March Madness Bubble Watch, Week 18: Last Four In, First Four Out

    March Madness bubble watch update for Week 18. Here are the projected last four in and first four out.

    March 7, 2016

    March Madness bubble watch update for Week 18. Here are the projected last four in and first four out.

    Last Four In

    Butler Bulldogs

    Sure, some of this is reputation, but it’s also important to consider that of Butler’s nine losses this season, seven of them have come vs. RPI top 50 teams. The Bulldogs are 8-4 in their last 12 games, and two of those losses came at Villanova and vs. Xavier. A quick out in the Big East Tournament would be a killer, but right now, the Bulldogs are dancing come March Madness.

    Oregon State Beavers

    The Beavers haven’t had a bad loss in a while, and their only losses in recent weeks have come on the road vs. NCAA Tourney teams. This is a ballclub with wins over six RPI top 50 teams, including three over top 25 teams. A solid non-conference sked and a decent showing in the Pac-12 sets the table, and if Oregon State can win a game or two in the Pac-12 tourney, OSU will be Dancing.

    Creighton Blue Jays

    On one hand, Creighton finished .500 in a so-so Big East and has 13 losses on the season. Oh, and the Blue Jays finished the regular season having lost four of their last five. On the other hand, there’s no shame in losing on the road to the likes of Xavier, Providence and Butler, and Creighton has been competitive in the losses. Still, a win or two in the Big East Tournament will be key to solidifying the March Madness case for Creighton on Selection Sunday.

    Tulsa Golden Hurricane

    Tulsa is the ultimate bubble team, one that easily could be on the opposite side of this equation. The Golden Hurricane are finishing strong, having won eight of their last 12, and they’ve gone 4-4 vs. RPI top 50 teams. The loss to Memphis Feb. 28 hurts, but a good non-conference schedule may just do enough to at least get Tulsa a ticket to the Dance.

    First Four Out

    Ohio State Buckeyes

    One more win in the Big Ten Tournament will push the Buckeyes to 20 wins on the season, and they already own victories over Kentucky and Iowa this year. The problem is OSU has been blown out one too many times this year, and the 15-point drubbing at Michigan State Saturday wasn’t exactly pretty. Some bad November losses don’t exactly help for March Madness.

    Colorado Buffaloes

    Four of Colorado’s last five losses have come vs. likely or possible NCAA Tournament teams, and this is a team that owns wins over Oregon State, Oregon, California and Arizona in the past couple of months. That said, the Buffaloes are only 4-7 vs. RPI top 50 teams, and unless it can get to the weekend in the Pac-12 Tournament, Colorado is likely out.

    St. Bonaventure Bonnies

    It would be great for the Bonnies to get into the tourney. A nice 20-plus win season has been fun, and this is a team with three wins in four tries vs. RPI top 25 teams. But bad losses to Duquesne and La Salle are painful this time of year, and despite the fact St. Bonaventure is playing its best basketball of the season, it simply doesn’t have enough good wins to get over the hump.

    Providence Friars

    Even though its recent five-losses-in-six-games skid seems behind it, Providence is going to have to make a deep run in the Big East Tournament to get on the other side of the bubble. The Friars are just 4-6 vs. RPI top 50 teams, and the fact Providence was swept by Marquette isn’t exactly great. Yes, the wins over Arizona and Villanova are impressive, but barring a weekend run, Providence is on the outside looking in.

    MORE: Projecting No. 1 Seeds For March Madness


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