Bracketology Bubble Watch: Arizona State, USC among teams with chance to pick up a big victory Thursday

A couple of teams fell from the bubble Wednesday, but two picked up good wins, and one of those was about as good as it gets.

Thursday sees most of the bubble action move out west as the Pac-12 and West Coast Conferences take center stage.
First though, a recap of Wednesday's action.

Mississippi State defeated South Carolina 79-76 in a double-bubble game: The Gamecocks missed a chance to pick up a win over a fellow bubbler, but they will have another chance at the Bulldogs at home later on. They get LSU at home next, which is a must-win as they try to erase the stain of two bad losses. 

Mississippi State won't get an opponent like LSU until the SEC Tournament, so the Bulldogs are facing games that are more must-don't lose than must-win. South Carolina is the best team they face in the remainder of the regular season.

NC State beat Duke 88-66: NC State needed a big attention-getting win, and they got a big attention-getting win. The Wolfpack didn't just defeat Duke, they beat them into submission. It is the kind of win that puts a team from beyond the first four out to very likely in the bracket. Don't get too excited though. They still have a return trip to Duke and a home game with Florida State, and three games against teams that can hurt them. They already have seven of those losses this season.

Rutgers lost to Michigan 60-52: Rutgers has been the ultimate home court hero this season, having been undefeated before Wednesday and with only one win away from home so far. It isn't good when a home court hero cannot defend the home floor. And Michigan was without guard Isaiah Livers, who is injured yet again. The Scarlet Knights finish with three out of four on the road and the home game is against league leader Maryland. That isn't promising.

Indiana won 68-56 at Minnesota: The Hoosiers are another team which has been bad away from home, but the Hoosiers got a win at Minnesota which provides a little comfort for them as they pursue an at-large bid. Tougher road games remain, but they do have a couple of winnable home games too.

Georgetown lost to Providence 73-63: This is a tough loss for the Hoyas, who drop to 15-11 on the season. They have three of their next four on the road, and the first one is a must-win at DePaul

Cincinnati lost to UCF 89-87 in two overtimes: Cincinnati followed up an indifferent performance against East Carolina with another bad game in a home loss to UCF. That is the Bearcats' fourth bad loss of the season, and more than likely it's going to end up being one too many.

Alabama lost to Texas A&M 74-68: We say goodbye, at least for now, to Alabama's NCAA Tournament hopes after a home loss to the Aggies drops the Crimson Tide to 14-12.

SMU lost 80-72 at Tulane: SMU will drop from the bubble as well after a road loss to the Green Wave, the last place team in the AAC.

Here are the bubble teams in action Thursday. All times Eastern

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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