Monday, February 22, 2016

Bubble Watch: Weekend's Winners and Losers

Bubble Winners

Texas A&M- The Aggies defeated Kentucky in a thriller and have locked up a bid. It's official.

St. Bonaventure- The Bonnies rebounded huge by following up their worst loss of the season with their best win of the season when they won at Dayton. Their profile is actually is in better shape than it was a week ago. Duquesne and UMass come to town this week. St. Bona cannot afford a bad loss to either.

Indiana- The Hoosiers defeated Purdue for another Top 50 win. Though their profile is still pretty average, they only have one potential bad loss left until the Big 10 tournament. Therefore, the odds of Indiana missing is very slim. Indiana will be dancing.

Baylor- The Bears won at Texas giving them another big win. With 9 conference wins and no bad losses, Baylor will be invited to the Big Dance.

South Carolina- The Gamecocks beat Florida for another Top 50 win. SC is almost a sure thing except there is still a few more bad loss opportunities. Up Next: vs Tennessee @Miss State. Winning both might be enough to move into the safe zone.

Vanderbilt- The Commodores beat Georgia after previously picking up a bad loss at Miss State. Vandy has plenty of work as they need more good wins and wins in general. The opportunity is here with a tough stretch ahead with a trip to Florida and Coach Calipari and Co. coming to town.

Pittsburgh- The Panthers ended their recent slump by beating the Orange in Syracuse giving them a season sweep. With only 1 Top 50 win and a sweep of Syracuse, the Panthers need more quality wins to make them feel safe on Selection Sunday. Louisville and Duke come to town this before finishing up with two road trips at Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Losing both games this week could come back to haunt them. Winning at least one is a must.

Washington The Huskies bounced back and beat Stanford. A huge trip to the Oregons loom this week. Huge opportunities to enhance their resume before they end the regular season with their arch-rival Wazzu.

Texas Tech- The Red Raiders continued their hot streak by avoiding a bad loss at Oklahoma State. TCU comes to town followed by a trip to Kansas. With 4 remaining regular season games, Texas Tech needs to win 2 to likely solidify a bid.

St. Mary's- The Gaels finished off their 1st sweep of Gonzaga since 1995 by winning in Spokane. Their at-large profile is not great and probably should not rely on the at-large bid. They have took control of the driver's seat in the WCC, so the 1 seed is possible. Up Next: vs Santa Clara, @San Francisco

UCLA- The Bruins beat the Buffaloes for another Top 50 win. UCLA is likely on outside looking in but are on the cusp. Big road trips in Northern California loom this week giving them a chance to boost their resume.

California- The Bears won at Washington State to avoided that bad loss. After this road sweep, Cal will be dancing.

Other Winners: Each of these avoided bad losses: Princeton, Ark-Little Rock, Yale, Temple, Ohio State, Monmouth, Seton Hall, George Washington, Tulsa, Valparaiso, San Diego State, Wichita State, Wisconsin

Bubble Losers

Butler- The Bulldogs lost at Villanova as expected. Butler badly needs more quality wins and with no more opportunities until the conference tournament, it seems the Bulldogs will likely be sweating it out on Selection Sunday unless they can pick up something in the Big East tourney. A trip to Georgetown is up this week.

Kansas State- The Wildcats lost at home against Kansas and Texas and will now need to win the Big 12 Conference Tourney to dance.

Georgetown- The Hoyas lost at home to Xavier and is eliminated from at-large contention.

Oregon State- The Beavers lost at rival Oregon. They still have 6 Top 50 wins. The Washingtons come to town this week. Both are must win games.

Purdue- The Boilermakers are very close to a lock but would be in bad shape if they lost out. 1 more win would seal it. Maryland comes to town on Saturday.

Florida- The Gators lost at South Carolina and remain very much on the bubble. The lack of marquee wins is hurting. Good thing they have a good RPI. Big week with Vanderbilt coming to town and a trip to LSU. Which team will be hungrier?

Syracuse- The Orange missed another opportunity. This one was home against Pittsburgh. The Orange have a great list of wins but have a shaky RPI in the mid 50s. NC State comes to town Saturday. It is a must win.

St. Joseph's- The Hawks lost their first road game of the season at Davidson. They are still on the right side of the bubble. However, it's a big week ahead with 2 chances for bad losses. Up Next: @UMass, vs. Saint Louis

Alabama- The red hot Crimson Tide cooled off and picked up their worst loss of the season at home to Mississippi State. They have a great collection of wins but are starting to stack up in losses. Winning any games are important at this point. Up Next: @Kentucky, vs Auburn

LSU- The Tigers lost at Tennessee picking up another bad loss. It looks like Ben Simmons might be headed to the NIT as they are pretty far out right now. A road trap at Arkansas is next before the Gators come to town. Two losses would pop them for sure.

Florida State- The Seminoles continued their slide losing their 4th straight. This one was bad too as it was to VA Tech. A trip to Duke is next before the Fighting Irish come to town. There's certainly an opportunity to get back on track, but 2 losses would be devastating to their at-large hopes.

Georgia- The Bulldogs lost the bubble battle at Vanderbilt and remain on the outside behind multiple teams. UGA seems like an NIT team, but with a strong finish, they could make it. No chances to help their resume this week with a trip to Auburn and Ole Miss coming to town.

Clemson- The Tigers lost at NC State and now have an RPI of over 100, so they are eliminating from at-large consideration for now.

Connecticut- The Huskies lost at Cincy continued their struggle against the top of the American. Though, the best thing for UConn is that have avoided losing to any of the landmines in the American. No chances to impress this week with a nice trip to South Florida before a better than you think Houston team comes to town.

Chattanooga-The Mocs lost at home to UNC-Greensboro and now will not have a legitimate at-large claim if needed.

Gonzaga- The Zags lost at home to St. Mary's. With only 2 Top 100 wins, Gonzaga will very likely need the WCC auto bid to dance putting their NCAA tourney streak in jeopardy.

Colorado- The Buffaloes lost at UCLA. Colorado is still in good shape to dance but are not looking at too great of a seed. The Wildcats and Sun Devils are coming to town. Need at least one of them to tray on track.

Michigan- The Wolverines lost at Maryland as expected but were very close to winning which would have been huge. Now they sit with 3 consistent Top 100 wins, which is very low for a team looking for an at-large. Northwestern comes to town next which will not help their resume either way, but the trip to Wisconsin Sunday would if they could win this bubblicious battle.

USC- The Trojans got blitzed at home to the rolling Utes. USC probably needs 1 more win to be safe. Tough week ahead with a road trip to Cal and Stanford.

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, Baylor
Big Ten: Iowa, Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana
PAC-12: Oregon, Utah, Arizona, California
SEC: Kentucky, Texas A&M

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

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