2013 March Madness Bubble Watch: Latest Odds on Fringe Teams for Week of Feb. 18

Tim KeeneyContributor IFebruary 18, 2013

2013 March Madness Bubble Watch: Latest Odds on Fringe Teams for Week of Feb. 18

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    Compared to the rest of the college basketball season, this past week was dull.

    Of course, that's more of a statement on the unpredictability of the season as a whole more than anything else. While this seems like the first time since Clinton was in office that a No. 1 escaped the week unscathed, upsets were still abound. 

    Rivalry week caught Duke (at Maryland), Michigan (at Michigan State) and Syracuse (at Connecticut) off-guard, and as a result, the top five saw a major shakeup. 

    Meanwhile, the rest of the March Madness picture is beginning to clear up ever so slightly as conference play hits the home stretch.

    Note: All RPI and Strength of Schedule numbers come from BBState.com. Those numbers will vary slightly depending on where you look.

    Also note: All stats and numbers are from games up until before Feb. 11. 

Big Ten

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    Locks

    Indiana Hoosiers

    Michigan Wolverines

    Michigan State Spartans

    Ohio State Buckeyes

    Wisconsin Badgers 

     

    Comfortable

    Illinois Fighting Illini

    After two wins this past week, we'll move the Illini back into the "comfortable" section. Not only are they up to 6-7 in the Big Ten after a brutal start, but they have an RPI of 29, a SOS of 6 and four top-30 wins. 

    As long as they win the games they should against Penn State and Nebraska, there shouldn't be much to worry about. 

     

    Minnesota Golden Gophers

    Minnesota got a crucial home win against red-hot Wisconsin in OT, but the Gophers then slipped up and got throttled at Iowa.

    Still, Tubby Smith's squad has elite computer numbers (RPI 15, SOS 2) that keep it safe for now. 

     

    Bubble

    Iowa Hawkeyes

    The Hawkeyes now have three straight wins, and if they can accomplish the doable task of defeating Nebraska twice, Purdue at home and Illinois at home, they would have 10 wins in the Big Ten (plus another game at No. 1 Indiana). 

    However, they are just 76th in the RPI with two fairly bad losses against Purdue and Virginia Tech. 

    Most believe this team is on the outside looking in, but don't count Iowa out just yet. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Northwestern Wildcats

    Penn State Nittany Lions

    Purdue Boilermakers

Big East

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    Locks

    Georgetown Hoyas

    Louisville Cardinals

    Syracuse Orange

     

    Comfortable 

    Cincinnati Bearcats

    This probably depends on your definition of "comfortable."

    The Bearcats are still likely in the tourney, but they've lost three of their last four, still have to play at UConn, Notre Dame and Louisville and have slipped to 41st in the RPI. 

    Call it uncomfortably comfortable. 


    Marquette Golden Eagles

    With a 9-3 Big East record, an RPI of 14 and a SOS of 9, it's difficult to call Marquette anything but a lock. 

    Let's hold off a little longer, though, as the Golden Eagles still have three tricky road games (Villanova, Rutgers, St. John's) and two home battles against Syracuse and Notre Dame.

     

    Pittsburgh Panthers

    Pitt is just as close to being a lock. The Panthers are 8-5 in the conference and have a fairly easy schedule the rest of the way. 

     

    Bubble 

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    The Irish followed up their signature win over Louisville with a narrow victory against DePaul and a blowout loss at Providence. 

    Mike Brey's team has a clean resume (Providence, RPI No. 84, was the worst loss), but ugly computer numbers (RPI 60, SOS 117) aren't helping. 

     

    Saint John's Red Storm

    The Johnnies missed out on a chance for a signature win at Syracuse and Louisville, and they remain firmly on the edge of the bubble. 

    Wins over UConn and Cincy are nice, but losses to San Francisco and UNC-Asheville are not.

     

    Villanova Wildcats

    The Wildcats lost at Cincinnati but got a huge road win against UConn.

    A home loss to Columbia (RPI 255) back in November is seriously hurting their overall resume, but those two signature wins against Louisville and Syracuse are keeping the 'Cats alive. 

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    DePaul Blue Demons

    Providence Friars

    Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    Seton Hall Pirates

    South Florida Bulls

    *Connecticut is ineligible for postseason play. 

Pac-12

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    Locks

    Arizona Wildcats

    Comfortable

    Colorado Buffaloes

    One of the most polarizing seasons continued as Colorado knocked off Arizona at home, but responded by losing to Arizona State. 

    Still, at No. 24 in the RPI, the Buffs are safe. 

    Oregon Ducks

    The Ducks got two much-needed wins at the Washington schools without Dominic Artis, and they now comfortably have an RPI of 37 with a legitimate shot at the Pac-12 title. 

    UCLA Bruins

    The Bruins were run out of Haas Pavilion against Cal, but they responded with a win at Stanford and still have a resume that is good enough. 

    Bubble

    Arizona State Sun Devils

    Call this past week a wash, as the Sun Devils lost to Utah (RPI 172) and beat Colorado (RPI 24).

