Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bubble Watch: The Weekend's Winners and Losers

Bubble Winners

UCLA- The Bruins kept their at-large hopes alive by winning in Tempe against the Sun Devils after falling short Friday Night at Arizona. UCLA still has plenty of work to do and is clearly on the outside looking in. A hug week is up for the Bruins as Utah and Colorado come to town giving the Bruins 2 Top 50 Win opportunities. UCLA really needs both if they want to get back in serious at-large discussion.

LSU - Ben Simmons and company picked up their 3rd Top 50 win of the year once they defeated a slumping Texas A&M team. LSU features a great record in the SEC but a very weak non-conference strength of schedule in which they struggled. A lot of work is left and the SEC does not offer too many chances, so the margin of error is small. Alabama comes to town this week giving the Tigers another opportunity at a Top 50 win and then they travel to Tennessee in a game where a loss would sting.

Michigan- The Wolverines defeated Purdue on Saturday giving them their third Top 50 win. The only problem with that is that those three wins are also their only Top 100 wins. More Top 100 wins will needed if the Wolverines want to go dancing. More opportunities are coming as Michigan ends the season with a gauntlet. It begins with trips to Ohio State and Maryland. Winning one of the two is definitely recommended.

St. Bonaventure- The Bonnies beat George Washington on Saturday for another Top 100 win. St. Bona is getting close to the cut line but still has plenty of work to do. It does not get any easier as they hit the road this week with trips to bottom feeder La Salle and A-10 leader Dayton. The La Salle game is a must and a win over Dayton would really help put a stamp on their profile.

Alabama- The Crimson Tide had a huge week last week including Saturday's win at Florida. The Tide are finally .500 in conference play and have 4 Top 50 wins. Alabama has had a tough SEC schedule in comparison to others. Up this week: @ LSU and vs. Miss State. They cannot afford losing to the Bulldogs.

Wisconsin- The Badgers appear to be back after defeating the Terps in College Park. However, their woeful non-conference performance is really holding them back. Good thing a tough schedule looms giving them plenty of more opportunities. The bad thing is that the room for error is small. Up this week: @Michigan State, vs Illinois. A bad loss at home to Illinois could be fatal, so that is a must win.

Texas Tech- The Red Raiders scored a huge road win at Baylor avenging their home loss to the Bears earlier this season. This came after the win against Iowa State, which became Texas Tech's best week of the season. The Sooners come to town this week which would be a huge win for the Red Raiders. However, a potential bad loss at Oklahoma State looms on Saturday. Texas Tech just needs to keep winning and avoid bad losses.

Connecticut- The Huskies beat Tulsa on Saturday after losing to Temple earlier this week. UConn's strange profile is hard to hard right now with good wins out of conference. However, the Huskies have struggled against AAC's best. Up this week: vs SMU, @Cincinnati. Winning both would really help their at-large chances as they would be moving up on the S Curve.

Creighton- The Bluejays folowed their win over Xavier by winning at Marquette. Creighton still has a ways to go, but they are moving into the discussion. Up this week: @Butler, vs. Marquette

Bubble Losers

Georgetown- The Hoyas just missed on what would have been a great road victory in Providence. The chances are not great now as the room for error is very slim. Any loss hurts now and a bad one would pop their already shrinking chances. However, Seton Hall and Xavier come to town this week. Both are musts for Georgetown.

Kansas State- The Wildcats did not have a great profile, but going into Saturday's trip to Oklahoma State, the worst loss they had was Baylor, which was playing into their advantage giving them a great RPI and reason to believe that the Selection Committee would leave a team with their worst loss as Baylor out of the tournament. However, K-State lost Saturday which shot their RPI down and quickly put them in bad shape. The Wildcats need win games now as they are 3-9 in conference play. Odds are not looking so good. Up this week: @TCU, vs Kansas

Washington- The Huskies were oh so close to completing the sweep of Colorado, which played without star Josh Scott. Washington is now in icy waters. Cal and Stanford come to town. The Huskies need both.

Butler- The Bulldogs followed their road victory over Seton Hall by getting blitzed at home to Xavier. Butler really needs more Top 50 wins as their neutral court win over Purdue is it. Fellow bubbler Creighton comes to town followed by a trip to the #1 team in the land, the Villanova Wildcats. Could be a big week for the Bulldogs.

George Washington- The Colonials lost in Olean to St. Bona. GW has some great wins but a few bad losses. They currently sit right on the cut line. One thing is sure though: they cannot afford anymore bad losses. This week is potential bad news with a trip to Duquesne and a visit from La Salle.

Tulsa- The Golden Hurricane lost at UConn, but overall it was a good week as they scored a huge road win at SMU. Tulsa is trending upward. Up this Week: vs Cincy @UCF. 2 wins is a must to stay close.

Wichita State- The Shockers' home court winning streak came to an end by Northern Iowa putting Wichita State in a bad spot for an at-large berth. Their profile is not very strong meaning that the MVC tournament might be their only chance.

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
SEC: Kentucky

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

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