RotoWire Bracketology: Version 3.0

RotoWire Bracketology: Version 3.0

This article is part of our RotoWire Bracketology series.

With conference tournaments ahead, a lot of things can be mixed up over the next week, but it's not a guarantee. The better teams are on the bubble and the worse ones are off. Unless a team like Iowa, Clemson or Rhode Island makes a deep run in their respective tourney, everything could stay the same. But when has that ever happened?

For a live bracket with daily updates, check out RotoWire.com's new Bracketology page.

Here's the latest, complete bracket, followed by a full bubble breakdown:

FIRST FOUR BYES

VCU
(KenPom 48, BPI 38, RPI 23): The Rams should be fine, but it's hard to call them a lock considering they are just 2-3 vs. the RPI's Top 50. A win over George Mason/Fordham should insure their spot in the Big Dance.

USC
(KenPom 59, BPI 58, RPI 39): The Trojans have won their last two but that doesn't mean much against bad teams. They'll get another easy matchup with Washington in the Pac-12 tournament and with a win get to face UCLA. A bad loss to the Bruins would put them in jeopardy.

Xavier
(KenPom 43, BPI 35, RPI 34): Without Edmond Sumner, the Musketeers haven't been good, recently losing six straight. The committee will have some questions to answer if Xavier loses to Butler handily in the quarters of the Big East tournament.

Syracuse
(KenPom 44, BPI 31, RPI 80): A lot of people don't like the Orange because they've been bad on the road this season. However, a win over Miami in the ACC tournament could give them enough to surpass other bubble teams. Their wins over Duke, Virginia and Florida State can't be matched by many.

LAST FOUR IN

Providence
(KenPom 53, BPI 55, RPI 52): The Friars come into the Big East tournament having won six straight and would be in a great position if they beat Creighton again. With a loss, it's a little more questionable. Losses to Boston College, DePaul and St. John's could keep them out.

Kansas State
(KenPom 32, BPI 41, RPI 58): A poor non-conference was always going to hurt them, but the Wildcats have road wins at OK State, Baylor and former bubble team TCU. A win over Baylor in their first Big 12 tourney game should get them in, but a loss puts them in the hands of the committee.

Wake Forest
(KenPom 30, BPI 30, RPI 32): The Demon Deacons needed to win and that's exactly what they did in their last three. As long as they beat Boston College in the ACC tourney, they'll be on the good side of the bubble. A win over Virginia Tech in their second game could lock it in.

Vanderbilt
(KenPom 40, BPI 48, RPI 44): A season sweep of Florida is going to be hard to ignore for the committee. If the Commodores beat Texas A&M, they'll see the Gators again. A loss to A&M, a team they already beat by 14 points on the road, would likely push them off.

FIRST FOUR OUT

Rhode Island
(KenPom 51, BPI 39, RPI 42): I dropped the Rams a spot because their win over Davidson wasn't nearly as good as Vandy's over Florida. They'll need to beat Dayton in the semifinals of the A10 tournament to have a shot. Otherwise, losses to La Salle and Fordham will be hard to overcome.

Georgia
(KenPom 56, BPI 69, RPI 53): The Bulldogs had a chance for a season-defining win at Arkansas last time out, but instead got blown out. They'll have the tough task of beating Tennessee and then Kentucky in the SEC tournament. If not, it's hard to see Georgia getting in, given a 9-9 conference record and mediocre non-conference slate.

Clemson
(KenPom 37, BPI 34, RPI 67): The Tigers continue to sit around the bubble, mainly due to a good non-conference record. Unfortunately, they'll probably have to beat Duke in order to make the Big Dance. A win over NC State won't do much to move the needle.

Iowa
(KenPom 65, BPI 77, RPI 72): The Hawkeyes have quietly won four straight and are suddenly on the bubble and one of the teams opponents don't want to see in the Big Ten tournament. But without two wins, a home loss to Nebraska-Omaha would be one of the main reasons they're left out of March Madness.

NEXT FOUR OUT

Illinois
(KenPom 68, BPI 63, RPI 57): Illinois was looking like the trendy bubble selection and then a loss to Rutgers changed that thought. The Illini have a difficult test against Michigan in their Big Ten tournament opener and then Purdue. A win over Michigan won't be easy making their route a bit difficult.

California
(KenPom 55, BPI 52, RPI 56): The hit on Cal was that it had no elite wins and then the Golden Bears went on to lose to two non-tourney teams. Even with two wins (Oregon State, Utah) in the Pac-12 tournament, they'll still be out. Cal needs to beat Oregon in the semifinals to have a chance.

Indiana
(KenPom 46, BPI 32, RPI 81): The Hoosiers simply won't go away and if they shoot like they did at Ohio State on Saturday, could make a run in the Big Ten tournament. Similar to Iowa, their best chance is to beat the Hawkeyes and Badgers with a meeting against Maryland possibly deciding their fate.

Illinois State
(KenPom 49, BPI 59, RPI 30): A lot of the talk is that people "want" the Redbirds in, but they won't get in because the committee hates mid-majors. However, the fact remains they lost three non-conference games to Murray State, Tulsa and San Francisco. Their best non-conference win was against New Mexico (at home). It'd be a major surprise if Illinois State jumped some of these other teams and went dancing.

*Rankings pulled from KenPom, BPI and RPI before games on 3/6.

To view a compilation of all of the bracket predictions in the world, check out the Bracket Matrix. As of note, this bracket was in the top 10 percent of brackets in 2016 and top 20 percent in 2015.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam, a 2019, 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's assistant soccer editor. He also runs RotoWire's Bracketology, as well as writes on other various college basketball content. He has previously worked at ESPN and Sporting Kansas City, and he is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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