Saturday, February 13, 2016

Bubble Watch- 2/12/15


We are about a month away from Selection Sunday. As the season winds down, bubbles start to burst as others lock up bids.

UCLA (13-11)- Currently on the outside looking in

After a narrow loss Friday night in Tucson, the Bruins travel to Tempe in a must win game against the Sun Devils on Sunday. The Bruins are on the outside looking in and are in need of any wins at this point to stay in the hunt. Without this win, UCLA  is close to falling out on at-large contention.

Georgetown (14-11, 7-5)- Currently on the outside looking in

The Hoyas have a chance to pick up a quality road win this weekend when they head to Providence. The Friars have struggled as of late. A win will move Georgetown in the right direction towards the cut line. At this stage of the season, the Hoyas need wins and can't afford too many more losses to stay in the hunt.

LSU (15-9, 8-3)- Currently on the outside looking in

Ben Simmons and company have a great chance to enhance their resume this Saturday with the Aggies coming to town. Currently, the Tigers have a great mark in conference play, but not too much else. If they want to be dancing in March, a win over Texas A&M will move them in the right direction. A loss will be another missed opportunity.

Kansas State (14-10)- Currently on the outside looking in

K-State missed an opportunity earlier this week against Baylor and now fall to 2-10 against the RPI Top 50. The Wildcats are staying in the hunt because they have no bad losses. Saturday's visit to Stillwater is a must-win for the Wildcats as Oklahoma State's RPI is over 100 and would be their first bad loss of the season. A win would keep K-State in the hunt as a loss would really hurt.

Michigan (18-7)- Currently in the field

Purdue travels to Ann Arbor this weekend for a battle with Michigan. Coming off a win at Minnesota following home losses to Iowa and Indiana, the Wolverines are in for now, but can really enhance their resume with a win over Purdue. A loss would probably keep them in the field, but they could slide towards the Last 4 In. A win would move them farther in the field.

Washington (15-9)- Currently in the field

The Huskies are coming off a loss at Utah and travel to Boulder to take on the Buffaloes. With three homes games and three road games remaining, the Huskies can really feel safe if they can win a road game or two. Washington won the first game against Colorado in Seattle. Can the Huskies sweep the Buffs? A loss would probably keep them in the field, but another quality road win will boost their resume. 

Clemson (14-10)- Outside looking in

Brad Brownell's team hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday and is a must win for the Tigers. Tigers have some great wins and bad losses. Add in the weak out of conference schedule and the room for error is slim. Need to beat the Yellow Jackets to stay in consideration. 

Butler (17-7)- Last 4 In

The Bulldogs got a much needed road win at Seton Hall earlier this week to push them on the cut line. The Musketeers come to town after their loss to Creighton. A great opportunity for the Bulldogs to come away with a huge week. A win will move Butler in the field above the Last 4 In. A loss will either push them out of the field or keep their status in the Last 4 In. 

George Washington (18-6)- Last 4 In  vs St. Bonaventure (16-6)- Outside Looking in

The Colonials and the Bonnies meet in Olean for a huge A-10 Bubble Showdown. GW is coming off a home loss to St. Joe's and can add another quality road win to their resume. The Colonials have some great wins including one against Virginia, but bad losses have put them on the bubble. 

The Bonnies can add to their road win at St. Joseph's with a win against the Colonials. With an RPI in the Mid 30's and not too many quality wins, the Bonnies need to keep winning games, especially marquee games like Saturday's battle. The Bonnies need to take care of business in order to stay in the discussion.

Cincinnati (18-7)- Outside looking in

The Bearcats host the Pirates in a must win game for Cincy. A win will keep them in the hunt and a loss would really hurt their chances. 

Alabama (14-9)- Last 4 In

The Crimson Tide are the bubble team that no one is talking about which currently has 4 solid Top 50 wins. Alabama travels to Florida, which would be a huge road win if the Crimson Tide can get it done. A loss does not hurt too much, but a win would be significant.

Vanderbilt (14-10)- Outside looking in

Vanderbilt travels to Auburn to take on Bruce Pearl's team, which has struggled lately. The Commodores cannot afford too many more losses and definitely do not need a bad loss. This is must win for Vandy to keep their hopes alive.

VCU (17-7)- Outside looking in

VCU is right on fence right now as our first team out after picking up a bad loss at UMass this week. Saint Louis is coming to town in a game that the Rams cannot afford to lose. The Billikens almost won at St. Bona the other day, so the Rams cannot expect to sleep walk through this one. A loss here would greatly damage their resume.

Wisconsin (15-9)- Last 4 In

The Badgers have played well lately to get them in serious contention for an at-large bid. They currently hold a 6 game winning streak and travel to Maryland for a game that would be a huge win for the Badgers. This game is not must win, but boy it would greatly help Wisconsin's chances on keeping their streak alive.

Georgia (13-9)- Outside looking in

The Bulldogs travel to Mississippi State to take on Ben Howland's much improved team, where Miss State is actually the favorite. Bad news for UGA is that a loss here would be considered bad  greatly damaging a fairly mediocre at-large profile to begin with. UGA cannot afford this loss.

Texas Tech (14-9)- Outside looking in

The Red Raiders travel to Waco to take on the Bears for a chance at their second big win this week. Texas Tech just needs to win games and a quality win like this would be huge. A loss does not take them out of consideration, but time is starting to run out.

Tulsa (16-8)- Outside looking in vs Connecticut (17-7)- Currently in the Field

Tulsa picked up a huge win at SMU this week and now bring their show to Storrs for a game that is huge for both teams. If the Golden Hurricane get a win here, they will be on Monday's bracket. If the Huskies lose their second game this week, they will likely move out. Therefore, this is a huge game for both teams.

Creighton (16-9)- Outside looking in

After upsetting the Musketeers, Creighton has moved into the bubble discussion. If they would like to be in serious contention, winning at Marquette is a must.

St. Joseph's (20-4)- Currently in the Field

The Hawks host La Salle in must win game. St. Joe's has no bad losses and needs to keep it like that to stay in the field. This a game they cannot afford to lose.

Gonzaga (20-5)- Projected WCC Champ

The Bulldogs are in the field for now as the AQ out of the WCC. They do not have an at-large profile right now, so their trip to SMU is their last chance to add some meat to a very empty profile in the quality wins department. Without this win, the conference tournament might be their ticket.

St. Mary's (19-4)- Outside looking in

The Gaels suffered a damaging home loss to Pepperdine earlier this week making them more of long shot as an at-large contender. A win is a must against Loyola Marymount, but the WCC tourney is likely their best option.

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