Saturday, March 3, 2012

NCAA Basketball: Bubble Team Breakdown- Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC

by John Huffstetler

Updated through Friday February 24th

Big Ten

Locks- Mich St., Ohio St., Mich, Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue

Northwestern- Record- 17-12 (7-10)
Games Remaining- at Iowa
Ken Pom Rating- 53
Ken Pom SOS- 5
Quality Wins (vs. Ken Pom Top 75)- Mich St., LSU (neutral), SHall (neutral), at Ill, Minn
Bad Losses- None
Record vs. Other Bubble Teams- 2-1- Wins over SHall, Ill and Losses to Ill

In or Out right now- Out- If the Wildcats don't make the NCAA field, they will look back and regret the two OT losses to Michigan. Those games or the 2-point loss this week to Ohio St. could have them in the field right now. As they stand, they have no losses outside of the top 69 on Ken Pom and have a strong quality win over Michigan St. They most likely need a win over Iowa and at least one win in the conference tourney to get in the field.

Illinois- Record- 17-13 (6-11 in Big Ten)
Games Remaining- at Wis
Ken Pom Rating- 69
Ken Pom SOS- 12
Quality Wins (vs. Ken Pom Top 75)- Ohio St., Mich St., Gonzaga, St. Bona, Minn, at NWestern
Bad Losses- at Penn St., at Neb
Record vs. Other Bubble Teams- 1-1- Wins over NWestern and Losses to NWestern

In or Out right now- Out- On January 18th, Illinois looked like a guarantee to make the NCAA tourney, but after losing 10 of their last 12 games, the Illini are currently on the outside of the field. They have several high quality wins, including victories over two top 10 squads in Michigan St. (#3 in Ken Pom) and Ohio St. (#2 in Ken Pom). They are currently barely on the bubble simply because of those high quality wins and the opportunity they still have to earn a high quality win at Wisconsin. A win at Wisky and a few Big 10 tourney wins could still get them in because of the high strength of schedule.

Big 12

Locks- Kansas, Missouri, Baylor, Kan St., Iowa St.

Texas- Record- 19-11 (9-8 in Big 12)
Games Remaining- at Kan
Ken Pom Rating- 27
Ken Pom SOS- 21
Quality Wins (vs. Ken Pom Top 75)- at UCLA, Temp, Iowa St., Kan St.
Bad Losses- None
Record vs. Other Bubble Teams- 0-1- Loss to NC St.

In or Out right now- In- Texas has played a difficult schedule in a top heavy Big 12 conference. 7 of their losses were against Ken Pom top 20 teams. Additionally, they have lost 7 games this year by 6 points or less, showing they can be competitive in the tournament. A win at Kansas would guarantee a berth, but they by no means need it to get in.


Locks- Kentucky, Florida, Vandy, Alabama

Miss St.- Record- 20-10 (7-8 in SEC)
Games Remaining- vs. Ark
Ken Pom Rating- 82
Ken Pom SOS- 77
Quality Wins (vs. Ken Pom Top 75)- Ariz (Neutral), WVa, Tenn, Bama, at Vandy, LSU
Bad Losses- at Ark, at Ole Miss, UGa, at Aub
Record vs. Other Bubble Teams- 3-0- Wins over WVa, Ariz, Bama

In or Out right now- In- The Bulldogs have no business being in this spot. They earned several quality wins early in the year, but have floundered down the stretch with 5 straight losses, including two bad losses to mediocre Georgia and Auburn squads. They are still currently in the field, but they need to take care of business and earn a victory over Arkansas and at least one win in the SEC tourney to stay in.

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