DAVE WEAVER/Associated Press
We typically do a "First Five Out" and another five teams on a "Gone But Not Forgotten" slide, but there simply aren't enough teams close to the field to justify talking about 10 of them. This week, we're going with the first seven teams outside the projected field.
If you care to read about the entire bubble, please consult Thursday's bubble stock watch.
First Team Out: Nebraska (18-11, RPI: 43, KP: 52)
The Cornhuskers are so close to the promised land.
Since Jan. 26, they are 9-2 with five wins vs. RPI Top 100 teams—including a potentially important head-to-head win over Minnesota.
However, they could really use another marquee win to push them over the hump. This recent stretch of wins has been beneficial, but Nebraska went just 1-3 vs. the RPI Top 100 during the nonconference portion of the season. The one win came in the seventh-place game of the Charleston Classic against Georgia (RPI: 78).
Sunday night's home game against Wisconsin is the perfect opportunity for a season-defining victory. In addition to it being a huge individual win, it would push Nebraska to 11-7 in Big Ten play.
Hard to believe the selection committee would exclude that resume from the tournament.
Second Team Out: Tennessee (18-11, RPI: 51, KP: 14)
Third Team Out: Missouri (21-9, RPI: 53, KP: 63)
These two SEC bubble teams play each other Saturday. KenPom.com (subscription required) gives Tennessee an 83 percent chance of winning at home.
Regardless of what happens, the winner isn't a lock for the tournament, and the loser isn't doomed to the NIT. They'll both still have work to do in the SEC tournament. Saturday just determines which team will need extra elbow grease to make the dance.
Fourth Team Out: California (18-12, RPI: 56, KP: 66)
Fifth Team Out: Minnesota (17-12, RPI: 49, KP: 57)
Aside from an adjective in their team names, how much do the Golden Bears and Golden Gophers have in common?
For starters, they both have 12 total losses and are 4-8 over their last 12 games.
They each have a critical home victory hidden in those four wins against a great team they happened to be playing at the lowest point of its season—that win is Arizona for California and Wisconsin for Minnesota.
They each partook in the Maui Invitational and faced similar opponents. Arkansas beat Minnesota, but California beat the Razorbacks. Both teams lost to Syracuse.
One other thing they share: Neither school is making the NCAA tournament without a respectable run in its conference tournament.
Sixth Team Out: Providence (20-10, RPI: 52, KP: 54)
We need evidence that Providence can beat quality teams away from home.
The Friars are 0-4 away from home against the RPI Top 50 and 1-7 vs. the RPI Top 85. The one win came in double overtime against St. John's (RPI: 63).
This weekend, they'll get the ultimate chance to prove they belong in the field by traveling to Creighton for Doug McDermott's senior night.
No one in their right mind expects Providence to win that game, but that win is exactly what this team needs.
Seventh Team Out: Georgetown (17-12, RPI: 58, KP: 49)
The Hoyas are the furthest from the field among the bunch, but they also have the ace of spades up their sleeve.
Georgetown plays at Villanova on Saturday afternoon. A win would be the Hoyas' sixth vs. RPI Top 50 teams. A loss would be their 13th of the season. A win would likely vault them into the tournament field. A loss would leave them needing to win the Big East tournament to make the NCAA tournament.
Georgetown's postseason has effectively already begun.