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"Bubble" Update: Sorting Through the Mediocrity One Final Time Before Selection Sunday
"Bubble" Update - Sorting Through the Mediocrity Before Selection Sunday Welcome back to the final edition of "bubble" update with @sportsguychris ahead of the much-anticiapted revealing of the bracket tomorrow! It has been an eventful Championship week, not just for those who won their conference tournaments and secured their automatic bid, but for all of those teams out there in bubbleland. Yesterday brought with it another bid thief as VCU - who should be comfortably in as an 8-9 seed - was shocked in the quarterfinals of the A-10 tournament by 8-seed Rhode Island. The A-10 was viewed as a definite 1-bid league, but VCU's loss has snatched up another spot and retracted the "bubble" a bit more heading into championship Saturday. So, what does it all mean for the "bubble"? Well, it was two SEC teams that were once again in action yesterday that may have had the most impact. Florida got past Arkansas for a much-needed win in the opening round of the SEC tourny. They followed that up by rallying to upset top-seed LSU yesterday in the quarterfinals (albeit with an assist from LSU's interim coach who was T'd up late in that one, and allowed the Gators to snag a 6-point trip down the court and the momentum). It was a huge win, and significantly more impressive than what any of the other fellow "bubble" teams could muster. The win should have Florida in the tournament now no matter the outcome of their SEC semifinal today. Meanwhile, Alabama had an opportunity to seemingly punch their ticket if they could knock off Kentucky. It wasn't meant to be though for Avery Johnson and the boys as they were throttled by the Wildcats. Finishing up at just 18-15, the "bubble" has most likely burst for the Tide. A 17-15 Indiana, or believe-it-or-not 16-16 Texas both have more impressive resumes. Elsewhere around the "bubble" Ohio State came up short against Michigan State in the Big TEN quarterfinals and now find themselves firmly on the cut-line. The Buckeyes now seem locked into their position on most "last four in" & "first four out" lists. I have OSU slated as the first team out. Temple did themselves no favors by losing to Wichita State yesterday in the AAC tournament. While the loss won't count as a "bad" loss, the timing was absolutely horrendous for the Owls. I would not be surprised to see them fall out of the projected bracket. I still believe that wins over Davidson, UCF, and the big one over Houston still give the Owls' enough of a boost to possibly sneak-in. I've got them as the "last team in" after that loss. Lastly, Arizona State and Oregon met in a terrific Pac-12 quarterfinal late last night. The Ducks are trying to make a late run at an at-large spot, and after gutting out the OT win last night have now won 7 straight. Dana Altman's team may be strapped by the perception of the Pac-12, but nobody is playing better on both sides of floor at the moment. They've only allowed 54.6 per contest during that 7-game streak, while forcing turnovers at a rate that Dick Bennett would be proud of. It has crept the Ducks all the way up to "first four out" territory. One final note on the bubble - Minnesota's surprising win over Purdue yesterday solidifies the Gophers into the field, as they moved up to a projected 8/9 seed. With all the "bubble" teams now finished in their respective conference tournaments, the resumes are set and all there is to do now is sort through the mediocrity. Without further ado, here is one final updated look at the "bubble" ahead of selection Sunday: (Each team is followed by their conference & overall record as well current "NET" rating in brackets) "LAST FOUR BYES": --------------------------------- OKLAHOMA (7-11, 19-13) [37] FLORIDA (9-9, 19-14) [31] ARIZONA STATE (12-6, 22-10) [63] BELMONT (16-2, 26-5) [47] "LAST FOUR IN": ---------------------------- ST. JOHN'S (8-10, 21-12) [72] N.C. STATE (9-9, 22-11) [34] TCU (7-11, 19-13) [51] TEMPLE (13-5, 23-9) [54] "FIRST FOUR OUT": -------------------------------- OHIO STATE (8-12, 19-14) [55] UNC-GREENSBORO (15-3, 28-6) [59] FURMAN (13-5, 25-7) [42] OREGON (10-8, 22-12) [56] "STILL IN THE MIX": -------------------------------- LIPSCOMB (14-2, 25-7) [50] DAVIDSON (14-4, 24-8) [65] "BUBBLE HAS BURST": 💥 -------------------------------------- ALABAMA (8-10, 18-15) [61] CLEMSON (9-9, 19-13) [35] INDIANA (8-12, 17-15) [53] TEXAS (8-10, 16-16) [38] XAVIER (9-9, 18-15) [68] CREIGHTON (9-9, 18-14) [52] GEORGETOWN (9-9, 19-13) [80] Belmont's "NET" and RPI continue to stack up favorably compared to the rest of the "bubble", combined with their impreasive record (26-5), I still believe is enough to put the Bruins in. That being said, they are void of "big-name" wins on their resume (aside from a win @ UCLA - which doesn't hold much weight this year), which could very easily leave them on the outside looking in. I could see any one of the current "last four in" being left out of the field, so it will be an interesting 24 hours or so leading up to the unveiling of the bracket. St. John's and Arizona State have the resumes, but have ugly "NET" ratings, leading to an interesting decision from the committee on these two come tomorrow. Enjoy all of today's action, as more tickets are punched and the remainder championship games get set for tomorrow. There won't be much movement on the "bubble" so these teams just have to wait it out at this point. Be sure to check back early tomorrow for my final "projected bracket" ahead of the official bracket revealing tomorrow night. Its almost time boys & girls! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section, thank you all for your support, and happy reading & writing!!