Last night was a fantastic night for teams like Virginia and Charlotte that are firmly on the bubble as just about every single result went in their way. Both of those teams are on an upward trajectory and recent results are trending in their favor. Kentucky and Mississippi also stand to benefit from this recent weakness as well.
By my count the bubble went 1-6 last night with only California doing much to impress the Selection Committee.
Here are the results from last night’s bubble games:
Duquesne 84 Temple 83
- Temple has been the last team in my bracket for quite some time now but is treading water and now has home losses to Duquesne and St Bonaventure. At 5-5 in the A-10 and a RPI of 59 the Owls needs to handle business down the stretch. The next three games are @UMASS, La Salle and @Charlotte and the Owls need at least two of the three if not all three. Temple has VCU at home to close the season in case they need a shot in the arm before the A-10 tournament.
Tennessee State 80 Belmont 69
- Belmont is a team that I’ve considered to have at large potential if necessary but that luxury is starting to slip with another OVC loss. The RPI is great at 26 and the overall computer profile is excellent as well but the Bruins need to beat Ohio and have no other slip ups before the conference tourney to have any hopes at an at large bid.
Louisville 72 Saint Johns 58
- As of now I have the Red Storm in the tournament but they need to solidify that status over the next couple of weeks. The overall resume is strong but they have lost 3 of their last 4 and the RPI is suspect at 54. Saint John’s has games left against Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Marquette and needs to win at least one of those to instill confidence within the Selection Committee about awarding them with an at large.
California 76 UCLA 63
- Cal was an afterthought a few weeks ago but they are coming on strong winning games against UCLA, Oregon and Arizona over the past two weeks. That alone proves they are worthy of inclusion into the Big Dance. The overall resume is not so kind but still favorable with a RPI of 57 and five wins over the top 100. The Golden Bears look like a team that will find a way in but could use at least two more top 100 wins and my guess is they get them.
VCU 86 UMASS 68
- This is not a horrible loss for the Minutemen, winning at VCU is a rare feat. I have UMASS as one of my last teams out, although they have six top 100 wins, not many of them are much to write home about. They have games remaining with Temple, Xavier and Butler so the potential remains to impress but my opinion is they will need a deep run in the A-10 tournament.
Gonzaga 77 Saint Mary’s 60
- Bracketologists all over the country have Saint Mary’s projected to go to the tournament and I can’t disagree with them any more. They have 0 top 100 wins and have not beaten a team all year that this projected to go to the Big Dance. They were presented with a golden opportunity to rectify that situation at home and got run out of their gym. The Gaels need to win the WCC to get into the tournament in my opinion. I consider them permanently off of the bubble.
USC 65 Stanford 64
- Stanford was a team that I was warming up to and felt that they would find their way into the tournament but not any longer. Losing at home to USC is not the formula towards differentiating yourself from the other bubble teams across the nation. A loss like that allows teams like Southern Mississippi, Villanova and various SEC teams to get back into the bubble picture. Stanford is now 5-10 against the top 100, not looking good for the Cardinal.