Bubble Bits: Florida has work to do
Of all the bubble results on Saturday, Florida’s loss at LSU is one of the most notable. And it’s not because losing to a wildly inconsistent group from Baton Rouge is particularly bad. In between their pile of head-wrangling losses to middling teams, this is a Tigers’ team that has won at Vanderbilt and beaten Kentucky and Texas AM. LSU can be pretty good – we just don’t see that team enough. The Gators problem is a serious lack of quality wins, as a 2-9 record against Top 50 RPI teams indicates. And one of those wins is against Saint Joseph’s in November. Since then, Florida has beaten exactly one (1) team – West Virginia at home – that would be an at-large team in the Field today. Their remaining Top 100 wins are Georgia and Ole Miss twice and the aforementioned LSU outfit at home. If there’s a remedy, it’s a visit from Kentucky this coming week before a trip to Missouri. The Gators really need to win both of those ahead of the SEC tournament.
Elsewhere, it was a pretty good day for bubble teams along the cutline. Vanderbilt helped itself the most by beating Kentucky in Nashville. We’ll see if they can keep building on a three-game winning streak. Alabama and Cincinnati won the games they had to (Auburn, East Carolina) …. On the outside looking in … VCU, St. Bonaventure, and Butler all put victories on the slate, with VCU taking down fellow-bubbler George Washington. And Gonzaga won at BYU – keeping their at-large hopes in tact.
Sunday’s Bubble Action
Here’s a quick peek at today’s most important bubble games:
- Connecticut (vs. Houston) – The Huskies are largely riding their victories over Texas and Michigan, along with a home win over SMU. As we noted in Saturday’s Bubble Banter update, UConn is also 7-8 vs. the Top 150. Falling further behind that Mendoza line would not look so good.
- Seton Hall (Xavier) – A victory over the Musketeers would make the Pirates final two road games (Butler, DePaul) a little easier.
- Pittsburgh (Duke) – The Panthers resume is similar to Florida’s (see above), in that they have a decent overall profile but lack high-quality wins (1-6 vs. the Top 50). Their final two roadies (at Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech) won’t be easy.
- Michigan (at Wisconsin) – Let’s add the Wolverines to the Florida/Pittsburgh discussion. They are 3-8 vs. the Top 50, which is magnified by a 3-9 mark vs. the Top 100. They get a home game with Iowa to close; time is of the essence.
- Oregon State (Washington State) – The odds of the visiting Cougars winning is remote, which is exactly why the Beavers can’t relax and add an unsightly loss.
Championship Week starts next weekend! The Madness is almost here.