Updated: May 10
This is March! That means it's time for everyone's favorite college hoops activity...watching the bubbles.
Rather than give our takes on all 16 teams on the bubble (+/- 8 either way), we'll break it down by segment for these first few days of March.
Here's the latest round of Bracketology, according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi.
Last four byes: Creighton, San Francisco, Wake Forest, Michigan
Last four in: Memphis, San Diego State, Indiana, Rutgers
First four out: Loyola Chicago, BYU, Oregon, Southern Methodist
Next four out: Virginia Tech, Florida, St. Bonaventure, Dayton
With a pivotal last week of the regular season coming up for the Power 6, let's break down our predictions for the current Last Four Byes of Joe Lunardi's Bracketology.
Prediction: IN, Play-In Round
Creighton can be considered a team whose entire season changed nearly overnight. The injury of freshman standout Ryan Nembhard proved to be costly for Creighton, who is now down one of the Big East’s most up-and-coming guards. Creighton’s road only gets harder from here, even with two home games to finish the regular season; they’ve got #18 UConn on Wednesday and a Seton Hall team who will be heading to the tournament regardless of result. They’ll need other guys to step up in this pivotal time…if not, they could end up on the outside looking in.
San Francisco Dons
Although USF is putting together a solid year, they have losses that speak quite loud. They’re a combined 0-4 against the only ranked opponents in the WCC, Gonzaga and SMC. USF has earned the 4-seed in their conference tournament, so unless they’re an early exit, I can’t foresee the committee being unfair with them. The tournament starts Saturday for USF.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Is Steve Forbes a coach of the year candidate? There are some gargantuan wins on this schedule; 22-point wins against UNC and Florida State, a near-win at Cameron against Duke, and a 19-point win against a Virginia Tech team on the bubble. Wake should be a pretty solid pick to make a run in the ACC tournament, and they should safely be in if they take care of business against NC State on Wednesday.
Prediction: OUT (First Four Out)
What can you say about what’s transpired in Ann Arbor these past few weeks? After starting the year ranked as high as #4, the Wolves have stumbled significantly this entire year. They were throttled by both Arizona and UNC in non-conference play, lost games that should’ve been easy wins to UCF and Minnesota early on in the year, and have since been an average Big Ten team at best. Now, with their head coach Juwan Howard suspended through regular season play, it’s up to former St. Joseph coach Phil Martelli to lead Michigan through this last week. But he’s running into one of the worst paths you can ask for: a Michigan State team that just beat Purdue, a red-hot Iowa team, and #23 Ohio State. This doesn’t look good for Michigan.