View Full Version : Updated Bubble Watch

02-25-2014, 09:24 AM
Haven't seen this anywhere else, sorry if it is. We are in the "work left to do" category.

Gonzaga [23-6 (13-3), RPI: 29, SOS: 102] On Friday, we wrote that a 1-2 start to Gonzaga's four-game road trip could make things more interesting than Mark Few would prefer and that an 0-3 run would "set off a panic." It's still too early for that, of course; let's see how Few's team bounces back before we start putting it in the shaky 10-11-12 seed range. But honestly? Gonzaga's profile as it stands isn't a slam dunk by any means. The Bulldogs still have just one top-50 win -- against BYU at home -- with no road wins better (per the RPI) than West Virginia and San Francisco. This is hardly a done deal.

For weeks, we've kept a watchful eye on Gonzaga's season-ending gantlet, a string of four straight road games that began at BYU, ends at Saint Mary's, and features stops at San Diego and Pacific along the way. Or featured, anyway: On Sunday, Gonzaga fell victim to the 16-14 Toreros. It was the Bulldogs' second straight loss. A defeat at Pacific on Thursday night could make things dicey in advance of Saturday's finale in Moraga, Calif. In any case, Gonzaga's woes showcase the larger struggle for at-large contenders residing outside the power conferences, especially this season. A mid-major power if ever there was one, Gonzaga has far fewer issues scheduling in November and December than most. If the Zags can see their fortunes sink so rapidly, how thin must everyone else's margins be? See: Indiana State, which lost at Missouri State this week and fell off the Watch as a result. Or Toledo, which we kept around last week for illustrative purposes only, and whose inclusion can no longer be justified, not with a 163-ranked SOS and no top-50 wins. This, in turn, is why the bubble is so soft, why the Missouris and Tennessees and Oregons of the world have managed to stay in at-large contention despite all apparent efforts to the contrary. The committee has to find 68 teams somewhere, and the mid-major leagues of yore simply aren't surfacing worthwhile candidates this season.


BYU is on their bubble too.