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Bracketology: Happy Valentine’s Day for Duke, LSU

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Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we’ll sweep the epic crumbles of futility – otherwise known as this year’s bubble – under the proverbial rug and try not to look.

Instead, we’ll send Happy Heart greetings to the Duke Blue Devils and LSU Tigers, both of whom celebrated huge road wins in the Commonwealth on Tuesday.  For their efforts, Duke remains the No. 1 overall seed in today’s bracket.  LSU rises to No. 12 on the seed list, good for the final No. 3 seed.

As for those crumbles, today’s cutline decisions included serious consideration for teams like Oklahoma, Indiana, Butler, and Florida, all of whom have significant resume issues. There are no clear answers, especially with regards to how the Selection Committee will use the NCAA’s new NET ratings.  The good news for those four, and others, is we still have games to play.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 14, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
WEST REGION Clemson vs. Arizona State
MIDWEST REGION UNC Greensboro vs. Utah State
EAST REGION Norfolk State vs. Quinnipiac
MIDWEST REGION Robert Morris vs. Prairie View

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                       
Columbia Columbia
1) DUKE 1) TENNESSEE
16) QUINNIPIAC / NORFOLK ST 16) BUCKNELL
8) BUFFALO 8) Baylor
9) Alabama 9) Syracuse
San Jose Salt Lake City
5) Wisconsin 5) KANSAS STATE
12) LIPSCOMB 12) BELMONT
4) Iowa State 4) VILLANOVA
13) VERMONT 13) OLD DOMINION
Des Moines Tulsa
6) Florida State 6) Maryland
11) UCF 11) Texas
3) Marquette 3) HOUSTON
14) YALE 14) UC-IRVINE
Hartford Jacksonville
7) Mississippi State 7) Ohio State
10) NC State 10) Seton Hall
2) Michigan 2) North Carolina
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) RADFORD
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Hartford
1) GONZAGA 1) Virginia
16) SAM HOUSTON 16) ROB MORRIS / PR VIEW
8) St. John’s 8) WASHINGTON
9) Auburn 9) TCU
San Jose Des Moines
5) Louisville 5) Texas Tech
12) Clemson / Arizona State 12) NC-Greensboro / Utah State
4) NEVADA 4) Purdue
13) NEW MEXICO ST 13) HOFSTRA
Jacksonville Tulsa
6) Virginia Tech 6) Iowa
11) Temple 11) VCU
3) LSU 3) Kansas
14) NORTHERN KENTUCKY 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Columbus Columbus
7) Ole Miss 7) Cincinnati
10) WOFFORD 10) Minnesota
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) Kentucky
15) MONTANA 15) TEXAS STATE

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Minnesota Clemson Oklahoma Arkansas
Texas Arizona State Indiana Georgetown
UCF UNC-Greensboro Butler Fresno State
Temple Utah State Florida Davidson

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Tennessee, Virginia, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State, Clemson

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (7): KANSAS STATE, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Texas

SEC (7): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, UCF, Temple

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (2): WOFFORD, UNC-Greensboro

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Quinnipiac (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Robert Morris (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Bubble Banter: Biggest winners and losers

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January has come to a close, which means that it is officially time for Bubble Banter to make its glorious return. 

Some quick housekeeping before we dive into it:

  • This page will be updated throughout the weekend, so be sure to check back on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the games get played. 
  • I’ll update them best that I can, but the NET rankings will be accurate through Friday morning. 
  • If you see something I missed, if you have an issue with a team I left out or if you want to congratulate me on a job well done, drop a comment below or hit me up here: @RobDauster.
  • The cut-off we will be using this year for teams that are “on the bubble” is the No. 9 seed line. If your favorite team is seeded as a No. 9 or better in our most recent bracket, they will not be discussed below.
  • On Thursday, our Dave Ommen released an updated bracket, and these eight teams were placed in an 8-9 game: Buffalo, Baylor, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arizona State, Ohio State, St. John’s.

Onto the weekend’s action.

