Marquette jumps up the S-curve

Marquette's big Wednesday night win over West Virginia moved them up the S-curve. Tony Spinelli/ESPN.com

This edition of "Bracket Math" includes all games through Wednesday, March 9. Rankings reflect an up-to-date S-Curve from yours truly, posing as one hypothetical member of the NCAA men's basketball committee.

Unless you're a fan of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, there was little to boil your blood on Wednesday. The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Baylor Bears lost their Big 12 conference tourney openers to fall out of consideration, but that's about it. Baylor may go down as the most disappointing team in the nation this season.

This might also be a good time to point out that the NIT is already one-quarter filled with eight automatic qualifiers. The bubble for that field is getting more competitive and several decent teams will be left behind.

The S-curve

*: Clinched regular-season title and NIT automatic bid if needed

Bold: Projected conference winners (highest remaining conference tournament seed)

CAPS and BOLD (no *): Clinched automatic bid

GREEN: Teams with tourney odds of 85 percent or better through games of March 7.

YELLOW: "Last four in" (will play March 15-16 in Dayton, Ohio)

GOLD: Lowest four auto-bids (will play March 15-16 in Dayton, Ohio)

RED: "First four out" (teams 69-72 on the S-curve)

ORANGE: "Next four out" (teams 73-76 on the S-Curve)


Take our "solid" at-large candidates (current Tournament Odds at 90 percent or better) and you have exactly 39 teams in the field. Add in the remaining automatic qualifiers and that's another 19 spots. All told we have 58 of the 68 spots accounted for, with only 10 up for grabs among current bubble teams.

BUBBLE (18 teams for 10 spots)

IN (10, in S-curve order): 40-Saint Mary's, 41-Richmond, 43-Villanova, 44-Michigan, 45-Clemson, 46-Boston College, 47-Michigan St., 48-Virginia Tech, 49-Colorado, 50-Georgia

OUT (10, in S-curve order): 69-Alabama, 70-Southern Cal, 71-Missouri St., 72-Washington St., 73-Memphis, 74-UTEP, 75-Penn State, 76-California


Big East (11), ACC (6), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (6), SEC (5), Atlantic 10 (3), Mountain West (3), Pac-10 (3), Colonial (2), West Coast (2)


• Charleston (Southern)

• Coastal Carolina (Big South)

• Fairfield (MAAC)

• Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt)

• Milwaukee (Horizon League)

• Missouri State (MVC)

• Murray State (OVC)

• Vermont (America East)