March Madness 2023 Bubble Watch: Who Will Make the NCAA Tournament?
Selection Sunday for this year’s edition of March Madness is just two days away, and the picture is becoming clearer and clearer as conference tournaments continue around the country.
Entering today (Friday, March 9), 14 automatic bids have been claimed. And beyond the teams who have claimed automatic bids, there are a lot of teams who are assured of a place in the field of 68 even without an automatic bid.
Who’s In, Who’s Out?
Here’s a look at how the March Madness bubble picture shakes out entering today.
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March Madness 2023 Bubble Watch: (as of Friday, March 10, 2023)
- Last Four Byes: Boise State, Providence, Penn State, Mississippi State
- Last Four In: Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Utah State, Arizona State
- First Four Out: Oklahoma State, Clemson, Nevada, Wisconsin
- Next Four Out: North Carolina, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Michigan
- Last Four In: Mississippi State, Utah State, Nevada, Rutgers
- First Four Out: Arizona State, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Clemson
Blogging the Bracket (SB Nation)
- Last Four Byes: Rutgers, Maryland, Penn State, Mississippi State
- Last Four In: Pittsburgh, NC State, Oklahoma State, Utah State
- First Four Out: Nevada, Arizona State, North Carolina, Clemson
- Next Four Out: Oregon, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Michigan
March Madness Bubble Teams to Watch Today (Friday, March 10)
Middle Tennessee vs FAU (12:30 pm ET, CBS Sports Network)
Even if they fall short of winning the Conference USA tourney, the Owls are a lock to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002.
But bubble teams around the country will be hoping that FAU takes the title tomorrow in Frisco, Texas, because if they do, it’s one less place taken up by a bid stealer.
As a result, the likes of Arizona State and Utah State might have one eye on the MTSU-FAU matchup as they look ahead to their games tonight.
Vanderbilt vs Kentucky (9:00 pm ET, SEC Network)
By winning nine of their last ten games, the Commodores have moved into the March Madness bubble conversation.
If they can beat Kentucky for the second time in a little over a week, it will set up a semifinal matchup with either second-seeded Texas A&M or tenth-seeded Arkansas, both of whom are locked into the field of 68.
If Vandy can pick up two Quad 1 wins to reach Sunday’s championship game, they will have a compelling argument to receive a bid, even with an underwhelming NET.
Arizona State vs Arizona (11:30 pm ET, ESPN)
A thrilling win at Arizona two weeks ago is why the Sun Devils enter today with their destiny in their hands.
Can they beat the Wildcats again? If they do, any lingering doubt about their place in the field will be done.
Utah State vs Boise State (11:59 pm ET, CBS Sports Network)
Utah State ended the regular season with a home win over Boise State, and if the third-seeded Aggies upset the second-seeded Broncos, they will have 26 wins, a NET around or inside the top 20, and a secure place in the March Madness bracket.