PSN College Basketball Bubble Report

With just 3 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 latest College Basketball Bid Report.

And for daily conference tournament previews don’t forget to check out our college hoops partner over at CollegeHoopsDaily.

1 ACC

Syracuse (18-14, 10-8)

RPI…86

SOS…55

Vs. Top 50…6-8

Vs. Top 100…8-9

Road…2-8

Neutral…0-3

Key wins…Duke, Florida State, Virginia and Wake Forest.

Key losses…Boston College, Georgetown and St. John’s.

Trending…2-2, L4.

Next game…None.

Final analysis…The Orange made it tough on themselves by losing to Miami and now they have a long wait ahead. This bid will come down to whether the committee puts more stock into stats over reason. The stats work against the Cuse with what would become a historically poor RPI for an at-large, including five losses outside the top-100 and 14 losses. If other bubble teams keep winning and if a bid is stolen by a team like Indiana or TCU then their bid probably spells NIT instead of NCAA.

2 Big 12

Kansas State (20-12, 8-10)

RPI…55

SOS…42

Vs. Top 50…4-8

Vs. Top 100…6-10

Road…6-6

Neutral…2-1

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

Key losses…Tennessee.

Trending…Won three straight.

Next game…West Virginia.

Final analysis…Beating Baylor for a second time and hitting 20-wins in the second best conference in the nation should be good enough for the late bid.

TCU (19-14, 6-12)

RPI…64

SOS…29

Vs. Top 50…2-10

Vs. Top 100…3-11

Road…3-8

Neutral…3-0

Key wins…Illinois State, Iowa State (split), Kansas (split) and Kansas State (split).

Key losses…Auburn.

Trending…Won two straight.

Next game…Iowa State.

Final analysis…It will take more than one win over Kansas to get in. The Frogs might have to earn the automatic bid, but if they can beat the Cyclones today their at-large chances are very much in play.

4 Big 10

Indiana (18-14, 7-11)

RPI…76

SOS…36

Vs. Top 50…3-10

Vs. Top 100…8-12

Road…2-8

Neutral…2-2

Key wins…Kansas, Michigan State and North Carolina.

Key losses…Fort Wayne.

Trending…Won three of last four.

Next game…Wisconsin.

Final analysis…Like TCU the Hoosiers can’t be taken seriously unless they play in the championship game. But they are more equipped to earn an at-large if they get there.

Iowa (18-14, 10-8)

RPI…79

SOS…47

Vs. Top 50…5-7

Vs. Top 100…8-10

Road…3-7

Neutral…1-3

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

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

Trending…Won four of last five.

Next game…None.

Final analysis…The Hawkeyes are not out, but they’ll need a lot of luck and it doesn’t look good. You just can’t lose must-win games by 22.

5 SEC

Georgia (19-13, 9-9)

RPI…50

SOS…17

Vs. Top 50…1-8

Vs. Top 100…7-12

Road…5-7

Neutral…2-1

Key wins…Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt.

Key losses…Marquette.

Trending…Won six of last eight.

Next game…Kentucky.

Final analysis…The true definition of a bubble team. If they upset the Wildcats today they should be in.

Vanderbilt (18-14, 10-8)

RPI…43

SOS…2

Vs. Top 50…5-7

Vs. Top 100…9-13

Road…5-6

Neutral…2-3

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

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

Trending…Won six of last seven.

Next game…Florida.

Final analysis…The only detail that keeps me from locking them in are the number of losses. But I really can’t see the Commodores being denied now.

6 Pac 12

California (21-11, 10-8)

RPI…54

SOS…54

Vs. Top 50…1-7

Vs. Top 100…5-10

Road…3-6

Neutral…3-2

Key wins…Princeton and USC.

Key losses…Seton Hall.

Trending…Won two straight.

Next game…Oregon.

Final analysis…By beating Utah the Bears are now in better shape, but I just don’t like their resume since they have no big wins. If they can upset the Ducks today though they’re in.

USC (24-9, 10-8)

RPI…42

SOS…70

Vs. Top 50…2-5

Vs. Top 100…6-7

Road…6-5

Neutral…4-1

Key wins…SMU and UCLA (split).

Key losses…California.

Trending…Won three of last four.

Next game…None.

Final analysis…If the Trojans had beaten California on January 8th this would have been a much easier decision for both teams. I do like the fact that USC has two quality wins and a solid away from home record that should barely get them in.

8 Atlantic 10

Rhode Island (21-9, 13-5)

RPI…45

SOS…63

Vs. Top 50…2-4

Vs. Top 100…5-7

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.

Next game…St. Bonaventure.

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 today they’re out.

10 Mountain West

Nevada (26-6, 14-4)

RPI…34

SOS…121

Vs. Top 50…0-1

Vs. Top 100…7-3

Road…8-4

Neutral…5-1

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

Key losses…Fresno State (swept).

Trending…Won seven straight.

Next game…Fresno State.

Final analysis…One more win and the Wolfpack will deserve a true debate.

12 Missouri Valley

Illinois State (27-6, 17-1)

RPI…32

SOS…122

Vs. Top 50…1-2

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 (28-4, 17-1)

RPI…35

SOS…152

Vs. Top 50…2-1

Vs. Top 100…4-1

Road…11-2

Neutral…4-0

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

Key losses…Georgia State, Tennessee State and UTEP.

Trending…Won 18 of last 19.

Next game…UTEP.

Final analysis…The Blue Raiders face a confident hot Miners squad today that could keep them from dancing if they lose because of their low RPI. All bubble teams across the nation are rooting hard for the Raiders to win the C-USA.

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