Bubble Watch!

bubble watchIt’s the last week before Selection Sunday and, if NCAA men’s basketball committee chairman Ron Wellman’s Wednesday afternoon news conference was any indication, majority of the media is interested in two things: first-weekend tourney site attendance and Kansas’ seed without Joel Embiid.

While they are interesting topics for sure, here in Bubbleland we have divergent interests. To fans of teams on the bubble, today, tomorrow and, if things go well, maybe even Saturday! — before Selection Sunday are most notable for the results that come flying rapid-fire at us all 24 hours of the day. For most fans, being plugged into a game between the 4th and 5th seeds in the Big East tournament, intently watching every possession sounds like a casual diversion best case scenario. For fans of Providence and St. John’s, however, this afternoon’s clash will be a white-knuckle affair — and that’s just figuring out how to watch a 2:30 p.m. ET tipoff on a workday.

Over the next few days, the Bubble Watch will track all of these results, and what they mean for the teams still waging last-ditch at-large battles, in real time. Check back frequently, and keep two things in mind:

1. Don’t fall prey to recency bias. Wins in the conference tournament are great, but they don’t automatically mean your team is getting in (or getting left out). In many cases, well, sure. Majority of the time, though, a conference tournament win is just one more data point for the committee to consider. It is not the be-all.

2. Work to do means different things for different teams. If a team has work to do but no games left to play before Sunday, BYU, for example, that “work to do” should be read as “on the bubble.” Maybe they’ll get in, maybe they won’t, let’s see what the committee decides, etc. It’s not a comfortable place to be no matter what we call it, but at least we’ll all have an understanding towards each other.

Regardless of the outcome, there are a number of different emotions and feelings that will run rampant over the next four days, right through Selection Sunday, but there will be a lot of exciting basketball being played throughout. We wish the best of luck for your alma mater and be sure to come join us for dinner and cheer them on to victory as they make their run for the National Tournament!

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