Bracketology Bubble Watch: Arizona State, Stanford trending oppositely

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EUGENE, OREGON – JANUARY 11: Coach Hurley of the Sun Devils speaks. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Bracketology season is seriously heating up with just over a month left until Selection Sunday. How is the cutline shaping up with this week’s bubble watch?

Selection Sunday is just over a month away and it is still very difficult to sort out the bracketology picture. This season has been wildly unpredictable since the opening tip in November and there are bound to be more surprises in the coming month. As a result, there are very few things that should be taken for granted. That is especially true with regard to the current bubble situation as there are several teams vying for only a few spots at the back-end of projected fields.

Most notably, the Pac-12 and SEC bubble pictures have been crazy as of late. While Stanford has moved from previously being a fringe Top 25 team to sitting squarely on the bubble, Arizona State has risen out of nowhere to join the potential at-large conversation. In the SEC, on the other hand, just about every bubble team is struggling to garner the wins necessary to remain in contention.

This fourth edition of my bubble watch hopefully helps summarize the current bracketology landscape. The piece will separate each at-large contender in one of four categories and then provide a breakdown of all non-locked teams. Here is a quick reminder of the bracketology tiers:

Bubble Watch Categories:

Lead-pipe lock: Barring a massive collapse, these teams are sure-fire NCAA Tournament teams.

Firmly in the field: Through the first few months of the season, these teams have put together strong resumes and would not be sweating whatsoever if Selection Sunday was this weekend. They cannot, though, lose a bunch of games in a row and still remain safe.

Some perspiration: Teams in this category are in dangerous territory but would more than likely be in the NCAA Tournament right now. As long as they stay the course, an at-large bid is in their future. Slip-ups could increase the potential sweat level, though.

Double the deodorant: These are the squads who would be sweating out Selection Sunday most if the tournament started today. They have work left to do to either remain in the projected field or work their way in.

Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into the fourth edition of the 2020 bracketology bubble watch! This version of the bubble watch takes into account games played through Feb. 11th and the “Current Bracketology Placement” is based on my updated field from the same date. All rankings/quadrants are through Feb. 10th.

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