Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lockbox Update 2/24

The Lockbox has been updated. Since Monday, the only big change was UConn IN, San Diego State OUT. A few other teams upgraded their status.

Remember, while bracket projections do not attempt to predict future results, the Lockbox does take future schedule into account. For example, Xavier is a virtual lock. Even if they lose to St. Louis and Richmond, they close with Fordham and UMass. So, unless a total meltodown occurs, they are going to get IN. Contrast that with Louisville, who lost last night and closes with a murderous stretch (starting with a home to loss to Georgetown last night). They stay on the Bubble right now.

There are a number of teams one win away from upgrading their status (looking at you, Villanova, West Virginia, Kansas State, Oklahoma State).

The Bubble by the Numbers

--31 Automatic Bids. That number will not change this season.
--34 At-Large Bids. That is also a static number.
--6 teams are LOCKS. There is no way they miss at this point.
--23 teams listed in black. The black teams could miss, but it would take a meltdown at this point.
--I have 5 other teams listed in blue, which means they are on their way, but have a bit more work to do. Of these 34 black and blue teams, 10 are conference leaders. That means 24 AL slots are taken, leaving the Bubble at 10. That's down one from last week and by Selection Sunday, it usually no more than four or five. Bubble-IN teams are in green, Bubble-OUT teams are in red.

Last Night's GOI
--at Florida 75, Tennessee 62. Convincing win for the Gators moves them off the Bubble. They could slide back onto it, but one more win plus one SEC Tourney win probably does the trick.
--Georgetown 70, at Louisville 60. Cards find themselves in a tough spot now. They close with roadies at UConn and Marquette (both desperate) and host a Syracuse team that will be highly motivated by Big East title/1-seed hopes and payback. Cards could easily close with four losses. They will need to win at least one and possibly two more games.
--Illinois 51, at Michigan 44. Illini get a roadie they had to have.

Tonight's GOI
--Texas A&M at Baylor. Both scratching for "protected seeds" in the NCAA Tourney.
--Virginia Tech at Boston College. Hokies can't afford a loss like this.
--San Diego State at BYU. Aztecs seem to live on the Bubble year to year. This would help loads.
--Saint Joseph's at Charlotte. Niners need this one badly. They close with two roadies and host Richmond and have already lost three straight.
--Clemson at Maryland. Tigers close with 3/4 on the road and this is the first.
--Purdue at Minnesota. DANGEROUS game for the Boilers. Gophers can get right in the mix with a win.
--Pitt at Notre Dame. Irish need a big, big finish.
--Xavier at St. Louis. Billikens have won 6 straight including three roadies and home wins over Dayton and Rhode Island.
--Marquette at St. John's. Eagles need to win a couple more, and a win here insures a .500 Big East record.
--Dayton at Temple. Flyers could do themselves a lot of good here with a big home win.
--Oklahoma State at Texas. Cowboys probably move off the Bubble with a win.
--South Florida at Villanova. Long shot, but the Bulls need a monster finish.