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The Bracket Bouncer: Who Won’t Get an NCAA At-Large

Several power conference teams need to win their tourney to get in at this point

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 10 CAA Championship - Northeastern vs Hofstra Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good afternoon, Big Blue Nation!

Today is the second edition of The Bracket Bouncer: the machine that takes college basketball teams and declares their bubbles popped. Any team listed here will, unless the machine is faulty, have to win their conference tournament to go dancing in March. We will go through five conferences a week until we’ve hit them all, then update regularly. Last week we did the America East, AAC, ACC, American, and the Atlantic Sun. This week we will do the Big 12, Big East, Big Sky, Big East, and Big Ten.

Let’s get started!

Big 12: Iowa State, Kansas State

This conference is STACKED. This might be the second strongest conference outside of the Big Ten. The Big 12 can get a lot of bids this year, but the Cyclones and Wildcats will not be joining the at-larges (especially when one of them lost to DII Fort Hayes State. Bleugh).

Big East: Georgetown, St. John’s, Butler

The Big East is a tricky puzzle right now, but these three teams are on the wrong side of the win column and probably will stay there all season. Next time around more teams are almost sure to join them, though.

Big Sky: Everyone but Southern Utah and Sacramento State

The Big Sky conference has a great name, but not great teams. Thus it is oft a one-bid league. I can’t eliminate Southern U and Sacramento State yet, though, because they are 7-1 and 4-1 respectively. Next time around they might not be so lucky if they trip up in conference play.

Big South: Everyone but Winthrop

There are six conferences that start with “B”, and all of them start with the word “big”. Three are directions (no Big North since Big Sky has such a ring to it), two are numbers, and then of course you have the Big Sky. While at-larges aplenty flow to the East, the same can’t be said for the South. Every team but 9-0 Winthrop will have to win the Big South tourney if they want in the Big Dance.

Big Ten: Penn State, Maryland

Here we are: the strongest conference in the country. Only two teams can be safely eliminated: Penn State and Maryland. Everyone else is in play for an at-large, with SEVEN teams in the AP Top 25 right now. Most of them appear in the Sonic Blockbuster. That’s great for a conference and a program and a fan of good basketball.

Eliminated Teams: 54

That’s all for now! Hopefully Kentucky keeps winning so I (gasp!) don’t have to put them on here when we get to the SEC.