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ATR: Nervous times for bubble teams …

Friday the 13th provided all sorts of bad – and potentially worse – news for teams on the 2009 NCAA Tournament bubble.  As of early Saturday morning, theses are nervous times for bubble teams here at Around the Rim (ATR).   Our next projected bracket (March 14) will be out today.  As a quick note … the Conference Tourney page and Schedule page are updated through Friday’s games. 

Who should be nervous?  Several teams from the Big 10 and ACC, Creighton, Arizona, any SEC team not named LSU or Tennessee, Dayton, St. Mary’s, Texas A&M, New Mexico, and Utah State if the Aggies don’t win the Big West.  Following is a quick take on the updated bubble picture …

  • With Xavier and Dayton both losing, the Atlantic 10 winner will take a spot from someone.  While the Flyers look pretty good, they opened the door for a disappointing Sunday if today’s action turns even more sour for bubble teams.
  • Baylor must beat Missouri to get in, but the talented Bears would claim yet another at-large spot.
  • Auburn and Mississippi State could make a real mess of the SEC championship.  If both lose in the semis (to LSU and Tennessee) it’s possible the SEC could receive only two bids. 
  • Underachieving USC beat UCLA to reach the Pac 10 championship opposite Arizona State.  The Trojans probably have to win to get in, but doing so would create an even smaller bubble.
  • San Diego State is the title game of the Mountain West.  But their overall resume is light on wins and shows nothing out of conference. They probably have to beat Utah in the final. 
  • Tulsa reached the C-USA title game with Memphis.  At one time, a good showing would have helped.  Now it’s probably win or NIT.
  • Maryland is in much better shape after beating Wake Forest.  But the Terps could yet get squeezed.  If Maryland upends Duke (again), are they slotted ahead of Boston College?  Then it’s BC who gets compared with all the others.
  • In the Big 10, Penn State and Wisconsin are the most nervous.  And Minnesota and Michigan can’t be sleeping too well.  The Nittany Lions accomplished nothing out of conference and boast a No. 300+ non-league SOS.  Despite some good wins, that sort of scheduling recipe could prove costly.  Ask Notre Dame.

Today (Saturday) is going to be very decisive.  Same for mid-Sunday, if things break right (or wrong).  We’ll have frequent updates from Around the Rim as we go through the day.  Just for good measure, several Dance Tickets get punched in the final one-bid leagues.  More to come.  Send a Rebound – Dave the Bracketguy.

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