Thursday was a day filled with bubble teams trying to make a statement. And while there were a few casualties along the way (Creighton, Texas, Georgetown), several did come through.
In the SEC both Florida and Alabama got huge wins. The Tide are in my “last four in” and should be safe for now. The Gators are my second team out. They have a big matchup with LSU Friday. If they win, they are a lock. However, a loss may not eliminate them. Here’s why.
Every bracketologist that I know spends all day Saturday and Sunday morning going over the entire field again. The committee does the same on Saturday in a process they call “scrubbing.” It basically takes the top team and compares them to the No. 2 team and then No. 2 to No. 3 and so on through the entire bracket. If they find a team that needs to move up or down the bracket, they do so. This usually results in very few changes, but it is a necessary part of the process.
So after the “scrubbing” is complete, it would be possible for a Florida team to be moved into the field. And that now brings us to my final two teams in, NC State and Indiana.
These two are on my bracket today in the play-in game. But over the next two days I will spend a great deal of time on the bubble teams – and especially these two.
What makes Indiana and NC State so difficult to place is their unusual resumes. Indiana has four top 25 wins, which would usually be good enough to earn you a spot in the dance. But with a 17-15 record, one could easily see the committee leaving them out. Only two teams have been at-large selections with 15 losses. In both cases the teams had 19 wins. And the Hoosiers’ non-conference strength of schedule, which is ranked in the lower half of all teams, is concerning.
NC State has won enough games with a record of 22-11. But the problem is their strength of schedule both in and out of conference. The Wolfpack have the worst non con SOS in the country. And with the unbalanced conference schedule they avoided playing the tougher teams in their league twice, resulting in an overall SOS ranking of 169.
This debate may not even need to happen if we have some bid stealing which is very possible. But for now I will leave them in the field and get back to you tomorrow.
I will update the bracket again after Friday’s games. Follow me on twitter @tkbrackets. Look for my Bracket Bits daily to keep you updated on the bracket.
LAST FOUR IN
Alabama, St. John’s, NC State, Indiana
FIRST FOUR OUT
UNC-Greensboro, Florida, Belmont, Texas
NEXT FOUR OUT
Furman, Xavier, Memphis, Oregon
CONFERENCES WITH MULTIPLE BIDS
Big Ten (9)
Big 12 (7)
Big East (4)
Mountain West (2)