Bracket Brief: Marquette and Wisconsin are locks
With 19 days left until Selection Sunday the bubble expands and contracts daily. But what about the teams that have built so strong a case that they're already a lock to make the NCAA Tournament? As always, a lock is defined as a team that would be an at-large team even if they lost all of their remaining games. Below are the teams that I believe are now a lock to make the tourney:
Arizona, Butler, Colorado State, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, New Mexico, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Syracuse, Wichita State, Wisconsin
There are 25 teams from 11 conferences that are locks. That means there are anywhere between 12 and 23 at-large bids available. Next is a list of teams that are awfully close to locking up a bid:
Creighton, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, UCLA, UNLV, VCU
That's 9 more teams so by Championship Week we're looking at as many as 14 and as little as 3 bids available. That could be trouble for these bubble teams:
Akron, Alabama, Arizona State, Baylor, Boise State, BYU, California, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana State, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, LaSalle, Maryland, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, Ole Miss, San Diego State, Southern Miss, St. Mary's, St. John's, Stanford, Temple, Tennessee, Villanova, Virginia
As you can see, that's a lot of bubble action. There will be plenty of sweating in these 19 days leading up to the unveiling of the brackets. It starts tonight with three games that will help shape the bubble: Indiana-Minnesota, Auburn-Alabama and Florida-Tennessee.