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

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 5, 2013

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

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    Let the Madness begin.

    March is officially here, and as such, the NCAA tournament picture is beginning to clear up with many teams "clinching" their spots in the Big Dance, and many, well, clinching their spots in the NIT and CBI. 

    That being said, with conference tournaments just around the corner, every school still has at least a sliver of hope, and there are still plenty of unforeseen twists and turns ahead on the bracketology horizon. 

    Let's take a look at where every tourney hopeful sits as the final week of the regular season gets underway. 

    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 March 5. 

Big Ten

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    Locks

    Indiana Hoosiers

    Michigan Wolverines

    Michigan State Spartans

    Ohio State Buckeyes

    Wisconsin Badgers 

     

    Comfortable

    Illinois Fighting Illini

    Here we are with a week left in the regular season, and the Illini are still nearly impossible to figure out. They boast wins over two potential No. 1 seeds in Gonzaga and Indiana, but then they go and beat Nebraska at home by just seven.

    Still, a win at Iowa or Ohio State should wrap up a spot in the tourney for John Groce's squad. 

     

    Minnesota Golden Gophers

    The win over Indiana all but locked up a spot for the Golden Gophers, who are now No. 16 in the RPI.

     

    Bubble

    Iowa Hawkeyes

    For whatever it's worth, I've got Iowa going deep in the ever-popular NIT bracket pool, but it will likely take a trip to the finals of the Big Ten tournament for the Hawkeyes to have a shot at an at-large bid to the real dance.  

     

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Nebraska Cornhuskers

    Northwestern Wildcats

    Penn State Nittany Lions

    Purdue Boilermakers

Big East

2 of 7
    Locks

    Georgetown Hoyas

    Louisville Cardinals

    Marquette Golden Eagles

    Notre Dame Fighting Irish

    Pittsburgh Panthers

    Syracuse Orange

     

    Comfortable 

    Cincinnati Bearcats

    The Bearcats missed out on a signature win at Louisville on Monday night, but as long as they don't slip up against 11-17 South Florida, they have a resume better than most bubble teams. 

     

    Bubble  

    Saint John's Red Storm

    The Johnnies are all but eliminated from the Big Dance, but wins at Notre Dame and at home against Marquette would quickly re-enter them into serious talks. 

     

    Villanova Wildcats

    'Nova is directly on the bubble.

    Whether or not the Wildcats are currently in the field of 68 depends on who you ask, but they should treat Wednesday's matchup with Georgetown as a must-win. 

     

    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

3 of 7

    Locks

    Arizona Wildcats

    Oregon Ducks

    UCLA Bruins

    Comfortable

    California Golden Bears

    There aren't many teams that are more on fire than Cal, and there are certainly none that have went from "outside the bubble" to "nearing lock status" so quickly. 

    Colorado Buffaloes

    The Buffs have solid computer numbers (RPI 27, SOS 19), but just 19 wins overall and nine in the Pac-12. While they should be safe, a good showing at home against the Oregon schools this week will be key. 

    Bubble

    Arizona State Sun Devils

    The dream of seeing Jahii Carson on the biggest of stages appears to be over. The Sun Devils have lost three in a row and dropped to 93 in the RPI. 

    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

    North Carolina Tar Heels

    North Carolina State Wolfpack

    Comfortable 

    No one

    Bubble

    Maryland Terrapins

    The Terps are currently outside the bubble, but they can still help themselves against North Carolina and at Virginia. 

    Virginia Cavaliers

    The Cavaliers remains the biggest question mark of the tournament. 

    They are 7-2 against the top 100 and now boast a win against No. 1 Duke, but they are also just 13-7 against teams outside the top 100, which includes a loss against No. 316 Old Dominion. 

    Still, with the softness of this year's bubble, it would be difficult to keep a team with Virginia's potential out. 

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    Boston College Eagles

    Clemson Tigers

    Florida State Seminoles

    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

    Virginia Tech Hokies

    Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Big 12

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    Locks

    Kansas Jayhawks

    Kansas State Wildcats

    Oklahoma State Cowboys

    Comfortable 

    Oklahoma Sooners

    The Sooners slipped up against Texas, but responded with a win over Iowa State and are still safe assuming they beat West Virginia and TCU to close out the regular season. 

    Bubble

    Baylor Bears

    The Bears aren't making it easy for themselves. They let an opportunity for a huge win against Kansas State slip away with a crushing late-game mistake and followed it up with a loss to Texas. 

    It's time to beat Kansas at home. 

    Iowa State Cyclones

    The Cyclones have lost two in a row and desperately need to beat Oklahoma State at home on Wednesday. 

    The Rest (alphabetical order)

    West Virginia Mountaineers 

    Texas Longhorns

    TCU Horned Frogs

    Texas Tech Red Raiders

SEC

6 of 7

    Locks

    Florida Gators

    Comfortable

    Missouri Tigers

    Missouri's resume isn't anything special, but it's good enough to push the Tigers into the Big Dance.  

    Bubble

    Kentucky Wildcats

    The Wildcats are now 3-2 without Nerlens Noel, but two of the losses were a 30-point beating at Tennessee and a defeat at Arkansas, their worst of the season in terms of RPI. 

    Nevertheless, John Calipari's squad is in with a win over Florida on Saturday. 

    Ole Miss Rebels

    Ole Miss is slowly moving to the wrong side of the bubble. The Rebels' loss at Mississippi State (RPI 229) was disastrous. 

    Alabama Crimson Tide

    The Crimson Tide are quietly 11-5 in the SEC, but after losing to Florida, they don't have a signature win. 

    Two more wins against Mississippi and Georiga, along with a couple in the SEC tourney, should do the trick for the Tide. 

    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

    Butler Bulldogs

    Colorado State Rams

    Gonzaga Bulldogs

    Memphis Tigers

    New Mexico Lobos

    Saint Louis Billikens

    San Diego State Aztecs

    UNLV Rebels

    VCU Rams

    Comfortable

    Creighton Bluejays

    St. Mary's Gaels

    Wichita State Shockers

    Bubble

    Akron Zips

    Belmont Bruins

    Boise State Broncos

    La Salle Explorers

    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

    Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

    Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles

    Temple Owls