Bracketology – Bubble Teams & Bracket Prediction

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Mar 15, 2019

Kyle Guy and Virginia are locked into a 1 seed

It seems to always creep up on sports fans who are prepping for their fantasy baseball drafts, but Selection Sunday is this weekend. Last week, I walked you through 40 teams on the bubble and all the scenarios that would have to play out for each to claim an at-large bid. There are still three days’ worth of conference tournament games to be played and some of these contests will burst bubbles or lock teams into the field. Today, I’ll give you an update before getting to the full bracket prediction.

Scroll down to the bottom for the full projected bracket

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Teams in contention for 1 seed

listed in order

  • Virginia
  • UNC (up from #7)
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan St. (up from #8)
  • Duke (down from #2)
  • Houston (up from #10)
  • LSU
  • Gonzaga (down from #3)
  • Tennessee
  • Michigan
  • Kansas (new to the list)

I’m not convinced Virginia could do anything at this point to miss out on the top overall seed. UNC and Kentucky are strong bets to get number one seeds as well while the fourth is up for grabs. If Michigan St. can secure a Big Ten conference tournament championship, they are almost certain to be given the spot. Don’t be surprised if Houston, Duke or even LSU gets it if Michigan St. can’t pull it off. Gonzaga seemed like a lock, and still may be given sympathy from the selection committee, but their odds shrunk considerably when Saint Mary’s beat them in the WCC tournament.

At-Large locks to dance

listed in order

  • Kansas St.
  • Purdue
  • Buffalo
  • Florida St.
  • Texas Tech
  • Villanova
  • Virginia Tech
  • Auburn
  • Marquette
  • Wisconsin
  • Central Florida (new to the list)
  • Cincinnati
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • Mississippi St.
  • Iowa St.
  • Washington (new to the list)
  • Louisville
  • Arizona St. (new to the list)
  • VCU (new to the list)

At-Large Bubble (In unless they meltdown)

listed in order

  • Syracuse (up one bubble level)
  • Temple (up three bubble levels)
  • New Mexico St.
  • Seton Hall (up three bubble levels)

A loss to Texas-Pan Am might do it for New Mexico St but that is every bit as unlikely as the selection committee leaving one of these strong resumes out of the tournament Sunday.

At-Large Bubble (Most likely in)

listed in order

  • Baylor
  • Utah St. (up one bubble level)
  • Toledo (up one bubble level)
  • St. Johns (up one bubble level)
  • Iowa

I would put all of these teams in the 65 to 80% range of making the big dance. Iowa would be the seventh or even eighth team from the Big Ten, but the conference has been so powerful this year that I’ll imagine they get an at-large invite anyway. Baylor was beaten handily by Iowa St. in the Big 12 tournament but likely did beforehand hand to still get in.

At-Large Bubble (As close as it gets)

listed in order

  • NC-Greensboro (up from a long shot)
  • Oklahoma
  • Florida
  • Minnesota
  • Belmont
  • Mississippi
  • Oregon
  • Alabama
  • Ohio St.
  • Clemson
  • TCU

Assuming another mid-major team or two will shrink the bubble, you can bet on four or five of these teams missing the tournament. As of now, my bubble ends with Mississippi, leaving Oregon, Alabama, Ohio St. and Clemson as the first four out.

At-Large Bubble (Probably didn’t do enough)

listed in order

  • Davidson
  • Memphis
  • Lipscomb
  • Furman
  • Creighton
  • Hofstra
  • Colorado
  • NC State
  • Texas (fell dramatically)
  • Wichita St.
  • South Carolina
  • BYU
  • Georgetown
  • Indiana
  • Drake
  • Harvard
  • Dayton
  • Utah Valley St.

Chances are that one of these teams near the top could surprise as a play-in at-large team, but unless any of these quads can win their conference tournament, they will likely be the top teams in the NIT.

Auto-Bids Already Locked In

listed in order of projected seeding

  • Wofford
  • Murray St.
  • St. Marys
  • Liberty
  • Northeastern
  • Gardner-Webb
  • Fairleigh Dickinson
  • Iona
  • North Dakota St.

Remaining Mid-Major Auto-Bid Favorites

Listed in order of most likely to win conference tournament

*If these teams don’t win their conference tournament, the bubble shrinks

  • Atlantic 10 (VCU*, Davidson, Saint Louis, Dayton)
  • Mountain West (Nevada*, Utah St*, Fresno St.)
  • Mid-American (Buffalo*, Toledo*, Bowling Green)
  • Western Athletic (New Mexico St*, Grand Canyon, Utah Valley St.)
  • Ivy League (Yale, Harvard, Penn)
  • Conference USA (Old Dominion, W Kentucky, UAB, S Mississippi)
  • Big West (UC Irvine, UCSB, Cal St. Fullerton)
  • American East (Vermont, Maryland BC)
  • Sun Belt (Texas St, GA Southern, Georgia St.)
  • Big Sky (Montana, Weber St, E Washington)
  • Southland (Abilene Christian, Sam Houston St.)
  • Southwestern Athletic (TX Southern, Prairie View, Grambling St.)
  • Mid-Eastern (NC Central, Norfolk St, NC A&T)

Projected Bracket prior to auto-bids

Finally, if you’re getting in a bracket contest this year, don’t forget to check out the March Madness advice from TeamRankings.

MARCH MADNESS: Get the best bracket for your NCAA pool »

Bobby Sylvester is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bobby, check out his archive and follow him @BobbyFantasyPro.

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