Connecticut among bubble teams hurt most after week's action
In the final week of the regular season, every result resonates as the bubble pecking order continues to shuffle. There were more losers than winners this week, although every loss at this stage makes some other bubble team a winner.
Here's a look at the biggest bubble results since Tuesday (teams in alphabetical order):
The Bearcats are doing everything they can to present a resume that will allow the committee to overlook a horrible nonconference schedule. Beating Marquette handily was the latest strong statement. Cincy has a number of wins over the top of the league, unlike, say, Louisville. If they can win at Villanova and get to 12-6, they'll be very hard to omit.
The Rams nabbed a third home victory over a reputed league heavyweight, rallying past UNLV to win by seven. Could it be a four-bid Mountain West? Colorado State would be very wise to win at Air Force on Saturday -- the Rams are 0-6 on the road in league play (and 7-0 at home). That kind of split didn't work for Colorado last year, but the Rams' best wins are better and the computer numbers are great.
The Ducks handled Colorado at home, which KO's the Buffs' slim at-large hopes and pushes Oregon into "why aren't we better than Arizona's profile" discussion. The Ducks won in Tucson in the teams' only meeting and also beat Washington handily. Mix in that Devoe Joseph's arrival came after a couple of nonleague chances went awry, and we'll see. It will all depend on how subjectively the committee will see the Pac-12 as a whole because 3-7 against the top-100 is a terrible at-large profile.
The Bulls grabbed a
The Huskies didn't mess around, hammering woeful USC to grab at least a share of the Pac-12 crown. They'll take the title outright with a win at UCLA or a Cal loss at Stanford on Saturday. Washington remains a selection enigma with its profile lacking any true quality and a 3-8 mark against the top 100, but a solo league crown would do wonders for their at-large chances.
Any hopes the Golden Knights had were vaporized in a terrible effort at Memphis.
The Huskies did exactly what they couldn't afford to do. They lost at league minnow Providence to leave themselves with very little margin for error. Only one team in the last 15 seasons has made the NCAAs with a league mark of four games under. 500 (Florida State in 1998). That means a home game with Pitt on Saturday is a must-win, as are the first two rounds of the Big East tournament. Anything less than a three-game winning streak at this point very well could leave the Huskies in the NIT.
To paraphrase Meat Loaf, the Flyers would do anything for an NCAA bid, but they couldn't do
N.C. State gave itself a bump by sweeping the Hurricanes, but the loss may end up dinging Miami more than it will help the Pack. Beating Boston College at home in the finale won't help any, so the Canes are likely looking at needing that one and at least two in the ACC tournament. They're just 3-10 against the RPI top 100.
The Wildcats' loss to Ohio State was a microcosm of the season, and really, the program. So close, not quite enough, another blown chance. Now the Cats need to win at Iowa (not a given) and probably grab at least two rounds in the Big Ten tournament if they hope to make the NCAAs for the first time.
If the Hawks wanted to make the NCAAs, they really needed to win at St. Bonaventure. The double-overtime loss now leaves them in pretty precarious shape, just like the rest of the league below Temple and Saint Louis. The Hawks have some very credible good wins, including one over Drexel that could be interesting if the Dragons drop into the at-large pool.
Uhhhh ohhhh. I started mentioning Virginia's surprisingly weak profile a couple weeks ago and now, after the Cavaliers allowed a game-ending 16-2 run (following Bernard James' ejection) and lost at home to Florida State at the buzzer, it's time to get a bit worried. The banged-up Cavaliers need to win at Maryland (no given) on Saturday, or be very vulnerable to a snub entering the ACC tournament.
The Musketeers melted down in the second half at Saint Louis and are now have very little wiggle room. They got several huge breaks this week, though, as UMass, Dayton and St. Joe's all lost, meaning Xavier just needs to win at home against Charlotte to lock up the 4-seed and a first-round bye in the A-10. Xavier may very well have to beat Temple in a semifinal if it gets past the quarters.