Bubble Watch – February 15, 2015

Welcome to the third edition of the 2015 Bubble Watch. If you’d like a further explanation as to how this works, you can check out my first entry here. If you’d like to see the previous installment of Bubble Watch, you can find it here. Finally, don’t forget to check out my bracketology to find out where all of these teams are seeded and who’s in and who’s out.

Here is this week’s Bubble Watch (includes all games finished before 5:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 15):

Locks

AAC

None

A-10

None

ACC

Duke: 22-3 (9-3), RPI: 5, SOS: 8

Virginia: 23-1 (11-1), RPI: 3, SOS: 7

Louisville: 20-5 (8-4), RPI: 14, SOS: 20

Big 12

Kansas: 20-4 (9-2), RPI: 1, SOS: 1

Big East

Villanova: 23-2 (10-2), RPI: 4, SOS: 27

Big Ten

Wisconsin: 22-2 (10-1), RPI: 6, SOS: 25

Mountain West

None

Pac-12

Arizona: 21-3 (9-2), RPI: 7, SOS: 29

SEC

Kentucky: 25-0 (12-0), RPI: 2, SOS: 11

Other

Gonzaga: 26-1 (14-0), RPI: 8, SOS: 86

Should Be In

AAC

None

A-10

VCU: 19-6 (9-3), RPI: 12, SOS: 12

It’s be a wild ride for the Rams since they lost their star Briante Weber on Jan. 31. Without Weber, they have lost three of their last five, which include losses at St. Bonaventure and Richmond and La Salle at home. However, they got back on the winning foot yesterday in Foggy Bottom when they managed a 79-66 victory over George Washington. Their seed has taken a bit of a hit over the last two weeks, but their status for the tournament is still looking strong.

ACC

North Carolina: 18-7 (8-4), RPI: 10, SOS: 2

The Tar Heels are looking very good for the tournament and will likely secure a high seed come Selection Sunday. However, since they’ve lost three of their last four, including an 89-76 defeat at Pittsburgh yesterday, I couldn’t quite move them into lock status just yet. They’re close, and a win against archrival Duke this Wednesday would likely be enough to put them over the edge.

Notre Dame: 22-4 (10-3), RPI: 27, SOS: 100

The Irish have looked a bit shaky lately. They’re 2-2 in their last four, with a loss to Pittsburgh, a 30-point thrashing by Duke and narrow victories over Boston College and Clemson. Still, Notre Dame looks pretty good for an at-large bid in a few weeks, but I’m not ready to make them a lock just yet. Those SOS numbers are horrible and they have a few chances left down the stretch to add questionable losses to their resume. I think they’ll make the tournament, but you can never be too careful.

Big 12

Iowa State: 18-6 (8-4), RPI: 13, SOS: 26

Iowa State has set themselves up for a solid seed for March but aren’t quite locks just yet. Their 7-4 record against the top 50 is very impressive, but their losses to South Carolina and Texas Tech aren’t. It would take a lot for the Cyclones to miss the Big Dance at this point, and while unlikely, it’s still possible.

Oklahoma: 17-8 (8-5), RPI: 18, SOS: 6

Before yesterday’s three-point loss to Kansas State, the Sooners had won five in a row, including wins against Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Iowa State. Oklahoma has notched nine wins over the top 50 and can tout a great RPI and SOS. Had they beaten the Wildcats yesterday I probably would have made them a lock. The loss doesn’t really hurt their status for the tournament much, but with games against Texas, at Texas Tech and TCU coming up, some bad losses could start to pile up.

Baylor: 18-7 (6-6), RPI: 16, SOS: 10

Despite dropping their last two games to Oklahoma State and Kansas, Baylor is still in great position for the postseason. The numbers are there, they’ve done a good job avoiding bad losses and they have five top 50 wins to their name. Their next to games are possible trip-ups at Texas Tech and against Kansas State. Avoid bad losses there and the Bears should be in the clear.

Big East

Butler: 18-7 (8-4), RPI: 24, SOS: 24

Yesterday Butler lost a heartbreaker to Big East-leader Villanova in what might have put the Bulldogs over the edge into lock status. It wasn’t meant to be, though, and Butler finds itself still right outside of the locks. There aren’t many holes to point to in this resume. The numbers are solid, they don’t really have any bad losses and their 5-6 record against the top 50 is good enough. In their final six games, the Bulldogs will play three games against teams that would be considered bad losses. Going on a losing streak now would not do them any favors.

