Commentary

Bubble Insider: Magic numbers

For six bubble teams, the road to a bid is a long one

Updated: March 10, 2010, 2:05 PM ET
By Mike Hume | ESPN Insider

As the major conference tournaments got under way Tuesday, it became easier to see exactly what each bubble team needs to secure a bid in the Big Dance. To borrow a term from baseball, the number of wins required to grab said berth is called the magic number.

Looking at the conference tournament schedules, we've deduced the win total required by each bubble team to be assured of a berth in the bracket. On Tuesday, we examined which teams had the easiest paths to go deep into their conference tournament, finding that Memphis, Washington, Dayton and Minnesota looked strong. Today, you'll see the open road can be a blessing and a curse.

Most of these teams linger on the bubble because they lack big wins. If no one stands to oppose you, the deeper you have to go to obtain those W's. As we lined these teams up, it quickly became apparent that at least six teams -- including Memphis, Washington, Arizona State, Rhode Island, UAB and San Diego State -- will have to walk a very long road to assure themselves of a bid.


To see which teams have the hardest paths and exactly what they need to accomplish to earn an NCAA Tournament bid, you must be an ESPN Insider.