Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bubble Watch: Notable Results-Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

Bubble Winners

St. Joseph's- The Hawks picked up their biggest win of the season by taking down a ranked Dayton team to put them in a 3-way tie for 1st place in the A-10. St. Joseph's resume looks much better now and are positioned well. However, there are still opportunities for bad losses. Next up is a chance for a decent road win @Davidson.

Alabama- The Crimson Tide continued their hot streak by winning at LSU extending their winning streak to 5. With three of the next five at home, Alabama is in great position for a bid. Winning 4 out of 5 will likely be enough. Mississippi State comes to town next.

Seton Hall- The Pirates won at Georgetown in a key bubble game. This adds a road win against a Top 100 foe, but Seton Hall is still on the edge and needs more good wins. Up next is trip to Big East doormat St. John's. They cannot afford a loss there.

Texas Tech- The Red Raiders made it 3 straight against ranked opponents by scoring a huge upset win over Oklahoma. They are have 4 Top 50 wins and are 6-7 in the Big 12. Winning 3 of their last 5 would be huge for their NCAA tourney hopes. However, it is important to not pick up any bad losses. Up Next: @Ok State

Connecticut- The Huskies upset SMU picking up their best win of the season. With a Top 40 RPI, UConn sits pretty good right now. The bad thing is that they are not a sure thing yet, and in a league like the American, the opportunity of resume killing losses exists. Up next is visit to fellow bubbler Cincinnati. A win here and it becomes more of a seeding thing than whether or it they will be in.

Tulsa- The Golden Hurricane picked up another good win knocking off Cincinnati. Their profile is looking more and more like a legit at-large candidate. Tulsa cannot stop now. A trip to UCF is up next in a game where a loss would put them back to being a fringe candidate. 

California- The Golden Bears picked up their 2nd road win of the year, which was a pretty good one too as they hurt Washington’s at-large chances. Cal looks to be safe. A win at Pullman against the Cougars should be enough, but one more after that would likely be the icing on the cake. 

Other Winners: Each of these avoided bad losses: George Washington, Clemson, Indiana, Arizona, Wichita State, Ark-Little Rock, Gonzaga, St. Mary's, Stanford, VCU, Valparaiso, Princeton

Bubble Losers

Stony Brook- The Seawolves lost at American East rival Albany likely eliminating their already slim at-large chances. The America East Conference Tournament was their best option and now it is the probably only way they will dance.

St. Bonaventure- The Bonnies took a huge blow to their at-large chances by losing at bottom feeder La Salle. Adding this loss really hurts their mediocre profile. The game at Dayton Saturday looms large now as the Bonnies need to offset that defeat.

Providence- The Friars continued their slide losing at Xavier. At least, they were not the favorite in this one. Providence is still safe, but they are taking on water quickly. The win @Villanova looks better than ever, but they likely need 3 more wins to feel safe. Up Next: @Seton Hall

Temple- The Owls got handled pretty easily at home by the #1 Villanova Wildcats. It would have been huge for their profile and would be been great for the entire AAC, but instead, the AAC stays in the same spot as before being very desperate for any way to send multiple teams to the dance. Temple is still in 1st in the AAC with a maginal at-large profile, but a trip to an improving Houston team is next.

Syracuse- The Orange missed an opportunity to pick up a huge road win that would have moved them into the safe zone. The Cuse still has a great collection of wins and likely only needs to win 2 more games to secure a bid. The next two are at home, which is good for the Orange. Up Next: vs Pittsburgh

LSU- The Tigers lost at home to Alabama and are in trouble with only 2 marquee games left and a few opportunities for bad losses. Ben Simmons and company are on the outside looking in and have plenty of work to do. Making up for a poor non-conference schedule that they struggled against has been an uphill climb. They visit Tennessee on a Saturday for a game where a loss could be devastating for their chances.

Georgetown- The Hoyas lost the bubble match at home to Seton Hall and are in a bad spot. With a 14-13 record, any win helps now. Winning their last 4 is required at this point for an at-large bid. Xavier comes to comes to town this Saturday.

Florida State- The Seminoles lost their third straight after falling at home to Georgia Tech. Florida State is fading fast. A trip to Virginia Tech is next. They cannot afford losing that one.

Cincinnati- The Bearcats were oh so close to winning at Tulsa. Life on the bubble can be tough especially in the American where margin for error is much smaller. Good thing UConn comes to town next, so the Bearcats get another chance at a good win. 

Wisconsin- The Badgers winning streak came to an end after they were blasted in East Lansing against the Spartans. Making up for their dismal non-conference has been a challenge especially when they have pretty much maxed out in the bad loss department. With Illinois coming to town, the Badgers cannot lose this one as another bad home loss will be hard to swallow.

UCLA- The Bruins missed out on a huge opportunity last night with the Utes in town. A win there would have begun a possible late season surge. Instead, they came up short. Colorado is in town next. This is a must win for the Bruins if they want any chance as an at-large.

Washington- The Huskies also blew an opportunity at a great win when recent road dog Cal came to town. A loss there really stings as the Huskies needed another Top 50 win. Stanford comes to town next. Washington needs to beat the Cardinal to keep their hopes alive.  

Monmouth- The Hawks picked up their first home loss of the year, and it was not a good one as Iona has an RPI in the 100s. With four bad losses, it is starting to become dicey if Monmouth would get an at-large if needed. Winning the MAAC tourney is definitely recommended, but would the committee give them the nod if needed. 

Safety Zone
ACC: Virginia, UNC, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Duke
A-10: Dayton
Big East: Villanova, Xavier
Big 12: Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas, Iowa State
Big Ten: Iowa, Michigan State, Maryland
PAC-12: Oregon, Utah, Arizona
SEC: Kentucky

Danger Zone(Safest Teams are listed 1st)- Current At-Large Contenders
Purdue, Texas A&M, California, USC, Syracuse, Baylor, Indiana, Colorado, Providence, Texas Tech, Connecticut, Oregon State, St. Joseph's, Florida, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Alabama, Seton Hall, Wisconsin, Michigan, Temple,  Butler, George Washington, Tulsa, Monmouth, Washington, Florida State, VCU, Cincinnati, Princeton,St. Bonaventure,  Ark-Little Rock, Gonzaga, Chattanooga, LSU, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Wichita State, San Diego State,  Clemson,  Kansas State, Georgia, Creighton, Valparaiso, Akron, St. Mary's, South Dakota State, UC-Irvine

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