RotoWire Bracketology: Version 4.0

RotoWire Bracketology: Version 4.0

This article is part of our RotoWire Bracketology series.

As expected, we figured a lot out about the bubble this week in conference tournaments. Teams like Iowa, Illinois, Clemson and Georgia all had chances to make a statement to the committee, but came up short. And so, the bubble has dwindled down and there are only a few teams teetering on the edge and others still looking to make a move.

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

FIRST FOUR BYES

VCU
(KenPom 48, BPI 38, RPI 23): The Rams should be fine, but you never know how the committee rates the Atlantic 10. Their two best wins are at home against Middle Tennessee and Dayton. In addition to a road loss at Fordham, they were mediocre in non-conference, losing to Illinois and Georgia Tech, two teams off the bubble.

Xavier
(KenPom 38, BPI 35, RPI 30): While the Musketeers have a losing record without Edmund Sumner, they showed enough in the Big East tournament to deserve an at-large bid. As a bonus, they don't have any terrible losses.

Vanderbilt
(KenPom 32, BPI 44, RPI 44): This shouldn't be a question anymore, as the Commodores have three wins over Florida, one over South Carolina, one at Arkansas and another in non-conference against Iowa State. Vandy is in.

Wake Forest
(KenPom 30, BPI 32, RPI 36): The Demon Deacons should be fine, as they may be the only bubble team without a truly bad loss. Recent wins against Louisville and at Virginia Tech should be enough, as well.

FIRST FOUR IN

USC
(KenPom 60, BPI 58, RPI 42): The Trojans are clinging to two home wins against SMU and UCLA. Otherwise, USC hasn't done many impressive things this season. Staying close with UCLA in the Pac-12 quarterfinals may be all they needed, though.

Providence
(KenPom 55, BPI 55, RPI 56): The Friars could've used another Creighton win, but instead they sit waiting for Selection Sunday. While they have some nice Big East wins, some are taken away by losses to Boston College, DePaul and St. John's.

Kansas State
(KenPom 29, BPI 37, RPI 55): A win over West Virginia would've made things easy, but that's not how it worked out. The Wildcats don't have a good enough non-conference slate to be considered a lock. They are in for me mainly due to how they competed against the top Big 12 teams.

Syracuse
(KenPom 50, BPI 31, RPI 84): The Orange remain on my last line with Rhode Island in the waiting. They have the best wins of any bubble team (Florida State, Virginia, Duke), but also some losses that could keep them out (UConn, Georgetown, St. John's, Boston College).

FIRST FOUR OUT

Rhode Island
(KenPom 52, BPI 39, RPI 45): The worst news for Rhode Island was that Dayton lost Friday. Getting a win over Davidson in the semifinals isn't going to move the needle for the Rams. It's looking like a conference championship may be the only way they'll lock in a tourney bid. Anything less and they're playing with fire; home losses to La Salle and Fordham will do that to you.

Illinois State
(KenPom 51, BPI 61, RPI 34): Nothing has changed my thoughts in the past week; 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.

California
(KenPom 58, BPI 56, RPI 53): While the Golden Bears were competitive with Oregon in Friday's loss, that's not good enough. They didn't beat any of the elite teams in the Pac-12 and that's going to cost them with 12 losses.

Indiana
(KenPom 41, BPI 29, RPI 70): It was between Clemson and Indiana for this final spot, with the Hoosiers' big non-conference wins doing enough to be in the conversation.

No more: Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Georgia, TCU

*Rankings pulled from KenPom, BPI and RPI before games on 3/10.

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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