Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bubble Boy Breakdown

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.
--14 teams are in fantastic shape. They are listed as "virtual locks" in lower case black font in the Lockbox. Nine of them are conference leaders. That means that five At-Large bids are virtual locks at this point. It is hard to imagine any of these teams missing even at this early stage. This could change, but most if not all of these teams are not going anywhere.
--We saw a HUGE movement both from the top and bottom toward the middle this week--the teams that look pretty safe, but need more validation. I have 21 of those listed and I'm positive that is the most teams that I have ever listed in blue. One of those is a conference leader. With the "virtual locks" added to this group, that accounts for 25 At-Large bids that are not "bubble slots." Hence, 9 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 Arkansas 78, Mississippi State 58. Hogs cool the Dogs real proper-like.
--at Dayton 63, St. Louis 36. This one was, how do you say...not close.
--at Drake 75, Creighton 65. Drake is now THREE games clear of the field in the Valley. This race is nearly over.
--UMass 94, at Duquesne 80. Dukes are much-improved and dangerous, but not ready for the top of the A-10 this year.
--Memphis 89, at Houston 77. Tigers are the only team left with a bagel in the loss column...
--at Kansas State 84, Kansas 75. Because KU fell in Manhattan in historic fashion.
--Rider 79, at Marist 65. Meet your new MAAC favorites.
--at Mississippi 74, Vanderbilt 58. 'Dores are going all 2007 Clemson on us.
--at Pittsburgh 69, Villanova 57. In case there was any doubt, Nova is not an NCAA team at this point.
--Seton Hall 84, at Rutgers 71 (OT). But, the SHU IS an NCAA team at this point.
Tonight's GOI
--Murray State at Austin Peay. OVC throwdown to determine first place.
--GA Southern at Chattanooga. Two of your top 4 SoCon teams.
--NC State at Duke. Pack needs a quality win badly.
--Boston College at North Carolina. Ditto BC.
--South Alabama at North Texas. USA is blemish free in the Belt and 15-3 overall, but NT is 8-1 at home.
--Providence at Notre Dame. Two of the fat middle of the Big East. ND can separate toward the top a bit with a win.
--Arizona at Southern Cal. Both have been hot of late.
--Arizona State at UCLA. Devils need to stop the bleeding of a 3-game losing streak.
--Indiana at Wisconsin. IU is still looking for that signature win.