2014 FIBA Women's World Basketball Championship Live Scores


Bubble Wrap 2013: Final wrap

Contributor
March 15, 2013 - 3:05am
With Selection Monday just four days away, 23 teams are left on the bubble, vying for between 10 and 12 at-large bids that have not already been locked up. Who will have cheers -- and who will have tears -- when the brackets are announced? (Photo courtesy istockphoto.com)

With Selection Monday just four days away, 23 teams are left on the bubble, vying for between 10 and 12 at-large bids that have not already been locked up. Who will have cheers -- and who will have tears -- when the brackets are announced? (Photo courtesy istockphoto.com)

Here's the final Bubble Wrap for this season, reflecting the results of the six power-conference tournaments and leaving several on-the-fringe NCAA teams cheering for a few outcomes in some other league tourneys.

To date, just shy of a dozen of our previously identified locks or bubble teams -- Duke (ACC), Notre Dame (Big East), Purdue (Big Ten), Baylor (Big XII), Marist (Metro Atlantic), Stanford (Pac-12), Texas A&M (SEC), Chattanooga (Southern), South Dakota State (Summit League), Middle Tennessee State (Sun Belt) and Gonzaga (West Coast) -- have nailed down their conferences' automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments. Princeton had already rounded the number of bubbles and locks with automatic bids up to 12 by winning the Ivy League's regular-season championship. (Elsewhere, though, Stetson, previously considered to have fallen out of the running for an at-large berth, took the conference tournament title in the Atlantic Sun, leaving Florida Gulf Coast, who had nearly run the table with a 20-1 in-conference record, still on the bubble.)

Through last week's wrap, the number of teams with records solid enough to lock up an at-large bid to this year's NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament had slowly grown from 25 in mid-February when we began our analysis, to 29. With the shift of 12 teams from locks to automatic bids, we now see just 23 teams remaining as at-large locks, regardless the results of their conference tournaments. Those locks continue to be spread over eight conferences -- the Atlantic 10 (one lock), the Atlantic Coast Conference (three locks), the BIG EAST (three locks), the Big Ten (four locks), the Big XII (three locks), the Colonial Athletic Association (one lock), the Pac-12 (three locks) and the Southeastern Conference (five locks).

Meanwhile, the number of teams still "on the bubble" has continued to dwindle from the 45 bubble teams identified in our opening Bubble Wrap of the season to 28 last week and now to 23 in this week's Final Wrap (though the chances of even some of those are quite bleak, as you'll see below), as some programs have simply failed to get the job done down the stretch.

The high number of teams previously identified as locks or bubbles who have won their conference's automatic bids is good news for those remaining teams on the bubble. If you'll recall, we had added back eight at-large berths into our previous estimates of available at-large bids to account for the likelihood that at least some of the conference championships would be won by our locks, freeing up their locked-up berths for bubble teams elsewhere. As noted above, however, the number of locks winning tournament championships was even higher, making even more at-large berths than previously estimated available.

We currently estimate that the remaining 23 bubble teams are vying for between 10 and 12 available at-large spots. With Selection Monday just four days away,that means roughly half the teams with cases to make will have cheers -- and the other half tears -- when the results are announced on the annual Selection Show, slated to air on ESPN at 7 p.m. Eastern this coming Monday. Who are those teams and what are their cases? Read on.

ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE
LOCKS
Dayton
DAYTON

27-2/15-1

(RPI 14)
ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Saint Joseph’s ST. JOSEPH’S
CONFERENCE A10
RECORDS  
OVERALL 22-8
CONFERENCE ONLY 13-3
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 36
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 53
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 12-4
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 8-3
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 4-4
BEST WINS Maryland (50-49); n.Dayton (61-54)
WORST LOSSES n.Central Michigan (84-98)
REMAINING GAMES Fordham in A-10 championship final in Brooklyn, N.Y. (3/16)

Outlook: Nearly four months after the Hawks' eye-opening win over Maryland, Saint Joe’s pulled off something no other A-10 team had done this year: Beat Dayton. That landmark win came in the conference tourney semis Sunday. (Important note: The victory came at home in Hagan Arena.) Before that, the only other Top-100 wins for the Hawks were @Drexel (47-45) and a sweep of Duquesne, in both the regular season @Duquesne (69-68, OT) and in the A-10 quarterfinal (73-60), again at home. The Hawks would like revenge in the conference tournament final against the win-or-WNIT Rams (24-7/14-2/RPI 60), who have only three Top-100 wins on their resume.) The Hawks will have to wait until Saturday, for that rematch in Brooklyn, but a victory, while essential for Fordham, probably isn't necessary now for the Hawks. Pencil in St. Joseph's as the first team that other bubble teams will be cheering for this coming weekend.

