2013 March Madness Bubble Watch: Latest Odds on Fringe Teams for Week of Feb. 4

Tim KeeneyContributor IFebruary 4, 2013

2013 March Madness Bubble Watch: Latest Odds on Fringe Teams for Week of Feb. 4

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    It was yet another wild week in the college hoops world, and the updated bubble watch for every major team appropriately reflects that.

    Oklahoma State's spot in the Field of 68 is a lot more secure after one of the biggest wins of the year, while Kentucky is surging, Miami is pulling away from the pack in the ACC and the Big East, Pac-12 and Mountain West continue to be as muddled as ever. 

    The madness is heightening.

    Note: All RPI and SOS figures are from ESPN.com, although the numbers may vary slightly depending on what site you look at. 

Big Ten

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    Locks

    Indiana Hoosiers

    Michigan Wolverines

    Michigan State Spartans

    Ohio State Buckeyes

     

    Comfortable

    Minnesota Golden Gophers

    Minnesota may not be a lock, but Tubby Smith's team got two wins (at home vs Nebraska and Iowa) this week and is back to above .500 in the conference with an RPI in the top 10. It will take a monumental collapse for the Gophers to miss the Big Dance. 


    Wisconsin Badgers

    The up-and-down Badgers continued to be up and down. They lost at Ohio State on Tuesday, but came back with a road win against Illinois on the weekend. If they continue to win the games they are supposed to (Iowa, at Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue, at Penn State), they'll be safe. 

     

    Bubble

    Illinois Fighting Illini

    Illinois' strength of schedule (6) and nonconference resume is keeping it alive, but two more losses this week pushed the Illini to 2-7 in the Big Ten. 

     

    Iowa Hawkeyes

    Iowa has a nasty RPI (82) and SOS (106), but remaining games with Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska, Purdue, Illinois and Nebraska give the Hawkeyes a legitimate chance at getting to .500 in the best conference in America. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Northwestern Wildcats

    Penn State Nittany Lions

    Purdue Boilermakers

Big East

2 of 8
    Locks

    Louisville Cardinals

    Syracuse Orange

     

    Comfortable 

    Cincinnati Bearcats

    No overwhelming wins this week, but two wins nonetheless. Another week like that (which would include a win vs. Pittsburgh), and Mick Cronin's team could be a lock. 

     

    Georgetown Hoyas

    Same goes for the Hoyas. They didn't turn any heads, but they went 2-0 and beat a quietly talented St. John's squad. 


    Marquette Golden Eagles

    Marquette was the unfortunate victim of a focused Louisville team this week, but the Golden Eagles still have an RPI of 16 and just two losses in conference. 

     

    Pittsburgh Panthers

    Welcome to the "comfortable" section, Pittsburgh. Go ahead and make yourself, um, comfortable.

    The Panthers nearly upset Louisville at the KFC Yum! (Yum!) Center earlier in the week, but kept the momentum going with a crucial home win over Syracuse on Saturday. Their RPI now sits a pleasant 37. 

     

    Bubble 

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    The Irish got a crucial home win against red-hot Villanova, and they may have figured things out after a rough start to Big East play. 

    We'll know for sure after Mike Brey's boys take on both Louisville and Syracuse this week. 

     

    Saint John's Red Storm

    The Johnnies went 1-1 this week, have an RPI of 58, a SOS of 23 and sport a road win over Cincinnati (RPI 20). They are the typical bubble team.

    Unfortunately for Steve Lavin's crew, they still have to take on Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame all away from Madison Square Garden.

     

    Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    We'll keep them here for now, but the Scarlet Knights (RPI 63, best win against Pittsburgh) went 0-1 this week and badly need a home win against Louisville or Georgetown.

     

    Villanova Wildcats

    Welp, there's Mr. Hyde (or is it Dr. Jekyll?). The Wildcats followed up the "best week ever" with a road loss to Notre Dame and an embarrassing home defeat to Providence (RPI 106). They now have an RPI of 71 and sit below .500 in the conference.

    Oops. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    DePaul Blue Demons

    Providence Friars

    Seton Hall Pirates

    South Florida Bulls

    *Connecticut is ineligible for postseason play. 

Pac-12

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    Locks

    Arizona Wildcats

    Oregon Ducks

     

    Comfortable

    Colorado Buffaloes

    I guess the Buffaloes felt they needed a bad loss on their schedule. In their only game of the week, they lost at No. 159 Utah.

    Still, though, an RPI of 25 and a 14-7 record with a SOS of 16 has the Buffs safe for now. 

     

    UCLA Bruins

    Solid week for my "comfortable" teams, huh? The Bruins were at home against No. 106, but trailed for most of the game and fell in overtime after a late-game comeback. 

    I still believe it will be difficult to keep UCLA out based on their road wins against Arizona (RPI 4) and Colorado, but its resume continues to get uglier by the week. 

     

    Bubble

    Arizona State Sun Devils

    They slipped up at Washington, but still have an RPI of 58 and an impressive 6-3 record inside the conference. 

     

    California Golden Bears

    The Bears enter the fray with home wins against Oregon State and Oregon (RPI 26), but a 68 RPI and 58 SOS isn't impressing many people. 

     

    Stanford Cardinal

    See Golden Bears, California, except change the RPI to 65 and SOS to 62.  

     

    Washington Huskies

    A win at UCLA would be massive for the Huskies, who ended a four-game losing streak on Saturday with a home win against ASU. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Oregon State Beavers

    USC Trojans

    Utah Utes

    Washington State Cougars

ACC

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    Locks

    Duke Blue Devils

    Miami Hurricanes

    NC State Wolfpack

     

    Comfortable

    North Carolina Tar Heels

    Their resume certainly isn't flashy, but they got two wins this week, have an RPI of 31, SOS of 33 and no real bad losses outside of a dismantling at Texas.