Big Ten

Maryland: 21-5 (9-4), RPI: 11, SOS: 35

The Terps ended their road losing streak last night in a 76-73 win at Penn State. On Wednesday, Maryland picked up a much-needed win in a tight game against Indiana, the same team that had mopped the floor with the Terps two weeks previous. Maryland is looking good to get back to the tournament for the first time since 2010, but they’ll need to avoid any slip-ups before the season ends to become a lock. Of their remaining five games, four are against teams that will likely not be dancing. Avoiding any bad losses would put Maryland into the field of 68.

Mountain West

None

Pac-12

Utah: 19-4 (9-2), RPI: 9, SOS: 39

The Utes have bounced back well from their loss at UCLA on Jan. 29, winning their last three games. Utah is just 3-4 against the top 50, which isn’t particularly special, but their worst loss was to RPI 36 UCLA two weeks ago. Utah should be able to get back to the tournament, and with a high seed to boot, but in a down Pac-12 they’ll have several opportunities for questionable losses down the stretch. They need to focus on their upcoming games and not overlook them in favor of their matchup versus Arizona on Feb. 28.

SEC

None

Other

Northern Iowa: 23-2 (12-1), RPI: 17, SOS: 120

Not much has changed with Northern Iowa’s resume, and playing in the Missouri Valley, not much can change other than adding some bad losses. The Panthers haven’t lost since Jan. 1 and are looking as strong as ever. But with four games against less-than-stellar competition between them and the rematch with Wichita State, Northern Iowa is not a lock. Rack up a few bad losses and we will be having a different conversation very quickly. They need to keep avoiding those bad losses to keep their at-large chances high.

Wichita State: 22-3 (12-1), RPI: 15, SOS: 99

For Wichita State, the story is much of the same as it is for Northern Iowa: avoid bad losses before the clash with the Panthers. Their three games before the Feb. 28 showdown with UNI are at Southern Illinois, Evansville at home and at Indiana State. Losses in those games will drop the Shockers before they even met Northern Iowa. If they’re able to avoid losing, they might be able to lock themselves up before the regular season ends.

Over The Bubble

AAC

Southern Methodist: 21-5 (12-2), RPI: 23, SOS: 62

After losing to Cincinnati on Feb. 5, the Mustangs have won three straight, including a 73-55 rout of Connecticut last night in primetime. Their final four games may be a bit tricky, with trips to Memphis and Storrs and well as games at home against Temple and Tulsa awaiting. However, SMU has set themselves up very well for a tournament bid. With a win against the Owls in their next game, the Mustangs may be able to move up a category.

A-10

None

ACC

None

Big 12

West Virginia: 19-6 (7-5), RPI: 28, SOS: 78

West Virginia is just 3-5 against the top 50 and have SOS numbers that leaves a bit to be desired, including a non-conference SOS of 199. Still, they’ve avoided bad losses and have positioned themselves for an at-large bid at the moment. However, they have lost three of their last four, and the road doesn’t get any easier from here. Their remaining schedule is ridiculous: Kansas, at Oklahoma State, Texas, at Baylor, at Kansas, Oklahoma State. They will either be soaring or limping to the finish line with a schedule like that. The worry for Mountaineer fans is that they very well could be limping considering they’ve already started dropping games.

Oklahoma State: 17-8 (7-6), RPI: 25, SOS: 14

Despite having a non-conference SOS of 161, the Cowboys’ overall SOS is 14. That goes to show just how deep and tough the Big 12 is this year. Oklahoma State has done well to put themselves in this position, but yesterday’s loss at TCU did them no favors. They’re still in good shape with a 6-5 record against the top 50 and good numbers, but it doesn’t get much easier with their next to games against Iowa State and West Virginia. If Oklahoma State can win both of those games, they could definitely see themselves moving up a category.