WINNERS

TCU (NET: 40, SOS: 31): TCU is the biggest bubble winner of the day, as they went into Hilton Coliseum and landed their first Q1 win of the season, knocking off Iowa State (13), 92-83. With the win, TCU is now 17-6 on the season and 5-5 in Big 12 play, but until this win, there really wasn’t much of note on their resume. They were 0-5 against Q1 opponents. That’s why they were in one of the play-in games entering the day. That will change with this win.

CLEMSON (NET: 43, SOS: 33): If it’s not TCU, then the Tigers are probably the biggest bubble winners of the weekend, as they landed a home win over Virginia Tech (10), their first Q1 win of the season. Everything else on their resume looks good. They don’t have any bad losses and their computer numbers look good, but entering today they were 0-6 against Q1 opponents and 3-2 in Q2 games. They needed quality wins. They got one on Saturday.

ARIZONA STATE (NET: 78, SOS: 85): Good luck trying to explain Arizona State. After losing by 20 points to Washington State on Thursday night, the Sun Devils turned around and handed Washington their first loss in conference play on Saturday. Arizona State now has a Q3 loss and two Q4 losses, but they also have four Q1 wins — Kansas (18), Washington (25), Mississippi State (27) and Utah State (33). They’re certainly a tournament team right now, but where they fit in the bracket is tough to figure out.

VCU (NET: 48, SOS: 24): The Rams are probably the only hope for the Atlantic 10 to get two bids to the NCAA tournament at this point, and they certainly didn’t hurt their chances on Saturday. St. Bonaventure is down this year but Olean is always a tough place to play … and VCU bulldozed the Bonnies. A win at Texas and the win over Temple on a neutral are the two wins that are really bolstering this resume.

N.C. STATE (NET: 34, SOS: 237): The Wolfpack picked up a win at Pittsburgh on Saturday, which is notable if only because it’s a game that they probably couldn’t afford to lose. Their profile is marginal based on wins — they are 1-6 in Q1 games with a Q3 loss at Wake Forest — and the fact that they played a non-conference schedule that ranks 352nd is going to be a deal-breaker.

SYRACUSE (NET: 49, SOS: 27): Syracuse got a win over Boston College at home on Saturday, which helps them because a loss would have really hurt. The Orange do have a bit of a weird profile, but the truth is this: Their bad losses don’t look as bad as they did at the time, and their win at Duke might end up being the best win in college basketball come Selection Sunday.

TEXAS (NET: 38, SOS: 3): Texas improved to 6-5 in the Big 12 with a win at West Virginia on Saturday. They are now 14-10 on the season, a solid record against one of the best schedules in the country. They do have a couple of bad Q3 home losses, but they’ve beaten North Carolina (8) on a neutral, Purdue (11) and Kansas (18) at home and Kansas State (30) on the road. They’re in a good spot, and with their next four games all winnable — Kansas State (30), Oklahoma State (76), at Oklahoma (36), at Baylor (32) — they can keep improving on that resume.

SETON HALL (NET: 66, SOS: 28): The Pirates found a way to beat Creighton (55) at home on Saturday, but they are not in a great spot. They are 2-5 against Q1 and 6-2 against Q2 with two Q3 losses. That’s about par for the course for bubble teams. The differentiator is their neutral court win over Kentucky (5).

UCF (NET: 46, SOS: 91): The Knights won at SMU on Sunday, adding another Q1 win to their profile. They are now 4-2 against Q2 opponents, but they still have not beaten a Q2 team in two tries. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — this is the profile of a mid-major program right now. With two games left against Cincinnati and a trip to Houston, UCF will have three shots are an elite Q1 in, and I think they probably want to get two to really feel good about their chances on the bubble.

BELMONT (NET: 62, SOS: 145): The Bruins won their seventh straight on Saturday, beating Morehead State on the road. With a sweep of Lipscomb, a win at UCLA and a win at Murray State, Belmont has an interesting profile, but with three Q3 road losses already this season, I don’t think they can take another loss that isn’t in the OVC tournament and have a real shot at an at-large.

