Bracketology Bubble Watch: Oklahoma, UCF pick up critical wins for their tournament resumes

It was a mixed day on the bubble as you would expect with so many games on Saturday. Teams like Oklahoma and Minnesota picked up big wins, while Clemson missed a great chance against Louisville.

In the SEC, all the talk was about the Tennessee-Kentucky game, but a couple of bubble teams really hurt themselves with a tough losses. Let's take a look back at Saturday's action.

Saturday's results

  • NC State had a chance for a quality win on the road at Duke, but fell 94-78. The Wolfpack hung around for a while, but Duke put them away at the end. NC State has only one tournament contender left on its regular season schedule and they will really a victory.
  • Clemson had two shots at the basket in the final seconds against Louisville, but couldn't connect, falling 56-55.  That would have been a big win for Clemson. They will get another shot at one next time out when they host Florida State.
  • Oklahoma picked up a huge win over TCU 71-62, who needed something good to happen and quickly.  It's a long way from over for OU, but they get three of their next four at home. Meanwhile, TCU lost two at home this week and have to consider this one a lost opportunity to build some safety into the Frogs resume.
  • Arkansas has now lost three in a row to drop to 14-11 on the season after falling 77-67 to Mississippi State. They have not done nearly enough to get into the field with a record that weak. Historically speaking, only one team has, and that team (Georgia, 2001) played one the most difficult schedules I have seen.
  • Auburn avoided a bad loss by adding to Vanderbilt's misery in SEC play with a  64-53 win. The Commodores have yet to win a conference game.
  • Texas has now won three out of four after beating Oklahoma State 69-57, but they are done playing teams that are not possible NCAA Tournament caliber and have three of the next four on the road.
  • Alabama was whooped up on by Florida in a critical game for the Crimson Tide, 71-53. One of these teams looked like a tournament team and it wasn't Alabama. The Gators, on the other hand, have revived their slim tournament prospects.
  • Minnesota ended a four game losing streak with a blowout of the reeling Hoosiers. Minnesota is not out of the woods yet. The Gophers only have two home games left and those are against league leaders Michigan and Purdue.
  • Arizona State avenged one of its bad losses with a road win over the Utes. Seven of the eight teams to beat ASU are not tournament contenders.
  • UCF is now in position to make a charge into the field with their next four games after beating Memphis 79-72.  They start with a road trip to Cincinnati and end with a game at Houston.
  • Butler took care of business in stopping DePaul on Saturday. The Bulldogs have won three out of four to breathe some life into their tournament hopes.  We will find out how long that will last. Two of their next three games are at Marquette and at Villanova.
  • Temple needed this one and they got it, outlasting South Florida 70-69 in overtime. The Owls still have to travel to Memphis and face UCF at home to end the season. Their other games are must win.
  • VCU kept pace with Davidson with a one point win over Dayton on the road. The Rams are the A-10's only at-large candidate because of wins over Temple and Texas in nonconference play.
  • Oregon's loss to Oregon State drops the Ducks from the bubble. For now, it looks like the Pac-12 has only two at-large candidates in league leader Washington and Arizona State.
  • Wofford became the first team to clinch its conference tournament's top seed with another blowout of the second place UNC-Greensboro. The Terriers beat UNCG twice by a total of 59 points.
  • Lipscomb is in cruise control until the conference tournament after thumping Kennesaw State on Saturday.  Winning out assures no worse than a tie for the regular season title.
  • Utah State held on to beat Air Force, 76-72. Now, it has three of its next four at home, but it's that third one they are most looking forward to. That's the one against Nevada.
  • Belmont blew out Tennessee Tech as expected on Saturday. The Bruins next opponent is SIU-Edwardsville, which is also their final regular season opponent rated in the top 300 of the NET.
Sunday's bubble teams in action
1

at Michigan State, 1 p.m. -- CBS

Ohio State's resume isn't the most stellar, but in this field, it is good enough to be a 10-seed, give or take. A win in East Lansing would add a gold star to that resume.

2

at Creighton, 3 p.m. -- FS1

This is the second game in eight days between these two teams. The first was won by the Pirates, and they may need to win this one too when you consider the rest of their schedule. They still have to play at St. John's and at home against Villanova and Marquette.

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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