(Updated through Wednesday’s matches)
Houston (AAC), Saint Joseph’s (A10), Syracuse (ACC), Iowa (Big Ten), Long Beach State (Big West), UC Irvine (Big West), UAB (C-USA), Belmont (OVC), Navy (Patriot), Kentucky (SEC), Gonzaga (WCC)
Kansas (Big 12), North Texas (C-USA), Columbia (Ivy)
DANGER – New Hampshire
With just one game last week, New Hampshire downed Hartford to take a big step towards a league title. With two final games this weekend against teams sixth and ninth in the table, the Wildcats are heavy favorites to get to glory, even as they might drop off the Bubble Watch next week.
LOCK – UCF
BUBBLE – Cincinnati, South Florida, Memphis
DANGER – SMU
UCF continues to blaze a path through the rest of the nation, with a 4-0 win at LSU being the latest in a growing set of accomplishments. The Knights didn’t have a league game this past week but get their last three at home, including a likely title decider against South Florida on the final day of the regular season. Cincinnati’s hopes for a national seed are fading a bit without any big wins, especially after a draw with Memphis at home, but they remain on pace to comfortably make the field. South Florida’s growing into a position of strength on the bubble, as they don’t have any bad losses and are picking up wins when so many other bubble teams aren’t. They’ve won four in a row now, including two on the road against SMU & Houston last week. Memphis’s draw against Cincinnati definitely helped their cause out, but they’re still a side without a marquee win, meaning they really can’t afford a bad loss against Tulsa next week or in the AAC Tournament.
SMU have been immensely disappointing after last season’s big bounce upward, and barring them running the table in their final three AAC matches, they would appear to be just about done as an NCAA at-large hopeful.
BUBBLE – Saint Louis
DANGER – La Salle
Saint Louis might have dropped out of the A10 title race, but the Billikens remain in the frame for an at-large bid. The 14-1-2 record certainly helps in the RPI, but a win at Murray State may be more meaningful. The key, in addition to avoiding losses down the stretch, might be the 3-0 win against Vanderbilt on opening weekend. If VU can move into the RPI Top 50, that would give SLU two wins against RPI Top 50 teams, which would add more weight to their claims.
La Salle’s lack of RPI Top 50 results remains its downfall in at-large hopes. But they probably aren’t going to need it if they keep up their current form, which has seen the Explorers win their first eight in the A10.
LOCK – North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Notre Dame, Wake Forest
BUBBLE – Virginia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, NC State, Boston College
DANGER – Louisville
North Carolina & Duke march on. The Heels destroyed Boston College on the road, while Duke had little trouble in their last home game of the regular season against Miami (FL). Both remain on track for a co-ACC title and a #1 seed. Florida State’s up and down season continued last week, as they scored a huge win at Florida in a make-up game to close out non-conference play, but saw some of that momentum sucked away with a loss a few days later at Wake Forest. Their hopes of a seed probably rose a little but not by bunches. Notre Dame also saw their seed hopes take a bit of a blow with a befuddling home defeat to Virginia Tech, that means they’ve won just two of their last six. The aforementioned Wake Forest’s win against Florida State is another piece for their resume, and the Demon Deacons could be a dark horse for a high seed if they can make an ACC Tournament run.
At this point, Virginia’s probably a lock in all but name only, though the draw with Clemson probably keeps them up in the air officially for another week. The Tigers aren’t out of the woods yet, but that draw with UVA does probably put them much closer to safety at this point as other teams around them keep losing. Virginia Tech was a club without an RPI Top 50 win but with strong draws, which put them in last year’s exact situation, but they changed that definitively with a win at Notre Dame. The Hokies are probably on the right side of the bubble now but probably needs two more wins to feel truly safe. Safety is definitely not with NC State right now, as the Wolfpack have one RPI Top 50 win, that coming over #45 Boston College. The bad news is the rest of the regular season schedule doesn’t offer up a big chance for a statement making win either. BC’s also sweating right now, though the win against Wake Forest gives them a little breathing room. Two wins down the stretch would probably do it for them.
Louisville’s teetering on the edge with a difficult run in. That gives them a chance to make up some ground, but realistically, they probably need at least two wins to stay in the bubble picture.