5th projection for the Field of 68

Every year we hear how terrible the bubble is. “This is the worst bubble ever” is an annual narrative. In reality, of course, the bubble strength is relatively similar year over year. That said, it can vary from week to week, and the bubble certainly got stronger over the last week.

Over the last few days, teams like Northwestern and Marquette picked up the wins that really firmed up their at-large spots, while teams like Seton Hall and Vanderbilt got the wins that shot them from outside the bracket into it.

In all, three at-large slots changed over the last week, with Providence, Seton Hall, and Vanderbilt coming in. California, USC, and TCU drop out.

In addition 11 teams were eliminated from at-large contention this week: Auburn, Colorado St, Georgetown, Nebraska, Penn St, Pittsburgh, St. Bonaventure, St. John’s, Stanford, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. That leaves just 20 teams not in the projected bracket that still have a chance for an at-large bid.

Capitalized teams are projected automatic bid winners. Remember that this is a projection of what the bracket will look like on Selection Sunday, and not a measure of where teams would be if the season ended now:

1. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)
1. KANSAS (BIG 12)
1. NORTH CAROLINA (ACC)
1. GONZAGA (WCC)

2. KENTUCKY (SEC)
2. Louisville
2. Baylor
2. ARIZONA (PAC-12)

3. Oregon
3. Purdue
3. UCLA
3. Florida

4. Duke
4. WISCONSIN (BIG TEN)
4. Butler
4. Virginia

5. West Virginia
5. CINCINNATI (AAC)
5. SMU
5. Florida State

6. Notre Dame
6. Iowa State
6. South Carolina
6. Saint Mary’s

7. Minnesota
7. Oklahoma State
7. DAYTON (ATLANTIC TEN)
7. Maryland

8. Creighton
8. VCU
8. Arkansas
8. Michigan State

9. Northwestern
9. Miami FL
9. Michigan
9. Marquette

10. Virginia Tech
10. WICHITA STATE (MVC)
10. Vanderbilt
10. Wake Forest

11. Providence
11. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (CONFERENCE USA)
11. Illinois State
11. Seton Hall
11. Xavier

12. Syracuse
12. Rhode Island
12. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
12. NEVADA (MOUNTAIN WEST)
12. MONMOUTH (MAAC)

13. TEXAS-ARLINGTON (SUN BELT)
13. UNC-WILMINGTON (COLONIAL)
13. PRINCETON (IVY LEAGUE)
13. AKRON (MAC)

14. EAST TENNESSEE ST (SOCON)
14. BUCKNELL (PATRIOT)
14. WINTHROP (BIG SOUTH)
14. FLORIDA GULF COAST (ATLANTIC SUN)

15. CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (WAC)
15. SOUTH DAKOTA (SUMMIT)
15. GREEN BAY (HORIZON)
15. TEXAS SOUTHERN (SWAC)

16. JACKSONVILLE STATE (OVC)
16. UC-IRVINE (BIG WEST)
16. EASTERN WASHINGTON (BIG SKY)
16. NEW ORLEANS (SOUTHLAND)
16. MOUNT ST MARY’S (NEC)
16. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (MEAC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
Houston, USC, California, Iowa

Decent resumes, but not good enough:
Illinois, Kansas State, Georgia

Long shots, but still in the at-large discussion:
Indiana, TCU, Utah, Mississippi, BYU

Still alive, but pretty much need a miracle:
UCF, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Ohio St, Boise St, Colorado, Alabama, Tennessee

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