utah St., Creighton, and Davidson could win their conference tournament, so then the bubble teams is down to 26.
So then let’s look at the reality for the Big 6 conference + MWC teams:
- Boston College
- Virginia Tech
Miami and Boston College can pretty much write their tickets into the NCAA since they have a favorable schedule the rest of the way. However, Virginia Tech and Maryland play 2 top ACC teams in each of their last 3 games. 2 losses for them and they should be out of consideration. So in reality the ACC may get 2 more bids. Down to 12 At-large
- Notre Dame
These three teams you want to all lose and have a good chance to since Cincinatti still has to play Syracuse and Providence and Notre Dame still have to play Villanova. If those three teams cannot win those games against Syracuse and Villanova, then they should not be in talk anymore. So no At-Large lost there
- Ohio St.
- Penn St.
Penn St. is in a position to punch their ticket as they play Iowa, Illinois and Indiana in their last three. But between Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, they all have to play each other yet and can basically between the three of them eliminate each other. And if Ohio St. can’t be Purdue, then they should just be sitting on the outside as well. So from the Big 10 maybe 1-2 more bids. So let’s say we are down to 10 At-Large at this point
- Oklahoma St.
- Texas A&M
Texas A&M has the best chance to punch their ticket becuase they have Iowa St., Colorado and Missouri St. on Senior Day. But Oklahoma has the gauntlet of Texas, Kansas St. and Oklahoma. 1 more at-large likely gone.
USC does have Stanford, Oregon and Oregon St. to end the season so they may look pretty good as an at large, so another one gone. Down to 8.
- South Carolina
Florida and South Carolina both have a shot at Tennessee and Florida also gets a shot at Kentucky yet. South Carolina swept Kentucky so if everything goes right, the only ones that should be considered out of these would be Florida and South Carolina. Down to 6
- New Mexico
I sort of have a feeling the Mountain West is going to have a year that the Missouri Valley did a few years ago. Two of these three will get in, but you would like to see UNLV and New Mexico lose. But let’s say they get 2. At-Large is down to 4
- Temple–With Dayton and St. Joes left, they keep losing and they are out
- Rhode Island–Rhode Island has winable games at Duquense and UMass. Let’s say they are in
- UAB–Lost to Memphis tonight, so really they are done
- St. Mary’s–With the last two games against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, they are pretty much in.
In the end 2 at-large slots left. So if Creighton were one of those that faultered, they would have a chance. But of course this is all perfect world scenario.
So in reality with all of these bubble teams and games and after all this gibberish, here are the ones that you really want to see lose.
The rest of the so-called bubble teams sort of have things locked up if they do what they are supposed to. As you can tell, I had a little free time tonight to come up with a bunch of nothing, but these above teams are the ones I’m going to pay attention to and if goes as plan there will be 2 spots left to fill and then the Jays would be one of those if needed if they faultered at the MVC tourney