Bubble Watch Week in Review
The bubble picture is anything but clear. A few teams I ruled out in the last edition suddenly have new life and are making a case for themselves again.
I have heard a lot of discussion regarding conference record as being a critical component of getting an at-large bid. Remember, last year Oregon made it into the NCAA tourney after going 9-10 in the PAC-10 with an overall record of 18-14. So there is a lot more that goes into it than just conference record.
Two teams of interest to keep an eye on that have started to make some movement and could be critical players come conference tourney time are Wisconsin-Green Bay and Tulsa.
Wisconsin-Green Bay out of the Horizon knocked off Butler this week and will be a legitimate threat to the Bulldogs in the Horizon tourney. In C-USA, Tulsa is quietly sitting in second behind Memphis. The Golden Hurricane, who took Memphis to the wire in the first meeting, will have another shot to beat the Tigers in the rematch next Wednesday.
Here are this weeks bubble winners and loser. Next edition will be Monday, Feb. 9. As always, comments are welcome.
Note: All RPI and SOS statistics are taken from RealTimeRPI.com.
San Diego St.
The Aztecs don’t have any great non-conference wins on their resume so the win against UNLV was critical in keeping their at-large hopes alive. It is hard to ignore their win over Utah and the fact they are co-leaders in the MWC.
Wisconsin was on lift support at the beginning of the week but after beating Illinois have shown signs of life. The Badgers need to win their next two before they can start feeling safe again.
On Monday I declared that Miami had no chance. Now I have to rescind my remarks after the Hurricanes thrashed Wake Forest. They still have Duke and North Carolina up next, so no time to celebrate. However, their last three games are against the bottom of the ACC.
Just when you think it’s time to throw out the Cowboys, they come back with an important win. With Kansas and Texas up next, Oklahoma St. can’t have anything less than a split
When you look at the bubble teams from the Big East, Cincinnati rarely gets mentioned. With the win over Notre Dame they have quietly moved to 5-5 in conference play and deserve some consideration. A second win over Georgetown should bring the Bearcats more attention.
Other winners: Boston College, LSU, Tennessee, Utah, N. Iowa, Mississippi St., BYU, Florida, Arizona, St. Mary’s, Michigan
The loss at Michigan spoiled the great run the Nittany Lions had put together. Now they must go through the heart of the Big Ten with three of their next five on the road.
The Wildcats have lost three in a row and their RPI is falling like a rock. Kentucky is off until next Tuesday when they have a must win game against Florida.
The Rebels are in a precarious situation. Of the big four teams in the MWC they have the worst SOS and RPI rankings. They can’t afford any hiccups against the rest of the MWC if they want at-large consideration.
The blowout loss to rival UCLA put the Trojans into the bubble category just after it looked as though they were in solid shape. The road trip to the state of Arizona next week will help shape the bubble situation in the PAC-10.
The Friars lost a tight battle with Villanova that would have really helped their bubble situation. They have a tough match-up with West Virginia on Saturday that is big for both teams.
Other losers: Texas A&M, S. Carolina, Baylor, Temple, Notre Dame
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