With five weeks to go until Selection Sunday, it is time to start the daily Bubble Watch. This space will preview games for teams on the bubble of earning at-large bids for the 68-team field of the NCAA Tournament. Bubble teams are those that could still play themselves into or out of the bracket and have something lacking in their tournament resumes that is keeping them from either being in the bracket or more comfortably in it.
The bubble is pretty large right now because there is so much time left in the season. The list of teams I consider to be on the bubble are listed at the bottom of the Bracketology page.
So without further ado, here are the bubble teams in action Tuesday. All times Eastern
Bubble teams in action
|at Clemson, 6 p.m. | ACC Network, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Tar Heels have a resume that screams "this is not a tournament team!" They are 0-7 against Quadrant 1 opposition, but undefeated otherwise. Unfortunately, none of those wins are against anyone in the bracket or even particularly close. The good news is that those seven losses are their only losses. This game can only hurt UNC, but it's still a road game in the league, so it probably will not be easy.|
|vs. Auburn, 7 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) -- What a great opportunity for Arkansas, which is one of the hottest teams in the SEC at the moment. The Razorbacks have won eight in a row, but still only have one win against a likely NCAA Tournament team. That came at LSU. They also have a couple of bad losses they are still trying to make up for. Beating the No. 1 team can cure a lot of ills.|
|at La Salle, 7 p.m. | ESPN+ -- The Atlantic 10 is very bubbly, and the Billikens are part of that. SLU has won at Boise State and beat Iona at home, so those could help if head-to-head comes into play. They Billikens also played Auburn within four points at home. Games like this are a must-win. -- The Atlantic 10 is very bubbly, and the Billikens are part of that. SLU has won at Boise State and beat Iona at home, so those could help if head-to-head comes into play. They Billikens also played Auburn within four points at home. Games like this are a must-win.|
|vs. Rhode Island, 7 p.m. | CBS Sports Network -- VCU is on the fringes of the bubble. The Rams have a couple good wins away from home, including at league leader Davidson. Only one of their losses is against a team not in the bracket or on the bubble, but that was a blowout at St. Bonaventure. This is not a game VCU can afford to lose. In fact, the Rams have very few games left they can afford to lose.|
|at Northwestern, 9 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Hoosiers have been very good on their home floor, but less so away from home. Their best win off their home floor came against Notre Dame in Indianapolis, which is pretty favorable for Indiana. Three of their next four are on the road, beginning vs. the Wildcats.|
|vs. Butler, 9 p.m. | CBS Sports Network -- The Blue Jays have played a good schedule, but like a lot of teams on the bubble, have struggled to find consistent success. They split blowouts home-and-home with Villanova and won at Marquette and last week at UConn. One of their losses came at Butler in the first meeting. The Bulldogs have been better since the return of Bo Hodges, so the Bulldogs will not be a pushover.|
|at Nevada, 11 p.m. | CBS Sports Network -- The Rams are in decent shape for the bracket, but a recent home loss to UNLV has them on the bubble for now. CSU has beaten St. Mary's at home and fellow bubbler Mississippi State on a neutral floor. They also split home-and-home with San Diego State. The Rams need to take care of business tonight in what has been a very competitive Mountain West.|
|vs. Saint Mary's 11 p.m. | ESPNU, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Broncos are on the bubble because of the opportunity the schedule provides this week. First up is current No. 7 seed Saint. Mary's, followed by San Francisco on Saturday. Santa Clara needs these two wins to start to make up for a couple of bad losses. Without them, the Broncos chances of an at-large spot become unrealistic.|
|vs. UCLA 11 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Cardinal are in the bracket because of the sweep of USC and wins over Wyoming and Oregon. They are on the bubble because of a few losses to tournament non-contenders. A win over the Bruins would be their best of the season so far and a big boost heading into a road-heavy finishing schedule.|
|vs. Pacific, 10 p.m. | Pac-12 Network, fuboTV (Try for free) -- These teams threw this game together last week because USC's apparently non-conference Strength of Schedule ranking of 320 is not quite bad enough. Pacific comes into the game ranked 297th in the NET, so the Trojans need to put up a big number in a game they may not be to fired up to play. The Tigers have had a pretty tough season, but they did beat BYU ten days ago.|
|vs. Portland, 10 p.m. -- The Dons have had a good season, but cannot rest easy yet. So far, they only have one loss of questionable quality, and that came to Grand Canyon. That is still a Quad 2 loss though. This is one of those games where USF is trying to prevent damage to its resume instead of bolstering it.|