Bubble Watch

You’ve heard the term before. And it’s about time Crotistics did it the right way. There are 4 categories to look at:

  1. Locks – Teams that would still be in the field if they lost all of their remaining games.
  2. Near-Locks – Teams that could drop out with a truly pitiful performance, but extremely unlikely.
  3. Looking Good – Teams that should make the field with a reasonable performance down the stretch.
  4. The Bubble – Teams that are going to play their way in or out depending upon performance.

Once a team moves to Lock status, they’ll never leave, per the definition. There’s nothing a team can do that would leave them out of the field.


Bubble Watch as of: 3/14/2015


  1. Kentucky
  2. Virginia
  3. Gonzaga
  4. Villanova
  5. Duke
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Kansas
  8. Arizona
  9. Iowa St.
  10. Utah
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Baylor
  14. Maryland
  15. Providence
  16. Butler
  17. Louisville
  18. VCU
  19. Arkansas
  20. North Carolina
  21. Georgetown
  22. West Virginia
  23. Northern Iowa (2/21)
  24. San Diego St. (2/21)
  25. Indiana (2/22)
  26. Wichita St. (2/25)
  27. SMU (2/26)
  28. St. John’s (2/28)
  29. Ohio St. (3/1)
  30. Iowa (3/3)
  31. Oregon (3/4)
  32. Michigan St. (3/4)
  33. Oklahoma St. (3/4)
  34. North Carolina St. (3/7)
  35. Davidson (3/7)
  36. Xavier (3/7)
  37. LSU (3/7)
  38. Cincinnati (3/8)
  39. Texas (3/11)
  40. Purdue (3/13)
  41. Georgia (3/13)



  1. BYU – Lost in the WCC final and now must play the waiting game. Getting swept by Pepperdine hurts, but there’s a good amount here to make a case for BYU, including the win at Gonzaga. It’ll be in the committee’s hands, but ultimately we like BYU to make it.
  2. Dayton – Dayton took care of business in the A10 quarters, and another win would go a long way. It’s going to be close, but ahead of some other teams for now. Really not sure why ESPN has Dayton as a lock with their SOS. Very similar resume to 2014 SMU.
  3. Boise St. – Not ready to call Boise a lock just yet. Had they beaten Wyoming, they’d be in. Ultimately Boise looks like a team that will be in a play-in or miss out.


The Bubble

If Wyoming doesn’t defeat San Diego St, it’s likely that one of the four teams below will miss the field. If they do, two teams won’t make it.

  1. Temple – The Crotistics model has been harsher on Temple than others, but they’ve gotten back into the field with their defeat of Memphis. If they can beat SMU, they’ll be in. If not, wait and see, but they’re in better position than the other three.
  2. Mississippi – Ole Miss has now lost 4 of 5, including an embarrassing loss in the SEC tournament. They’re squarely on the bubble, and will probably be in a play-in game if they get in.
  3. UCLA – As expected, took out USC and lost to Arizona. UCLA is right at the cut line with a number of other teams. They also should be in a Play-in if they make the field.
  4. Colorado St. – Couldn’t take care of business and now will be sweating out Selection Sunday. Another team like Ole Miss that will probably have to wait to know their fate.



At this point (3/14), to see any team not listed above get an at-large would be very, very surprising. Tulsa lost to a D2 school, so they’re not in the discussion for me.

  1. Texas A&M – Lost to Auburn following losses to Florida and Alabama, and now are in a world of hurt. It would be a major surprise to see A&M included in the field.
  2. Illinois – Lost their first Big 10 tourney game to Michigan to put them on ice. It would be a shock to see Illinois included in the field.
  3. Miami (FL) – Also probably a long shot, but they got the job done against Virginia Tech. Couldn’t defeat Notre Dame, which means their chances are slim.


  1. Nice work! Thought your past predictions compared to others on Bracket Matrix were impressive and checked out your site for 2015. I’ll be watching your Bubble Watch page, for sure – enjoy how you have the teams segmented and that you provide your human rationale to go along with the “math” for how you have teams rated. Keep it up!!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Chad. Determining who’s in and out seems to make much more sense with defined criteria. Hoping this year’s expectation is as good as last.

  2. One more win punches Purdue’s ticket? What do you think of Purdue’s chances if Purdue loses at MSU and to Illinois to end the year?

    1. Will definitely depend on the conference tournament at that point. 1-2 the rest of the way is OK. 1-3 will be iffy. 2-3 should be good as well. Basically can’t finish more than 1 game under .500 including the Big 10 Tournament.

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