NCAA Tournament Projections As of January 23

Today, let’s break down how the bubble is shaping up.

Kentucky, Penn State, Pitt, Creighton and Oklahoma are in, while teams like West Virginia, Ohio State, Utah State, Wake Forest and Northwestern are out.

Kentucky and Creighton made their push back into the field after being highly ranked coming into the season, while Penn State has been hanging around the fringes of the bubble all year.

However, none of these teams are safe.

Besides having a good record, the only thing that Kentucky has to hang their hat on is the win over Tennessee.

Penn State has three top-50 wins and without those they would be nowhere near the bubble and out of the field.

Pitt’s resume is slightly different, as the Panthers sit at 13-7 with a bad loss to Florida State and have only five wins against the top 175 of the NET. But Pitt is staying in the field mostly by virtue of their win over Virginia.

That brings us to Creighton and Oklahoma (the last two teams in), and West Virginia and Ohio State (the first two teams out).

Look at these four resumes and tell me the difference.

Yes, they seem almost identical, as all four teams are 11-8 with poor road records and a top-20 strength of schedule. Each school has a couple of decent wins, but there is really nothing to separate them.

But a decision had to be made — two teams in and two teams out. I went with Creighton, as they have the best NET ranking and computer numbers, and Oklahoma, who edged out the other two teams thanks to their four top-70 wins and a head-to-head victory over West Virginia. These four programs are so close that any sort of quality win would alter the bracket.

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LAST FOUR IN: Oklahoma, Creighton, Penn State, Pitt
FIRST FOUR OUT: West Virginia, Ohio State, Utah State, Wake Forest
NEXT FOUR OUT: Northwestern, Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Utah

Big Ten: 9
Big 12: 7
ACC: 7
SEC: 6
Big East: 5
MW: 4
Pac-12: 3
AAC: 2
WCC: 2