Bracketology Bubble Watch: It could be last call for Alabama; Ohio State could take a big step by beating Maryland
Tracking the bubble teams in action Saturday
Saturday is three weeks and one day to go until Selection Sunday. And Saturday is two weeks and a day left in the regular season for most of the teams on the bubble for making the NCAA Tournament. The clock is ticking, but at least a couple of teams have a chance to get off the bubble in a good way.
There are two double-bubble games, so let's look at those first:
Texas enters this double bubble showdown without senior and leading scorer Kerwin Roach II,for the second time this season for violating team rules. Don't let the No. 9 seed the Longhorns have in the current bracket fool you. At 15-11, it would take much of a losing streak to drop them down and out.
Wofford at Furman, 4 p.m. -- WatchESPN
Both of these teams are in the bracket as of Friday, but Furman may need this one to stay there. Wofford has already clinched the league title and the top seed in the conference tournament. Furman might be catching the Terriers at a good time.
vs. Boston College, 12 p.m.
Clemson keeps missing chances to pick up the quality wins the Tigers need to pad their tournament resume. This game is about avoiding a bad loss though. Clemson has to win games like this to have any chance at all of an at-large bid.
vs. Tulsa, 12 p.m. -- ESPNNews
Temple got embarrassed at Tulsa two weeks ago, which is the Owls' only loss in their last five games. It's one thing to take a bad loss on the road, but another to take one at home. Temple cannot afford to let this one get away.
Auburn has two problems – a lack of quality wins and a lack of road wins. Well, here you go, Tigers. It's a chance to kill two birds with one basketball.
at Maryland, 2 p.m. -- ESPN
The Buckeyes have been pretty much camped out in the middle of the bracket for the last month or so, but this is a chance to put some space between themselves and the rest of the bubble.
vs. Iowa St, 2 p.m. -- ESPN2
TCU's second leading scorer, Kouat Noi, has missed the last two games, which were the Horned Frogs' worst losses of the season. He will be back for this game against Iowa State, which is now huge for TCU's tournament hopes.
vs. George Washington, 2 p.m. -- ESPN+
VCU is now the sole leader of the Atlantic 10 after beating Rhode Island this week while Davidson lost to Dayton. The Rams have been living off wins over Temple and Texas, but they may not be able to count on either of those teams long-term.
The Hoyas are on the fringes of the bubble because of a poor non-conference schedule. This is a chance to keep those slim hopes alive.
vs. Missouri, 4 p.m. -- ESPNU
Florida is on a roll, having won three straight, including a huge win at LSU on Wednesday night. The Gators need to keep things rolling against teams that are not headed to the NCAA Tournament.
at Boise State, 4 p.m.
One week from Saturday is the big day circled on the Utah State calendar. Nevada will visit with first place in the Mountain West on the line. In the meantime, the Aggies cannot get caught looking ahead or that game won't mean that much after all.
vs. Vanderbilt, 6 p.m. -- ESPNU
It is pretty much last call for Alabama. If the Tide cannot beat Vanderbilt, which is winless in the SEC, it is time to roll on over to the NIT.
vs. SIU-Edwardsville, 6 p.m. -- ESPN+
Belmont is close to making the tournament as an at-large team just by attrition of the teams ahead of them. The team that represents the Bruins' best win is Lipscomb and the Bisons took a bad loss this week.
at St. John's, 8 p.m. -- FS1 and streaming on fuboTV
Seton Hall gave away some of the gains the Pirates had made recently with a home loss to Xavier this week. That puts more pressure on a game like this. You never know which St. John's team will show up, but Seton Hall needs to beat it regardless.
at Santa Clara, 11 p.m.
The Dons have been the closest thing Gonzaga has to a challenger in the West Coast Conference this season. They are missing the kind of quality wins that gets the attention of the committee. Unfortunately, by the time they get one, they may be league champion.
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