The Big East bubble picture
March, 7, 2012
By Joe Lunardi | ESPN Insider
J. Meric/Getty ImagesRon Anderson Jr. and USF need a strong Big East tourney showing to avoid the bubble's dark side.Today marks Day 2 of Big East intrigue, but the games with bracket impact won't happen until this evening.
Though they aren't quite into lock territory yet, neither the Connecticut Huskies nor the West Virginia Mountaineers will fall out of the bracket with a loss in their noon clash.
The Seton Hall Pirates and South Florida Bulls linger closer to the dark side of the bubble, however, and likely need wins to feel good about their tournament chances. That's particularly true for South Florida, which remains light on quality wins. Beating the Villanova Wildcats (RPI 104) would not help in that regard. The Bulls will need to top the Notre Dame Irish in the Big East quarterfinals to feel secure about their Selection Sunday status.
Here's how the S-Curve shapes up on before Wednesday afternoon's action starts.
This is where teams would fall if Selection Sunday were today. Remember, the curve flows left to right, then right to left, then back again as you read down the chart. Teams with an asterisk currently lead their conferences and project to receive automatic bids, per the rules of bracketology. While Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan tied for the Big Ten regular-season title, the asterisk goes to the Spartans as they are the highest of the three teams on the S-Curve. Teams with an asterisk in bold have won their conference tournaments and clinched auto-bids.
ALL CAPS: Regular-season champion (NIT auto-bid if needed) or highest remaining seed
Bold: NCAA automatic qualifier
GREEN: Teams with tourney odds of 90 percent or better through games of Feb. 28.
YELLOW: "Last four in" (will play March 13-14 in Dayton, Ohio)
GOLD: Lowest four auto-bids (will play March 13-14 in Dayton, Ohio)
RED: "First four out" (teams 69-72 on the S curve)
PURPLE: "Next four out" (teams 73-76 on the S curve)