Tuesday Update: CAA, WCC title games shift bubble
Monday night's slate wasn't heavy with games, but it was with meaning for the bubble. The biggest development came in the Colonial, where Old Dominion may have saved someone an at-large spot by holding off VCU. The Rams aren't completely dead as an at-large, but it's hard to imagine their profile will hold up for another week as teams around them win extra games.
Whether bubble teams got that same level of help in the West Coast Conference is up for debate after Gonzaga beat Saint Mary's to punch its dance card. I thought SMC was in better position to absorb a loss (even with a pretty thin resume), so this result may end up giving the WCC two bids and squeezing someone out.
Congratulations are also in order for Wofford (SoCon) and Saint Peter's (MAAC), who took out higher-seeded teams to make it to the dance.
The fun continues Tuesday. Here's what's on tap:
• Butler will play at Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the Horizon auto bid, with a modest chance of landing an at-large if it loses. Bubblers are rooting hard for the Bulldogs.
• The only bubble team in the Big East -- the one, the only Marquette -- is in an obvious must-win against Providence at MSG.
• Princeton plays at archrival Penn, needing a win to force a one-game playoff with Harvard for the Ivy's auto bid. If there is a playoff, it will be held Saturday at Yale (a neutral-site location).
Bubble Watch and Bracket Watch will be updated daily through Selection Sunday. Enjoy!
Records listed are Division I only, per NCAA Tournament selection guidelines. All RPI and SOS data are from Monday's collegerpi.com RPI report.
GW = good wins.
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North Carolina stormed past Duke on Saturday night to claim the outright ACC title, boosting its own surging seed aspirations while putting a crimp in Duke's push for a No. 1. Florida State will be the third team in from this league. The real question is: Will that be all?
With the help of Texas losing three of its last five games, Kansas remarkably claimed a seventh straight Big 12 crown and seems headed for a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. The Horns better figure things out quickly as this team looks nothing like it did three weeks ago, when people were touting it as possibly the national title favorite. The other team in the Sunflower State continues to surge, as well, and joins the lock party. K-State is suddenly looking like a team no one wants to see in their bracket.
The Bearcats locked up their spot with a really impressive two-win week. In the process, they may have edged the league closer to 10 bids than 11. Notre Dame's resume is begging for No. 1 seed consideration. Georgetown is begging for Chris Wright to get healthy. Jay Wright is begging for his team to stop a staggering free fall.
Purdue's stunning loss at Iowa dings the Boilermakers' hopes for a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs, but the most compelling news is coming from the bubble, where Michigan's second win over MSU has created a mess in the middle.
Arizona won the league. The Bruins remain safe. Washington most likely will be OK. Is there a bid thief lurking in USC with the conference tournament in its home city? This league is the most likely major conference to generate an extra bid out of nowhere.
Tennessee moves up a category simply because the field overall is too weak to find any reasonable way to omit them now that they're .500 in the SEC. They have nine top-50 and 11 top-100 wins. Congrats to Florida for winning the SEC title. The league tourney should be interesting, starting with a possible eliminator quarterfinal between Georgia and Alabama.
Xavier won the league. Temple kept pace. Both will dance. Richmond continues to win the games it needs to win, but probably needs more to survive. No one else has a chance other than an auto bid. Pretty clean picture heading to Atlantic City
The Rebels finished strong and make it three teams in for the MWC. The biggest story will be BYU's continued play without Brandon Davies. If they crash out before the MWC final and San Diego State wins it, the Aztecs could swipe the West region away. It doesn't appear that either Colorado State or New Mexico is a realistic at-large candidate at this point, but one will be done after they meet on Friday. The other should get a third shot at BYU.
Old Dominion made absolutely certain it will be dancing by taking the Colonial's auto bid and puts VCU in danger of missing the dance. Likewise, Saint Mary's is now wait-and-watch to see if its profile can hold up for inclusion after losing the rubber match to Gonzaga in the West Coast final.