PSN College Basketball Bubble Report

With just 6 days remaining until Selection Sunday (March 12th), here are the latest stats and analysis for our top bubble teams in contention for the ‘Field of 68’ in next month’s D1 College Basketball Tournament.

By Greg DePalma, PSN Executive Producer

Each team is listed in order of their conference RPI.

For a complete breakdown on the teams we believe will qualify for at-large bids from every conference tune in to The Sports Section or check out our weekly College Basketball Bid Report.

And to get every conference tournament schedule check out our college hoops partner over at CollegeHoopsDaily.

1 ACC

Georgia Tech (17-14, 8-10)

RPI…94

SOS…50

Vs. Top 50…4-7

Vs. Top 100…7-12

Road…2-10

Neutral…0-0

Key wins…Florida State, North Carolina, Notre Dame (split) and VCU.

Key losses…Georgia, Tennessee and Wake Forest.

Trending…Lost three of last four.

This week…Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Final analysis…The Jackets will have to get to the ACC Tournament semifinals for a shot at a bid.

Wake Forest (18-12, 9-9)

RPI…32

SOS…11

Vs. Top 50…3-9

Vs. Top 100…9-12

Road…6-8

Neutral…1-1

Key wins…Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami and Virginia Tech.

Key losses…Clemson (swept).

Trending…Won three straight.

This week…Boston College on Tuesday.

Final analysis…The Deacons resume looks much better now thanks to two big wins last week. As long as they don’t lose to Boston College tomorrow they are going dancing.

2 Big 12

Kansas State (19-12, 8-10)

RPI…58

SOS…53

Vs. Top 50…3-8

Vs. Top 100…5-10

Road…6-6

Neutral…1-1

Key wins…Baylor (split) and West Virginia (split).

Key losses…Tennessee.

Trending…Won two straight.

This week…Baylor on Thursday.

Final analysis…If the Wildcats can beat Baylor and make the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament they’ll have a legitimate shot at getting in. If they lose, they need help.

3 Big East

Marquette (19-11, 10-8)

RPI…55

SOS…46

Vs. Top 50…7-6

Vs. Top 100…10-10

Road…4-6

Neutral…1-2

Key wins…Creighton (swept), Georgia, Vanderbilt, Villanova (split) and Xavier (swept).

Key losses…Michigan and Providence (swept).

Trending…Won four of last five.

This week…Seton Hall on Thursday.

Final analysis…The Eagles have to be close to a lock now that they’ve split with mighty Villanova and swept both Creighton and Xavier.

Providence (20-11, 10-8)

RPI…52

SOS…45

Vs. Top 50…6-7

Vs. Top 100…10-8

Road…4-7

Neutral…1-1

Key wins…Butler (split), Creighton (split), Marquette (swept), Rhode Island and Xavier (split).

Key losses…Boston College and DePaul.

Trending…Won six straight.

This week…Creighton on Thursday.

Final analysis…The Friars should also be locked-in after ending the regular season with six straight wins and beating every significant Big East team except for Villanova.

Seton Hall (20-10, 10-8)

RPI…43

SOS…50

Vs. Top 50…4-6

Vs. Top 100…10-9

Road…4-6

Neutral…4-2

Key wins…Butler (split), California, Creighton (split), Iowa, South Carolina and Xavier (split).

Key losses…St. John’s (split).

Trending…Won four straight.

This week…Marquette on Thursday.

Final analysis…Their win at Butler on Saturday should be the clincher.

Xavier (19-12, 9-9)

RPI…34

SOS…10

Vs. Top 50…3-8

Vs. Top 100…8-11

Road…4-8

Neutral…3-0

Key wins…Creighton (split), Utah and Wake Forest.

Key losses…Cincinnati and Marquette (swept).

Trending…Lost six of last seven.

This week…DePaul on Wednesday.

Final analysis…Edmond Sumner’s injury has devastated the Musketeers national championship chances. But the resume still stands above many other bubble teams and unless they lose to DePaul I can’t imagine they’ll be left out.

