NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown: NC State vs. Tennessee

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NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown:  NC State vs. Tennessee
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Wednesday night was a big night for bubble teams throughout the college basketball world.  Some teams (South Florida and Colorado State in particular) got themselves significantly closer to earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament.  Other teams (St. Joseph’s, Dayton, among others), however, lost games which moved them a bit further away from the in-out cutoff line.

NC State would certainly be part of the former group.  The Wolfpack came through in must-win game, beating Miami in Raleigh, 77-73.  With the victory, NC State’s at-large hopes are still alive going into its season finale at Virginia Tech.

Another team also won Wednesday, one that really hasn’t been on the bubble radar to this point.  That team is Tennessee.

With a 74-69 overtime win at LSU, Tennessee won its third straight game, and seventh out of its last eight.  That run has pushed the Vols into a fourth-place tie in the SEC with Alabama, at 9-6 in league play. 

Perhaps it’s now time to give Tennessee a closer look in comparison to other bubble teams.  In this case, I will look at how it compares with NC State. 

Each team’s records and rankings listed below. 

Latest RPI/SOS Rankings from


NC State:  20-11, 9-7 SEC; RPI:  54, SOS:  29

Tennessee:  17-13, 10-6 SEC; RPI:  75, SOS:  33

Common notable opponents:  Duke (both lost to), UNC-Asheville (both beat)


Recent NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdowns


Alabama-So. Miss


West Virginia-Xavier




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