LIPSCOMB (NET: 31, SOS: 206): Lipscomb took care of business at home against Jacksonville, setting up what should be their toughest test between now and an Atlantic Sun regular season title: a home date with Liberty (58). This will be their last chance in the regular season to add to their Q2 win total. As it stands, they are 4-4 against Q1 and Q2 opponents, with a win at TCU and a win at SMU.

WOFFORD (NET: 29, SOS: 126): Wofford smoked Western Carolina. If they win out during the regular season, they should be an at-large team.

BUTLER (NET: 57, SOS: 26): The Bulldogs kept themselves in the bubble conversation as they landed their second Q1 win of the season at Georgetown (72). This is hardly a difference-maker, as the Hoyas are one losing streak away from falling outside the top 75 and off the Q1 line, but this does had some depth to Butler’s profile. Their at-large bid will be determined by games at St. John’s, at Villanova and at Marquette in the last month of the season.

LOSERS

DAVIDSON (NET: 59, SOS: 108): The Wildcats can just about put their at-large hopes on ice after they went into Amherst and lost to a bad UMass team (224) that was playing without Luwane Pipkins, who is their best player and one of the most dangerous scorers in the Atlantic 10. Davidson does not have a Q1 win, they will not play another Q1 game the rest of the regular season and they now have two Q3 losses and a Q4 loss to their name.

INDIANA (NET: 47, SOS: 35): The Hoosiers have now lost back-to-back home games since they went into East Lansing and beat Michigan State, and I think we’ve finally reached the point where we have to stop overlooking Indiana’s good wins. On Sunday, they lost at home to Ohio State, dropping to 13-11 overall and 4-9 in the Big Ten. They do have four Q1 wins — including at Michigan State (8), Louisville (15) and Marquette (21) — but they are now 4-8 against Q1 with three more Q2 losses. This is precisely the kind of resume that should be overlooked in order to get a mid-major team like Wofford or Lipscomb in to the tournament.

ARIZONA (NET: 70, SOS: 57): The Wildcats seemed to be well on the wrong side of the bubble entering Saturday, and that was before they took on a 14-point home loss to Washington State (197). The Wildcats now are just 1-4 against Q2 and 2-5 against Q2 with a 14 point Q4 loss. They play four of their last seven games on the road, they have just one more potential Q1 win on their schedule — at Oregon (71). Arizona is auto-bid or bust.

OKLAHOMA (NET: 35, SOS: 12): The Sooners have seen their season go off the rails. After entering league play with an 11-1 record, the Sooners have now lost four in a row to drop to 3-8 in the Big 12. At this point, the Sooners are not a tournament team.

CREIGHTON (NET: 55, SOS: 8): For the seventh time in their last ten games, the Bluejays took a loss, this time coming at Seton Hall. They are now 12-11 on the season, 4-7 in the Big East and 2-9 against Q1 opponents. Those two Q1 wins are Clemson (43) on a neutral and at Georgetown (72).

UTAH STATE (NET: 33, SOS: 122): Utah State’s seven-game winning streak came to an end in San Diego on Saturday night, as the Aggies lost to San Diego State. This is their second Q3 loss on the season, and combined with just a 3-4 record against Q1 and Q2 opponents and no wins better Saint Mary’s (45) on a neutral floor, it’s going to be a big ask to get an at-large if they don’t beat Nevada on March 2nd. Even with a win in that game, they might not have enough.

ST. JOHN’S (NET: 40, SOS: 47): I wasn’t going to write about the Johnnies here because they entered the day as a No. 9 seed, but getting whipped at home by a bad Providence team earns a mention. St. John’s has a weird profile. They have five Q1 wins — including a sweep of Marquette — but with home losses to Georgetown, DePaul and now Providence, nothing is given. And it is worth noting that the DePaul loss came without Shamorie Ponds while today’s loss came with Mustapha Heron out of the lineup.

