For the most part on Tuesday, the teams that needed to win did. Of course, with a couple of double bubble games on the dockets, that means there were losers, too.
Wednesday gives us a team with a shot at a massive win it desperately needs. There is also a significant double bubble game in the Big East.
Here's how teams on the bubble in action on Tuesday fared:
Rutgers beat Maryland 78-67: The ultimate home-court hero won again. Rutgers got arguably its best win of the season to move to 18-1 at home. That's good, of course, but it's the 1-10 record away from home that needs fixing. Rutgers fans can be forgiven for assuming that doesn't matter. It's been a long time since they have had to pay any attention to this, but this win over Maryland won't matter at all if the Scarlet Knights finish 1-12 away from home. Maybe not even if they finish 2-11. Three wins away from home has been the minimum standard for the committee for 26 seasons. It is the most reliable indicator for at-large selection in all that time. Rutgers may change that, but not for just one win. They need at least two, and even then, this still looks the profile of a team that is well suited to be a top seed in the NIT.
Texas won at Oklahoma 52-51: Texas hit a last-second shot to get a big win -- the second ugly Big 12 game in two nights. The Longhorns added a nice road win to an improving resume, but they still project to a First Four appearance. I'm sure coach Shaka Smart would take that. His one experience there in 2001 with VCU went pretty well.
The Sooners saw their two game winning streak come to an end in painful fashion. It's not a fatal loss, even though it came at home. These two teams split road victories this season. Oklahoma did slide back in the bracket a bit. They still have a tough road game with TCU left before the Big 12 Tournament.
Here are the bubble teams in action Wednesday. All times Eastern
|Team||Game||Time (TV)||Bubble breakdown|
|Xavier at Providence||6:30 p.m. (FS1)||Xavier is in the middle of the bracket for now, but still on the bubble. That is because of the Musketeers finishing schedule, which features a home game with Butler after this one. A win over Providence, which would complete a season sweep of the red hot Friars, would probably take them off the bubble.|
|6:30 p.m. (FS1)||A win over the Musketeers would be a big step toward securing a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the Friars. Providence has come on strong and has had to in order to erase the stain of four bad losses in nonconference play. At 17-12, the Friars margin for error is still pretty small.|
|Florida at Georgia||7 p.m. (ESPNU)||Just when you felt good about Florida, the Gators went and lost at Tennessee. Now, they hit the road again to face a team that's not going to the NCAA Tournament but is still good enough to beat them at home. They can't get caught looking ahead to Kentucky.|
|Indiana vs. Minnesota||7 p.m. (BTN)||Indiana should be OK for the NCAA Tournament if the Hoosiers can finish off these last two games at home. While losing at home has been difficult for Big Ten teams this season, nothing comes easy. Indiana snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the first matchup in Minneapolis. The Hoosiers looked pretty good in their most recent outing, but still fell short at Illinois.|
|Rhode Island vs. Dayton||9 p.m. (CBSSN)||Here's your chance, Rhode Island. The Rams are a team looking for their first win over a team that will make the NCAA Tournament. They cannot do any better than this. However, Dayton is in pursuit of a possible No. 1 seed in the tournament, so don't expect any letdown from the Flyers.|