4 Big 10

Illinois (18-13, 8-10)

RPI…57

SOS…23

Vs. Top 50…5-8

Vs. Top 100…11-12

Road…3-6

Neutral…3-2

Key wins…BYU, Iowa (swept), Michigan State, Northwestern (swept) and VCU.

Key losses…Indiana, Penn State (swept), Rutgers and Winthrop.

Trending…Won five of last seven.

This week…Michigan on Thursday.

Final analysis…After finally making the true bubble list the Illini messed it all up with a road loss at Rutgers. They still have a shot though after sweeping both Iowa and Northwestern and beating the Spartans in their only match-up of the season. If they beat Michigan on Thursday they might just get in. If they can get to the Big 10 semifinals they will get in.

Iowa (18-13, 10-8)

RPI…72

SOS…47

Vs. Top 50…5-8

Vs. Top 100…8-11

Road…3-7

Neutral…1-2

Key wins…Indiana, Iowa State, Maryland (split), Michigan, Purdue (spilt) and Wisconsin.

Key losses…Illinois (swept), Omaha and Seton Hall.

Trending…Won four straight.

This week…Indiana on Thursday.

Final analysis…Beating two of the top three Big 10 teams on the road as part of their season-ending four game win streak should put the Hawkeyes in good ‘bubble’ standing. But if they lose to Indiana on Thursday they’ll be in big trouble.

5 SEC

Georgia (18-13, 9-9)

RPI…53

SOS…16

Vs. Top 50…1-8

Vs. Top 100…8-12

Road…5-7

Neutral…1-1

Key wins…Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt.

Key losses…Florida (swept), Kentucky (swept), Marquette and South Carolina (swept).

Trending…Won five of last seven.

This week…Tennessee on Thursday.

Final analysis…Yante Maten’s late season knee injury could ultimately derail the Bulldogs tournament chances. But if they can beat the Volunteers they’ll get a third shot at Kentucky on Friday. A win over the Wildcats would have to get them in. Right?

Vanderbilt (17-14, 10-8)

RPI…44

SOS…2

Vs. Top 50…5-7

Vs. Top 100…10-13

Road…5-6

Neutral…1-3

Key wins…Florida (swept), Iowa State and South Carolina.

Key losses…Alabama, Bucknell, Georgia, Marquette, Middle Tennessee and Missouri.

Trending…Won five of last six.

This week…Texas A&M on Thursday.

Final analysis…The Commodores nearly ended the regular season with consecutive wins over the top two teams in the SEC. The good news is they swept the Gators. The bad news is unless they win the SEC Tournament they’ll have to become the first ever at-large team to ever receive a bid with 15 losses. I’m optimistic though that if they can win for a third time over Florida on their way to the semifinals they might just get that historical bid.

6 Pac 12

California (19-11, 10-8)

RPI…56

SOS…41

Vs. Top 50…1-7

Vs. Top 100…4-9

Road…3-6

Neutral…1-2

Key wins…Princeton and USC.

Key losses…Arizona (swept), Oregon (swept), Seton Hall and UCLA.

Trending…Lost five of last six.

This week…Oregon State on Wednesday.

Final analysis…The Bears are in big trouble and will need to beat Utah on Thursday, which is now probably a ‘bubble’ elimination game, just to get back in contention.

USC (23-8, 10-8)

RPI…39

SOS…73

Vs. Top 50…2-5

Vs. Top 100…5-7

Road…6-5

Neutral…3-0

Key wins…BYU, SMU and UCLA (split).

Key losses…California and Utah.

Trending…Won two straight.

This week…Washington on Wednesday.

Final analysis…By no means are the Trojans a lock and since they only have one more chance to beat a quality team they might need help. But if they do end up beating UCLA on Thursday for a second time this season it should certainly seal the deal. Whatever you do SC, don’t lose on Wednesday though.

Utah (20-10, 11-7)

RPI…73

SOS…97

Vs. Top 50…1-6

Vs. Top 100…3-9

Road…5-6

Neutral…1-1

Key wins…USC.

Key losses…Oregon State and Xavier.

