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BUBBLE BANTER: Saint Joseph’s, Texas Tech land a critical résumé win

Temple UConn Basketball

Members of the Temple basketball team react during the final seconds of their 55-53 victory over Connecticut in an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)


Saint Joseph’s (KenPom: 38, RPI: 30, Bracket Matrix Seed: 9) may have just played their way into the NCAA tournament with a home win over Dayton on Wednesday night.

The Hawks have a weird profile. Their computer numbers are really strong despite the fact that they haven’t really played many opponents of note. They entered the night having played just seven top 100 opponents this season, posting a 3-4 record in those games. Their worst loss? VCU. That’s good. Their best win, however, was Princeton, an Ivy League program that needs a win on Friday night just to play their way into a tie for first place in that conference.

That’s what makes a win over Dayton so valuable.

The Flyers are currently 11th in the RPI.

This is an elite win, the kind of win that St. Joe’s can hang their résumé on and the kind of win that they had been missing this season.

This doesn’t mean that they’re a lock by any means, but it does put Phil Martelli’s team in a position where they are probably in the tournament with room to spare as of today. There are still some landmines left on their schedule, but as long as this team doesn’t do anything stupid down the stretch -- like losing to UMass or Saint Louis -- they’ll be OK.


  • Texas Tech (KenPom: 41, RPI: 31, BM: 10): Tech landed another critical win on Wednesday, beating Oklahoma in Lubbock. They’ve now won three straight -- Iowa State, at Baylor, Oklahoma -- and have a total of five top 50 wins on their profile. Throw in that just two of their nine losses have come against teams ranked outside the top 50, and Tubby Smith’s squad is probably in the 8-9 game as of today.
  • Alabama (KenPom: 73, RPI: 34, BM: First Four): The Bracket Matrix has this wrong. Alabama was in with room to spare before they went into Baton Rouge and knocked off LSU on Wednesday. The Crimson Tide have some truly impressive win this season -- at Florida, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, South Carolina -- and just one bad loss to their name. Perhaps more impressive is that Bama has now won five straight games.
  • Seton Hall (KenPom: 37, RPI: 49, BM: 10): The Pirates picked up a nice win over Georgetown on Wednesday, a win they really needed given the lack of an elite win on their profile. SHU has won at Providence (who hasn’t?) and they have seven top 100 wins now, but the best part of their résumé is probably that the Pirates don’t have a bad loss yet.
  • George Washington (KenPom: 91, RPI: 51, BM: Next Four): The Colonials could not afford a loss to anyone at this point, and they managed to come from 13 points down to win on the road.
  • Clemson (KenPom: 50, RPI: 87, BM: N/A): The Tigers didn’t lose to Boston College. That’s a win because the other option would have been a killer.


  • Temple (KenPom: 86, RPI: 66, BM: 11): The Owls lost at home to No. 1 Villanova on Wednesday night, which will sting. That was a chance to really solidify their NCAA tournament hopes and do so against an intracity rival. The bigger issue was that this was the last chance for the Owls to really land a win that would drastically improve their profile. Temple is headed for the cut-line whether they like it or not.
  • St. Bonaventure (KenPom: 65, RPI: 33, BM: Next Four): It’s hard to overstate just how bad Wednesday night’s loss at La Salle is for the Bonnies’ résumé. La Salle is 243rd in the RPI. It would not be so bad if St. Bonaventure had more than just a single top 50 win this season. That’s going to be really difficult to overcome.
  • LSU (KenPom: 55, RPI: 71, BM: First Four): Want to know how crazy this season is? The Tigers lost to Alabama at home tonight, and it’s not even going to be considered a bad loss. This makes LSU’s margin of error that much slimmer, but they should still be on the right side of the bubble.
  • Florida State (KenPom: 42, RPI: 48, BM: 11): The Seminoles lost at home to Georgia Tech on Wednesday night, which isn’t exactly and awful loss but given FSU’s lack of quality wins, this was not exactly a loss they could afford. Their bid is going to be determined by their last three games: at Duke, Notre Dame and Syracuse.
  • Syracuse (KenPom: 31, RPI: 37, BM: 8): The Orange got worked over pretty badly by a Louisville team looking to make a statement after losing two in a row last week. They can survive that. Their six top 50 wins and 7-8 record against the top 100 speaks for itself.
  • Colorado (KenPom: 63, RPI: 28, BM: 8): Losing at USC isn’t going to ruin Colorado’s profile, but Tad Boyle’s club is going to regret blowing a 15 point lead on the road.
  • No. 23 Providence (KenPom: 56, RPI: 31, BM: 7): The Friars aren’t quite in danger yet, but they’ve lost five of their last seven games and head on the road to a sneaky-good Seton Hall team next. They’re reeling. How long will it last?