    As it stands, ASU looks like good candidate for a play-in game. It has a good shot at double-digit conference wins but has an average resume (RPI 68, SOS 119). 

    California Golden Bears

    The Bears are surging.

    They followed up a road win at Arizona with a home sweep against the Southern California schools, and as long as Mike Montgomery doesn't knock out any of his players, this team has the momentum to make the tourney. 

    A good showing at Oregon this week would be monumental for Allen Crabbe and company. 

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Oregon State Beavers

    Stanford Cardinal

    USC Trojans

    Utah Utes

    Washington Huskies

    Washington State Cougars

ACC

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    Locks

    Duke Blue Devils

    Miami Hurricanes

    Comfortable 

    NC State Wolfpack

    They weren't pretty, but NC State got two narrow wins at Clemson and against Virginia Tech.

    The Wolfpack are treading water because of good computer numbers (RPI 22, SOS 19), but they are not playing well right now. 

    Bubble

    Maryland Terrapins

    Maryland's resume was looking awfully ugly, but a win over Duke immediately changed that. 

    However, the Terps still have an RPI of 63, an SOS of 92 and just two wins in the top 85, and their work is far from done.

    Nevertheless, they are firmly back in the bubble conversation. 

    North Carolina Tar Heels

    The computers love UNC (RPI 31, SOS 16), but the Heels have just one top-50 win and are struggling with inconsistency in conference play.

    For what it's worth, the media did a mock selection process last week, and the Tar Heels didn't make it

    Virginia Cavaliers

    Virginia continues to have easily the most intriguing resume of any team. 

    The Cavaliers are an amazing 6-1 against the top 100 after a loss to UNC, but have six losses outside the top 100, including a home defeat to Old Dominion (RPI 323). 

    An RPI of 81 does not bode well, but it's a fairly weak bubble, and the Cavs still have Miami and Duke left on the slate. 

    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

    Comfortable

    San Diego State Aztecs

    The Aztecs lost two games this week, but they were close defeats on the road against Colorado State and UNLV. They won't be hurt by that. 

    An RPI of 32, a SOS of 33 and two top-15 wins should have them feeling safe, no matter the 6-5 conference record. 

    UNLV Rebels

    UNLV continues to be up and down. The Rebels lost at Air Force and beat San Diego State this week, keeping them just one game over .500 in the conference. 

    Much like the Aztecs, though, the Rebels have encouraging computer numbers (RPI 19, SOS 23). 

    Bubble

    Air Force Falcons

    The Falcons have beaten both San Diego State and UNLV, but they have an RPI of 70 and a weak non-conference showing.  

    I'm not ready to count out Michael "Jordan" Lyons, but Air Force's time may be running out soon. 

    Boise State Broncos

    The Broncos are sticking around with an RPI of 32, but they are going to have to start scoring some wins very soon. They have just two top-50 victories and are 4-6 in the conference. 

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Nevada Wolf Pack

    Fresno State Bulldogs

    Wyoming Cowboys

Big 12

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    Locks

    Kansas Jayhawks

    Kansas State Wildcats

    Oklahoma State Cowboys

    Comfortable 

    Oklahoma Sooners

    While the Sooners are safe with an RPI of 17 and an SOS of 4, I'd like to see them play a few more games without Buddy Hield, although they looked good against Oklahoma State sans the freshman guard. 

    Bubble

    Baylor Bears

    It's not going to be easy for Baylor, which sits at 7-5 in the conference with an RPI of just 53.

    The Bears still have to take on Oklahoma and a Texas squad with Myck Kabongo on the road, while they also have to host Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State. 

    Iowa State Cyclones

    The Cyclones were the unfortunate opponent for Kabongo's return, and that Texas loss won't look good on the increasingly shaky resume. 

    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 won at Mississippi State and lost at Arkansas, thus capping off yet another 1-1 week. 

    They are still safe, but they has been pretty underwhelming lately and shouldn't feel overly confident. 

    Bubble

    Kentucky Wildcats

    The Wildcats are in trouble. The committee will likely judge them on how they look without Nerlens Noel, and the early returns are disastrous. 

    Ole Miss Rebels

    Ole Miss went 1-1 this week, but with an RPI of 47 and just one top-70 win, it can ill-afford more losses to squads like Texas A&M.

    Alabama Crimson Tide

    With two more wins, the Crimson Tide are sneaking up on the rest of the country. They now sit at 17-8 overall and 9-3 in the SEC. 

    Alabama's best win, however, is against Kentucky, and it's computer numbers (RPI 58, SOS 70) aren't fantastic. There is still work to be done. 

    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

    Bubble (In order of RPI)

    Belmont Bruins

    Memphis Tigers

    Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

    Wichita State Shockers

    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

    La Salle Explorers

    VCU Rams

    Creighton Bluejays

    Saint Louis Billikens

    Akron Zips

    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

    Saint Mary's Gaels

    Temple Owls

    Charlotte 49ers

    Massachusetts Minutemen

    Indiana State Sycamores

    Bucknell Bison