Syracuse Bubble Watch: March 7th Games of Interest

Which games Syracuse fans should pay attention to along with desired outcomes.

Syracuse basketball is squarely on the bubble and has a legitimate shot to make the NCAA Tournament. A win or two in the ACC Tournament is necessary to solidify the Orange's position, but some help is never a bad thing either. Here is a look at the updated NET rankings, games to watch on Sunday, March 7th and how the results from Saturday, March 6th impacted Syracuse. 

NET RANKING UPDATE (through games 3/6)

Syracuse: 49

NC State: 66 (Syracuse needs the Wolfpack to stay in the top 75 to remain a quad one win)

Clemson: 36 (Syracuse needs the Tigers to crack the top 30 to be a quad one win)

North Carolina: 39 (Syracuse needs the Tar Heels to crack the top 30 to be a quad one win)

Buffalo: 75 (If Buffalo stays in the top 75, it is a quad two win for Syracuse)


Memphis at Houston (12:00 p.m., CBS): Memphis is behind Syracuse right now in terms of where it is on the bubble. A win at Houston, however, would be a huge resume booster. Syracuse fans should be pulling for the Cougars here. 

RESULT: Houston beat Memphis

Drake vs Loyola Chicago (2:10 p.m., CBS): Drake has an impressive 23-3 record. However, a closer look reveals 18 of those 23 wins are quad three and four victories. The record is inflated from playing bad teams. Drake has just one quad one win and two quad three losses. This is the conference title game and Loyola Chicago is in regardless, so Syracuse fans should be pulling for Loyola. 

RESULT: Loyola beat Drake

Michigan at Michigan State (4:30 p.m. CBS): Michigan State has a NET of in the 70s and is 14-11 on the season. A loss would drop the Spartans to 14-12. MSU does have four quad one wins, but the abundance of losses is hard to ignore. Syracuse fans should want the Spartans to lose to prevent another resume boosting win. Its wins over Illinois and Ohio State may still be enough to for a tournament berth.

RESULT: Michigan State beat Michigan

Penn State at Maryland (7:00 p.m. BTN): Maryland is 15-11 and sitting on the right side of the bubble. However, a recent loss to an 8-14 Northwestern team has hurt their case a bit. Another loss to a sub .500 team would make the Terps nervous for Selection Sunday and could mean a Big-1o Tournament run is necessary. Still, Maryland has a strong NET ranking and four quad one wins. But the more losses the better if you're Syracuse.

RESULT: Penn State beat Maryland


Utah State 57 Fresno State 51: Fresno State led by 11 at the half and three with less than four minutes left, but faltered down the stretch. A loss by Utah State would have meant it likely needed to win its conference tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament. Instead, they stay on the bubble. 

Marquette 66 Xavier 59: This was an important result for Syracuse. Xavier is one of the bubble teams Syracuse is batting with, and a loss to a .500 team helps the Orange's cause. 

Virginia 68 Louisville 58: Louisville is far from safe. Preventing a quad one win puts them in a perilous spot. Louisville's NET is slightly better than Syracuse's, has the same number of quad one wins and a couple more quad two wins. The Cards may need a win in the ACC Tournament to feel like they are in. 

Purdue 67 Indiana 58: Any talk of Indiana staying on the bubble is now gone. Two games under .500 means a conference tournament title is the only path left. 

North Carolina 91 Duke 73: Duke is now 11-11, is just 6-9 in quads one and two, and has two quad three losses. Duke should be well behind Syracuse right now. The Blue Devils likely need three ACC Tournament wins to get back in the mix. 

Ole Miss 56 Vanderbilt 46: A loss might have popped Ole Miss' bubble. Instead, they remain in the discussion. 

St. John's 81 Seton Hall 71: Another significant result for Syracuse. Seton Hall's loss should force a conference tournament title as the only path to the NCAAs. 

VCU 64 Davidson 52: VCU was probably in anyway, so this win prevents Davidson from having a shot at stealing a bid. 

Drake 71 Missouri State 69: Missouri State knocking Drake out of the conference tournament would have helped Syracuse's cause and likely popped its bubble. Instead, Drake keeps hopes alive. 

St. Bonaventure 71 Saint Louis 53: Saint Louis was another bubble team. Bonaventure has a better resume, so a blowout here helps Syracuse. This should keep Saint Louis out of the discussion.