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Bracketology 2021: How the bubble looks according to bracketologists on March 11th

Our best bracketologists have made some moves, and have different opinions on how yesterday’s action affected the NCAA Tournament bubble ahead of Selection Sunday.

Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski watches his team play the Louisville Cardinals during the second half in the second round of the 2021 ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. The Duke Blue Devils won 70-56.  Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports


To help find The Chosen 68, we choose the Wisdom of The Crowd to decide which teams are in and which teams are out of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Similar to Nate Silver’s model of predicting elections, we take the data from five bracketologists and update it each week. All bracket makers shall be counted equally, and we’ll ask expert for their 16 teams on the bubble: The last eight in the NCAA Tournament in their estimation, and the first eight out.

Some list this data automatically with their projections, but for the others we reach directly to directly to get their most accurate picture.

Our “model” is pretty simple: 16 points for being the eighth-from-last team in the NCAA tournament, to one point for having seven teams between you and even making the First Four. If a team has an average of 9.0 points or higher, they should reach the NCAA field according to the averages.

Because some teams will avoid the last-eight-in all-together, while other brackets will have that same team on the bubble, we’ll mark teams “Safe” that are ahead of the 16 points available on the top “next four in” line.

Our bracketologists:
Joe Lunardi, (from this tweet)
Chris Dobbertean, Blogging The Bracket
Patrick Stevens, Washington Post
Shelby Mast,
Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report

Below are the bubble selections for all our tracked bracketologists for March 11:

Bracketologists March 12

Points ESPN Blogging the Bracket Washington Post Bracket Wag Bleacher Report
Points ESPN Blogging the Bracket Washington Post Bracket Wag Bleacher Report
16 VCU UCLA Georgia Tech Louisville Georgia Tech
15 UCLA Michigan State Louisville St. Bonaventure Louisville
14 Michigan State VCU Michigan State Wichita State UCLA
13 Louisville Drake UCLA VCU Wichita State
Last Four In
12 Drake Louisville Mississippi Drake Colorado State
11 Colorado State Colorado State Saint Louis Colorado State Drake
10 Syracuse Utah State Drake Syracuse Utah State
9 Utah State Syracuse Colorado State Boise State Syracuse
First Four Out
8 Mississippi Saint Louis Syracuse Utah State Boise State
7 Saint Louis Boise State Utah State Saint Louis Saint Louis
6 Boise State Mississippi Seton Hall SMU Mississippi
5 Seton Hall Seton Hall Boise State Memphis Seton Hall
Next Four Out
4 Xavier Memphis Xavier Seton Hall Xavier
3 Memphis St. John's Duke Mississippi Memphis
2 SMU Xavier Memphis St. John's SMU
1 St. John's SMU St. John's Xavier Belmont

Here are the averages for the teams on the bubble. Remember an average of 9.0 or better means you should be in the tournament.

March 12 Bubble Averages

Team Safe Points Average
Team Safe Points Average
Georgia Tech 3 Safe 16 8.0
Wichita State 3 Safe 27 5.4
Michigan State 2 Safe 43 14.3
VCU 2 Safe 43 14.3
UCLA 1 Safe 58 14.5
Louisville 71 14.2
Drake 58 11.6
Colorado State 54 10.8
Syracuse 46 9.2
Utah State 44 8.8
Saint Louis 40 8.0
Mississippi 35 7.0
Boise State 35 7.0
Seton Hall 25 5.0
Memphis 17 3.4
Xavier 15 3.0
SMU 11 2.2
St. John's 7 1.4
Duke* 3 1.5
Belmont 1 0.2
  • Xavier played themselves right out of a spot last night with their OT loss to Butler. If they’re not interested in the NIT, they can stop going to practice when they get back to Cincinnati.
  • Syracuse’s win over NC State makes them the most interesting case in the field. The Orange would likely lock it up with a win over Virginia today, and will be sweating bullets on Selection Sunday if they lose.
  • The Seton Hall-St John’s game today has become an eliminator, with the winner still in the mix and the loser for sure going home.
  • Duke probably gets on the right side of all bubbles with a win over Florida State in the ACC quarterfinals today.
  • Georgia Tech (vs. Miami) and Mississippi (vs. South Carolina) can’t help themselves much today, but can certainly hurt their cases with losses.