One last Bubble Watch just to reassure everyone. (UPDATED: 6:30 PM)
When we first looked at the bubble after the Minnesota game, we had between ten and sixteen spots to give out. Since that time, the Horizon League has given out an extra autobid, the Big 12 has allowed Baylor to run to the tourney final, the A-10 has come down to Temple and Duquense, and USC has made the Pac-10 final. San Diego State has made the Mountain West final. Maryland beat Wake Forest, too.
That's a lot of ugly stuff, right there, so let's just make sure. Everyone Pretty Definitively Below Michigan from last time remains there. In addition, Big Huge Tourney Run participants are down to Maryland and Temple, eliminating VT, Miami, Rhode Island, Kansas State, and Providence.
Meanwhile, on the Bubble Proper South Carolina and Florida both lost in opening-round games of the SEC tournament and are definitely not getting in over Michigan, or probably at all. Minnesota and Penn State both went 1-1 at the Big Ten Tournament like Michigan and should remain behind M in the pecking order. Arizona lost an important game against Arizona State and is now widely regarded the last team in. St Mary's got blown out by Gonzaga in the WCC final. Siena won its autobid. New Mexico and UNLV blew it and are out. All of these teams are not threats to Michigan's bid. Just as much spectacularly good stuff happened as unexpectedly bad.
Three teams above Michigan to start took hits, with Texas A&M losing to Texas Tech, Dayton losing to Duquense, and Wisconsin losing to Ohio State. I don't think any are in danger.
So what now
If we count the above three teams as locks still, we have six bids left. These teams could leap in front of Michigan in the pecking order:
The A-10 Winner. Temple may have an at-large case now but it won't be strong enough to pass Michigan should they lose to Duquense in the A-10 final.
That one will happen. So really we have five bids and the following teams that could leap M:
Tulsa. If they beat Memphis. Update: Memphis destroys Tulsa.
Mississippi State or
Auburn. If they win the SEC. Update: Mississippi State bashes LSU and is into the final; Auburn is out and you're rooting for Tennessee tomorrow.
Baylor. If they win the Big 12. Update: lost to Missouri and is out.
USC. If they win the Pac-10. Update: USC in.
Maryland. If they win the ACC, or maybe if they get to the final. Update: Maryland lost to Duke; they may get in but it won't be at our expense.
San Diego State. If they win the WAC, and possibly if they don't. Update: lost to Utah.
Utah State? If they don't win their autobid tonight at ten I have no idea how the committee will handle a 29-5 team with no good wins.
That's seven teams, as you can see, for five bids. If any five of these teams pull off the string of upsets, Michigan can get locked out. How likely is that? Not very, as you're asking for the vast majority of some serious upsets to come to fruition. But it is still faintly possible.
So, your final rootin' guide:
- Memphis over Tulsa, now, CBS.
- LSU over Mississippi State, ESPN2, 1PM.
- Tennessee over Auburn, ESPN2, 3:15 PM
- Duke over Maryland, ESPN, 4 PM
- Missouri over Baylor, ESPN, 6 PM
- Utah over San Diego State, 7PM
- Temple over Duquense, 6PM ESPN2
- Arizona State over USC, 6PM CBS
- Utah State over Nevada, 10PM ESPN2
Let's not blow this, universe.
UPDATE: With Duke and Memphis wins, Michigan should be safe. You're rooting for the above still just to be safe.
UPDATE UPDATE: Baylor and San Diego State go down, which knocks Baylor out and SDSU behind Michigan. No worries: they're in.