Bubble Tracker: Here are the 23 March Madness teams fighting to play in NCAA tournament

CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the Oregon-UCLA result.  

Less than two weeks out from Selection Sunday, there are 23 bubble teams fighting for a projected 10 open spots on the bracket. Those spaces could go down if there are surprises in the conference tournament.

Fringe teams will look to bolster their credentials in the final week of the regular season before major conference championships. For some bubble teams, February provided life. UCLA, one of seven projected Pac-12 tourney teams, has won seven consecutive games to vault into the field of 68. The problem? A long list of bad losses from earlier in the season. Peaking in March matters — if you can get in. 

Texas guard Matt Coleman III drives to the basket while defended by against Texas Tech guard Jahmi'us Ramsey (3) and guard Kyler Edwards during the first half at United Supermarkets Arena. (Photo: Michael C. Johnson, USA TODAY Sports)

A handful of borderline teams are better positioned than others based on their respective conferences. Florida is among six bubble teams in the SEC and the only one in the projected field because of how they've beat up on each other.

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Texas vaulted onto the right side of the bubble thanks to the help of quality wins playing in the Big 12. Texas Tech, on the other hand, has lost three in a row and has fallen to the bubble after Monday's overtime loss to Baylor. 


Results/records shown are against Division I opponents only. Breakdown data, compiled by bracketologist Shelby Mast, is updated through games as of March 2. Seeds are from USA TODAY Sports' latest bracketology. 

American Athletic Conference

Locks: N/A | Probable: Houston

Wichita State (In — No. 11): 22-7 (10-6) 47 NET 81 SoS, 136 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Oklahoma, Virginia Commonwealth, South Carolina, Memphis
  • The Bad: Loss vs. Temple

Cincinnati (Out): 18-10 (11-5) 53 NET, 9 SoS, 26 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Houston, Wichita State (2), Memphis, Tennessee, SMU
  • The Bad: Losses vs. Colgate, Bowling Green, Tulane

Memphis (Out): 20-9 (9-7) 60 NET 89 SoS, 162 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Tennessee, North Carolina State, Cincinnati
  • The Bad: Losses vs. Georgia, South Florida

Atlantic Coast Conference

Locks: Duke, Louisville, Florida State, Virginia | Probable: N/A

North Carolina State (In — No. 12): 18-12 (9-10) 54 NET 72 SOS, 87 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Wisconsin, Virginia, Syracuse, Notre Dame
  • The Bad: Losses vs. Georgia Tech, North Carolina (2), Boston College

Clemson (Out): 15-13 (9-9) 79 NET 37 SoS, 165 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Duke, Louisville, Florida State, Notre Dame, North Carolina State
  • The Bad: Losses vs. Virginia Tech, Miami (Fla.), Wake Forest

Big East

Locks: Seton Hall, Villanova, Creighton, Butler, Marquette, Providence, Xavier | Probable: N/A

Georgetown (Out): 15-14 (5-11) 59 NET, 21 SoS, 66 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Creighton, Butler, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Texas
  • The Bad: Loss to UNC-Greensboro

Big Ten

Locks: Maryland, Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin

► Indiana (In — No. 10): 18-11 (8-10) 55 NET, 45 SoS, 77 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Michigan State, Florida State, Iowa, Ohio State, Notre Dame
  • The Bad: No bad losses

► Rutgers (In — No. 12): 18-11 (9-9) 35 NET, 43 SoS, 79 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Seton Hall, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana
  • The Bad: Losses to Pittsburgh, St. Bonaventure

► Purdue (Out): 15-14 (8-10) 34 NET, 48 SoS, 81 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana (2), Virginia
  • The Bad: Loss to Nebraska

Big 12

Locks: Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia | Probable: Oklahoma

► Texas Tech (In — No. 11): 18-12 (9-8) 23 NET, 88 SoS, 175 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Louisville, West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma
  • The Bad: Loss to TCU

► Texas (In — No. 12): 18-11 (8-8) 55 NET, 39 SoS, 112 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Texas Tech, Purdue, West Virginia
  • The Bad: Loss to Iowa State