Big East

Providence: 18-8 (8-5), RPI: 22, SOS: 13

The Friars picked up a big win yesterday in a 69-62 victory over Seton Hall to snap a two-game losing streak. Providence now has 10 wins against the top 100, including a sweep of Georgetown and wins against Butler and Notre Dame to crown their achievements. Those pesky bad losses from earlier in the season are still weighing the Friars down, but as of right now it isn’t enough to pull them down to the bubble. In fact, if they win their next to games at DePaul and at Villanova, they could be moving up closer to lock status.

Georgetown: 16-8 (8-5), RPI: 21, SOS: 3

The Hoyas are a pitiful 3-8 against the top 50. Big games have not been kind to Georgetown. However, they have not lost to a team outside of the top 50 and their numbers exemplify the quality of their team and schedule. To lock themselves up, though, the Hoyas really do need to get some more quality wins. In truth, though, with their numbers and lack of blemishes on their resume, as long as Georgetown can avoid any questionable losses, they should still be able to dance.

Big Ten

Indiana: 17-8 (7-5), RPI: 32, SOS: 28

Indiana lost a nail-bitter at Maryland on Wednesday which may have propelled them up a category had they won. The Hoosiers are still 5-6 against the top 50 and can show off some decent numbers, excluding their non-conference SOS of 130. Currently, Indiana is in a good spot for the tournament, but it could be better. Wins in their next two games against Minnesota and archrival Purdue would help their case a lot.

Mountain West

None

Pac-12

None

SEC

Arkansas: 20-5 (9-3), RPI: 19, SOS: 70

The Razorbacks beat Ole Miss on a buzzerbeater yesterday to extend their current winning streak to four. Arkansas looks like a tournament team with no bad losses and four top 50 wins, three of which have come on the road. This year, Arkansas has been able to win away from home, which was something that kept them out of the tournament for the last few years. The Razorbacks still have a date with Kentucky on Feb. 28, their lone game against the Wildcats, but first they have Missouri, Mississippi State and Texas A&M. Winning their next three before going to Lexington would certainly move them up a category and get them closer to lock status.

Other

None

On The Bubble

AAC

Temple: 19-7 (10-3), RPI: 29, SOS: 45

Winning certainly does wonders for a resume, doesn’t it? The Owls have won seven in a row to boost themselves from hanging onto the bubble by a thread to almost moving up off the bubble. They added another win to complement their massive victory over Kansas in December by beating Cincinnati last Tuesday. The numbers have steadily improved and the losses to St. Joe’s and UNLV from early in the season feel like forever ago. If Temple can beat SMU on Thursday, there is a good chance they won’t be on the bubble any longer.

Tulsa: 17-7 (10-2), RPI 47, SOS: 106

In the matter of two games, the Golden Hurricane have gone from AAC leader to outside of the field. After winning 12 in a row, Tulsa has now lost two in a row to SMU and a 70-45 throttling by Connecticut. A 1-4 record against the top 50 and a sub-100 SOS aren’t going to cut it, especially when you add in a loss to RPI 192 Oral Roberts. That being said, Tulsa isn’t dead yet. Big games against Temple, Cincinnati and SMU still remain. Pretty soon it’s going to be must-win time for Tulsa.

Cincinnati: 17-8 (8-5), RPI: 35, SOS: 37

The Bearcats have played themselves back down to the bubble by losing their two games this week, first at Temple on Tuesday and then to RPI 157 Tulane at home. That formally gives Cincinnati three bad losses, and defeats to Memphis and Connecticut informally give them another two. However, their 5-3 record against the top 50 and their very good numbers keep them on the upper part of the bubble. The Crosstown Shootout against Xavier comes on Wednesday. This is a big opportunity for both teams to add a quality win to their resume as well as a chance for bragging rights in the city of Cincinnati for a year.

A-10

Dayton: 19-5 (9-3), RPI: 30, SOS: 112

The Flyers are currently leading the A-10 and have put themselves in decent shape to make the tournament, but their resume is far from perfect. Bad SOS numbers and only four wins against the top 100 aren’t too incredible. However, they haven’t lost to any teams outside of the top 100 and the RPI is there. Dayton just needs to keep avoiding those bad losses and put up a solid showing in the A-10 Tournament and they should be able to secure an at-large bid.

