Duke and Memphis LOCKED their spots last week. I come bearing Lockbox-shaped gifts for these teams:
North Carolina, Kansas, Texas, UConn, Georgetown, Louisville, UCLA, Tennessee
These teams have done enough even if they lost their last few games.
A few other teams are pretty close (Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Xavier, Notre Dame, Butler, Washington State, St. Mary's). A win or two will do it for these teams.
Also, I made slight adjustment in who's IN/OUT. With Syracuse's loss this week, I put South Alabama IN for the Orange.
The Bubble by the Numbers
--31 Automatic Bids. That number will not change this season.
--34 At-Large Bids. That also is a static number.
--10 teams have LOCKED their spots.
--15 other teams are in fantastic shape. They are listed as "virtual locks" in lower case black font in the Lockbox. Ten of the LOCKS or virtual locks are conference leaders. That means that fifteen At-Large bids are spoken for at this point. It is hard to imagine any of these teams missing even with a few games to go. This could change (I'm looking at you, Drake!), but most if not all of these teams are not going anywhere.
--I have six teams listed in blue this week. One of those is a conference leader. With the "virtual locks" added to this group, that accounts for 21 At-Large bids that are not "bubble slots." Hence, 13 slots are up for grabs. The bottom is pretty rough and the Bubble is getting crowded. Some of this will sort out in the coming weeks.
--The Bubble Boys who made it in are in green and those left out are in red in the Lockbox.