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May 2nd, 2019

5/2 Bubble Watch

May is here and we're just a few weeks away from Selection Monday. We are going through all of the potential multi-bid conferences and predicting who's in and who still has work to do.


Locks: Louisville, Georgia Tech, North Carolina

Should be in: Miami, NC State

Work left to do: Clemson, Florida State, Duke

Bubble about to burst: Wake Forest, Virginia

The ACC has looked strong down the stretch with the conference hoping to earn four Regional host sites. Even though NC State has slumped lately, they are still a solid Regional team. Clemson, Florida State, and Duke are all bunched on the bubble and will need to play over .500 for the rest of the season to preserve their Regional chances. Wake Forest and Virginia still have outside shots at earning at-large bids, but their window of opportunity is shrinking.


Locks: East Carolina

Work left to do: Connecticut, Houston, Tulane

Bubble about to burst: UCF

East Carolina continues to play like a top-eight seed and should have a good shot at earning one should they continue their pace. UConn and Houston could easily move into the "Should be in" category if they get their conference records over .500. Tulane has a good record but needs an RPI boost. The Green Wave finish the year with UCF, Houston, and UConn, and may shoot up the RPI rankings with a few series wins. UCF, at 7-11 in conference, may have to run the table to earn an at-large bid.

Big East

Work left to do: Creighton, Xavier

The Big East will likely be a one-bid league, but Creighton could potentially earn an at-large bid. Xavier currently sits atop the Big East standings, but Creighton, with their 20 RPI, would have a solid postseason resume should they fail to win the conference.

Big Ten

Should be in: Indiana

Work left to do: Illinois, Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa

If the season ended today, it's possible that all five of these teams would make it in. The RPI likes Indiana, Illinois, and Nebraska, but none of these teams have much room to falter. The RPI is less kind to Michigan and Iowa, but both are still top 60 teams and have chances to improve their standings. Michigan is currently in first in the Big Ten and may earn the conference's auto-bid in the Big Ten Tournament.

Big West

Locks: UCSB

Work left to do: UC Irvine, Cal Poly

Despite losing their first series of the year, UCSB should be a lock barring a disastrous finish to the year. UC Irvine slipped from "Should be in" to "Work left to do" as their RPI took a 10-spot hit after losing to Cal State Fullerton. Even though Cal Poly is below .500 on the year, they are in first place in the Big West. The league doesn't have a conference tournament, so should they hold their conference lead, they would earn an auto-bid.


Locks: Texas Tech, Baylor

Should be in: West Virginia

Work left to do: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

Bubble about to burst: Texas, TCU

Texas Tech and Baylor are looking like host teams with West Virginia knocking on the door. Both Oklahoma schools have good postseason resumes but will need to make sure they stay above .500 in conference. Despite Texas being tied for last in the Big XII, they have an outside shot at a Regional bid. If they get their conference record close to .500, they have a good RPI (48) and twelve top 50 wins.


Should be in: Southern Miss

Work left to do: Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech

After winning nine straight games, Southern Miss has nearly solidified their tournament spot. Florida Atlantic and Louisiana Tech are both on the bubble with Florida Atlantic just in and Louisiana Tech just out as of now.

Missouri Valley

Should be in: Dallas Baptist

Work left to do: Indiana State, Illinois State

Bubble about to burst: Evansville, Bradley

It is difficult to imagine a path where the Missouri Valley gets more than two teams in, but currently, they have four top 50 RPI teams in Dallas Baptist, Indiana State, Illinois State, and Evansville. Indiana State and Illinois State face off in a pivotal series this weekend.

Mountain West

Work left to do: Fresno State, San Diego State

Both Fresno State and San Diego State have top 75 RPIs and are competing for the Mountain West title. They have yet to play each other this year, and the winner of that series will be the conference favorite.


Locks: UCLA, Oregon State, Stanford

Should be in: Arizona State

Work left to do: Cal, Oregon

Bubble about to burst: Washington

UCLA, Oregon State, and Stanford should all host a Regional. Arizona State could be in that conversation, and a series with UCLA this weekend should give them a much needed RPI boost. Cal and Oregon both continue to teeter on and off the bubble and will need to play over .500 to have a shot an at-large bid. Washington's biggest resume hole is their 7-11 Pac-12 record. With their next six conference games being against Washington State and Utah, they have an opportunity to move onto the bubble.


Locks: Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Georgia

Should be in: LSU, Ole Miss

Work left to do: Texas A&M, Missouri, Auburn, Tennessee

Bubble about to burst: Florida

The biggest challenge for all of the bubble SEC teams is maintaining a .500 conference record. All of these teams have the RPI to make a Regional, but teams like Texas A&M, Missouri, Auburn, Tennessee, and Florida will have to battle to stay within shouting distance of .500 in conference or else they'll find themselves watching the postseason from home.

Sun Belt

Should be in: Texas State

Work left to do: Coastal Carolina

Bubble about to burst: UT Arlington, Georgia Southern

The Sun Belt may be a one-bid league this year, but Coastal Carolina, UT Arlington, and Georgia Southern still have a chance to make it in. Coastal Carolina and UT Arlington have yet to play and the winner of that series will be the front runner to earn the second Sun Belt bid.


Should be in: BYU

Work left to do: Gonzaga

Bubble about to burst: Loyola-Marymount, Saint Mary's, Pepperdine

BYU is putting together an impressive season and will likely make the tournament. Gonzaga strengthened their resume with a win at Oregon State this week. Several middle-of-the-road teams still have yet to play each other, and any one of them may move up onto the bubble with a winning streak.

One-bid leagues

Some of these leagues have an outside shot of sending two teams to a Regional, but for the most part, the winner of the conference tournament will be the league's representative. Here are the likely tournament winners:

American East: Stony Brook

Atlantic 10: VCU

Atlantic Sun: FGCU

Big South: Campbell

Colonial: Elon

Horizon: Wright State

Ivy: Harvard

MAAC: Canisius

MAC: Ball State

MEAC: Coppin State

Northeast: Bryant

Ohio Valley: Austin Peay

Patriot: Navy

Southern: Samford

Southland: Sam Houston State

SWAC: Alabama State

Summit: Omaha

WAC: New Mexico State

To keep up with our Bubble Watch, follow us on Twitter! For more on this week's rankings, check out our Composite Top 25 and our Conference Power Rankings. If you like what you're seeing from us, consider becoming a Patron.