College Basketball Bubble Watch
Mountain West, Pac-10 providing most clarity
Part of the reason for the perceived lack of coverage, as discussed on Wednesday's ESPNU College Insider podcast, is that the league opted to go a different way with its TV coverage (whether that was the conference's "fault" or ESPN's is a conversation for another day) and is less accessible to the masses this season.
Additionally, our mid-major guru, Kyle Whelliston, opts not to cover the conference as part of his domain, so it leaves the MWC in a weird in-between state. That said, we have had features on Air Force and UNLV this season and have been strong advocates about the level of play in the conference overall.
From the standpoint of this feature, it hasn't been worth breaking out the MWC because it's been a very clear-cut and limited picture for most of the season. Even now, with BYU surging into the league lead and establishing itself as a very viable third NCAA team, there's isn't too much else to discuss beyond whether San Diego State can put things together consistently and make a late run. It doesn't make for an interesting bubble watch section if there's not much to watch.
It's really the same situation as in the Pac-10, where it looks very strong to get six teams in and there's not much to look at beyond that, unless Washington pulls off a resurrection.
It still appears, at this stage, that there is a relatively weak crop of at-large candidates from outside the Big Six, Missouri Valley and Mountain West. That could help a lot of middling major-conference teams, especially if clubs like Nevada, Memphis and Butler win their conferences' auto bids and leave more at-larges available. What high-major fans are rooting against is a team like San Diego State finding itself in time to win the MWC tournament in Vegas and poaching an at-large from someone.
As always, I've tried to be as inclusive as possible while only including teams that would have a reasonable chance of at least being discussed if this were Selection Sunday. If your team's not on here, there's probably a good reason (or three) -- start with the RPI and SOS numbers and work your way down.
If you have a legitimate grievance, or just like talking bubble, send an e-mail. Polite ones with fact-based arguments have a much better chance of receiving a response. I apologize in advance if I can't get back to all of you.
(Please remember, per selection committee criteria, that records displayed are Division I only. )