Massachusetts: 16-9 (9-3), RPI: 41, SOS: 34

Massachusetts has stormed its way onto the bubble scene out of seemingly nowhere. The Minutemen were 10-9 three weeks ago, but after winning six in a row, they’ve worked their way into consideration for an at-large bid. Their biggest problem at the moment is a lack of quality wins. Their win against Dayton on Jan. 29 is their only win against the top 50 and their losses to Florida Gulf Coast, St. Bonaventure and St. Joe’s aren’t too helpful either. Their numbers are not too bad, especially their non-conference SOS of 11, though. It’s a bit of an uphill battle for the Minutemen, but it can be done. Their next to games at Rhode Island and at VCU will show us if this team should seriously be considered for the tournament.

ACC

North Carolina State: 15-11 (6-7), RPI: 50, SOS: 5

NC State’s win yesterday at Louisville is absolutely massive for them. They’ve now got two wins against the top 25, one of which was on the road, and six top 100 wins overall. They had dropped five of their last six before yesterday, but this victory put them right back on the road to the tournament. The Wolfpack have a reputation to ruin their good fortune, though. How they perform against Virginia Tech on Saturday should tell us if they’ve really turned a corner or if the Louisville game was an anomaly.

Miami (FL): 15-9 (5-6), RPI: 64, SOS: 50

Oh, Miami, what have you done? In mid-January everyone was singing the Hurricanes’ praises after they demolished Duke in Cameroon and beat NC State and Syracuse back-to-back. Since then, they’re lost to Georgia Tech, Florida State and Wake Forest. They’ve steadily played themselves out of the field and if the losses keep coming off the bubble. Some big wins may be needed to make up for the serious damage they’ve done. Games against Louisville and North Carolina remain, but winning both of those games is a tall task to ask of anyone. It’s starting to look dire for Miami.

Pittsburgh: 17-9 (6-6), RPI: 54, SOS: 46

And out of nowhere, Pittsburgh could make the tournament. It started on Jan. 31 when the Panthers knocked off Notre Dame 76-72, giving them their first top 50 win of the season. The story continued yesterday when Pittsburgh beat North Carolina 89-76 for their second top 50 win. There are holes in the resume, such as losses to RPI 176 Hawaii and RPI 220 Virginia Tech as well as a non-conference SOS of 145. But the Panthers have positioned themselves onto the bubble with their big wins the last couple of weeks. On Monday, they travel to Charlottesville to challenge ACC-leaders Virginia. A road win against the Cavaliers would be incredible for Pittsburgh’s resume, especially considering it’s their last game against a ranked team until the ACC Tournament.

Big 12

Texas: 17-8 (6-6), RPI 31, SOS: 16

The Longhorns have won three in a row to follow their four-game skid to help them avoid an absolute freefall. However, those three wins have been against Kansas State, TCU and Texas Tech, the three worst teams in the Big 12. But that stretch couldn’t have come at the better time for Texas. They needed to get back on their feet to prepare for a grueling end to the season. The Longhorns will play at Oklahoma on Tuesday and a win in Norman would be massive. Texas needs more quality wins and to beat a ranked team on the road would help immensely.

Big East

Xavier: 16-10 (7-7), RPI: 40, SOS: 21

Xavier is a confusing team. They’ll rout Georgetown for the second time this season, then follow that up by losing to Seton Hall and Creighton, at home no less, and then beat Providence. The Musketeers have almost lost to Auburn and DePaul, which isn’t a good look for anybody. Their eight wins against the top 100 help, as do their better-than-average numbers, but they are far from safe. The Crosstown Shootout this Wednesday versus Cincinnati is huge for both teams to get a quality win at the regular season dwindles down to a close.

St. John’s: 17-8 (6-6), RPI: 42, SOS: 32

The Johnnies have won three in a row, including an exclamation point yesterday against Xavier to give them three top 50 wins and seven top 100 wins. The numbers are fairly solid for the Red Storm as well. What holds them back are their two bad losses to Creighton and DePaul in January. St. John’s will have plenty of chances to better their resume in the coming weeks, though. On Tuesday they play at Georgetown, and then play Seton Hall, Xavier and Georgetown again. Those four games will be a huge stretch for the Red Storm as they could either make or break their season.