Charlotte CHARLOTTE
CONFERENCE A10
RECORDS  
OVERALL 24-5
CONFERENCE ONLY 13-2
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 54
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 144
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 12-3
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 9-1
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 2-2
BEST WINS Duquesne (63-54); @Saint Joseph’s (71-66)
WORST LOSSES n.Temple (47-48)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: The 49ers picked a bad time to see their 13-game winning streak end, to Temple in the A-10 quarters by one point in a tight game from tip to buzzer. Now Charlotte (who, remember, didn't play Dayton) has to be really nervous, and will certainly root for Saint Joe’s to take the conference title Saturday, thereby earning the A-10’s automatic bid and leaving an at-large berth free for those with lesser resume´s. Charlotte's Charlotte's out-of-conference losses include Florida State (a 54-70 blowout), Kansas State at home (63-67) and Toledo (66-76) in a holiday tourney on a neutral floor; their best pre-A10 win was over Florida Gulf Coast (79-60) at home.

Duquesne DUQUESNE
CONFERENCE A10
RECORDS  
OVERALL 23-7
CONFERENCE ONLY 12-4
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 41
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 78
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 11-5
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 6-4
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 1-5
BEST WINS Delaware (51-47); @West Virginia (62-54)
WORST LOSSES Miami-Ohio (49-54)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: Duquesne’s fall to the Hawks (60-73) in the quarterfinal was the first move (before the win over Dayton) in Saint Joseph's resume´-enhancing two-step at the A-10 tourney last weekend. The loss leaves the Dukes looking rather “iffy,” since the Delaware win looks good but is misleading (as is that RPI) because Elena Delle Donne was out of the picture at the time, and there was and there was a rematch in a Dartmouth tourney won by Del-leDonne-ware by 15 (60-45). Duquesne tested itself well otherwise out-of-conference, losing by just four points @North Carolina (58-62) and winning @West Virginia (62-54).

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Duke
DUKE

30-2/20-1 (RPI 5)
LOCKS
North Carolina
NORTH CAROLINA

28-6/16-5 (RPI 15)
Maryland Florida State
MARYLAND

24-7/15-5 (RPI 12)
FLORIDA STATE

22-9/12-8 (RPI 20)
ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Miami MIAMI
CONFERENCE ACC
RECORDS  
OVERALL 22-10
CONFERENCE ONLY 12-8
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 50
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 58
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 6-7
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 7-3
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 2-7
BEST WINS Penn State (69-65); Duke (69-65)
WORST LOSSES @Virginia (52-62)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: Despite the loss of point guard Chelsea Gray for the remainder of the season, Duke sewed up the ACC Tournament Championship last weekend and with it the conference’s automatic bid.

The remaining locks didn’t lose any ground, and Maimi likely hopped off that bubble in the right direction by beating Duke last week and avoiding a loss to the DFL team (Virginia Tech) in Greensboro over the weekend. Miami’s other notable out-of-conference games were a 12-point drop to Tennessee (67-79) and a victory @Rutgers by a football score of 42-34 and there were seven wins over teams at or below the Top-125. But there is nothing really bad in the ‘Canes’ resume, and those two huge wins over Penn State and Duke (by identical scores, by the way) should be enough to remove any doubt on Selection Monday.

