Geeks: Easy Bubble Solver, Selection Sunday Edition

On Friday morning, we checked in with the Easy Bubble Solver, a quick and easy way to get the lay of the land as pertains to the NCAA tournament bubble. Two days later, the landscape has changed. Let’s reset the Easy Bubble Solver for one last look before the selection committee puts all speculation to rest this evening.

Here is the NCAA tournament field according to Easy Bubble Solver (excluding automatic bid teams that ranked below 49th):

KenPom Rank RPI Rank EBS EBS Rank Team
1 1 2 1 Arizona
3 2 5 2 Florida
4 4 8 3 Wichita St.
6 5 11 4 Villanova
9 3 12 5 Kansas
7 7 14 6 Duke
5 11 16 7 Virginia
8 10 18 8 Creighton
12 6 18 9 Wisconsin
2 18 20 10 Louisville
11 9 20 11 Michigan
10 12 22 12 VCU
16 14 30 13 UCLA
15 16 31 14 Syracuse
23 8 31 15 Iowa St.
14 21 35 16 Michigan St.
19 17 36 17 Kentucky
21 15 36 18 San Diego St.
20 19 39 19 Gonzaga
28 13 41 20 New Mexico
18 24 42 21 Ohio St.
24 20 44 22 Cincinnati
25 22 47 23 Connecticut
26 25 51 24 North Carolina
13 42 55 25 Tennessee
17 39 56 26 Pittsburgh
29 27 56 27 Oklahoma
30 28 58 28 Oregon
34 26 60 29 Saint Louis
31 30 61 30 Baylor
22 45 67 31 Oklahoma St.
39 35 74 32 Texas
45 29 74 33 George Washington
51 23 74 34 Massachusetts
36 41 77 35 Stanford
33 46 79 36 Harvard
40 40 80 37 Providence
49 31 80 38 BYU
46 36 82 39 Memphis
27 57 84 40 Iowa
32 53 85 41 SMU
42 47 89 42 Xavier
53 37 90 43 Saint Joseph’s
56 34 90 44 North Dakota St.
47 44 91 45 Arizona St.
41 54 95 46 Florida St.
44 51 95 47 Kansas St.
52 43 95 48 Dayton
63 32 95 49 Southern Miss

Here are the first eight teams out, according to Easy Bubble Solver.

KenPom Rank RPI Rank EBS EBS Rank Team
48 48 96 50 Nebraska
35 62 97 51 Louisiana Tech
64 33 97 52 Colorado
38 68 106 53 St. John’s
58 50 108 54 Minnesota
60 52 112 55 Stephen F. Austin
37 80 117 56 Utah
61 58 119 57 Green Bay

There are some surprises here relative to the Bracket Matrix. The biggest discrepancy is Colorado, which the Bracket Matrix has as a safe 9-seed. Easy Bubble Solver has the Buffaloes out.

Of most interest to our readers are the fates of Nebraska and Minnesota. The Easy Bubble Solver sees both teams just outside the field, though the narrow margin in the EBS column should be noted for the Huskers. In effect, the Easy Bubble Solver sees no real difference between the last four in and the first three out. Unfortunately, the Gophers are well behind this group, and I’m fairly convinced that Minnesota won’t get in.

With this backdrop, it will be very interesting to see how the committee handles the two at-large contenders from Conference USA, Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech. Neither team has much of a resume when it comes to top 50 wins, but both have computer numbers that merit consideration.

If both of these Conference USA teams are NIT-bound, as the Bracket Matrix suggests, then the Easy Bubble Solver is really saying that there are four spots for the following five teams: Florida State, Kansas State, Dayton, Nebraska, and Colorado. One team from this list is likely to be left out in the cold.

It should be noted that one team close to the bubble still has a game to play today. Saint Joseph’s will be taking on VCU in the A-10 championship, and the Hawks are currently only five “points” ahead of the bubble group in Easy Bubble Solver. The good news for St. Joseph’s is that a loss today to VCU won’t really damage their RPI – according to RPIForecast.com, the Hawks’ RPI rank would drop only one spot with a loss today. The bad news is that a blowout loss to VCU could conceivably drop St. Joseph’s KenPom rank by the five spots necessary to knock the Hawks out of the field. I’m inclined to agree with the Bracket Matrix in this case, which has St. Joseph’s comfortably in as a 10-seed, but that’s the one Sunday game that *could* have bubble implications.

So, with mere hours to go before the actual field is announced, uncertainty abounds for Nebraska and Minnesota. One way or another, we’ll have clarity this evening.

1 Comment

Your Opinion?
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Bob Jones on 3/16/2014 @ 11:57am EST Said:

ESPN had your last 4 in all out and Nebraska in on Sunday morning.