Locks: Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State | Probable: N/A

► Southern California (In — No. 10): 21-9 (10-7) 39 NET, 57 SoS, 152 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. LSU, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State
  • The Bad: Losses to Temple, Utah

► Stanford (In — No. 11): 20-9 (9-7) 30 NET, 96 SoS, 215 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Oregon, Oklahoma, UCLA, Colorado
  • The Bad: Losses to Utah, California, Oregon State

UCLA (In — No. 12): 19-11 (12-5) 75 NET, 55 SoS, 209 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Arizona (2), Colorado (2), Stanford, Arizona State
  • The Bad: Losses to Hofstra, Cal-State Fullerton, Washington State, North Carolina


Locks: Auburn, Kentucky, LSU | Probable: N/A

Florida (In — No. 11): 18-11 (10-6) 33 NET, 34 SoS, 16 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Auburn, Xavier, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Providence, LSU
  • The Bad: Losses to Missouri, Mississippi

Arkansas (Out): 18-11 (6-10) 46 NET, 29 SoS, 10 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Alabama, Indiana
  • The Bad: Losses to Missouri, Western Kentucky

South Carolina (Out): 17-12 (9-7) 63 NET, 63 SoS, 94 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Kentucky, Arkansas, Virginia, Clemson, Tennessee
  • The Bad: Losses to Stetson, Boston, Mississippi

Alabama (Out): 16-13 (8-8) 40 NET, 17 SoS, 44 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Auburn, LSU, Richmond, Mississippi State, Furman
  • The Bad: Losses to Penn, North Carolina, Iowa State

Mississippi State (Out): 19-10 (10-6) 52 NET, 58 SoS, 99 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Florida, Arkansas (2), Tennessee, Alabama 
  • The Bad: Losses to Ole Miss, Louisiana, Tech, New Mexico State

Tennessee (Out):16-13 (8-8) 67 NET, 33 SoS, 14 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Alabama, Arkansas, VCU, South Carolina, Florida
  • The Bad: Losses to Georgia, Texas A&M


Locks: Gonzaga, San Diego State, Dayton, BYU, Saint Mary's 

East Tennessee State (In — No. 10): 27-4 (16-2) 39 NET, 149 SoS, 107 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. LSU, UNC-Greensboro (2)
  • The Bad: Losses to North Dakota State, Mercer

Northern Iowa (In — No. 11): 25-5 (14-4) 37 NET, 118 SoS, 124 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Colorado, South Carolina
  • The Bad: Losses to Southern Illinois, Illinois State

Richmond (Out): 22-7 (12-4) 48 NET, 93 SoS, 100 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Virginia Commonwealth
  • The Bad: Loss to Radford, St. Bonaventure

Rhode Island (Out): 20-8 (12-4) 43 NET, 70 SoS, 42 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. Virginia Commonwealth, Alabama, Providence
  • The Bad: Losses to Saint Louis, Brown

Utah State (Out): 23-8 (12-6) 38 NET, 119 SoS, 89 NonCon SoS

  • The Good: Wins vs. LSU, Florida
  • The Bad: Losses to UNLV, Air Force, New Mexico

Teams on life support (little to no shot)




-Notre Dame




NCAA tourney Language Explainer:

  • Quadrant 1 wins: Home games vs. 1-30 NET teams; Neutral-site games vs. 1-50 NET; Away games vs. 1-75 NET
  • Quadrant 2 wins: Home games vs. 31-75 NET; Neutral-site games vs. 51-100 NET; Away games vs. 76-135 NET
  • Quadrant 3 wins, losses: Home games vs. 76-160 NET; Neutral-site games vs. 101-200 NET; Away games vs. 136-240 NET
  • Quadrant 4 wins, losses: Home games vs. 161-plus NET; Neutral-site games vs. 201-plus NET; Away games vs. 241-plus NET


Note:  Mostly all statistical data is used from WarrenNolan.com. The NCAA's NET rankings are also a reference point. 

About our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 on his website, Bracket W.A.G. He joined USA TODAY in 2014. In his seventh season as our national bracketologist, Mast has finished as one of the top three bracketologists in the past six March Madnesses. He’s also predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.

Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.

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