Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bubble Stays at 11

I have made one switch in the Lockbox since Monday's bracket: Kansas State out, Georgia Tech in. Texas Tech is an interesting case, but I'll wait until Monday to do a thorough evaluation of their profile against the rest of the field.

The Bubble stayed at 11 this week, but we have our first LOCKS of the season. The invitations for these five teams are already in the mail:

Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Pitt, UCLA

Even if these teams lose out, they are IN. There are a host of teams that are just a win or two away. I expect this number to jump drastically next week.

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.
--24 teams are either LOCKED (all caps BLACK font) or look to be on track barring an apocalyptic event. They are listed as "virtual locks" in lower case black font in the Lockbox. Eleven of them are conference leaders. That means that 13 At-Large bids are virtual locks at this point. It is hard to imagine any of these teams missing at this juncture. This could change, but most if not all of these teams are not going anywhere.
--10 other teams look pretty safe, but need more validation. Those teams are listed in blue. That accounts for 23 At-Large bids that are not "bubble slots." Hence, 11 slots are up for grabs.
--The Bubble Boys who made it in are in green and those left out are in red in the Lockbox.

Last Night's GOI

--at Creighton 66, Northern Iowa 55. Jays finished strong to put away UNI and stay on track for an AL.
--Georgia Tech 63, at Florida State 57. The value of this road win cannot be overstated. It was GT's fatal flaw, and now they have a good one.
--at Iowa State 58, Oklahoma 51. This one set the Sooners back a good deal.
--at Michigan State 59, Michigan 44. Michigan has lost 5 of 6 and is fading out of the picture entirely.
--at Nebraska 74, Kansas State 63. K-State falls back in the back.
--Virginia Tech 81, at North Carolina 80. All but locked up VT and probably knocks UNC from a 1-seed for the time being.
--at Old Dominion 96, Hofstra 82. Monarchs continue to roll with their 8th straight win.
--at San Diego State 67, UNLV 52. Aztecs are peaking at the right time.
--at Tennessee 89, Kentucky 85. Vols looking like their old selves. UK now 3-7 vs Top 50 RPI.
--Texas Tech 77, at Texas A&M 75. Monster road win that stops a 5-game skid for TT.

Tonight's GOI
--Duke at Boston College. Devils find themselves in dire need of a "W."
--Long Beach at CS-Fullerton. A Titans win pulls them into a tie with the 49ers atop the Big West.
--Marquette at DePaul. Dangerous game for Marquette who is still in the mix for the BIg East title.
--Alabama at Florida. Big, albeit unlikely, opportunity for Tide.
--LSU at Mississippi. With Bama at Florida, Ole Miss has a good shot to take the SEC West lead tonight.
--Arkansas at Mississippi State. Two more SEC West teams scrapping for position.
--Maryland at NC State. Terps cannot afford losses of any kind.
--Indiana at Purdue. In-state rivalry alert! Good rivalry game with high stakes this year.
--George Washington at Saint Joseph's. Loser falls two games back of A-10 leaders.
--Washington State at Washington. In-state rivalry alert! Huskies can get back into the AL mix with a win.