Bracket Math: UNC, UK on bubble

Inconsistent Tar Heels, Noel-less Wildcats in danger of missing tourney

Updated: February 15, 2013, 11:54 AM ET
By Joe Lunardi | ESPN Insider
North Carolina and  KentuckyUSA TODAY Sports, AP PhotoNorth Carolina and Kentucky are no longer safe bets to make the NCAA tournament.

This edition of Bracket Math includes games through Thursday, Feb. 14. Rankings reflect an up-to-date S-curve from yours truly, posing as one hypothetical member of the NCAA men's basketball committee.

Notes on the "new" math:

• It's a bit unusual for the bubble to expand as it has here in mid-February, but that's the case now that a number of presumed "safe" teams -- including Kentucky and North Carolina -- have gone backward. In North Carolina's case, it's because of a shaky résumé. Kentucky, on the other hand, is dealing with the loss of freshman star Nerlens Noel as well as the reality that its entire season comes down to how the selection committee views the Wildcats without Noel in the lineup. Suddenly, I have a vision of these two blue-blood programs going to the First Four in Dayton, Ohio (and perhaps playing each other). That would be quite a spectacle.

Joe Lunardi | email

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