Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Lockbox is up.

Four teams are LOCKs today. These teams could lose out and still get in:

North Carolina, Oklahoma, UConn, Pitt

Duh. The point here is that TBB doesn't take LOCKS lightly.

Other notes:
--Texas and Minnesota were downgraded from "near lock" or "projected in."
--South Carolina was downgraded to "bubble-IN" though it was mostly circumstantial and not because they lost.
--Xavier was upgraded to "near lock."

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.
--25 teams are listed in black. They could miss, of course, but at this stage it would be very surprising if they did. It would take a real meltdown to miss at this stage.
--I have 8 other teams listed in blue this week, which means if they win the games they "should" win (based on RPI, Pomeroy ratings, performance to this point), they should be fine. I am not predicting anything and I realize that this is a nebulous designation, but I am looking at what they have done to this point. Of these 33 black and blue teams, 10 are conference leaders. That means 23 at-large slots look fairly secure at this stage.
--Hence, the Bubble stands at 11 slots right now. That's down one from last week. This will shrink (with fluctuation, of course) over the coming weeks, and on Selection Sunday it is usually no more than four or five. Teams in green are Bubble-IN and those in red are Bubble-OUT.

Last Night's GOI

--at BYU 73, New Mexico 62. Cougars strengthen their profile a bit. Lobos are a real long shot now.
--at Clemson 93, Maryland 64. A terrifying second half run crunched the Turtles. MD has UNC and Duke at home in their next two games.
--at Purdue 72, Michigan State 54. A most impressive win by the Boilers keeps them withing a game of Sparty.
--at Vanderbilt 77, Kentucky 64. UK looks to be a classic Bubble team.

Tonight's GOI
--LSU at Arkansas. Tigers need to keep winning due to their appalling non-conference slate.
--Miami-FL at Florida State. Canes have played pretty well, but have lost a lot of close ones. They cannot afford to fall to 4-8 in ACC play.
--Penn State at Illinois. Lions need to land a couple of big fish coming home to keep hope alive.
--Providence at Louisville. Friars are very much alive, but they have to collect some brass to be a viable AL team.
--Tennessee at Mississippi. Vols last at Auburn last time out on the road.
--South Carolina at Mississippi State. Gamecocks have little margin for error.
--Oklahoma State at Texas Tech. Cowboys cannot afford to lose a game like this.
--Virginia Tech at Virginia. Dangerous in-state rivalry game for Bubblish Hokies.
--Notre Dame at West Virginia. Irish need it badly.