Bracketology: So many bubble questions

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So many bubble questions.  Where do we start?

Long waits are underway for teams like Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Baylor, and Notre Dame.  So too, now, for Middle Tennessee which exited the Conference USA tournament after an overtime loss to Southern Miss in the quarterfinals.  Thus, the Blue Raiders add themselves to what was already an intriguing group of quality at-large candidates.

Depending on what happens today in the SEC and Pac-12 tourneys, in particular, we have about 12 teams in play for four spots.  That it’s the first year for the NCAA’s new Quadrant system only adds seasoning to the pot.  Will the Committee reward the overall excellence of Middle Tennessee who has multiple Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2 wins – even if those wins aren’t power conference names?  How will the Committee handle the RPI situation of a team like Oklahoma State?  And will that same RPI effect benefit a team like Louisville?  Depending on your take, you can make legitimate cases for and/or against any of the 12.

As with the Committee, it’ll be time to dig beneath the surface of the bubble contenders during the next 48 hours. Come Sunday, our vantage point may change.  But after another short (and long) night, here’s the latest …

UPDATED: March 9, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • USC vs. Alabama | South Region
  • Louisville vs. Middle Tennessee West Region
  • SE Louisiana vs. LIU-BROOKLYN | East Region
  • Hampton vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

SOUTH Atlanta    EAST – Boston           
Charlotte Pittsburgh
1) Virginia 1) Villanova
16) Hampton / Ark-PB 16) SE La / LIU-BROOKLYN
8) Rhode Island 8) Missouri
9) Butler 9) Florida State
San Diego San Diego
5) Florida 5) Ohio State
12) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 12) MURRAY STATE
4) West Virginia 4) Texas Tech
13) Louisiana 13) Old Dominion
Nashville Wichita
6) Miami-FL 6) Kentucky
11) USC / Alabama 11) Oklahoma
3) Cincinnati 3) Michigan State
14) UNC-GREENSBORO 14) CHARLESTON
Nashville Nashville
7) Nevada 7) Seton Hall
10) Saint Mary’s 10) Texas
2) Auburn 2) North Carolina
15) WRIGHT STATE 15) IONA
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Wichita Pittsburgh
1) Kansas 1) Xavier
16) RADFORD 16) Harvard
8) Virginia Tech 8) Kansas State
9) Creighton 9) St. Bonaventure
Boise Boise
5) Arizona 5) Clemson
12) Louisville / Mid Tennessee 12) New Mexico State
4) GONZAGA 4) Wichita State
13) Buffalo 13) Vermont
Dallas Dallas
6) Arkansas 6) Houston
11) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 11) UCLA
3) MICHIGAN 3) Tennessee
14) Montana 14) BUCKNELL
Charlotte Detroit
7) Texas AM 7) TCU
10) Providence 10) NC State
2) Duke 2) Purdue
15) LIPSCOMB 15) UC-Davis

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Villanova, Xavier, and Kansas

Last Four Byes (at large): Saint Mary’s, Texas, UCLA, Oklahoma

Last Four IN (at large): USC, Alabama, Louisville, Middle Tennessee

First Four OUT (at large): Syracuse, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Arizona State

Next four teams OUT (at large): Baylor, Notre Dame, Oregon, Georgia

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, NC State, Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Louisville

SEC (8): Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas AM, Missouri, Alabama

BIG 12 (7): Kansas, West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU, Kansas State, Texas, Oklahoma

Big East (6): Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, Creighton, Butler, Providence

Big 10 (4): MICHIGAN, Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State

Pac 12 (4): Arizona, UCLA, USC

American (3): Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston

Atlantic 10 (2): Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

Conference USA (2): Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee

Mountain West (1): Nevada

ONE BID LEAGUES: LOYOLA-CHI (MVC), Iona (MAAC), Louisiana (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Montana (BSKY), WRIGHT STATE (HORIZON), SE Louisiana (SLND), UNC-GREENSBORO (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), LIPSCOMB(ASUN), MURRAY STATE (OVC), CHARLESTON (CAA), RADFORD (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), South Dakota STATE (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), BUCKNELL (PAT), LIU-BROOKLYN (NEC), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)