Seton Hall: 15-10 (5-8), RPI: 73, SOS: 63

Seton Hall, what happened to you? Remember back on Jan. 7 when I had the Pirates ranked nine on my S-Curve? Well times have certainly changed. Since beating Villanova on Jan. 3, Seton Hall is 3-8. They have lost their last four to drop themselves out of the field of 68 and on the outside looking in. On Monday they play at Villanova, a huge chance for them to pull together something in the waning moments of the season to salvage their tournament hopes. Pretty soon it’s going to become must-win time for the Pirates if it isn’t to that point already.

Big Ten

Ohio State: 19-7 (8-5), RPI: 34, SOS: 85

The Buckeyes almost completely the comeback yesterday in East Lansing but ultimately came up short. Beating Michigan State on the road would have been a major help, but losing doesn’t break the resume. Ohio State is now 3-6 against the top 50, which isn’t miraculous, but they’ve stayed away from any losses to sub-100 teams, and they have had plenty of opportunities to drop games to bad teams with a non-conference SOS of 208. Right now Ohio State is on the right side of the bubble, but the Buckeyes are not safe. On Sunday they’ll travel to Ann Arbor to take on rival Michigan. The Wolverines are likely not dancing, but they would love to spoil Ohio State’s season.

Michigan State: 17-8 (8-4), RPI: 37, SOS: 44

Yesterday the Spartans picked up a big win against Ohio State to make them 3-6 against the top 50. Michigan State doesn’t have any great wins but beating Indiana, Ohio State and winning at Iowa isn’t too shabby. Losing to Nebraska and Texas Southern at home hurt a lot, though. The Spartans still have Wisconsin on the schedule, so a chance at a top-notch win is still possible. But they should make sure they stay focused on their games at Michigan, at Illinois and Minnesota first. Michigan would certainly love to knock off their rivals and get revenge for their overtime loss to the Spartans on Feb. 1, and Illinois and Minnesota and two other bubble teams desperate for quality wins to boost their resume. There will be no cakewalks to end the season for Michigan State.

Illinois: 17-9 (7-6), RPI: 48, SOS: 75

It has been an interesting year in Champaign. Their best player, Rayvonte Rice, has been injured and suspended but now he’s back. Sophomores Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill have come up big and without Rice they’ve played themselves onto the bubble, but now they have to rework him into the rotation after going 6-3 without him. Illinois has two marquee wins against Maryland and Baylor as well as wins against Michigan State and Purdue to complement them. Their numbers aren’t much, though, and neither is their 2-5 road record. They can add more quality wins and road victories to their resume, though. On Sunday they welcome Michigan State to Champaign and on Feb. 25 they travel to Iowa City. Those two games will be huge for the Illini and their tournament hopes.

Iowa: 15-10 (6-6), RPI: 46, SOS: 15

Iowa is an enigma. They have all the talent needed for a great team, with Aaron White, Jared Uthoff, Peter Jok, Mike Gesell and more, but they just can’t seem to convert it into wins. Their resume is probably good enough to have them on the right side of the bubble for now, but who is to say it stays like that? They’ve now lost twice in a row, including a head scratcher today at Northwestern which broke the Wildcats’ ten game losing streak. One of the biggest positives about Iowa’s resume was that they had no bad losses. Well, now that isn’t the case.

Purdue: 16-9 (8-4), RPI: 70, SOS: 74

The Boilermakers have won five or their last six and have worked their way into serious bubble consideration. While they might not have made it to the right side of the bubble yet, the foundation is set for them to push through into the tournament. They must beat Nebraska today. Then looking forward, they play at Indiana on Thursday in what could be their marquee win of the season. Other than the showdown with their in-state rival, Purdue still has trips to Columbus and East Lansing as well as a home game against Illinois on the schedule. The opportunities will be there, they just have to take advantage of them.

Minnesota: 16-9 (5-7), RPI: 72, SOS: 69

The Golden Gophers have come out of absolutely nowhere to get onto the bubble. Their resume isn’t quite there yet, but it has the framework necessary. They are 3-5 against the top 50, which isn’t incredible but not something to scoff at. They’re just 2-6 on the road, but one of those road wins was a quality one against Iowa on Thursday. Their next game is at Indiana tonight, which will provide a huge opportunity for the Gophers to really solidify their spot on the bubble. After their matchup with the Hoosiers, Minnesota still has Michigan State and Wisconsin twice. The Gophers really could sneak into the tournament in the final few weeks of the season.