ATLANTIC SUN CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Stetson
STETSON

23-8/17-4 (RPI 88)
LOCKS
The Atlantic Sun Conference Currently Has No Locks
ATLANTIC SUN CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Florida Gulf Coast University FLORIDA GULF COAST
CONFERENCE Atlantic Sun
RECORDS  
OVERALL 26-6
CONFERENCE ONLY 20-1
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 51
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 167
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 14-5
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 9-1
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 1-2
BEST WINS LSU (76-70)
WORST LOSSES Central Florida (53-60)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: FGCU lost to Stetson by six (64-70) in the A-Sun final after winning every other league game by double digits. Stetson is easily the second-best team in the league, but even with a 26-6 record, it’s hard to get away with that loss and still get in the Big Bracket when only two other league teams are numbered even as high as the Top 101-200 and your only other Top-100 wins are over LSU and n. Hampton (70-59). Had LSU gone farther than the SEC quarters, FGCU might have had more of a case.

BIG EAST CONFERENCE
Notre Dame
NOTRE DAME

31-1/19-0 (RPI 2)
LOCKS
Connecticut
CONNECTICUT

29-4/16-3 (RPI 3)
Syracuse Louisville
SYRACUSE

24-7/12-6 (RPI 33)
LOUISVILLE

24-8/12-6 (RPI 21)
BIG EAST CONFERENCE BUBBLES
St. John’s ST. JOHN’S
CONFERENCE BIG EAST
RECORDS  
OVERALL 18-12
CONFERENCE ONLY 12-6
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 39
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 12
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 7-8
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 8-3
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 2-9
BEST WINS Georgetown (76-72, OT); @ Rutgers (48-44)
WORST LOSSES n.Texas (60-70); @Seton Hall (51-61)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: The all-chalk Big East tourney brought a revenge win over Seton Hall (51-45) and a seven-point loss to Louisville (55-62). The final week of the regular season brought wins @Villanova (52-49) and over DePaul (67-54), sandwiched around the loss @Seton Hall (51-61). They were St. John's only Top-50 wins, but this team should be okay.

Villanova VILLANOVA
CONFERENCE BIG EAST
RECORDS  
OVERALL 21-10
CONFERENCE ONLY 10-8
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 28
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 29
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 13-6
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 5-6
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 4-5
BEST WINS Princeton (61-54); DePaul (65-54); Syracuse (64-59); @Syracuse (77-75)
WORST LOSSES @Providence (60-65, OT)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: ‘Nova played a respectable, if not awe-inspiring, out-of-conference schedule. Delaware was the heavyweight, but Villanova can point to wins over four other Top-100 teams in addition to its signature win over Princeton. The Wildcats, who lost by five to Syracuse (56-61) in the quarters (what do they say about beating a team three times in a year?), look better than any of the conference’s other 9-7 (or 10-8) teams.

DePaul DE PAUL
CONFERENCE BIG EAST
RECORDS  
OVERALL 21-11
CONFERENCE ONLY 10-8
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 26
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 11
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 6-9
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 5-6
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 3-9
BEST WINS Princeton (86-75); Louisville (86-80)
WORST LOSSES @Marquette (66-70)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: Note to teams in the conference formerly known as the Big East next year: Try to get on the other side of the bracket from UConn. The Blue Demons didn't heed that warning and got clobbered (61-94). But there's nothing bad here, except maybe the part about playing only two true road games out-of-conference -- @Kentucky (losing in a 64-96 rout) and @Loyola-Ill. (a healthy, 87-69 victory). DePaul is probably behind the other Big East bubbles, but still in decent shape.

South Florida SOUTH FLORIDA
CONFERENCE BIG EAST
RECORDS  
OVERALL 21-10
CONFERENCE ONLY 10-8
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 53
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 57
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 10-5
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 7-4
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 3-9
BEST WINS @Louisville (73-62); Syracuse (68-66); Florida Gulf Coast (67-46)
WORST LOSSES n.Creighton (74-91); St. John’s (59-65)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: Note to teams in the ACC next year: Try to get on the other side of the bracket from Notre Dame. USF didn't heed that warning in this year’s Big East swan song, although the Bulls certainly did better than DePaul did against UConn (the Irish won by nine, 75-66). Nonetheless, USF got into the picture seriously with a strong February and a must-win (by three, 42-39) over Rutgers in the whatever round. The Bulls’ profile is not as strong as DePaul's – USF’s best out-of-conference win was over Florida Gulf Coast), but it'd take several bid-stealing games in mid-major tourneys this weekend to deny USF.

