Saturday, March 13, 2010

Heading Into Saturday: Where The Bubble Stands

Friday was the last big day for bubble games. Many bubble teams are all done with their games, and are just sitting at home hoping for no upset automatic bids, as well as for the bubble teams still playing to lose their games.

For now, here is where the bubble sits:

Teams definitely in the bracket... for now:
Wake Forest, Missouri, Clemson, Virginia Tech, San Diego State

The Bubble: 11 teams playing for 6 spots:
Washington, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Utah State, Wichita State, Rhode Island, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arizona State, Seton Hall

The best of the rest:
Minnesota, Dayton, Memphis, South Florida, Cincinnati

Keep in mind that the WAC winner will get one of those seven bubble spots. And that there is always the possibility of upset automatic bids stealing some more of those bubble spots. The biggest winner of the day was San Diego State with their big upset of New Mexico that pushes them into the bracket for the time being. UNLV locked up their own bid, with the upset of BYU. Mississippi State moves onto the bubble with a win, while Seton Hall moves up to the bubble without playing just because the bubble has fallen down to their level. Minnesota is the only team not now on the bubble that can realistically get themselves back up to the bubble, which they can do by beating Purdue on Saturday.

Saturday will not have the wall-to-wall bubble games that we had on Thursday and Friday, but we will still have a bunch of bubble games to watch. Here is the complete list:

11:30 AM ET (CBS): UTEP vs Houston: Neither of these teams is on the bubble. UTEP will be in the Tournament, while Houston cannot earn an at-large. But the automatic bid will be on the line here, which means that every other bubble team in the nation will be rooting for UTEP.
1 PM (CBS College Sports): Rhode Island vs Temple: Rhode Island probably needs to win this one to make the NCAA Tournament. A win here will not lock them into the Tournament, but it will put them in a good position.
1:40 PM (CBS): Illinois vs Ohio State: Illinois is right on the bubble with the big win over Wisconsin, and can possibly move into the Field of 65 for good if they can pull off the upset here. A loss here would more than likely condemn them to the NIT.
3 PM (ABC): Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt: Mississippi State is another team right on the bubble that probably needs a win to make the NCAA Tournament. It's very unlikely that they'll go Dancing if they lose here.
3:30 PM (ESPN): Georgia Tech vs NC State: Georgia Tech is probably in the Field of 65 for the moment, but they're right on the bubble. A loss here would probably knock them right back out, so they've got to win. A win here plus a close loss in the ACC title game to Duke would probably be enough for an at-large bid.
4 PM (CBS): Minnesota vs Purdue: Minnesota is out of the bracket right now, but their upset over Michigan State means that with this year's weak bubble the Gophers are just on the verge of being right back on the bubble. There's no question that they've got to get the upset here to go Dancing.
6 PM (CBS): Washington vs California: Washington is probably in the Field of 65 at the time being, but they could easily fall back out if they lose here. A win here for them would assure the Pac-10 of being a two-bid league, as Cal is a lock.
7 PM (Versus): San Diego State vs UNLV: UNLV locked up their Tournament bid by knocking off BYU, so the other bubble teams around the nation will be rooting for them to lock up the automatic bid. San Diego State is definitely in the bracket right now, but there's no reason that they can't fall out if they lose here. They need the win to assure the Mountain West a four-bid season.
10 PM (ESPN2): Utah State vs Nevada: The WAC title game. Since Utah State could realistically get an at-large bid while Nevada cannot, the other bubble teams will all be rooting for Utah State to take care of business here.


Chris said...

Rhode Island is playing Temple, not Xavier.

Jeff said...

Oops, you're right. That's what I get for putting together a post that late at night...