Friday, March 4, 2011

It's March: Bubbles are Already A-Poppin'

Sometimes the bubble just takes care of itself.

The beginning of the major conferences' tournaments occured last night with the start of the ACC, Big Ten and SEC tournaments. While the top teams all had byes, many bubble teams had the opportunity to prove themselves worthy of NCAA tournament inclusion. And of those teams, many that were on the backside of the bubble to begin with played their way right out of contention.

In the ACC, Boston College was likely not going to be seventh team in the conference to get a bid, but the Eagles sealed their own fate by losing to upstarts N.C. State 71-70.

In the Big Ten, Wisconsin, a team whose conference record was tied for third best in conference but had a miserable non-conference season and craptacular RPI, lost to the worst team in the Big Ten, Illinois, 63-56.

In the SEC, Arkansas was a team opposite of Wisconsin; that is, a team whose non-conference season was stellar, but only managed to win 6 out of 16 games in the SEC. The Razorbacks popped their own bubble for good by losing to Florida 68-59.

All three of these games were upsets that showed why Boston College, Wisconsin and Arkansas were considered outsiders to the NCAA tournament to begin with. Arkansas coach Tom Collen stated that the Razorbacks "are going to benefit from games like this somewhere down the line." The only remaining stops down the line (besides a Tarheel-style pre-tournament tune-up game against SIU-Edwardsville) are in the WNIT.


Ooh, let's add Michigan to this list. Illinois up and beat the Wolverines this afternoon.

Now in: Vanderbilt, Old Dominion
Now out: Michigan, Arkansas

Conferences with multiple bids:
Big East: 10
Big 12: 7
ACC: 6
Big Ten: 5
SEC: 5
PAC-10: 3
Atlantic 10: 3
Colonial: 2

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