Mountain West

San Diego State: 20-6 (10-3), RPI: 20, SOS: 73

The Aztecs picked up a huge win yesterday against Colorado State to give them their second top 50 win of the season and to give them a one game lead in the Mountain West standings. They now are 2-4 against the top 50 and 8-5 against the top 100. Despite the loss to RPI 210 Fresno State on Jan. 3, San Diego State is in for now. Barring any slip-ups, of which there could be many with their remaining schedule, San Diego State should find themselves on the right side of the cutline.

Colorado State: 21-5 (8-5), RPI: 26, SOS: 103

What was a huge win for San Diego State is a crushing blow for Colorado State. The game against the Aztecs yesterday was Colorado State’s last chance at a quality win in the regular season. From here on out, the Rams will have to win every game to avoid a bad loss which could kill their at-large hopes. With such weak SOS numbers and a 5-4 record against the top 100, adding more bad losses to the one Colorado State already has against New Mexico could be fatal. The Mountain West Tournament is going to be the Rams’ time to shine and prove to the committee that they deserve to be in the field of 68.

Boise State: 18-7 (8-4), RPI: 43, SOS: 94

Boise State has hung around on the fringe of the bubble for a while now, waiting for their moment to come to propel themselves up into serious consideration. That moment came last Sunday when the Broncos defeated San Diego State 61-46, putting them at 4-4 against the top 100. Unfortunately for Boise State, they then turned around six days later and did exactly what all bubble teams fear: lost to Fresno State. Yes that’s right folks, Boise State played an intense game of peekaboo: now you see them in the tournament and now you don’t. The Broncos will look to get their footing back against UNLV this Wednesday. Avoiding a losing streak would be wise.

Pac-12

Stanford: 16-9 (7-6), RPI: 39, SOS: 53

The Cardinal have lost four of five, including losses to Washington State and Colorado. This is not a good trend for a team whose next two games are against teams that wouldn’t exactly be considered quality. Oregon is still left on the schedule, as well as a date in Tucson with Arizona on Mar. 7. For Stanford to feel confident about their chances on Selection Sunday, they’ll need to win at least one of those games, preferably against Arizona, as well as avoid any more bad losses going into the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cardinal haven’t beat a top 50 team since Dec. 23. That simply isn’t going to cut it.

UCLA: 16-10 (8-5), RPI: 36, SOS: 18

After starting out the season very slow, UCLA has won five of six, with wins over Utah, at Stanford and yesterday against Oregon. They’ve set themselves up well for a tournament berth despite losses to California and Colorado with pretty good numbers and seven wins over the top 100. Next up for the Bruins on Wednesday is a trip to Tempe and then comes the big one in Tucson against Arizona on Saturday. Win both of those games and they’ll be looking pretty.

Oregon: 18-8 (8-5), RPI: 59, SOS: 77

Oregon is another team that has come on late to work their way into the bubble conversation. They’re just 2-5 against the top 50, with those two wins being against teams outside of the top 25, and do have a loss to Washington State, as well as so-so losses to Washington and Michigan. The Ducks need to win a top 100 game away from home other than their Dec. 13 victory over Illinois on a neutral court. They had a chance yesterday at UCLA but weren’t able to capitalize. On Mar. 1 they travel to Palo Alto which will be their last chance to get a quality road win. Utah will also be making a trip to Eugene on Sunday, a big time chance for Oregon to get that one, true marquee win and boost their resume.

SEC

LSU: 18-7 (7-5), RPI: 53, SOS: 88

LSU missed their chance to truly solidify their resume on Tuesday when they let Kentucky narrowly escape Baton Rouge with a 71-69 win. The Tigers bounced back well, trouncing Tennessee yesterday in Knoxville 73-55. Next up, LSU will go to College Station on Tuesday to take on fellow SEC bubble team Texas A&M in what will be a big game for both teams. LSU’s prowess away from Baton Rouge is one their biggest claims to fame, with a 6-2 road record and wins against West Virginia, Ole Miss, Florida and Tennessee away from home. Home court advantage for the Aggies might not have the same advantage on Tuesday as usual.

