Dancing on the NCAA Bubble (Feb. 20)

Matt NorlanderAnalyst IFebruary 21, 2008

Do not hate on Freddy.

It really dawned on my yesterday: My God I cannot wait for Greg Gumbel’s voice on March 16.

Again, this feature is not about projecting the field or anticipating what might happen. This is how I see the field of 65 and who I think should be in right now.

After all, we all complain about who WE think should have/should not have gotten in on Aftermath Monday. And no, I do not read any Bracketology. As I’ve stated before, Lunardi is just too good at what he does that he takes the fun out evaluating the field for me.

What defines a “lock” to me? Simple: If you can afford to lose every single game for the remainder of the season and still be granted an at-large berth despite that, you’re a lock.

I’m litigious with this, I know, but I do it purposefully in order to really be able to get a full scope of the at-large field.

Understand that there are only 34 at-large berths handed out each year, and the ratio of locks/bubblers will certainly become a lot tighter once February comes to an end. For the sake of this column, I’m assuming the worst right now. That means that I’m assuming that every single conference tournament will produce a winner that has no at-large chances.

There are now 15 locks. The at-large field after that? We’ve trimmed it down to 45 teams.

The math: 34 at-large berths - 15 locks= 19 spots left.

The good news? Those spots will inevitably grow because some of the locks will earn the auto bids, clearing up more room for bubble teams. God, I love March.

If you have any questions, gripes, serious disagreements, or love letters you’d like to send me, I can be reached at editor@collegehoopsjournal.com. Or you can just post in the comments, which is always welcomed.

Gone from last week’s edition: North Carolina State, Duquesne, George Mason, and Illinois State.

Previous dumpees in the past two weeks: Virginia Tech, San Diego State, Providence, Charlotte, Wake Forest, and Seton Hall. Texas Tech, Minnesota, Virginia, Creighton, Boston College, Florida State.

Villanova and Wake Forest are back from the dead. Those schools could enter back into the fold, but it’s going to take a lot. For all of your NCAA Tournament questions, needs and curiosities, follow me. (more…)