Kim O'Reilly, CBS Sports

Kansas took a bad loss to Cincinnati Wednesday night in the Big 12 Tournament -- not in the sense of the Bearcats being poorly rated, but it was a 20-point blowout. Most teams would be in trouble without their top two players, and the Jayhawks are no exception. Depth has been an issue for them all season, even at full strength. Kansas fell down to a 4-seed with the loss; Illinois moves up to replace them as a 3-seed.

Clemson also dropped a seed line in the bracket after getting pounded by Boston College. The Tigers have been maddeningly inconsistent and are now 5-5 against each of the top two quadrants.

It was a great night for the bubble teams, though, which went 4-0. Villanova needed every second against DePaul to come out on top. A loss to the Blue Demons would have rated as one of the worst conference tournament losses ever by a bubble team. 'Nova still has work to do, though.

Kansas State picked up a big victory against Texas and will also need to keep winning. The Wildcats face Iowa State today after splitting their two regular-season meetings.

Today is arguably the biggest day for bubble teams with ffour "double bubble" games on tap, and many of the bubble teams will be done playing after today.

All times Eastern.

Check out Palm's latest bracket, full field of 68 and Bubble Watch at the Bracketology hub

Thursday's "double bubble" games

Seton Hall at St. John's

2:30 p.m. | FS1, fuboTV (Try for free)

The last two teams in my bracket face off to see which one will stay there – for now. Seton Hall swept the regular season from the Johnnies. Nothing is guaranteed for the winner, either, except a date with (most likely) UConn. That is where the winner of this one can punch its ticket.

This is considered a home game for St. John's, even though it does not control tickets, because it plays some of its home games at MSG. The Johnnies are the last team in as of Thursday morning, so there's zero margin for error.

Ohio State vs. Iowa

6:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, fuboTV (Try for free)

The same thing in the other "double bubble" games largely applies here. The loser is done and the winner will still have work to do. The Buckeyes have performed well under the circumstances with interim coach Jake Diebler, but not well enough overall to feel good about its tourney chances right now.

Iowa beat Ohio State 79-77 at home in their only matchup so far. Both teams have played well lately just to be on the bubble right now. If the Hawkeyes win today, they'll face Illinois in the next round, which they have not beaten this season.

Utah vs. Colorado

11:30 p.m. | FS1, fuboTV (Try for free)

Utah has had more luck against better teams, which includes wins over BYU and St. Mary's, but it has some bad losses, including at Oregon State last week and two to Arizona State. The Utes also have a neutral-site win over Wake Forest, which could be meaningful if they are in a head-to-head comparison. Unlike football, where head-to-head is pretty much everything, it is not always the case in basketball.

Again, the winner gets to keep trying and the loser has to pray for help in other places. Colorado is 8-9 against the top two quadrants, but only 2-5 vs. potential NCAA tournament teams in that group. Neither Quad 1 win is against a likely tournament team.

Bubble teams in action Thursday

vs. Minnesota, 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Spartans appeared to be on their way to extending their streak of NCAA Tournament appearances to 26, but they lost four of their last five, including home games to Iowa and Ohio State and most recently at Indiana. If Sparty beats the Gophers, they get another shot at top seeded Purdue. They put up a good fight against the Boilermakers two weeks ago at Mackey Arena.
vs. LSU, 1 p.m. | SEC Network fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Bulldogs might be able to lose this game and still make the NCAA Tournament, but Selection Sunday would be pretty nervy. Losing the next one to Tennessee would not likely knock them out.
vs. Iowa State, 7 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Wildcats are trying to make a late run to get into the NCAA Tournament. They may not have to win the entire tournament, but the sure thing may be the only sure thing. This would be a gold star on their tournament profile though. The win over Texas was their first Quad 1 win away from home this season. KSU just beat the Cyclones at home last week. I expect that is fresh in the minds of Iowa State.
vs. Ole Miss, 7 p.m. | SEC Network, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Aggies are trying to salvage a tournament bid from a highly inconsistent season. They have done well against the better teams on their schedule, but they are just 2-4 against Quad 3. Turn just one of those losses around and we are having a different conversation. Texas A&M gets Kentucky next if it beats the Rebels for the second time in a week.
vs. Boston College, 9:30 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Virginia's résumé is pretty bland. There's nothing outstanding on it, but nothing truly horrible, either. I guess that would get the Cavaliers in the field if that doesn't change, but losing to Boston College is inadvisable. A win would give them the Duke-NC State winner in the next round.
vs. Marquette, 9:30 p.m. | FS1, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Villanova dropped seven spots in the NET and nine places in SOS after beating DePaul 58-57 in the opening round of the Big East Tournament. The Wildcats lived to fight another day, though. Their résumé is in bad enough shape that even beating Marquette may not be enough to get a tournament berth. The Wildcats are currently two games below .500 against the top three quadrants and just four games above 500 overall. Beating Marquette and losing the next game does not change that. Only one team in 30 years has gotten a bid two games below .500 against the top two quadrants. I would not count on Villanova being the second.
vs. Boise State, 11:30 p.m. | CBS Sports Network -- The Lobos took care of business against Air Force. They can punch their ticket with a win tonight. New Mexico is a bit of a darling of the metrics, but its résumé does not measure up to those numbers. That said, it may still get in the field even with a loss.

NCAA Tournament locks

Locks based on résumé: 31 | AQ bids secured: 14 | At-large spots remaining: 5




Duke, North Carolina, Clemson

Big East


UConn, Marquette, Creighton

Big Ten


Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin

Big 12


Houston, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, BYU, Texas Tech, Texas



Arizona, Washington State



San Diego State, Utah State, Nevada, Colorado State, Boise State



Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida



Saint Mary's, Gonzaga

Near the cut line

Note – all references to NCAA Tournament selection records and trends based on NET rankings excludes the 2021 tournament. Due to shortened schedules and a relatively small number of non-conference games, those rankings are not reliable enough to be considered.