BIG TEN CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Purdue
PURDUE

24-8/13-6 (RPI 13)
LOCKS
Penn State Nebraska
PENN STATE

25-5/15-3 (RPI 6)
NEBRASKA

23-8/13-5 (RPI 16)
Michigan State Michigan
MICHIGAN STATE

24-8/12-7 (RPI 16)
MICHIGAN

21-10/10-8 (RPI 34)
BIG TEN CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Iowa IOWA
CONFERENCE Big Ten
RECORDS  
OVERALL 20-12
CONFERENCE ONLY 9-9
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 47
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 22
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 9-7
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 4-6
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 5-8
BEST WINS Iowa State (50-42); Purdue (62-46); @Purdue (72-52); @Michigan (63-57)
WORST LOSSES @ Florida International (65-66); Northwestern (65-67)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: Iowa has as many major victories as any bubble team, including other respectable wins over n.West Virginia (79-70) and Middle Tennessee (69-63, OT), and what was at the time a major upset over then-nationally ranked Texas (86-63). But the Hawkeyes’ final 11 games consisted of seven losses, three wins over the bottom third of the league, and a win @Purdue. The Hawkeyes could have sealed a bid with a better performance than their 61-76 loss to Nebraska in the B1G quarters, but for now they're at home and nervous.

Illinois ILLINOIS
CONFERENCE Big Ten
RECORDS  
OVERALL 16-13
CONFERENCE ONLY 9-8
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 79
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 41
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 7-6
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 4-5
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 3-7
BEST WINS Georgia (70-59); @Nebraska (62-52)
WORST LOSSES Bradley (77-83); Northwestern (58-62)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: The Illini finished with a one-point loss to Wisconsin (57-58) in the first round of the B1G tourney, which is not the way a team with 16 wins -- only six of them vs. Top-100 teams -- needs to go out. There were a bunch of missed opportunities in November and December until the Bulldogs visited. The other out-of-conference losses were to Iowa State (50-68), a heart-breaker to Illinois State (68-69), Colorado (62-69) and a beat-down @Texas Tech (56-75). Illinois needed one or two of those, or one of its three four-and-under-point losses to one of the locks, to have a chance.

BIG WEST CONFERENCE
LOCKS
The Big West Conference Currently Has No Locks
BIG WEST CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Pacific University PACIFIC
CONFERENCE Big West
RECORDS  
OVERALL 24-6
CONFERENCE ONLY 14-4
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 42
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 113
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 10-5
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 7-3
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 1-1
BEST WINS Saint Mary’s (75-72)
WORST LOSSES UC-Santa Barbara (47-52); @Hawaii (71-74, OT)
REMAINING GAMES Cal State Fullerton in Big West Tournament semifinal (3/15)

Outlook: Pacific boasts a strong out-of-conference performance against a relatively-strong schedule – a close loss @Florida (82-89), a thumping @Stanford (43-72), and wins over Fresno State (66-56) and Fordham (62-40) -- but you can't lose four league games in the Big West and be seriously considered for an at-large. The Tigers are going to need to nail down the automatic this coming weekend.

BIG XII CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Baylor
BAYLOR

32-1/21-0 (RPI 1)
LOCKS
Iowa State
IOWA STATE

23-8/14-7 (RPI 22)
Oklahoma TexasTech
OKLAHOMA

22-10/12-8 (RPI 30)
TEXAS TECH

21-10/11-8 (RPI 48)


BIG XII CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Oklahoma State OKLAHOMA STATE
CONFERENCE Big XII
RECORDS  
OVERALL 21-10
CONFERENCE ONLY 10-10
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 35
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 44
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 8-7
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 6-6
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 4-7
BEST WINS Iowa State (71-42); Oklahoma (83-62)
WORST LOSSES @Kansas State (70-76)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: Nothing like an extra game vs. Baylor (69-77 in the Big XII Tournament semifinals) to boost the RPI, huh? There are no downers anywhere, other than a suspect out-of-conference schedule (eight straight opponents rated Top-150 or worse), so the Cowgirls should be fine.

