College Basketball Bubble Watch

CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm assesses the résumés of teams that may be sweating it out until Selection Sunday. For more from Jerry Palm, check him out on Twitter: @jppalmCBS | Palm's Bracketology updates

  • Dayton
    (23-5, 14-2, 1st ATL10 ) | RPI/Rank: 0.6097/24 | SOS/Rank: 0.5487/68
    Dayton logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-2 3-1 7-1 4-1 7-0
    Outlook
    The Flyers are tied with the Rams atop the A-10, which is down this year. Dayton has yet to be a team that is likely to make the tournament, and is unlikely to even get that chance. That means that the Flyers cannot afford a big mistake.
    VCU
    (23-5, 13-2, 1st ATL10 ) | RPI/Rank: 0.6095/25 | SOS/Rank: 0.5407/78
    VCU logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 1-1 1-0 5-2 11-2 5-0
    Outlook
    The Rams have been pretty good at home and are tied atop the A-10 with Dayton. Unfortunately, they have a couple of bad losses away from home, including a loss at Fordham and a blowout to Illinois. There are not any chances for higher quality wins in the A-10 this year, so they need to avoid picking up any more bad losses.
    California
    (19-9, 10-6, 4th PAC12 ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5837/46 | SOS/Rank: 0.5735/34
    California logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-6 1-1 3-1 7-1 7-0
    Outlook
    Cal had been pretty hot, winning eight of nine but have now lost three in a row. The most recent loss came at home to Oregon after blowing a 16-point second half lead. The Bears have just four top 100 wins overall, including one at USC, and a questionable loss to San Diego State. They need to add to the quality win count, but that will not be possible until the conference tournament. For now, it's about avoiding bad losses.
    Seton Hall
    (17-10, 7-8, 6th BIGE ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5815/48 | SOS/Rank: 0.5709/38
    Seton Hall logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 1-5 3-1 3-3 3-1 7-0
    Outlook
    The Hall is now in the same spot as Providence, essentially. They won two out of three against the top teams in the league, but now the Pirates have to finish the job against teams they should be favored to beat. They will travel to DePaul and host Georgetown next. Unlike Providence, however, they will be underdogs in their season finale at Butler.
    Providence
    (17-11, 7-8, 7th BIGE ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5751/55 | SOS/Rank: 0.5736/33
    Providence logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 2-5 4-2 3-1 3-1 5-2
    Outlook
    The Friars have won three big games in a row, beating Butler, Creighton and Xavier, to move into the bracket for the moment. Now comes the hard part, which is true for most bubble teams -- winning the games they should. The finish with Marquette and DePaul at home, and then at St. John's
  • Arkansas
    (21-7, 10-5, 3rd SEC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5955/35 | SOS/Rank: 0.5539/59
    Arkansas logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-3 3-2 7-0 7-1 4-1
    Outlook
    Arkansas was in serious trouble following a loss at Missouri followed by a big home loss to Vandy. The Hogs have come back to life though with a win at South Carolina, their first over a likely tournament team, as part of a stretch of four straight wins. The Hogs now hit the road with games at Auburn and Florida before finishing at home with Georgia.
    Michigan State
    (17-11, 9-6, 6th BIG10 ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5850/43 | SOS/Rank: 0.5937/14
    Michigan State logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 2-6 2-0 5-3 4-2 4-0
    Outlook
    It's been a rough year for the young Spartans, who already have ten losses on the season. They may have just gotten younger after senior G Eron Harris badly sprained his knee against Purdue. MSU still has games left with Wisconsin at home and at Maryland, but can probably only afford to lose one of those. That is assuming they win the other two, and that is not a great assumption.
    Michigan
    (18-10, 8-7, 7th BIG10 ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5774/52 | SOS/Rank: 0.5670/41
    Michigan logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 1-3 2-4 5-2 5-1 5-0
    Outlook
    Michigan picked up another road win at Rutgers, which wasn't easy, but the Wolverines cannot worry about style points. They just need Ws. Michigan is one win away from getting off the bubble, but is still listed as On the Fence because they may not be favored again in the regular season.
    TCU
    (17-11, 6-9, 7th BIG12 ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5754/54 | SOS/Rank: 0.5815/27
    TCU logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-5 2-4 3-2 5-0 6-0
    Outlook
    TCU is still looking for its first big win of the season. The Frogs' best win so far is at Kansas State, which is also on this list. They have avoided the bad loss to this point and need to continue to do so, but eventually, they will need a win over one of the top three to feel any comfort on selection Sunday. There is only one chance left at that in the regular season -- Saturday vs West Virginia
    Kansas State
    (17-11, 6-9, 6th BIG12 ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5684/60 | SOS/Rank: 0.5670/42
    Kansas State logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 1-4 2-4 1-3 6-0 7-0
    Outlook
    Kansas State picked up a huge win at Baylor, which was its third top 50 win of the season. The problem is that it was also the Wildcats' third top 100 win, due primarily to playing a poor non-conference schedule. They are only 4-10 vs the top 100, which will have to improve. Kansas State is running out of chances though after losing at home to Oklahoma State. They are rapidly approaching must-win territory.
    Mississippi
    (16-11, 7-7, 6th SEC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5648/65 | SOS/Rank: 0.5659/44
    Mississippi logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-3 1-5 3-3 7-0 6-0
    Outlook
    Ole Miss is 1-8 against the top 50, and the team they beat is not going to the tournament. They are also 4-11 against the top 100 after losing to Arkansas. Mississippi doesn't have any bad losses, but hasn't really done anything to get the selection committee's attention either. Unfortunately, the SEC will not give them many chances to do that, but they will have at least one chance to pick up a top 50 win.