Trending…Won three straight.

This week…California/Oregon State winner on Thursday.

Final analysis…Even though the Utes have a bye in the Pac 12 Tournament they’re still behind USC. It will probably take a win over Oregon in the semifinals to have a real shot.

8 Atlantic 10

Rhode Island (21-9, 13-5)

RPI…42

SOS…64

Vs. Top 50…2-3

Vs. Top 100…4-7

Road…7-5

Neutral…1-1

Key wins…Cincinnati and VCU.

Key losses…Fordham, Houston, Providence, Richmond and Valparaiso.

Trending…Won five straight and nine of last eleven.

This week…St. Bonaventure/St. Joe’s/UMass winner on Friday.

Final analysis…If the Rams face and beat Dayton on Saturday in the A-10 semifinals then they’ll probably get in. If they lose on Friday they’re out.

9 West Coast

BYU (22-10, 12-6)

RPI…63

SOS…93

Vs. Top 50…1-4

Vs. Top 100…5-6

Road…5-4

Neutral…3-3

Key wins…Gonzaga (split) and Princeton.

Key losses…Illinois, Pepperdine (split), San Diego (split), USC, Utah Valley and Valparaiso.

Trending…Won five of last six.

This week…St. Mary’s tonight.

Final analysis…If the Cougars upset the Gaels tonight they’ll have a shot, but even then they still need help.

10 Mountain West

Nevada (25-6, 14-4)

RPI…36

SOS…119

Vs. Top 50…0-1

Vs. Top 100…6-3

Road…8-4

Neutral…4-1

Key wins…Boise State (swept) and Colorado State.

Key losses…Fresno State (swept).

Trending…Won six straight.

This week…San Jose State/Utah State winner on Thursday.

Final analysis…I’ve been saying it for weeks and I’m still confident about the Wolfpack’s chances for getting an at-large if they play in the MWC Championship game. That would put their win total at 27 along with a solid RPI while playing in the 10th best RPI league in the nation. Of course they’ll still need help, but at least they’ll be in the discussion. Facing Fresno State in the semifinals though could be their undoing.

11 Colonial

UNC Wilmington (28-5, 15-3)

RPI…31

SOS…137

Vs. Top 50…0-1

Vs. Top 100…5-3

Road…11-3

Neutral…4-1

Key wins…East Tennessee State and St. Bonaventure.

Key losses…Clemson and Middle Tennessee.

Trending…Won six straight and eight of last nine.

This week…Charleston tonight.

Final analysis…If the Seahawks win tonight they get the auto bid, but if they lose they’ll be forced to wait it out all week and their chances are not good. They do have a solid RPI though with 28 wins.

12 Missouri Valley

Illinois State (27-6, 17-1)

RPI…30

SOS…124

Vs. Top 50…1-1

Vs. Top 100…2-3

Road…9-4

Neutral…3-2

Key wins…Wichita State (split).

Key losses…Murray State and TCU.

Trending…Won 20 of last 22.

Final analysis…If you take Wichita State out of their schedule the Redbirds have won 19 straight games from the 12th best RPI conference in the land. My main issue has more to do with the manner in which they’ve dropped their two games (by a combined 61 points) against the Shockers than anything else. Of course the lack of RPI top-100 wins is also a big issue. I won’t rule them out completely, but they’re going to need help now.

23 Conference USA

Middle Tennessee (27-4, 17-1)

RPI…29

SOS…148

Vs. Top 50…2-1

Vs. Top 100…4-1

Road…11-2

Neutral…3-0

Key wins…Ole Miss, UNC-Wilmington and Vanderbilt.

Key losses…Georgia State, Tennessee State and UTEP.

Trending…Won 17 of last 18.

This week…UTSA/W Kentucky winner on Thursday.

Final analysis…While it’s true the Blue Raiders can be a legitimate bracket buster team if they get to the ‘Big Dance’ the schedule rank and conference RPI is an issue. You also don’t want to lose in the C-USA Tournament with everyone watching and everything on the line. This is the type of mid-major team that always sparks Selection Sunday debates.

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