It has been a light season over here at the Bracketboard. This stems from my "basketball time budget" being spent on coaching Kindergarteners the basics of the game. It has been a total joy. That said, the weekend bracket building has hit a wall. There will be more time in March, but for now, I will simply do the things that I think add to the giant bracket conversation.
There are loads of good bracket projections out there, so I'll work on more TBB-specific projects. So, here is the first Lockbox of the year. I am basing who is IN/OUT on the Bracket Project's Matrix, which is a consensus of dozens of bracket projections from across the Web. Time permitting, I will build the One Stop Shop again as well (all 30 conference tourney brackets in one Excel workbook, updated multiple times daily during conference tourney season).
What does the Lockbox do? It lists all teams under consideration organized by conference and color-coded by level of security in the bracket (this is the subjective part). Mainly, it gives a picture of how big the Bubble is at any given time.
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.
--Currently, 16 AL teams are listed in black (or are LOCKS). LOCKS cannot miss, even if they lost out. There are none of those as of today, but there likely will be after this weekend. The black teams could miss in March, but it would take a monumental meltdown for them to miss.
--I have nine other AL teams listed in blue, which means they are on their way, but an unexpected loss could put them on the Bubble.
--That means 25 AL slots are taken, leaving the Bubble at 12 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.