West Virginia WEST VIRGINIA
CONFERENCE Big XII
RECORDS  
OVERALL 17-13
CONFERENCE ONLY 9-10
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 52
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 18
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 7-7
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 5-5
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 3-11
BEST WINS Oklahoma (82-63); @Iowa State (68-66)
WORST LOSSES @Texas (45-58)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: The Mountaineers were within one point of Oklahoma in the Big X(II) quarters, but it's still a loss (64-65), coming just four days after losing @Texas (45-58). West Virginia still has a case, with a number of good wins, including not only the two identified above but also @Boston University (60-57), @Virginia (54-47), @Oklahoma State (67-61) and on the road against former Big XII bubble @Kansas (72-56). But there just might not be enough of them, in light of the Mountaineers 0-3 and 3-4 stretch run, leaving Morgantown with plenty of frazzled nerves this coming Monday.

COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
LOCKS
Delaware
DELAWARE

27-3/18-0

(RPI 17)
COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION BUBBLES
James Madison JAMES MADISON
CONFERENCE Colonial
RECORDS  
OVERALL 21-9
CONFERENCE ONLY 15-3
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 66
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 87
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 10-4
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 8-2
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 1-4
BEST WINS n.Wisconsin-Green Bay (89-86, OT)
WORST LOSSES Richmond (66-70)
REMAINING GAMES Towson in CAA quarterfinal (3/15)

Outlook: JMU's best chance for an at-large bid was to win @Del-leDonne-ware on February 24, but the Blue Hens won by one point (61-60). It's now the automatic or bust for the Dukes, whose only other Top-100 win was over n.Wichita State (63-58) in Cancun.

HORIZON LEAGUE
LOCKS
The Horizon League Currently Has No Locks
HORIZON LEAGUE BUBBLES
Green Bay WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY
CONFERENCE Horizon
RECORDS  
OVERALL 26-2
CONFERENCE ONLY 16-0
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 24
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 134
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 13-2
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 10-0
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 0-0
BEST WINS @Marquette (55-46)
ONLY LOSSES n.James Madison (86-89, OT); @Central Michigan (50-54)
REMAINING GAMES Valparaiso in Horizon League quarterfinal (3/13 – 80-59); Detroit in Horizon League semis (3/15)

Outlook: No problems here. Though the strength of schedule is not great, there were only two sub-Top-200 out-of-conference opponents on Green Bay’s slate. The Phoenix can also point to blowout wins over respectable teams like Missouri (55-33) and @Wichita State (63-42). For some reason Green Bay played CMU twice, home and away, and destroyed the Chips i75-48) in Green Bay in the first meeting before falling to them on the road. If it weren't for the Selection Committee's history of sticking it to deserving mid-majors (especially-long memories at Western Kentucky), the Phoenix would be a lock.

METRO ATLANTIC CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Marist
MARIST

26-6/21-0

(RPI 45)
LOCKS
The Metro Atlantic Conference Currently Has No Locks
METRO ATLANTIC CONFERENCE BUBBLES
The Metro Atlantic Conference Currently Has No Bubble Teams

Outlook: Marist nailed down the automatic last weekend, leaving no other locks or bubble teams in the Metro Atlantic, and several sighs of relief from elsewhere on this list.

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
LOCKS
The Mid-American Conference Currently Has No Locks
MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Toledo TOLEDO
CONFERENCE Mid-American
RECORDS  
OVERALL 27-2
CONFERENCE ONLY 15-1
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 44
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 217
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 12-1
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 9-0
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 0-1
BEST WINS @Marquette (82-71); n.Charlotte (76-66)
WORST LOSSES Central Michigan (66-73)
REMAINING GAMES n.Central Michigan in MAC semifinals (3/15)

Outlook: It's unusual to see a MAC team that high in the RPI, but then that stat is over-rated anyway. Apart from the win at Marquette, he Rockets' big out-of-conference test was @Dayton and they only lost to the Flyers by three points (76-79). Toledo avenged itself in a big way @Central Michigan (76-63) when they visited the Chippewas in Mount Pleasant a week ago; the MAC Tournament semifinals sets up the third meeting between the two The Rockets will be an interesting case should they lose this weekend, although they were surely rooting for Marquette and Charlotte to perform better last week.

MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE
LOCKS
The Missouri Valley Conference Currently Has No Locks
Creighton CREIGHTON
CONFERENCE Missouri Valley
RECORDS  
OVERALL 23-6
CONFERENCE ONLY 15-3
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 31
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 77
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 12-4
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 8-2
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 1-1
BEST WINS Nebraska (66-57)
WORST LOSSES @Indiana State (41-58)
REMAINING GAMES Southern Illinois in MVC quarterfinal (3/15)

Outlook: The Bluejays have respectable wins @South Dakota State (63-54), @BYU (65-52), and n.South Florida (91-74), plus that big one over in-state rival Nebraska. Creighton could conceivably afford a loss in the Valley final to Wichita State or even Illinois State, but the Jays had better get to the final.

Once on track as an MVC bubble team, Wichita State (22-9/15-3/RPI 69) actually has the top seed in Arch Madness, but the Shockers did far less out-of-conference -- their only preconference Top-100 wins coming @SMU (61-59) and against Northern Colorado (51-35) -- so they’ll likely need the automatic.

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
LOCKS
The Mountain West Conference Currently Has No Locks
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE BUBBLES
San Diego State

SAN DIEGO STATE
CONFERENCE Mountain West
RECORDS  
OVERALL 22-5
CONFERENCE ONLY 15-1
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 46
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 124
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 11-3
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 10-0
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 0-3
BEST WINS SMU (88-72)
WORST LOSSES Fresno State (72-80)
REMAINING GAMES n.Nevada in Mountain West quarterfinals (3/14: 67-39); n.New Mexico in Mountain West semifinals (3/15)

Outlook: There are some decent wins on the Aztecs’ resume´ -- n.Auburn (78-57), @San Diego (58-54) – and the Mountain West isn’t as bad overall as it was last year, but it still looks like a one-bid league. That’s a shame, because outside of pulling off a major out-of-conference upset, the Aztecs have done everything a mid-major is supposed to do. Only three out-of-conference opponents rwereanked below the Top-100 and one was an unexpectedly disappointing USC).

NORTHEAST CONFERENCE
LOCKS
The Northeast Conference Currently Has No Locks
NORTHEAST CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Quinnipiac

QUINNIPIAC
CONFERENCE Northeast
RECORDS  
OVERALL 28-2
CONFERENCE ONLY 19-0
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 43
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 241
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 14-2
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 12-0
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 1-0
BEST WINS St. John’s (75-72)
WORST LOSSES @Hartford (61-67); n.Georgia Tech (57-74)
REMAINING GAMES Mount St. Mary’s in NEC semifinal (3/13: 63-56); Saint Francis-Pa. in NEC final (3/17)

Outlook: The Bobcats have done more out-of-conference than several other bubble teams on this list, also winning @James Madison (65-60), and the St. John’s win was one of only three home games on their preconference slate. Quinnipiac also ran the table in league play. That triple-digit strength-of-schedule still implies problems, though the good news for Bobcat fans is that they'll play at home in NEC tourney games. Still, there probably isn't enough for the committee to look at should Q fail to nail down the automatic.

PAC-12 CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Stanford
STANFORD

31-2/20-1 (RPI 5)
LOCKS
California
CALIFORNIA

28-3/18-2 (RPI 9)
UCLA Colorado
UCLA

25-7/16-5 (RPI 11)
COLORADO

25-6/14-6 (RPI 25)
PAC-12 CONFERENCE BUBBLES
The Pac-12 Conference Currently Has No Bubble Teams

Outlook: Stanford nailed down the automatic last weekend in Seattle, and none of the other conference locks did anything to hurt themselves. As for former Pac-12 bubble Washington (21-12/13-9/RPI 83), forget about it. The Huskies finished out the regular season by hosting the Bay Area teams and needed an upset to have any chance. Instead, they got squished twice – Stanford (36-71); California (50-78) -- and their early exit from the tournament did nothing to to help their case.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Texas A&M
TEXAS A&M

24-9/14-5

(RPI 10)
LOCKS
Tennessee
TENNESSEE

25-7/16-3 (RPI 7)
Kentucky Georgia
KENTUCKY

27-5/15-4 (RPI 7)
GEORGIA

25-6/13-5 (RPI 19)
South Carolina LSU
SOUTH CAROLINA

24-7/12-6 (RPI 18)
LSU

20-11/11-7 (RPI 37)

