NCAA – Bare Bones Bubble Watch – Week One

Welcome to the first edition of Bubble Watch. Or really, the first of two no-frills editions of Bubble Watch. These classifications are based on Chris Thomas’ study of the RPI and field selection for the NCAA Tournament in recent years. Every week, the prospective at-large field is going to shrink according to past precedent and who really has a shot at getting an at-large bid.

Teams noted as “locks” right now are in position from which nobody’s missed an NCAA Tournament in the past. Teams on the “bubble” could go either way. Teams in “danger” status will be eliminated from the Bubble Watch if in their current position come next week.

There are going to be a LOT of teams on this watch for the next few weeks, so until the third update, I’m just going to be providing the list before breaking things down further with the first big cut of the season.


Bubble – UCF, UConn, Tulsa, Temple, South Florida, Memphis, East Carolina, Cincinnati
Bubble (Danger) – SMU

America East

Bubble (Danger) – UMBC, Hartford

Atlantic 10

Bubble – Rhode Island, La Salle, George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, VCU, Dayton
Bubble (Danger) – Richmond


Lock – North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Tech
Bubble – Notre Dame, Virginia, Clemson, Boston College, Duke, Louisville, Wake Forest, Syracuse

Atlantic Sun

Bubble – Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville


Lock – Texas Tech
Bubble – Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma State, Baylor
Bubble (Danger) – Iowa State

Big East

Bubble – DePaul, Georgetown, Providence, Marquette
Bubble (Danger) – Saint John’s (NY)

Big Sky

Bubble – Portland State, Northern Arizona, Montana

Big Ten

Lock – Penn State
Bubble – Wisconsin, Rutgers, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Purdue, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio State, Northwestern, Indiana

Big West

Bubble – Long Beach State, UC Riverside, Hawaii, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly


Bubble – Hofstra, William & Mary, Northeastern, Drexel

Conference USA

Bubble – Rice, Western Kentucky, North Texas, UAB
Bubble (Danger) – Marshall, UTSA


Bubble – Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell
Bubble (Danger) – Dartmouth, Yale


Bubble – Fairfield, Niagara, Manhattan


Bubble – Eastern Michigan, Miami (OH), Buffalo, Ball State, Western Michigan

Missouri Valley

Bubble – Illinois State
Bubble (Danger) – Evansville

Mountain West

Bubble – San Diego State, Colorado College
Bubble (Danger) – UNLV


Bubble (Danger) – Central Connecticut State

Ohio Valley

Bubble – Tennessee-Martin


Lock – Stanford, UCLA
Bubble – Cal, Utah, Washington State, Arizona State, Washington, Arizona, USC, Oregon, Colorado


Bubble – Colgate, Boston University, Holy Cross, Army, Loyola (MD)
Bubble (Danger) – Navy


Lock – Texas A&M, Florida
Bubble – South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, LSU, Alabama


Bubble – Furman, UNC Greensboro
Bubble (Danger) – Samford


Bubble – Stephen F. Austin. Abilene Christian


Bubble (Danger) – Oral Roberts, Denver

Sun Belt

Bubble – Georgia Southern
Bubble (Danger) – Texas State


Lock – Pepperdine
Bubble – BYU, San Diego, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, Portland, Saint Mary’s (CA)


Bubble – Utah Valley, Seattle

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