Georgia: 16-8 (7-5), RPI: 33, SOS: 19

The Bulldogs decided to take the momentum they had from beating Tennessee and Texas A&M back-to-back and throw it away by losing to Auburn at home yesterday. That gives them three bad losses on the season and certainly won’t help come Selection Sunday. However, Georgia’s 6-5 record against the top 100 and very good numbers might be enough to make the committee look the other way. Georgia will have a few more chances to add more bad losses to that growing total and they’ll need to avoid them to remain safe. Still left on the schedule is Ole Miss and Kentucky, so Georgia will have their chances to make up for their recent sin.

Texas A&M: 17-7 (8-4), RPI: 45, SOS: 83

What’s keeping the Aggies out of the tournament? It’s their 0-5 record against the top 50. The Aggies’ best win is against RPI 53 LSU, which will not be good enough to get them into the tournament. Their non-conference SOS of 148 isn’t doing them any favors either. They have avoided any atrocious losses, though a loss to Kansas State doesn’t exactly look good. A&M needs to beat somebody, anybody, to get themselves into the tournament. They get LSU this Tuesday, and while they aren’t currently in the top 50, a win would do wonders for the Aggies. On Feb. 24, Texas A&M will play at Arkansas in what will likely be their final chance at a top 50 win in the regular season. Unless they want to play catch-up in the SEC Tournament, they will need to win that game.

Mississippi: 17-8 (8-4), RPI: 38, SOS: 51

Mississippi’s buzzerbeating 71-70 loss yesterday to Arkansas ended their six-game winning streak which got them onto the bubble to begin with. Despite the loss, the Rebels are still in a good position to make it into the tournament. They have three wins over the top 50 (at Arkansas, vs. Cincinnati and Texas A&M), their RPI and SOS are above average and they’re 6-3 on the road, with three of those road wins coming against top 100 competition. They do have losses to Western Kentucky, TCU and Charleston Southern, though, but those all occurred Dec. 13 or earlier. This is a much different team now and they have proven such.

Other

Old Dominion: 18-6 (7-5), RPI: 55, SOS: 148

If the Monarchs don’t want to play in the tournament, they’ve done a great job of making that happen over the last three days. On Thursday, Old Dominion lost to RPI 219 Texas-San Antonio and then followed that up on Saturday with a loss to UTEP. The numbers are middling, they have really just two wins (VCU and LSU) to show off and now have three losses to sub-150 opponents, as well as a loss to RPI 103 Western Kentucky. The biggest problem is that Old Dominion doesn’t really have any other marquee games left. There isn’t much of a way for them to make up ground. They’re going to have to win out and make it deep into the C-USA Tournament to still have a chance at an at-large bid. One more loss to a bad team and they’re off the bubble, maybe for good.

Bubble Bursting

AAC

Connecticut: 14-10 (7-5), RPI: 87, SOS: 84

A-10

Davidson: 17-6 (8-4), RPI: 61, SOS: 131

George Washington: 17-8 (7-5), RPI: 75, SOS: 160

Rhode Island: 17-6 (9-3), RPI: 67, SOS: 129

ACC

Clemson: 15-10 (7-6), RPI: 81, SOS: 52

Big 12

None

Big East

None

Big Ten

None

Mountain West

Wyoming: 20-6 (9-4), RPI: 78, SOS: 162

Pac-12

None

SEC

Alabama: 15-10 (5-7), RPI: 76, SOS: 49

Tennessee: 14-10 (6-6), RPI: 83, SOS: 64

Other

BYU: 20-8 (10-5), RPI: 58, SOS: 82

Justin Meyer
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Justin Meyer

Editor-In-Chief at The Left Bench
Justin co-founded The Left Bench in 2013, and ever since nothing was the same. He is a native of Columbus, Ohio, who has transplanted to the University of Maryland for college. He watches more college basketball than any one person should and is admittedly a 20-year-old curmudgeon.
Justin Meyer
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About Justin Meyer 209 Articles
Justin co-founded The Left Bench in 2013, and ever since nothing was the same. He is a native of Columbus, Ohio, who has transplanted to the University of Maryland for college. He watches more college basketball than any one person should and is admittedly a 20-year-old curmudgeon.