Bracket Watch: Tennessee has surged onto the bubble
Is it too early to talk bubble teams? Of course it’s not.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Tennessee was a .500 team not being remotely discussed for the NCAA tournament. Four straight wins later — including a memorable upset of Kentucky — the 13-9 Vols entered my latest bracket. And they’re not the only bubble team trending in the right direction.
After starting 0-6 in Big 12 play, 14-8 Oklahoma State has righted itself with four consecutive wins, including a solid non-conference victory over Arkansas. The Cowboys sit in the Top 24 on KenPom.com and high enough on my list to merit a No. 10 seed.
Elsewhere, 13-8 Clemson has put itself on more solid footing despite still sitting at just 3-6 in the ACC. Four RPI Top 50 wins will do that. And VCU has played itself back into my field with consecutive wins over fellow Atlantic 10 title contenders Dayton and Richmond.
A reminder: Selection Sunday is March 12, and the tourney begins March 14. The Final Four is April 1-3 in Phoenix.
* — Denotes projected conference champion, automatic berth
This edition’s bracket is Midwest vs. West champions and East vs. South champions in the national semifinals, based on the order of my No. 1 seeds.
|6||South Carolina||at Greenville, SC|
|7||Virginia Tech||at Indianapolis|
|15||Florida Gulf Coast*|
|1||Gonzaga*||at Salt Lake City|
|13||New Mexico State*|
|6||Saint Mary’s||at Salt Lake City|
|15||North Dakota State*|
|16||Sam Houston State*/Texas Southern*|
|12||East Tennessee State*|
|16||Mount St. Mary’s*/Morgan State*|
|7||Minnesota||at Greenville, S.C.|
LAST FOUR IN: Tennessee, TCU, Wake Forest, Miami
FIRST FOUR OUT: Kansas State, Wichita State, Seton Hall, Providence
NEXT FOUR OUT: Georgia, Georgetown, Cal, Pittsburgh
MULTIPLE BID CONFERENCES: ACC (11), Big Ten (8), Big 12 (6), Big East (5), SEC (5), Pac-12 (4), A-10 (2), American (2), WCC (2)
- Arizona Wildcats
- Arkansas State Red Wolves
- Dayton Flyers
- Florida State Seminoles
- Indiana Hoosiers
- Kansas State Wildcats
- Kentucky Wildcats
- Michigan State Spartans
- Minnesota Golden Gophers
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Oklahoma State Cowboys
- Pittsburgh Panthers
- South Carolina Gamecocks
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Virginia Commonwealth Rams
- Virginia Tech Hokies
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- West Virginia Mountaineers