Bracketology Bubble Watch: Alabama, Clemson face critical matchups for their resumes
The Tide and Tigers need to get back in the win column if they hope to join the NCAA Tournament field in March
TCU rejoined the bubble after last night's loss at Oklahoma State. The loss is the third straight for the Horned Frogs. The last two of those, including the loss at home to Oklahoma on Saturday, are their two worst losses of the season. The Frogs' second leading scorer, Kouat Noi, missed both of those games and is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. TCU only has seven scholarship players available with Noi sidelined.
The committee takes injuries and other roster issues into account as part of their process, but it seems to affect seeding more than selection, and even then, not dramatically. Losses are still losses. The committee does not ignore them or assume a team would have won if not shorthanded. TCU is going to have to build a resume that gets them selected to the tournament with or without Noi.
Let's take a look at bubble teams in need of wins on Tuesday night.
at Texas A&M, 9 p.m. -- SEC Network
Alabama has reached a critical point of the season. After two uncompetitive losses to Mississippi State and Florida, the latter at home, the Crimson Tide sit at 15-10. They have two of their next three on the road, all against teams that are not headed to the NCAA Tournament. Alabama already lost to the Aggies at home. The Tide's tournament prospects become perilous if they lose to them again.
vs. Florida State, 9 p.m. -- ESPNU
Just like football season, I find myself writing a lot about Alabama and Clemson. The Tigers are still looking for that signature win. I am not sure a victory over the Seminoles would be that, but it would be Clemson's best win of the season and just its second in Quadrant 1.
at Penn State, 7 p.m. -- FS1
The Cornhuskers are trying to rebuild their tournament hopes after suffering through a seven-game losing streak. Nebraska bounced back with wins at home over Minnesota and Northwestern and now look to extend that streak to three against the last-place, but very competitive Nittany Lions. This one is vital for the Huskers because the next three games are against the league leaders and two are on the road.
vs. Rhode Island, 8 p.m. -- CBSSN
VCU has won eight of its last nine games to move to the top of the Atlantic 10 standings. The one loss -- at Rhode Island. That is VCU's worst loss of the season. VCU needs this head-butting battle of Rams to go their way.
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