February 22 Bracket: Can Huskies back up inclusion?
That’s the question for Connecticut this week as they host West Virginia and Louisville. One could make an argument for any number of bubble teams; the actual selection process in Indianapolis is completed by a series of votes and can be very subjective. Why did UConn make it in? There’s a number that jumps out: 8 wins vs. Top 100 RPI teams. That’s two more than any of the 11 other bubble finalists for today. Still, at 6-8 in the Big East, work remains for the Huskies. Call this our leap of faith for the week.
Our next update will be Thursday, February 25 (evening). Bubble Banter will be updated for release Wednesday – for games played through Tuesday. Those dates work best for our partnership with NBC Sports. We’ll continue two-a-week updates through early March and then go more often just before and during Championship Week.
No change in No. 1 seeds from Friday. If anything, the Top 4 are establishing more control: Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, and Purdue stay on the Top Line. Syracuse and Purdue will face the biggest challenges to winning outright league titles. Duke is still in the No. 1 seed discussion, but the Blue Devils haven’t been that good in true road games and it would probably take both the regular season and ACC Tournament titles to move up.
Last 5 IN: Dayton, Charlotte, Connecticut, St. Mary’s, UAB. First 5 OUT: Rhode Island, San Diego State, Seton Hall, Mississippi State, St. Louis.
Looking ahead … the bubble is likely to slide around quite a bit over the next two weeks. I would also anticipate some wild outcomes in conference tournaments. How will the bubble look if teams like Utah State, Siena or UTEP lose? What if a team like Ole Miss rallies and wins the SEC Tournament? Who knows what to expect in the Missouri Valley (Northern Iowa) – the favorite rarely wins. Should be a wild – and fun – ride until Selection Sunday. Rebounds are always welcome. Thanks for following along.