Bubble Watch: Who's in, who's out hours before NCAA selection show
Surprising losses have clouded the selection picture leading up to Sunday night
Texas and California will likely make the cut, despite relatively lackluster profiles
A blown lead against Xavier may have booted Dayton from NCAA consideration
In this, the craziest of all bubble seasons, no one around the cutline is completely safe. This year, more than any other, you could see a slew of misses from national projections. Too many mediocre teams to fill too many available bracket slots mean it's anyone's guess what the committee will do. Here's my guess after the 1 p.m. games, where St. Bonaventure's nabbed the A-10 title and pushed an at-large team out of the field:
Texas (20-13, 9-9; RPI: 50, SOS: 18)
Pros: Four top-50 wins, no truly bad losses and, in a week where practically everyone fell flat, the Horns added to their profile.
Cons: Just four top-100 wins, a 4-11 mark against the top 50, just 5-10 away from home.
Skinny: In a weak bubble year, this should be more than good enough. Beating Iowa State for a second time added resume legitimacy and confirmation that they could play without Alexis Wangmene.
California (24-9, 13-5; RPI: 38, SOS: 86)
Pros: Nine top-100 wins, only one legitimately poor loss, scheduled decently out of conference, went 3-0 against two other best league rivals, including road wins at Washington and Oregon.
Cons: No top-50 wins, did not win the Pac-12 title after losing to Stanford on the final weekend.
Skinny: If the profile lacks top-end quality, at least it has some depth to it. Not terribly compelling, but likely enough to make the field.
Virginia (22-9, 9-7; RPI: 52, SOS: 85)
Pros: Marquee win over Michigan, did well against bubble competition with road wins at NC State (lost on neutral floor in ACC quarters), Oregon and LSU. Also beat Drexel on a neutral court.
Cons: Just 2-6 vs. top-50 and three losses outside the top 100, bad nonleague schedule, shorthanded due to injury.
Skinny: They're running on fumes, but probably have done enough to stay in the field. It was vitally important that they stayed ahead of Miami and NC State in the ACC pecking order.
Seton Hall (20-12, 8-10; RPI: 68, SOS: 49)
Pros: Three solid wins, what was a pretty decent profile before a really bad final week. Sixteen games against the top 100 (7-9 mark).
Cons: Losing to Rutgers, DePaul and then Louisville in the second round of the Big East left them vulnerable.
Skinny: The Pirates looked like they were in trouble until the rest of the bubblers fell flat after they were out. Now wins over Georgetown, UConn and VCU might be just enough.
BYU (23-8, 12-4; RPI: 45, SOS: 101)
Pros: No truly bad losses. Beat Gonzaga once in three tries. Twelve wins away from home. Conference commissioner Jamie Zaninovich is on the selection committee.
Cons: Just 1-6 vs. top 50, finished third in what could be a two-bid league, went 1-4 vs. the two best teams.
Skinny: This is a really thin profile. The best thing the Cougars have going is someone in the room to vouch for the league. If they're in, they're barely in.
Drexel (27-6, 16-2; RPI: 67, SOS: 213)
Pros: Won Colonial at 16-2, went 25-2 in final 27 games once Chris Fouch was healthy/not rusty. Looked very competitive in CAA final in Richmond against VCU. Yes, the eye test!
Cons: Very poor SOS, with the bottom of the CAA helping kill the compuer numbers. Only top 50 win was home to VCU. Three sub-100 losses.
Skinny: In a world where every bubble team is highly flawed, are you going to turn your nose up at a team that won so many games? If the committee likes them better than Iona, that's more wiggle room.
Marshall (20-13, 9-7; RPI: 48, SOS: 24)
Pros: Four top-50 wins (and six in the top 60), made CUSA final, HTH win over Iona, very strong nonconference SOS.
Cons: Just 12-13 vs. top 200, so lots of questionable losses.
Skinny: Two wins over Southern Miss, plus a win at Cincinnati and the pounding of Iona give the Herd more of a legit profile than anyone else in this spot. The committee rewards them for playing people.
North Carolina State (22-12, 9-7; RPI: 47, SOS: 25)
Pros: 9-6 road/neutral mark, scheduled decently, "eye test" down the stretch of the season.
Cons: 1-8 vs. top 50, just 6-10 vs top 100.
Skinny: Just a gut feeling that the committee will take the best looking team from some dreadful profiles.
Iona (25-7, 15-3; RPI: 41, SOS: 144)
Pros: 15 road/neutral wins, 5-3 top 100. Won MAAC at 15-3. Four top-100 nonconference wins. Have talent in Mike Glover, Scott Machado, Lamont Jones to play with NCAA-caliber teams.
Cons: No top 50 wins, two sub-200 losses in league play, disappointing semifinal loss in MAAC tournament.
Skinny: The Gaels spent all of December on the road, racking up decent wins. They have to hope the overall package makes the committee ignore several sloppy giveaway losses. Whether the committee prefers Drexel or Iona will be really interesting. Just missing right now.
South Florida (19-13, 12-6; RPI: 53, SOS: 28)
Pros: Went 12-6 Big East, played much better after Jawanza Poland's arrival, won at Louisville.
Cons: Fattened up on a soft Big East slate. Only 2-10 vs. top 50.
Skinny: The Bulls are hard to watch and their profile is equally hard to look at.
Dayton (20-12, 9-7; RPI: 80, SOS: 68)
Pros: Lots of solid wins, including four in the top 50.
Cons: Lots of foolish losses, bad computer numbers.
Skinny: Had the Flyers not blown a six-point lead with three minutes left against Xavier, they'd be in.
Others: Tennessee, Washington, Northwestern, Mississippi, Mississippi State