Bracketology Bubble Watch: Clemson tries to keep momentum going; Arkansas falls off bracket
We're tracking the bubble teams in action and the Tigers can't afford a loss at Miami
It has been a rough week to be a No. 2 seed, with both Michigan and Kentucky losing on Tuesday and North Carolina falling on Monday night. It is always a rough time for teams on the bubble though, which is how those teams ended up on the bubble to begin with.
There are several games involving bubble teams on Wednesday night, including one double-bubble matchup.
On Tuesday, the four bubble teams in action took losses:
- Texas, which lost to Kansas State 71-64, has been mostly hit and miss this season and the Longhorns missed again last night to drop to 14-11 on the season. The next two games are big for the Texas because they are against teams below the Longhorns in the Big 12 standings. Oklahoma State is not a tournament contender and Oklahoma is a fellow bubbler. Texas needs to start stacking wins and doing so soon.
- Alabama fell to Mississippi State 81-62 as the Bulldogs got their revenge. It's not an overly damaging loss for the Crimson Tide, but the next four games are against opponents that could hurt them.
- Butler took St. John's to overtime, but came up short in a 77-73 loss. The Bulldogs have three winnable home games left, but it will be what they do away from Hinkle that determines whether they can make this year's NCAA tournament.
- Arkansas lost to Missouri 79-78 and the back-to-back road losses to non-tournament teams have dropped the Razorbacks off the bracket for now. Arkansas has a chance to pick up its second Quadrant 1 win of the season next when it hosts Mississippi State.
vs. Richmond, 7 p.m. -- ESPNU
VCU hosts city rival Richmond trying to stay atop the Atlantic 10 standings. The Rams are in a situation now where any loss could be the one that knocks them out of the tournament.
at Miami, 7 p.m. -- ESPN2
Clemson is coming off its best win of the season against shorthanded Virginia Tech. The Tigers cannot afford to give that away against a Miami squad that is struggling this season. The Hurricanes gave a great effort at North Carolina last time out, but lost in OT.
vs. SMU, 7 p.m. -- WatchESPN
vs. USF, 7 p.m. -- ESPNews
The Knights were the preseason pick to win the AAC, but that title is likely headed to Houston. For now, UCF is living off home wins over Alabama and Temple. The Bulls are surging, having won five straight, and is hoping to play themselves onto the bubble as well.
vs. Liberty 7:30 p.m. -- ESPN+
Lipscomb won the first meeting at Liberty by 22 points. Liberty is the only team in the Atlantic Sun the Bisons can afford to lose to and keep their at-large hopes alive, but it might be tough if they lose to them at home.
vs. Syracuse, 8 p.m.
NC State needs quality wins to make up for a horrendous non-conference schedule. Their best win came against Auburn at home. This one would be of similar quality. NC State is trending toward being this season's example of a bubble team left out because of its non-conference schedule.
vs. Georgetown, 8:30 p.m. -- FS1
at Seton Hall, 8:30 p.m. -- FS1
Georgetown has been pretty good on the road, having already won at St. John's and Butler
vs. Ole Miss, 8:30 p.m. -- SEC Network
Auburn is on the high side of the bubble because the Tigers only have one win against a team likely to make the tournament. That came at home early in the season against Pac-12 leader Washington, which does not qualify as a quadrant 1 win. A win over the Rebels would also be quadrant 2, but they still have a few chances for quadrant 1 wins ahead.
vs. Wyoming, 9 p.m.
Utah State has a nice rating in the NET, but not much else. They don't have a win over a team anywhere near the bracket. The Aggies will have to beat Nevada to get the committee's attention, but they cannot afford to lose again before the chance arrives.
at Colorado, 10:30 p.m. -- FS1
The Sun Devils finish the season with five of their last seven games on the road and cannot afford a slump. They have no likely tournament teams left on their schedule. ASU beat the Buffaloes by 22 in Tempe in their first meeting.
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