Blog Entry

Weekend Bubble Watch - Feb. 26 and 27

Posted on: February 25, 2011 6:19 pm
 
by Jerry Palm

There are great opportunities ahead for some teams on the bubble to make a strong statement that they belong in the NCAA.

Virginia Tech will try to play their way off the Seth Greenberg Memorial Bubble when they host Duke on Saturday.  The Hokies could really use a quality win, but unfortunately, the ACC doesn't provide a lot of chances for those.  You have to take advantage of the ones that present themselves.

Baylor's hopes are fading fast, but they can resurrect them with a win over Texas A&M, which would complete the season sweep of the Aggies.  The Bears are coming off a home loss to Texas Tech, so perhaps that is asking too much.

Kansas State
hopes to continue its run of good play when it hosts Missouri.   The Wildcats have breathed some life into their tournament hopes by winning five of six, including that blowout of Kansas.   A win over the Tigers would be its second over a top 50 RPI opponent.

Michigan visits Minnesota in a crucial game for both teams.  Michigan needs to beat quality teams, or at least other contenders, to pump up its tournament profile.  The Gophers just need to stop the bleeding.  They have lost six of eight since the injury to star Al Nolen.

UCLA not only has a chance to pick up a quality win when it hosts Arizona on Saturday, but the Bruins can also pull within a game of first place in the Pac 10.  UCLA's tournament resume is missing quality wins away from home.  That can't be fixed on Saturday, but every good win helps.

Alabama travels to Ole Miss, the only other top 100 RPI team in the SEC West.  The Tide cannot afford to be caught looking ahead to Tuesday night's battle at Florida.   The Rebels tournament at-large hopes appear to be dashed, but they can still play spoiler here.

Also on Saturday, St. Mary's hosts Portland.   The last time they met was also right after the Gaels played Gonzaga, and St. Mary's had a let down after a big win and got beat.   Now, they have to keep from hanging their heads after a tough loss and letting Gonzaga beat them twice.  If St. Mary's is going to hold out hope for an at-large bid, they cannot afford to lose to Portland.

Dayton has a chance to add a little zip to an otherwise bland tournament profile when they host rival Xavier in the A-10.  So far, the Flyers biggest win is over George Mason at home, and if that's all they have on selection weekend, that probably won't be enough.

And finally, Michigan State can all but punch its ticket when it hosts Purdue on Sunday.  They can also make a statement that they are back to being the Spartans we are used to seeing.


Comments

Since: Feb 27, 2011
Posted on: February 27, 2011 2:39 pm
 

Weekend Bubble Watch - Feb. 26 and 27

Let's see.  UCLA and Arizona now have the same record in conference.  Their overall records are comparable, and yet UCLA is still considered a bubble team, even with a win against BYU?  I'm not sure how that works any more.




Since: Feb 27, 2011
Posted on: February 27, 2011 1:46 am
 

Weekend Bubble Watch - Feb. 26 and 27

You have Butler out of the tournament if they don't win the Horizon league.  Both Horizon league teams, Cleveland State (42) and Butler (45) have higher RPI rankings than all four of your last end teams-Minnesota, VCU, Gonzaga and Dayton.  They also have a higher RPI than your pick to win their conference over Gonzaga, St. Mary's.  Butler, who have won their last 7 games and Cleveland State should be at large teams even if they do not win the Horizon League conference tournament. 


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