As the season progresses, Bubble Watch from SI.com's Andy Glock moves from suggested reading, to required reading, to post-lunch bathroom reading. It's great stuff, as well as Chris Dobbertean's rendition. But Ken Pomeroy said it best on twitter today, when he called out Glock for calling this year's bubble as being "as soft as ever."
Is it possible that this is the softest bubble in recent memory? Or just a continuation of a current trend that college basketball is playing in a more shallow talent pool each and every season?
You can't quite quantifiably compare bubble teams from year-to-year. Statistics remain relatively the same so it's common sense and an eye test that you must employ. This season, the teams that will likely be biting their fingernails most fervently are Clemson, Kansas State, Penn State and Butler.
Just which of those four teams jumps out to you and scream "talented and fun to watch"? None of them, actually [ed note: yeah, yeah, my argument is now somewhat invalid after what happened last night in the Little Apple].
Kansas State - Devoid of a true leader and full of players that make bad decisions both on and off the court, the Wildcats are one of the most disappointing teams of the season.
- Clemson - A season after losing Trevor Booker, the Tigers were never even supposed to sniff the bubble. Their best player is senior Demontez Stitt. He ranks exactly 700th in the country in FG percentage, and doesn't even have a profile on DraftExpress.com.
- Penn State - This team lost to Maine and is barely treading water in their own conference at 6-7. Because of the lack of good teams in college basketball this season, the Nittany Lions are case in point when arguing that the committee will reward good wins more than penalize for bad losses when selecting the at-large bids.
- Butler- The Bulldogs already have five Horizon League losses, with two of those coming to UW-Milwaukee. There's a chance they'll finish third in the conference, but it appears they'll remain part of the tournament discussion even if they're unable to secure an automatic bid.
Neither of those four teams seems like their capable of moving past the first round, right? While he's a huge fan and one of college basketball's most respected voices, Jay Bilas has constantly been poking fun at this great game, all but imploring the NCAA and NBA to work together to enhance both sport's problems. Ultimately the goal is to keep committed players committed to improving for a few years as an amateur athlete. This will prevent more players from turning pro simply to cash a paycheck for sitting at the end of the bench, and also not allow below-average teams from contending for the NCAA Tournament.