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Bracket Bits: Weekend bubble watch

Dave2015It’s a big weekend for bubble teams.  March has arrived, and time is running short.

Next week, conference tournaments begin for several small and mid-major leagues – leading us into Championship Week.  With that notice in mind, here are some of the weekend’s most notable bubble opportunities …

Memphis at Cincinnati.  The Tigers have crept back into the at-large picture thanks to a stretch of five wins in six games, an improved NET rating, and a currently advantageous bubble setup.  A road win at UC would give them a worthy addition to a profile that includes victories over UCF and Temple, two other American bubble contenders.

Butler at Villanova.  The Bulldogs desperately need a few wins. What better way to begin that journey than by beating one of the league’s best two teams on the road, a place where the Dawgs have struggled this season.

Seton Hall at Georgetown. Considering the Pirates are just inside the cutline and the Hoyas are just outside the cutline, the relative importance speaks for itself.  SHU has more wiggle room overall, thanks to early wins over Kentucky and Maryland, but the Pirates’ losses to non-tourney teams are piling up.

UCF at Houston.  The Knights are 0-3 vs. Quad 1, having lost their two previous matchups against Houston and Cincinnati.  They still get another shot at UC, but it’s hard to see UCF earning an at-large bid if the Knights end up 0-4 against the league’s two best teams.

Utah State vs. Nevada.  The Aggies have been hovering on the good side of the bubble for a couple of weeks, but their resume remains void of a marquee win.  Reversing a lopsided loss in Reno would do wonders for their at-large hopes.

Saint Mary’s vs. Gonzaga.  For what it’s worth, the NET likes the Gaels, even though their best wins are New Mexico State and San Francisco; good wins, but enough to carry an at-large bid against 10 losses (including three in Quad 3)?  Gonzaga blew out the Gaels in Spokane.  This could very well be the last stand for Saint Mary’s without winning the WCC tourney.

Arizona State at Oregon State.  The Sun Devils began their closing three-game road trip with a lopsided loss to the Oregon Ducks.  Despite some top-end wins outside the league, ASU’s profile is teetering thanks to eight losses to non-tournament teams. We’ve reached critical mass in Tempe.

Full a complete rundown of bubble games, visit Bracket Games.


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