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Thursday, March 10, 2011

We're getting to the stage where every win shifts the bubble.  Butler's win in the Horizon League championship game was great news to all the teams on the bubble as it "expanded" the field by one team (I was leaving open the possibility the Horizon League could get two bids had Butler failed to win).
Other notes:
  • Villanova's epic collapse shouldn't cost them a spot in the tournament but they are no longer in "lock" territory.  It's likely they'll return in a couple of days after the bubble becomes more clear.
  • The bubble is rooting for Utah St. and UAB to come away with conference championships.
  • Harvard and Princeton play a winner-take-all game this Saturday for Ivy representation.
  • If New Mexico were to beat BYU for a third time they would likely re-enter the bubble discussion.
  • Baylor's bubble has nearly popped and Nebraska is now definitely out.

Automatic Bids (13 + 9 one bid-conferences TBD)
America East: TBD
Atlantic Sun: Belmont
Big Sky: Nothern Colorado
Big South: UNC-Asheville
Big West: TBD
Colonial: Old Dominion
Horizon: Butler
Ivy: TBD
MAAC: St. Peter's
Missouri Valley: Indiana St.
Northeast: Long Island
Ohio Valley: Morehead St.
Patriot: TBD
Southern: Wofford
Southland: TBD
Summit: Oakland
Sun Belt: Arkansas Little-Rock
West Coast: Gonzaga

Locks (33)
Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John's, Syracuse, West Virginia, Kansas, Kansas St., Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, Ohio St., Purdue, Wisconsin, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Duke, Florida St., North Carolina, Arizona, UCLA, BYU, San Diego St., UNLV, George Mason, Temple, Xavier, Utah St.

Should Be In (4)
Illinois, Marquette, Villanova, Washington

Bubble (9 spots to fill)
Alabama, Baylor, Boston College, Clemson, Colorado, Georgia, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan St., Richmond, UAB, USC, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, Washington St., Missouri St., Wichita St., St. Mary's

Ranking the Bubble (first 9 are in):
  1. St. Mary's
  2. Michigan
  3. Richmond
  4. UAB
  5. Michigan St.
  6. Colorado
  7. Virginia Tech
  8. Boston College
  9. Alabama
  10. Georgia
  11. Missouri St.
  12. Clemson
  13. USC
  14. Washington St.
  15. VCU
  16. Baylor
  17. Memphis
  18. Wichita St.
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