Bracketology Bubble Watch: Wisconsin facing Purdue highlights Tuesday's games involving teams near cut line
Seven teams fighting for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament are in action Tuesday
The action on the bubble picks up on Tuesday with two double-bubble games. One team each in the last four in and first four out are in action on the road, and two other teams just barely out of those groups play as well.
There was only one bubble team in action Monday and here's what happened and why it's important:
Xavier beat host St. John's 77-74: The Musketeers' fourth victory in its last five games has them now 3-8 vs Quadrant 1 opponents. That's not a great record against that group, but the they are an even 9-9 vs Q1-2. Xavier, a No. 8 seed in the latest bracket, gets Villanova at home Saturday and a shot at its second best win of the season.
Here are Tuesday's games involving bubble teams. All times are ET.
|Team||Game||Time (TV)||Bubble breakdown|
|Purdue at Wisconsin||7 p.m. (ESPN)||It is desperation time for Purdue, which will have to find a way to at least 18 wins to have a chance at an at-large bid. They have three home games left, but will have to find a way to win away from Mackey Arena at least once.|
|Wisconsin vs. Purdue||7 p.m. (ESPN)||Wisconsin is sitting at 15-10 and has seven Q1 wins, six of which are against teams in the top 20 of the NET. The Badgers are also 9-10 vs Q1-3, which historically speaking is a bad place to be. They have four of their last six at home and have only one home loss all season.|
|Arkansas at Florida||7 p.m. (ESPNU)||It has been one gut punch after another for Arkansas as it tries to get things turned around. First, guard Isaiah Joe gets hurt and that sparks a four-game losing streak that includes two overtime losses and another on a tip-in in the final seconds. Joe is practicing, but will not play Tuesday. It isn't too late for Arkansas yet, but things have to get better soon.|
|Florida vs. Arkansas||7 p.m. (ESPNU)||Florida has won four of its last five, but all five games were against teams that could only hurt the Gators. They are entering a stretch of three straight against teams that are either tournament contenders or more comfortably in the field. This is a great opportunity to solidify a spot in the field.|
|Illinois at Penn State||6:30 p.m. (FS1)||The Illini have lost four straight to fall to the middle of the bracket and the top of the bubble. Tuesday's game at Penn State, the second-place team in the Big Ten, figures to be a challenge as well. A win makes the Illini safe again, but wins over their next two opponents, Nebraska and Northwestern, would do the same.|
|VCU vs. Dayton||8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)||VCU is in a hole after losing three of its last four, including a home loss to George Mason, its worst of the season by far. The Rams are 2-7 vs Q1-2 with both wins coming at home against LSU and Richmond. The Spiders blew them out in the rematch on Saturday. Things are bad enough that a win over Dayton may be necessary to give them a chance at a bid. There is nobody left on the schedule that can help them.|
|Oklahoma vs. Baylor||9 p.m. (ESPN2)||Oklahoma has its second straight game against a current No. 1 seed, and this time, it's the overall No. 1 seed. The Sooners are only 2-8 vs Q1 opponents and obviously, this would be a huge win for them. Maybe the Sooners can catch Baylor looking ahead to the matchup with Kansas this weekend.|
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