Bracketology Bubble Watch: Syracuse, one of last 4 in, needs a win at Boston College

Alabama's last season slide has hit rock bottom, or at least the Tide had better hope so. Certainly there is nowhere to go but up after a 73-52 loss at home to Florida. The Tide has lost four straight, including the last two at home. Now, Alabama takes its 2-7 road record to Texas A&M to try to stop this streak, which has seen the Tide fall off the bracket entirely.

Florida continues to climb up after beating Auburn and Alabama this week. The Gators resume illustrates the effect of the new quadrant system. Two of the Gators' nine Quadrant 1 wins would be in the 51-100 category under the old system. Also, two of their Quadrant 2 losses would be in 1-50 and two others would be in 101-200. 

Here is how their resume compares in the two systems.

New system

  • Quadrant 1: 9-4
  • Quadrant 2: 3-7
  • Quadrant 3: 2-0

Old system

  • Top 50: 7-6
  • 51-100: 6-3
  • 101-200: 1-2

Under the old system, they would have two fewer higher quality wins and two bad losses. That is probably still a middle of the bracket seed, but it may seem less obviously so under the new system. Maybe the higher number of Q1 wins will give Florida a better seed this season.

Oklahoma took another tough loss, this time at Baylor, ending their winning streak at one game. The Sooners were never in the game as they continue to fall down the bracket. Their collapse in conference play has seen them fall from a top 10 team to a No. 10 seed

Kansas State lost at TCU to drop to 3-9 vs Quadrant 1. The Wildcats' best win of the season so far came at home to the Horned Frogs. They also swept Texas, which does not guarantee that KSU would get selected ahead of the Longhorns. Head to head is less meaningful in college basketball's postseason selection process than it is in college football's, but it also isn't nothing. The Wildcats are now projected to be in a play-in game. That non-conference schedule ranking of 324 could end up pushing them out entirely.

St. Bonaventure avoided a damaging loss in a thrilling 117-113, triple-overtime win at home over Davidson. The Bonnies may be able to take a loss to Rhode Island and stay in the field, but a home loss to the Wildcats would have been a problem.

Boise State saw its bubble pretty much burst in a loss at San Diego State. The Broncos need to beat Nevada to get the quality win it needs to become an at-large team. The problem is they can't play Nevada until the conference tournament final.

Bubble teams in action Wednesday

at Xavier, 6:30 p.m., FS1

The Friars' tournament case is anchored by home wins over Villanova and Xavier, but lacks a win away from home against a tournament team. This is a tall task for Providence, but the reward would be great.


at Georgia, 8:30 p.m., SEC Network

The Aggies ended a three-game losing streak at Vanderbilt and now faces another non-tournament contender on the road. That win over the Commodores was just Texas A&M's third on the road this season. A win vs. the Commodores and the Aggies will be off the bubble.


at St. John's, 9 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Butler's resume is similar to Providence's in that they only have a couple of Q1 wins over tournament teams, but the Bulldogs beat Ohio State on a neutral floor. They also have fewer bad losses than the Friars. St. John's was playing well to start February, but has lost two in a row. A loss for Butler would not be its worst, but it is still a game the Bulldogs should win.


at Boston College, 9 p.m.

Syracuse is still among the last four in the current bracket, so its margin for error is small. BC has been better than its record, especially at home, where they have wins over Duke, Miami and Florida State already. The Orange need the win, but it will not be easy.


at Clemson, 9 p.m., ESPNU

The Seminoles have played themselves onto the bubble and now will be challenged to play themselves back off of it. Florida State played an awful non-conference schedule with eight Q4 opponents. That is a big reason why the Noles are only 9-9 against teams in the top three quadrants. Not many teams get in with records below .500 against that group. Losing at Clemson is not fatal, but puts more pressure on their upcoming games. Completing the season sweep would end the Seminoles' short stay on the bubble.

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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