             

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Vanderbilt VANDERBILT
CONFERENCE SEC
RECORDS  
OVERALL 20-11
CONFERENCE ONLY 10-8
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 29
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 17
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 8-9
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 6-4
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 2-10
BEST WINS @Oklahoma (76-63); Texas A&M (61-51)
WORST LOSSES n.Virginia (60-73)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: Vandy didn't stumble against Missouri in the first round at the Gwinnett Center and is in good shape. The next teams down in the SEC standings all have losing records and didn't beat any higher-seeded teams in the tourney, which means the SEC is about as cut-and-dry as the Pac-12.

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA

29-3/22-1

(RPI 38)
LOCKS
The Southern Conference Currently Has No Locks
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE BUBBLES
The Southern Conference Currently Has No Bubble Teams

Outlook: Former Southern Conference bubble Chattanooga locked up the automatic bid last weekend, leaving no locks and no bubble teams in the league, and the same sighs of relief as when Marist won its conference championship.

SUMMIT CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
South Dakota State
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

25-7/16-2 (RPI 67)
LOCKS
The Summmit Conference Currently Has No Locks
SUMMIT CONFERENCE BUBBLES
The Summit Conference Currently Has No Bubble Teams

Outlook: The Jackrabbits, a former bubble team, sealed the Summit Conference crown Tuesday with a home win over in-state rival South Dakota, leaving the conference with no other locks or bubbles and bringing joy to bubbles elsewhere.

SUN BELT CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Middle Tennessee State
MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

25-7/20-3

(RPI 40)
LOCKS
The Sun Belt Conference Currently Has No Locks
SUN BELT CONFERENCE BUBBLES
The Sun Belt Conference Currently Has No Bubble Teams

Outlook: The Blue Raiders locked up the Sun Belt’s automatic bid Monday, with a 53-48 victory over UALR in the conference tournament final in Hot Springs, Ark. That leaves no other locks or bubble teams in the Sun Belt, and one more at-large bid up for grabs for bubble teams elsewhere.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE
AUTOMATIC
Gonzaga
GONZAGA

27-5/20-3

(RPI 40)
LOCKS
The West Coast Conference Currently Has No Locks
WEST COAST CONFERENCE BUBBLES
Saint Mary's SAINT MARY'S
CONFERENCE West Coast
RECORDS  
OVERALL 20-10
CONFERENCE ONLY 12-6
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 49
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 64
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 10-8
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 6-4
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 1-4
BEST WINS Gonzaga (54-51); Chattanooga (70-67)
WORST LOSSES @Pepperdine (67-80)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: The Gaels fell to San Diego (53-74) in the WCC semifinals last weekend, leaving the second-best team in the league without much chance of an at-large bid.

San Diego SAN DIEGO
CONFERENCE West Coast
RECORDS  
OVERALL 19-9
CONFERENCE ONLY 13-5
RATINGS PERCENTAGE INDEX 58
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 79
ON THE ROAD OR IN NEUTRAL VENUES 10-5
SINCE FEBRUARY 1 7-2
AGAINST TOP-50 OPPONENTS 3-5
BEST WINS @Saint Mary’s (73-70); Saint Mary’s (67-50); n.Saint Mary’s (74-53)
WORST LOSSES @Arizona State (39-72)
REMAINING GAMES None

Outlook: The Torreros have had the Gael’s number this season, beating Saint Mary’s three times, most recently in the WCC Tournament semifinals. They also hung with Iowa for much of the game in a holiday tournament hosted in San Diego before falling, 73-83. But with those games as the highlights on their resume´, USD needed the automatic, which they lost to the Zags, 50-62, in Vegas on Monday. That means not much chance of an at-large bid for either West Coast Conference bubble, but both should both make noise in the WNIT.



Key: Records through Tuesday, March 12. RPI/SOS through Monday, March 11, from realtimerpi.com. R/N: road-neutral. FEB: Record since February 1. OOC: Out-of-conference. n.: Game played on neutral court. Within each conference, bubbles and locks are listed in order of their current conference standings. Only games against Division I teams are counted. Conference records include league tournament games.