NEBRASKA (NET: 36, SOS: 99): The Cornhuskers lost their seventh straight on Saturday night, falling at Purdue. Maybe I’m late on this, but it’s time to take them out of consideration until something changes.

FLORIDA (NET: 42, SOS: 47): After the Gators knocked off Ole Miss ten days ago, we said that their NCAA tournament bid can be earned during a three-game stretch where they played Kentucky, at Auburn and at Tennessee. After getting blown out in Knoxville, the Gators went 0-3 in that stretch and 12-11 overall and 1-9 in Q1 games. That’s not ideal.

ARKANSAS (NET: 60, SOS: 36): The Razorbacks fell at South Carolina on Saturday, which certainly isn’t a killer for them, but when you are firmly on the bubble — as Arkansas is — any chance to land a Q2 win is going to help. The Razorbacks have just a single Q1 win, at LSU last Saturday.

TEMPLE (NET: 50, SOS: 42): The Owls lost at Tulsa on Saturday by 18 points, a result that sounds worse than it looks on a resume — the Golden Hurricane are a top 100 team, so this is a Q2 loss. Temple has just one Q1 win (Houston at home) but they are 6-6 against Q1 and Q2 opponents. They’ve also lost to Penn (88) at home. The biggest issue for the Owls at this point is the lack of quality opponents left on their schedule.

Bracketology: Duke holds No. 1 position

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It’s been a relatively even week, leaving us with the same Field of 68 that we had on Monday.

Minor Seed List adjustments have been made to reflect valuable road wins by teams such as Louisville and LSU.  The same principle applies for teams in the middle of the bracket like St. John’s.  The Red Storm certainly helped themselves by winning at Marquette.

As we enter the stretch run, bubble teams will solidify their standing, remove themselves from consideration, or put themselves into a stressful Championship Week scenario.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 7, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
SOUTH REGION TCU vs. VCU
MIDWEST REGION Seton Hall vs. Temple
EAST REGION Norfolk State vs. Robert Morris
MIDWEST REGION Rider vs. Prairie View

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                       
Columbia Columbia
1) DUKE 1) TENNESSEE
16) NORFOLK ST / R. MORRIS  16) BUCKNELL
8) Buffalo 8) Baylor
9) Ohio State 9) St. John’s
Tulsa Salt Lake City
5) LSU 5) Iowa
12) BELMONT 12) LIPSCOMB
4) HOUSTON 4) VILLANOVA
13) VERMONT 13) OLD DOMINION
Des Moines Hartford
6) Virginia Tech 6) Florida State
11) Oklahoma 11) TCU / VCU
3) Marquette 3) Purdue
14) BOWLING GREEN 14) NORTHERN KENTUCKY
Des Moines Jacksonville
7) Auburn 7) Mississippi State
10) Syracuse 10) Indiana
2) Michigan State 2) North Carolina
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) PRINCETON
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Hartford
1) GONZAGA 1) Virginia
16) SAM HOUSTON 16) RIDER / PR. VIEW
8) Minnesota 8) Ole Miss
9) Alabama 9) Arizona State
San Jose San Jose
5) KANSAS STATE 5) Iowa State
12) HOFSTRA 12) Seton Hall / Temple
4) NEVADA 4) Wisconsin
13) NEW MEXICO ST 13) UC-IRVINE
Jacksonville Tulsa
6) Texas Tech 6) Maryland
11) DAVIDSON 11) WOFFORD
3) Louisville 3) Kansas
14) RADFORD 14) TEXAS STATE
Columbus Columbus
7) WASHINGTON 7) Cincinnati
10) NC State 10) Texas
2) MICHIGAN 2) Kentucky
15) MONTANA 15) SOUTH DAKOTA ST

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Syracuse TCU UCF Utah State
Indiana VCU Butler Florida
NC State Seton Hall Arkansas Arizona
Oklahoma Temple Clemson Creighton

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Tennessee, Virginia, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 10 (9): MICHIGAN, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio State, Indiana

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Syracuse, NC State

BIG 12 (8): BAYLOR, Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma, TCU

SEC (7): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (3): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Atlantic 10 (2): DAVIDSON, VCU

Mid American (2): BOWLING GREEN, Buffalo

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), Robert Morris (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Bubble Banter: A lot of bubble teams helped themselves on Wednesday night

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February is here!

