College Basketball Bubble Watch

Updated: March 8, 2010, 1:26 AM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com


Championship Week is make-or-break time

Editor's note: This file has been updated to include all games through Sunday, March 7.

Welcome to college basketball's Championship Week, where NCAA tickets are punched or punted.

What's at stake in the week between now and Selection Sunday, when the 65-team field for the NCAA tournament will be announced?

Two bubble teams -- Cornell and Northern Iowa -- have already punched their NCAA tickets. The Big Red won the Ivy League regular-season championship and an NCAA automatic bid on Friday night, and the Panthers won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship on Sunday.

Old Dominion and either Gonzaga or Saint Mary's might join the NCAA field on Monday. Bubble teams across the country will be rooting for the Monarchs and Bulldogs to win.

Here's where the NCAA tournament bubble stands going into Monday, if we assume the following (which is assuming quite a bit during Champ Week):

• One of the teams that already has earned "lock" or "should be in" status wins the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC tournaments.
• Butler wins the Horizon League tournament.
• Gonzaga wins the West Coast Conference tournament.
• UTEP wins the Conference USA tournament.
• Richmond, Temple or Xavier wins the A-10 tournament.
• New Mexico or BYU wins the Mountain West Conference tournament.

If all of the above actually happen, and we add those 11 automatic bids to the 20 automatic bids that will be awarded to conferences not represented in Bubble Watch, we'll have our 31 automatic bids. After we include the remaining teams with "lock" or "should be in" designation, we'll be at 58 bids.

That would leave only seven available at-large bids for the 19 teams currently sitting in "work to do."