  • Middle Tenn State
    (24-4, 14-1, 1st USA ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5981/32 | SOS/Rank: 0.5140/127
    Middle Tenn State logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-1 2-0 2-0 9-2 10-1
    Outlook
    In 2013, the Raiders became one of the least deserving teams to ever receive an at-large bid when they got one with just one RPI top 100 win. They are already in better shape now, with four to their name. Two of them are over other non-major conference leaders, but none over likely at-large teams. They also have a home loss to Tennessee State and at real clunker at UTEP. There is little margin for error playing a C-USA schedule.
    Illinois State
    (24-5, 16-1, 2nd MVC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5966/33 | SOS/Rank: 0.5094/139
    Illinois State logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-0 1-1 1-2 11-1 10-1
    Outlook
    The Redbirds are the co-leaders of the MVC, but they only have two top 100 wins. Neither of those are over likely tournament teams and they also have three bad losses. There is nothing left on the schedule but more potentially bad losses, so every game is a must win at this point. The good news is that MiKyle McIntosh is back from a knee injury. He is their second leading scorer and rebounder.
    UT Arlington
    (21-6, 11-3, 1st BELT ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5963/34 | SOS/Rank: 0.5136/128
    UT Arlington logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 1-1 0-1 1-1 9-2 8-1
    Outlook
    Of the potential at-large teams from non-major conferences, the Mavericks have the best win, which came at St. Mary's. They have another top 100 win, but three bad losses. Unlike Boise State, UT Arlington's league will not provide them chances for any more, so they need to win out the regular season and see where things stand.
    Nevada
    (22-6, 11-4, 1st MWC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5894/39 | SOS/Rank: 0.5176/115
    Nevada logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-1 0-0 5-2 9-3 8-0
    Outlook
    Nevada is one of the co-leaders of the Mountain West and has six top 100 wins, but has not beaten a sure tournament team. The Wolf Pack already has four bad losses, and that may be one too many, so obviously, they cannot take another one. They swept Boise State, which could be helpful if they are competing for one at-large bid.
    Wake Forest
    (16-12, 7-9, 11th ACC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5893/40 | SOS/Rank: 0.5897/20
    Wake Forest logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-8 1-1 5-3 5-0 5-0
    Outlook
    Wake is just four games above .500 and has an awful record against top competition. The Demon Deacons are 1-9 against the RPI top 50 with two more top 50 games to play in the regular season -- at home vs Louisville and at Virginia Tech. At 16-12, they have to win those games not because they need quality wins, but because they just need wins.
    Wichita State
    (26-4, 16-1, 1st MVC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5879/42 | SOS/Rank: 0.5005/154
    Wichita State logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-1 1-3 1-0 11-0 12-0
    Outlook
    Wichita State doesn't have any bad losses. That's the best thing you can about the Shockers profile. They have only two top 100 wins, a 41-point pounding of Illinois State and at Colorado State, which flutters above and below that line. That is not usually enough. The MVC is down this year, so there is nothing left but chances for bad losses, and WSU cannot afford any of those. The Shockers' overall SOS is relatively poor also. It would have to be a really weak field for Wichita to get in with this profile, but that worked for them last year.
    Rhode Island
    (18-9, 10-5, 3rd ATL10 ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5814/49 | SOS/Rank: 0.5548/58
    Rhode Island logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 1-3 0-0 2-4 10-2 5-0
    Outlook
    URI has just three top 100 wins, although that includes a win over Cincinnati. Of bigger concern is the poor play since the loss to Dayton. The Rams looked good against La Salle though, so that is good as they head in to their big game against VCU.
    Boise State
    (17-9, 10-5, 3rd MWC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5680/62 | SOS/Rank: 0.5352/88
    Boise State logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 1-1 0-2 2-4 8-2 5-0
    Outlook
    Boise State has one of the best wins of any non-major on this list. The Broncos beat SMU at home in non-conference play. The loss to Nevada on Wednesday dropped the Broncos to third in the Mountain West behind the Wolf Pack and Colorado State. I do not think that Boise State can afford to lose again except to Nevada.
    Marquette
    (17-10, 8-7, 5th BIGE ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5613/68 | SOS/Rank: 0.5517/63
    Marquette logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 2-3 3-2 3-4 2-1 7-0
    Outlook
    Marquette didn't play a very good non-conference schedule and is paying for that a little bit now. The Golden Eagles have a very difficult schedule to finish the regular season and will have to find a way to win at least one of those games to have a realistic shot at an at-large bid.
    Alabama
    (16-11, 9-6, 5th SEC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5497/85 | SOS/Rank: 0.5497/65
    Alabama logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 0-4 2-1 2-5 6-1 6-0
    Outlook
    Alabama's 4 OT win at South Carolina was its first over a team with any shot at making the tournament, so the Tide will need more. They have nothing but winnable games left, even though a couple are on the road. The Tide will need to win at most, if not all of those.
    Syracuse
    (17-12, 9-7, 7th ACC ) | RPI/Rank: 0.5551/76 | SOS/Rank: 0.5630/51
    Syracuse logo Opponent's CBSSports.com RPI Rank No. 1-25 No. 26-50 No. 51-100 No. 101-200 No. 201+
    W-L Record vs. Ranked Teams 3-3 3-3 2-3 4-2 5-1
    Outlook
    The Orange are back, but not the lock that the TV announcers declared after the big win over Duke. They are able to beat anyone at home, but the tournament is not played on home courts and Syracuse is just 2-9 away from the Carrier Dome. Even with wins over Duke, Florida State and Virginia, they have an RPI in the high 70s. That is not a good sign. Syracuse has hope again, but is far from a lock.
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