And now that we are nearly halfway through conference play, it is time for us to get fully invested in the “who’s-in-who’s-out” discussion. Bubble Banter has never been more important!

Some quick housekeeping before we dive into it:

  • This page will be updated throughout the night. 
  • We’ll update them best that we can, but the NET rankings will be accurate through Tuesday morning. 
  • If you see something we missed, if you have an issue with a team we left out or if you want to congratulate us on a job well done, drop a comment below or hit us up here: @RobDauster.
  • On Monday, our Dave Ommen released an updated bracket. It is the only bracket you need to be up to date on. 

Onto Tuesday’s action.

WINNERS

TEMPLE (NET: 53, SOS: 39): The Owls blew out UConn on Wednesday, a good win because they couldn’t afford to take that loss. The win over Houston (7) is still really the only thing buoying Temple’s resume, but it is worth noting that road trips to South Florida, Memphis and UConn are all, as of today, Q1 games.

TEXAS (NET: 41, SOS: 4): The Longhorns snapped Baylor’s six-game winning streak, picking off the Bears by 12 in Austin on Wednesday night. I know that this team is 13-10 on the year and just 5-5 in league play with home losses to VCU, Providence and VCU and road losses to Oklahoma State and Georgia, but I still think Texas is actually fairly safe as of today. They beat North Carolina on a neutral, Purdue and Kansas in Austin and Kansas State on the road. There aren’t a lot of teams that can boast wins like that.

CLEMSON (NET: 50, SOS: 30): Clemson is one of those teams that is probably better than their resume says. They are 0-6 in Q1 games, but they do have four Q2 wins and their two Q2 losses — to Nebraska at home and Creighton on a neutral — came when those two teams were healthy. The Tigers have no bad losses, but they don’t have any good wins. They will have chances, however: Virginia Tech (11), at Louisville (15), Florida State (29), North Carolina (8) and Syracuse (47) are still on their schedule. They probably want to win three of those to really feel comfortable.

ALABAMA (NET: 45, SOS: 12): The Tide held serve at home against Georgia, which only matters in the sense that it was a Q3 games and Alabama already has two Q3 losses. They’re in good shape, however. The win over Kentucky is going to hold serious weight on Selection Sunday, and a 6-1 mark in Q2 games is a byproduct of playing a tough schedule.

LIPSCOMB (NET: 32, SOS: 216): If Lipscomb can win out and they lose to Liberty (54) in the Atlantic Sun title game, they’ll have a very real shot at getting an at-large bid. Their worst loss came home to archrival Belmont, and they have wins at TCU (37), at Liberty by 20 and at SMU(115). Things like Nebraska going in the tank and the Big East looking more and more like a three-bid league will only help.

DAVIDSON (NET: 61, SOS: 108): After a win over Rhode Island, the Wildcats will have an interesting case for an at-large bd should they not win the Atlantic 10 tournament. At it currently stands, they are 17-5 on the season with a 4-3 record against the top two quadrants but without a win in two tries against Q1 opponents. They also have a pair of Q3 losses to their name, but it’s important to note here that they lost three out of four games when the best player in the Atlantic 10 — Kellan Grady — was out injured. The biggest issue they are going to face is that they only play one top 100 NET team the rest of the year, and that’s Dayton (95) at home, a Q3 game. The Atlantic 10 might as well be the CAA this year.

VCU (NET: 49, SOS: 38): VCU won at George Washington on Wednesday. The Rams have a very similar resume to Davidson, the only difference is that they currently own a road win against Texas (41). And like Davidson, the Rams just don’t have anything worthwhile left on their schedule.

