Saturday, March 3, 2018

Bubble Watch- Saturday's Key Games

March is here and with only 8 days until Selection Sunday, there are several teams that can still play their way in with what could be one of the deepest bubbles ever. This Saturday features several important games for bubble teams. 

Saturday's Key Bubble Games

West Virginia at Texas
- Texas needs this one to likely seal a bid. A loss here puts them at 17-14 with an RPI in the 60s meaning that if they don't win the Big 12 tourney, they will have 15 losses.

St. John's at Providence
- The Friars are in OK shape right now. A loss here will continue their drift towards the cut line. A win is definitely needed here.

Mississippi State at LSU
- LSU is hanging on by a thread and has to win this to keep their slim at-large hopes alive. Miss State also needs this one to keep them in the hunt. Either way, both teams will have plenty of work to do in SEC tourney.

Clemson at Syracuse
- This is a must win for Syracuse. A loss means that a deep run in ACC tourney would be their only way to have a somewhat realistic shot at a bid. Even with a win, work in ACC tourney is needed.

Alabama at Texas A&M
- Alabama has enough good wins but has almost lost too many games. A loss here would put them at 17-14. Like Texas, avoiding the 15 loss scenario is recommended.

Baylor at Kansas State
- Baylor is right on the cut line and a Tier 1 win here would be huge for them. Kansas State lacks quality wins and played a bad N-SOS, so they really need this one as well. With both teams on the cut line, this is the Bubble Game of the Day.

Creighton at Marquette
- This is a must win for Marquette. A loss here means that a run to the Big East tourney finals would likely be required to have a realistic shot.

Loyola-Chicago vs Bradley
- Loyola-Chicago has to win this game and advance to the MVC Finals to keep their at-large hopes alive. Winning the MVC tourney is definitely their best option.

Notre Dame at Virginia
- It is a tall task here, but the Irish need marquee wins to pursue the committee at this point as they are clearly on the outside looking in.

Purdue vs Penn State
- This is a must win for Penn State. A loss here very likely sends them to the NIT. A win must them in the running for a bid.

Oregon at Washington
- The Ducks have a long way to go, so winning the Pac-12 tourney might be their only option. The Huskies need this one to stay on the right side of the bubble.

Louisville at NC State
- This a huge bubble game in the ACC. NC State has plenty of signature wins but have a few bad losses and shaky computer numbers. Louisville has very few good wins, no bad losses, and great computer numbers. Louisville needs it more than NC State.

Colorado at Utah
- It is pretty simple for the Utes. Win and stay in the hunt. A loss means that a run to Pac-12 tourney finals is a must.

Wyoming at Boise State
- Like Utah, Boise State has to win this one. In the long run, a run to the MWC finals might not be enough though.

St. Bonaventure at Saint Louis
- If the Bonnies can avoiding losing to anyone besides URI and Davidson the rest of the season, then it would be hard to envision them missing the dance. Therefore, a win here is needed.

- This rivalry game is also a huge bubble game in the PAC-12. Both teams need it. UCLA likely needs it more as it would give them their 3rd Tier 1 win.

St. Mary's vs Pepperdine
- It stings for the Gaels that they face RPI albatross Pepperdine for a 3rd time, so their RPI will go down even with a win. A loss here will pop their bubble.

Safety Zone
AAC: Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston
ACC: Virginia, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina
Big East: Xavier, Villanova
Big 12: Texas Tech, Kansas, West Virginia, 
Big Ten: Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan
PAC-12: Arizona
SEC: Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas
WCC: Gonzaga

Neutral Zone- Almost Locks
Seton Hall, Texas A&M, TCU, Creighton, Butler, Florida, Miami (FL), Rhode Island, Oklahoma

Danger Zone- Current At-Large Contenders
Missouri, Arizona State, NC State, Virginia Tech, Nevada, Providence, Florida State, USC, St. Bonaventure, Alabama, Middle Tennessee State, St. Mary's, Texas, UCLA, Washington, Louisville, Baylor, Kansas State, Syracuse, Utah, Loyola-Chicago, Marquette, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Boise State, Oregon,Georgia, LSU, Temple, Louisiana, Nebraska, Western Kentucky, UCF, Buffalo

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