How is your team fairing compared to others? Are there any locks that come out surprising to you? How far will Tom O'Connor and his band of bracketeers go to find an at-large? Who knows any of this? Well let me help out with a 6-part series about teams in the field, near the field, and teams losing contact with it. This is the State of the Bubble! The last installment!
Likely Winner: Alabama State
This is the only league where the at-large pool is a no go. Indeed, whoever wins will be the 65th seed in this year's field.
Likely Bids: 1
Likely Winner: Oral Roberts
The Golden Eagles' slim chance of an at-large were eviscerated by a one point loss to Creighton last Saturday. But they still are the favorite to emerge from the collective formerly known as the Mid-Con as the tourney is in Tulsa(not at Oral Roberts).
Bid Range: 1-3
Almost there: South Alabama
Bubble Rider: Western Kentucky
The Belt hasn't produced an at-large since 1990, but USA has a good case to make should they not win the Sun Belt. But if they do lose it will be in Mobile which could cause some members to wince. Western Kentucky could make one also, but only if they meet the Jaguars in the title tilt.
Bid Range: 2-3
Almost there: Gonzaga, Saint Mary's
Because the loser of the March 1st battle between these two may still finish in a tie for 2nd(with San Diego), neither is considered a lock just yet. That might not matter at this point given the state of the bubble. The Toreros not only could finish in a tie for 2nd, they could shrink the bubble as they host the conference tourney.
Likely Bids: 1
Likely Winner: New Mexico State
The Aggies are currently behind Boise State in the WAC pecking order, but have the advantage of not only hosting the conference tourney, but also playing the last game of the day they're still alive. No at-large hope though due to an atrocious non-conference performance.
And that is the state of the bubble as of today.
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