Quick Takes: Illinois, Vandy among surprise bubble teams
Even with a weak bubble that features a host of double-digit loss resumes, a couple of surprising bubble teams have re-emerged: Illinois and Vanderbilt. With improved play and strong SOS numbers, neither should be discounted if they keep up momentum. This morning, both have nine (9) Top 100 wins and Top 20 schedules. In fact, Vandy owns the nation’s No. 5 overall schedule and No. 1 non-conference SOS. Historically, such numbers have given teams a little more leeway when it comes to losses. The question is exactly how much? A team with 15 losses has never received an invitation (unless winning their conference tourney).
Editor’s note: A reader noted my original statistic was derived pre-2011 data, which is correct. It used to be rare for 14-loss teams to receive at-large bids (prior to 2011, it only happened six times). More recently, in 2011, as an example, five teams received at-large bids with 14 losses. Sorry for the confusion.
Interestingly, I looked back at our preseason seed list and found the Commodores and Illini two spots apart, among a group of teams within the next group out. So maybe we’re back where we started. When Monday’s bracket was posted, Vanderbilt and Illinois held spots with the First Four Out. We’ll see how they finish.
With March upon us, here’s a quick peek at Tuesday night’s Bubble action:
- Seton Hall (hosting Georgetown)
- Indiana (at Purdue)
- Providence (hosting DePaul)
- Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech
Championship Week always delivers its own Madness. Here we go.