Bracketology Bubble Watch: St. John's is safely in the NCAA Tournament and UCF could get there too with a win Thursday
Tracking the teams on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament
However, none of these teams are the one I am being asked most about in the last day or so. The team I get asked about the most is St. John's, which in the mind of many is in danger of missing the tournament. I do not have the Red Storm on the bubble, despite being a No. 10 seed.
St. John's is 20-10 with a regular season game left at Xavier and of course, the Big East Tournament. There is no way to know which other team from the Big East eight-car pileup the Johnnies will play to start the tournament, but it doesn't matter. St. John's is a lock for the NCAA Tournament.
In general, I think the bubble is equally soft from year to year. It was an exceptionally bad year for the bubble in 2016, and this year looks like another year like that. But in good years or bad, only two teams have won 20 games and had at least six Quadrant 1 wins and missed the tournament. Those were Colorado in 2011 and Penn State in 2009. However, both of those teams had non-conference schedules that ranked in the 300s, and the committee leaves teams like that out all the time. St. John's non-conference schedule is not great, but it is not nearly that bad.
Check out Jerry Palm's latest Bracketology update by clicking here.
vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m. ET -- ESPN2
The Knights are still on the bubble because of the strong schedule left on the table. UCF is no longer a bubble team with a win vs. the Bearcats.
The Owls are very close to the bottom of the bracket and need quality wins. In this case, they need to go on the road and beat a team that can only hurt them. They cannot get caught looking ahead to the season finale with UCF.
vs. NJIT in Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament semifinals, 8 p.m. ET -- ESPN+
Lipscomb might be able to make the NCAA tournament without winning the Atlantic Sun Tournament, but only if the Bisons lose to Liberty. That potential matchup is a game away still, but the Bisons need to win to get there.
How teams on the bubble fared Wednesday
Florida -- Lost to LSU 79-78 in OT: The Gators had this one won and gave it up. This is a tremendous opportunity that slipped away. Florida is now 17-13 and has a trip to Kentucky remaining. It is not looking good for the Gators.
Seton Hall: Defeated Marquette 73-64: Seton Hall looked finished, but ended the game with an 18-0 run to pick up a huge quality win. The 17-12 Pirates are not locked in yet, but that win takes a lot of pressure off of the season finale against Villanova.
NC State -- Lost to Georgia Tech 63-61: As if the Wolfpack's resume did not have enough problems, they added their worst loss of the season to it. NC State will play Clemson in the 8-9 game in the ACC Tournament, but first, the Wolfpack needs to find a way to win at Boston College.
Clemson -- Defeated Notre Dame 64-62: The Tigers won a back-and-forth game at Notre Dame. It was ugly, but teams at the bottom of the bracket just need wins. Clemson gets Syracuse at home to end the regular season. A win over the Orange would be its second best win of the season.
Creighton -- Defeated Providence 76-70 in OT: Creighton blew a lead and needed overtime, but the Bluejays got the win over Providence. They are now up to 16-13 with a home game left against DePaul. Now that Creighton has gotten hot, it needs to stay hot.
Georgetown -- Lost to DePaul 101-69: The Hoyas were a no-show at DePaul and have made it more difficult to see a path to the tournament for them. They do have a road game left at Marquette, however the Golden Eagles will be looking to take out the frustrations of a three-game losing streak on someone.
Ohio State -- Lost to Northwestern 68-50: Maybe suspended Buckeyes star Kaleb Wesson should be the Big Ten MVP. Ohio State looks completely lost without him. After getting run out of Mackey Arena on Saturday, the Buckeyes lost to last place Northwestern in a game they were never in. It is one thing to lose, but another to fail to compete. Not all hope is lost, but time is running out.
Washington -- Defeated Oregon State 81-76 in OT: Washington nearly gave away another one. It has been a struggle for the Pac-12 champs the last few games, which includes a loss to Cal. As it stands, Washington is looking to be only the second team in the last 25 years to get an at-large bid to the tournament without a win over another team in the field.
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