The season's first full Lockbox is up. For the uninitiated, this organizes teams by conference and is color-coded to reflect each team's "safety" in regards to the bracket. It is still early, and this is somewhat subjective, but the purpose here is get a sense of how many slots are truly up for grabs.
The Bubble by the Numbers
--31 Automatic Bids. That number will not change this season. Black italics means a team is the projected auto-bid for that conference.
--37 At-Large Bids (AL). That is also a static number.
--13 AL teams are listed in black (or are LOCKS). The black teams could miss in March, but it will take a total departure from what they have shown to this point.
--I have 12 other AL teams listed in blue, which means they are on their way, but have a bit more work to do. Some of them will solidify and some will slide onto to the Bubble or out of the bracket entirely. I think of these teams this way: if they win they games they "should," they will likely make it at this point.
--That means 25 AL slots are taken, leaving the Bubble at 13 at the moment. Generally, this number will shrink as we head toward Selection Sunday.. Bubble-IN teams are in green, Bubble-OUT teams are in red.