NCAA Basketball Weekend Bubble Watch: Winners and Losers

T.R. PetersonCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2009

It’s the first of February and there are bubbles in the air.

As teams position themselves for at-large consideration, remember it doesn’t take much for a given team to ascend or descend with respect to their bubble status.

In Friday’s edition, I mentioned Providence and Arizona as teams that have played themselves into the bubble discussion, while Michigan and Stanford are seemingly NIT-bound. Nothing over the weekend has changed that status.

Here are the weekend winner and losers. As always, comments are welcome.

Note: Next edition will be published on Friday morning. All RPI and SOS numbers are taken from



South Carolina

I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t going to jump on the S. Carolina bandwagon unless the Gamecocks knocked off Kentucky in Rupp arena. Well, I’m officially on the wagon, and S. Carolina is looking like a solid at-large team.


Texas A&M

It wasn’t long ago Aggie fans were complaining about the tough, early conference schedule. After two wins in row, A&M is 3-4 in the Big 12 and in good shape. A big game this week at Oklahoma would look really good on their resume.



Yes, the Wildcats are on the list after beating Wisconsin on Saturday. Although they're only 4-5 in the Big Ten, Northwestern has four RPI Top-50 wins and an SOS that ranks in the mid-20s—the type of things the NCAA committee likes to see.



The Bearcats are starting to make some noise in the Big East. The win over Georgetown on Saturday gives them three wins over the RPI Top 50. They have a tough three-game stretch and can’t afford to go 0-3.



The Trojans were on the list Friday after beating Stanford. USC doubled up by beating Cal and improved to 6-3 in the Pac-10, only a game behind co-leaders UCLA and Washington. By the way, USC travels to UCLA Wednesday night.

Other winners: Arizona, Northeastern, VCU, Rhode Island, Utah, UNLV, LSU, BYU, Missouri, Temple, Boston College, San Diego St., Utah St., Penn St.




Oklahoma St.

The Cowboys have great RPI and SOS numbers. Closer inspection reveals only two Top-50 wins. Oklahoma St. needs to get rolling after dropping two in a row, with the last being at Texas A&M on Saturday.


Miami (FL)

The Hurricanes have lost three in a row with Duke, Wake Forest, and North Carolina on deck. That’s what makes Saturday’s loss to Maryland so big.



The Bears looked to be in great shape a week ago. After Saturday’s loss at Missouri, and with Kansas and Oklahoma in two of their next three, Baylor could be in trouble.


Notre Dame

Sure, the Irish have lost five games to five of the best teams in the country. But sooner or later, you have to win games to get into the tournament. Things aren’t getting any easier with Cincinnati, UCLA, and Louisville up next.


St. Mary’s

The loss to Gonzaga on the road with Patty Mills getting hurt was one thing. Getting blown out by Portland is another. By the way, the Gaels have no RPI Top-50 wins and only two Top-100 wins.

Other Losers: Michigan, Stanford, Providence, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, Florida, California, St. Josesph’s, George Mason