Bracketology has been a big part of NCAA Basketball for the past month and the most important thing during “Championship Week”. It’s the ultimate chance for teams both on the bubble and fighting for a top seed to get multiple big wins to separate themselves from others.
For this year, the format was a little bit different. The opportunities for “bid thieves” weren’t very high and early on in the week, teams that were on the bubble were losing. Only a couple of programs (more on them later) on the bubble made major moves and became clear winners.
On the other hand, there were a number of teams that greatly improved their respective Bracketology resumes after winning three games to get the conference tournament championships. Those teams were certainly beneficiaries and here’s why.
Honorable Mention Winner: Everyone rooting for Florida Atlantic
As I mentioned, there weren’t too many teams that could “steal” a bid. The closest that came to the mix was Vanderbilt, who upset Kentucky in the SEC Tournament. But their loss to Texas A&M on Saturday ended their case. Neither Houston nor Memphis took a loss, while teams such as Oregon, Clemson, Ohio State, and New Mexico failed to go all the way this week.
The one clear opportunity this week for a bid thief was in Conference USA. The Florida Atlantic Owls are safely in the field, anywhere from a 7-9 seed. But there were multiple teams that had a chance to beat them and pop someone’s bubble. Middle Tennessee nearly upset FAU in the semis and that gave went down to the final minute. The Owls held on to beat them and went on to blow out UAB in the CUSA Tournament finals to keep the bubble intact.
Overall, it was a good week for the “bubble”, even if many teams in it didn’t accomplish much this week.