TCU (NET: 37, SOS: 22): The Horned Frogs kept themselves from falling further away from safety by holding serve against Oklahoma State at home. They head to Iowa State on Saturday and host Kansas next Monday.

LOSERS

NEBRASKA (NET: 34, SOS: 92): The slump continues. The Cornhuskers lost their sixth straight game on Wednesday night. They are now 12-10 overall and 3-9 in the Big Ten. They still get Purdue twice and have to play Michigan and Michigan State on the road, meaning that if they turn this around, there are plenty of chances there to get quality wins, but that is a monstrous ‘if’.

CREIGHTON (NET: 58, SOS: 9): The Bluejays missed on an absolutely golden opportunity to cash in on a marquee win on Wednesday night, as they lost at No. 14 Villanova in overtime. Creighton missed two free throws that would have given them the lead with 37 seconds left in regulation and followed that up by missing a shot at the buzzer that would have won the game. As of today, Creighton has just a 1-8 mark against Q1 opponents, and the one win is a neutral court win over Clemson, which will only remain Q1 if they stay in the top 50 of NET. They are currently No. 50. At this point, I think Creighton has to win at Seton Hall and at Marquette to have any chance of getting an at-large bid.

BAYLOR (NET: 31, SOS: 71): The Bears had their six-game losing streak snapped at Texas (41). That’s survivable, but it has to be noted that the Bears have a slimmer margin for error due to the fact that they have a pair of horrific losses to Texas Southern (226) and Stephen F. Austin (289) at home.

Bracketology: Gonzaga regains West Region

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With the Super Bowl behind us, the march to Selection Sunday is officially here.

Today’s bracket finds a new, but familiar face reigning over the West Region: Gonzaga.  Can the Zags hold on? That’s the million dollar question in Spokane.

The race is far from over.

We have several heavy hitters in play for all four No. 1 seed positions. Teams such as Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky and North Carolina. All have opportunities for resume building wins over the next month. That’s not a knock on Gonzaga, who sits at No. 2 on the NCAA’s NET Ratings this morning.

February is moving month in college basketball. The next three weeks will set the stage for March and Championship Week. Results will define whose in play for this year’s final at-large spots.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 4, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
SOUTH REGION TCU vs. VCU
MIDWEST REGION Seton Hall vs. Temple
EAST REGION Norfolk State vs. Robert Morris
MIDWEST REGION Rider vs. Prairie View

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                       
Columbia Columbia
1) DUKE 1) TENNESSEE
16) NORFOLK ST / R. MORRIS  16) LEHIGH
8) Minnesota 8) Buffalo
9) Arizona State 9) NC State
Jacksonville San Jose
5) Texas Tech 5) Virginia Tech
12) BELMONT 12) LIPSCOMB
4) VILLANOVA 4) Wisconsin
13) OLD DOMINION 13) VERMONT
Tulsa Des Moines
6) LSU 6) Maryland
11) St. John’s 11) TCU / VCU
3) Kansas 3) Marquette
14) BOWLING GREEN 14) RADFORD
Des Moines Jacksonville
7) Cincinnati 7) Mississippi State
10) Alabama 10) Oklahoma
2) Michigan State 2) North Carolina
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) PRINCETON
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Hartford
1) GONZAGA 1) Virginia
16) SAM HOUSTON 16) RIDER / PR. VIEW
8) Ole Miss 8) Auburn
9) Syracuse 9) Ohio State
Salt Lake City San Jose
5) Iowa 5) Iowa State
12) HOFSTRA 12) Seton Hall / Temple
4) Louisville 4) NEVADA
13) UC-IRVINE 13) NEW MEXICO ST
Tulsa Hartford
6) Kansas State 6) Florida State
11) DAVIDSON 11) WOFFORD
3) HOUSTON 3) Purdue
14) GEORGIA STATE 14) NORTHERN KENTUCKY
Columbus Columbus
7) WASHINGTON 7) BAYLOR
10) Texas 10) Indiana
2) MICHIGAN 2) Kentucky
15) MONTANA 15) SOUTH DAKOTA ST

