Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lockbox Update 2/10

The Lockbox has been updated and the Bubble still stands at a healthy 13 slots. This is a good time to clarify how my bracket projections differ from the Lockbox. The bracket is based upon results as of today (or the day the bracket was created). The Lockbox looks at that, plus the remaining schedule.

For example, I believe UCLA is a near lock to make the tourney. They are 7-1 in their last eight games, have nice wins over BYU and St. John's OOC, and haven't lost to any terrible Pac-10 teams to this point. This does not mean that can't miss (near lock, not LOCK), but it would take a severe turn for the worse given where they are and what they have left. On the other hand, Vanderbilt has a better overall profile than UCLA, but are 4-4 in league and have demonstrated that they can lose to bad SEC teams (South Carolina, Arkansas). Further, their division is a meat grinder, and the 'Dores have lots of heavy lifting left (Kentucky twice, Florida, red hot Alabama, at Georgia). They still have work to do even though if the season ended today, they would likely garner a higher seed than UCLA.

Hence, some teams with weaker profiles than a team like Vandy are listed as near locks, while teams like Vandy or Cincinnati are not.

Multi-Bid Conferences
Big East (10): Pitt, Notre Dame, Villanova, UConn, Syracuse, West Virginia, Georgetown, Louisville, Cincinnati, St. John's
Big 12 (6): Texas, Kansas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Kansas State
SEC (6): Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Georgia
Big Ten (5): Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota
ACC (5): Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Boston College, Virginia Tech
Mountain West (4): San Diego State, BYU, UNLV, Colorado State
CUSA (3): UTEP, Memphis, UAB
Pac 10 (3): , Arizona, UCLA, Washington
Atlantic 10 (3): Xavier, Temple, Richmond
Colonial (2): George Mason, Old Dominion

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.
--No teams are LOCKS at this point, though that will change in a couple of weeks.
--20 AL teams are listed in black. The black teams could miss, but it would take a meltdown at this point.
--I have 4 other AL teams listed in blue, which means they are on their way, but have a bit more work to do. That means 24 AL slots are taken, leaving the Bubble at 13 at the moment. Bubble-IN teams are in green, Bubble-OUT teams are in red.