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Bracket Bits: Thursday’s Bubble Tracker

dave1It’s crunch time for bubble teams.  The Selection Committee has convened in Indianapolis.  Today … the final race begins; we’ll see how wild it becomes.  A quick peek inside Thursday’s Bubble action …

March 12 – Bracket  |  March 12 – Seed List

Illinois – The Illini take on Michigan in the 8/9 game at the B10 tourney in Chicago.  It’s a must win. We’ll see if the home crowd can push the Illini into a matchup with top-seed Wisconsin on Friday.

Indiana – A loss to Northwestern would really put the squeeze on IU’s NCAA hopes.  The Hoosiers have lost three straight and four of five games, and haven’t beaten an NCAA team since a home victory over Maryland in late January.

Oklahoma State – The Cowboys have lost five of six games to create a bit of uncertainty.  A host of good wins is countered by a growing number of losses.  The good news: losing to Oklahoma would be a “good” loss.  But would it be one “good” loss to many?  A victory should seal an NCAA invitation.

Texas – The Longhorns took care of business against Texas Tech on Wednesday.  Next up is Iowa State.  Losing to the Cyclones a third time could create further issues for a team who’s major stumbling block is too many “good” losses (and not enough wins).

Texas AM – Very much a bubble team, thanks to a void of quality wins, the Aggies take on Auburn at the SEC tournament.  Thus far, the Aggies have avoided a “bad” loss.  Adding one now wouldn’t look good.

Mississippi – The Rebels might not be on the immediate cutline, but losing to South Carolina could put them there.  It would be their fourth loss in five games.

Colorado State – The Rams take on Fresno State at the Mountain West tournament.  While their RPI number(s) look good, CSU doesn’t have many high-end wins.  They might be okay with a loss, but why give the Committee a reason to reconsider?

Boise State – Earning a share of the Mountain West title helps the Broncos case.  Losing to RPI-killer Air Force wouldn’t.  BSU has won 11 of 12 games.  Keeping that streak in tact would probably be a good idea.

Old Dominion – The Monarchs might be the best “mid-major” at-large hopeful remaining (among First Five OUT today).  A trio of troubling losses is the major reason why they’re below the cutline; so adding a second loss to Middle Tennessee could mean serious trouble.

UCLA – The Bruins need a Pac-12 tournament run to improve their chances.  That starts by beating USC today.

Stanford – The Cardinal survived Washington on a last-second shot Wednesday.  Next up: Utah.  A victory alone probably won’t be enough, but a loss likely ends the team’s NCAA hopes.

As the first full day of major action resumes, the schedule also features a variety of potential seeding games.  While the bracket hasn’t changed much since Monday – other than adding new automatic qualifiers – that might not be the case come Friday morning.  Enjoy the Madness.

 

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