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Oklahoma TCU Florida Arizona
Indiana VCU UCF Arkansas
Texas Seton Hall Nebraska Creighton
St. John’s Temple Butler Clemson

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Tennessee, Virginia, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 10 (9): MICHIGAN, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio State, Indiana

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Florida State, NC State, Syracuse

BIG 12 (8): BAYLOR, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, TCU

SEC (7): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (3): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Atlantic 10 (2): DAVIDSON, VCU

Mid American (2): BOWLING GREEN, Buffalo

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Georgia State (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), Robert Morris (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Bracketology: Showdowns ahead in No. 1 seed race

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The developing bubble is a garbled mess, so let’s stay positive and focus on the No. 1 seed race, which has seven serious contenders at the moment: Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, Michigan State, Gonzaga, and Kentucky.

Between now and Selection Sunday, battles will rage.

Virginia and Duke play again on February 9 (Duke was the first meeting by two points in Durham).

Kentucky and Tennessee play twice – February 16 and March 2.

Same for Michigan State and Michigan – February 24 and March 9.

Which brings us to Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs are expected to cruise through their West Coast Conference campaign; another 30-win season a realistic outcome.

Should that occur, it will be difficult for the Selection Committee to keep Gonzaga off the No. 1 seed line out West (especially given their high NET rating).

If that’s the case, it becomes a six team race for three No.1 seed positions with showdowns ahead. Feels like March is right around the corner.

BRACKET UPDATED: January 31, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
EAST REGION Temple vs. Florida
SOUTH REGION VCU vs. Nebraska
EAST REGION Norfolk State vs. Prairie View
MIDWEST REGION Sam Houston vs. Robert Morris

EAST Washington, DC             SOUTH – Louisville
Columbia Columbia
1) DUKE 1) TENNESSEE
16) NORFOLK ST / PV-AM  16) RIDER
8) Missisippi State 8) WASHINGTON
9) BAYLOR 9) Syracuse
Salt Lake City San Jose
5) Wisconsin 5) Virginia Tech
12) Temple / Florida 12) DAVIDSON
4) VILLANOVA 4) Maryland
13) VERMONT 13) MURRAY STATE
Des Moines Des Moines
6) BUFFALO 6) LSU
11) St. John’s 11) VCU / Nebraska
3) Purdue 3) Marquette
14) TEXAS STATE 14) NORTH TEXAS
Jacksonville Jacksonville
7) NC State 7) Minnesota
10) Ohio State 10) TCU
2) Kentucky 2) North Carolina
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) RADFORD
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Columbus Hartford
1) MICHIGAN 1) Virginia
16) LEHIGH 16) ROB MORRIS / SAM HOUSTON
8) Oklahoma 8) Ole Miss
9) Auburn 9) Texas
San Jose Tulsa
5) Texas Tech 5) Iowa State
12) LIPSCOMB 12) HOFSTRA
4) NEVADA 4) HOUSTON
13) NEW MEXICO ST 13) YALE
Hartford Tulsa
6) Iowa 6) Florida State
11) WOFFORD 11) Seton Hall
3) Louisville 3) Kansas
14) NORTHERN KENTUCKY 14) UC-IRVINE
Salt Lake City Columbus
7) Kansas State 7) Cincinnati
10) Arizona State 10) Alabama
2) GONZAGA 2) Michigan State
15) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 15) MONTANA

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
TCU Nebraska UCF Butler
Ohio State VCU Indiana Creighton
St. John’s Temple Arizona Pittsburgh
Seton Hall Florida Clemson Providence

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Tennessee, Virginia, and Michigan

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 10 (9): MICHIGAN, Michigan State, Purdue, Maryland, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Nebraska

BIG 12 (8): BAYLOR, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, TCU

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Florida State, NC State, Syracuse

SEC (8): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, Florida

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (3): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Atlantic 10 (2): DAVIDSON, VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), North Texas (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Lipscomb (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), Robert Morris (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)