     

    Bubble

    Maryland Terrapins

    A loss at Florida State certainly didn't help the Terrapins. They are now 4-5 in the conference with an RPI of 70 and a painful nonconference SOS of 298. With the exception of a one-point win against NC State, their best victory is at home against Stony Brook. 

     

    Virginia Cavaliers

    Virginia continues to be the most intriguing case in the NCAA. 

    The Cavs boast wins over NC State, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Florida State, but because of a loss to 2-19 Old Dominion and a nonconference strength of schedule of 336, they only have an RPI of 99. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Boston College Eagles

    Clemson Tigers

    Florida State Seminoles

    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

    Virginia Tech Hokies

    Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Mountain West

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    Locks

    Colorado State Rams

    New Mexico Lobos

    San Diego State Aztecs

    UNLV Rebels

     

    Comfortable

    No one

     

    Bubble

    Air Force Falcons

    If you thought the Falcons were going to be 5-2 in this loaded conference with wins against San Diego State, Boise State and Wyoming at this point, raise your hand.

    Now put your hand down, liar. 

    The Falcons only have an RPI of 64, but they have zero bad losses and seemingly get better every week. 

     

    Boise State Broncos

    The Broncos got a crucial win at home against UNLV after a road loss to Colorado State, and now have an RPI of 52 to go along with a SOS of 95. 

    A win at San Diego State on Wednesday would be huge. 

     

    Wyoming Cowboys

    It's getting close to time to fork-sticking time for Wyoming. The Cowboys lost at home to New Mexico and at Colorado State, and now are down to No. 62 in the RPI with a dangerous 2-6 record in the MWC. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Nevada Wolf Pack

    Fresno State Bulldogs

Big 12

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    Locks

    Kansas Jayhawks

     

    Comfortable 

    Kansas State Wildcats

    The Wildcats got a two-win week and have yet to lose to anyone outside of the Top 40. 

     

    Oklahoma Sooners

    The Sooners lost to those Wildcats, but a road win against Baylor earlier in the week was very impressive. An RPI of 23 and SOS of 9 is extremely impressive. 

     

    Oklahoma State Cowboys

    The Cowboys landed the biggest win of the week with a thrilling victory at Kansas, and with an RPI of 30, it will now be very tough for them to drop out of the Field of 68.  

     

    Bubble

    Baylor Bears

    A two-loss week has the Bears (RPI 45) down to the bubble. A win at Oklahoma State on Wednesday, however, would certainly reverse that. 

     

    Iowa State Cyclones

    The Cyclones were one of the teams to knock off Baylor this week, and with an RPI of 36 and just one bad loss (at Texas Tech) on the resume, Fred Hoiberg's squad is in pretty good shape. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    West Virginia Mountaineers 

    Texas Longhorns

    TCU Horned Frogs

    Texas Tech Red Raiders

SEC

7 of 8

    Locks

    Florida Gators

     

    Comfortable

    Missouri Tigers

    The Tigers lost at LSU, but they still have an RPI of 34. For now they are safe, but Frank Haith's squad might need to start playing with a little more urgency. 

     

    Ole Miss Rebels

    Mississippi presents an interesting case. 

    After two straight losses, the Rebels are 17-4 and 6-2 in the SEC. They have no bad losses, but haven't really impressed with any of their wins (with the exception of a win against Missouri, maybe) and only have an RPI of 42. 

     

    Bubble

    Kentucky Wildcats

    Kentucky got crucial road wins at Ole Miss and Texas A&M, and things finally seem to be coming together for John Calipari's squad. 

     

    Alabama Crimson Tide

    Alabama had a two-win week and now quietly sits in a tie with Ole Miss and Kentucky at 6-2 in the SEC. An RPI of 61 and a SOS of 51, however, aren't exactly overwhelming. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Arkansas Razorbacks

    Auburn Tigers

    Georgia Bulldogs

    LSU Tigers

    Mississippi State Bulldogs

    South Carolina Gamecocks

    Texas A&M Aggies

    Tennessee Volunteers

    Vanderbilt Commodores

The Rest

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    Locks

    Gonzaga Bulldogs

    Butler Bulldogs


    Comfortable

    Belmont Bruins

    They have an RPI of 21 but a SOS of just 54. Nevertheless, if the Bruins don't win the OVC, it will be a major shock. 


    Creighton Bluejays

    The Bluejays have now responded to an ugly loss at Drake with three straight victories, and look to be extremely safe for the tourney. 


    La Salle Explorers

    The Explorers dropped a one-point heartbreaker to UMass, but they still have an impressive RPI of 27, a SOS of 32 and just one bad loss (at home to Central Connecticut).


    VCU Rams

    It wasn't pretty, but VCU got two wins this week. An RPI at 48 is a tad concerning for Shaka Smart's team, however. 


    Wichita State Shockers

    Losses at home against Indiana State and on the road against Northern Iowa suddenly have Wichita State reeling. The Shockers are down to No. 28 in the RPI, and with a SOS of 92, they can't afford many more bad losses. 


    Bubble (In order of RPI)

    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

    Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

    BYU Cougars

    Memphis Tigers

    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

    Massachusetts Minutemen

    Indiana State Sycamores

    Akron Zips

    Saint Louis Billikens

    Temple Owls

    Charlotte 49ers

    Bucknell Bison

    Saint Mary's Gaels

    South Dakota State Jackrabbits

    North Dakota State Bison

    Xavier Musketeers