What a day for the bubble!
Six of the nine bubble teams that played Friday won and a couple of those wins were huge.
Texas A&M made the biggest splash, taking down No. 1 seed Auburn in the SEC Tournament. The Aggies went from last team in the field to more comfortably in it. They also put a dent in the Tigers' chances for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Indiana also knocked off the top seed in its conference tournament. The Hoosiers took down Illinois in a 65-63 slugfest in the Big Ten Tournament. While that win is not as good as Texas A&M's, it is plenty good enough to see Indiana move into the field beyond the "Last Four In".
On the other side of the ledger, it was a tough day for Rutgers, which ran into Iowa's buzzsaw offense and fell out of the Big Ten Tournament in its first games. After the Scarlet Knights won four straight games over AP Top 25 teams, they had six Quadrant 1 wins and everyone was buzzing about them. I said that with the schedule they had left, if they still had six Quad 1 wins on Selection Sunday, they wouldn't make it. They still have six and I do not think Rutgers will get into the field.
There are only four teams in action Saturday, but all these games are vital.
Here are the "Last Four In" and "First Four Out" as of Saturday morning followed by the bubble teams in action Saturday. All times Eastern
|Last Four In||Record||NET|
|First Four Out||Record||NET|
Check out all the teams on Palm's Bubble Watch, the field of the 68 and the entire bracket on the Bracketology hub
Saturday's "Double bubble" game
5 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free)
|I believe the Tigers may not need this one as much as SMU because it has the stronger NCAA Tournament profile, despite being swept by the Mustangs in the regular season. Memphis is No. 31 in the NET rankings and has four Quadrant 1 victories.|
|The Mustangs have a strength of schedule outside the top 100 and while that is not necessarily a deal breaker, they are in select company as only Houston, Davidson and Wake Forest have triple-digit SOS rankings among potential at-large teams.|
Other bubble teams in action
|vs. Saint Louis in Atlantic 10 semifinals, 1 p.m. | CBS Sports Network -- Davidson is the top seed in the A-10 Tournament, but could still be an at-large team with a loss. It would be better for them to win vs. the Billikens in the semifinals and lose to Dayton in the final, assuming Dayton gets there. The only way for the A-10 to get two teams into the tournament is for someone to knock off the Wildcats.|
|vs. Duke in ACC Tournament championship, 8:30 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Hokies have a great NET ranking (No. 30) and a soft resume. They picked up their two of their three best wins of the season in the ACC Tournament against Notre Dame and North Carolina. Virginia Tech isn't just hurt by the relative weakness of the league though. The Hokies also have losses to fellow bubblers Memphis and Xavier. I believe the Hokies are a bid stealer if they win the ACC Tournament.|