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Bubble Banter: Temple is the bubble’s weirdest team this season

Wichita State v Temple

PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 01: J.P. Moorman II #4 (C) of the Temple Owls reacts on the bench to a score against the Wichita State Shockers during the second half at the Liacouras Center on February 1, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Temple defeated 16th ranked Wichita 81-79 in overtime. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

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As we will do every day throughout the rest of the season, here is a look at how college basketball’s bubble teams fared on Thursday night.

It’s worth reminding you here that the way winning are labeled have changed this season. Instead of looking at all top 50 wins equally, the selection committee will be using criteria that breaks wins down into four quadrants, using the RPI:

  • Quadrant 1: Home vs. 1-30, Neutral vs. 1-50, Road vs. 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home vs. 31-75, Neutral vs. 51-100, Road vs. 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home vs. 76-160, Neutral vs. 101-200, Road vs. 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home vs. 161 plus, Neutral vs. 201 plus, Road vs. 240 plus

The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here.


TEMPLE (RPI: 45, KenPom: 85, NBC seed: Out): Temple picked up a win that they absolutely needed, knocking off Wichita State (25) at home for their fourth Quadrant 1 win. They are now 4-6 against Quadrant 1 opponents, including neutral court wins over Clemson (5) and Auburn (7) and SMU on the road. There aren’t many teams that wins as good as Temple’s four best wins.

The problem? They’ve also lost four times to Quadrant 3 teams, including George Washington, Tulane and Memphis at home. Overall, Temple is 12-10 on the season, meaning that they are barely in the NCAA tournament bubble picture. Like I said, weird.

WASHINGTON (RPI: 49, KenPom: 93, NBC seed: 11): Mike Hopkins furthered his efforts to get named Pac-12 Coach of the Year by knocking off Arizona State at home on Thursday night. The Huskies now have three Quadrant 1 wins to go with their first Quadrant 2 win. Saturday’s game against Arizona is suddenly critical: This is the last game that Washington will play that will be against a Quadrant 1 opponent.

OREGON (RPI: 76, KenPom: 75, NBC seed: Out): Oregon did what they needed to do: They won at Cal. Next up is Stanford. They’ll need that one, too. As it stands, the Ducks have just one Quadrant 1 win and three Quadrant 2 wins. The good news? There are four Quadrant 1 and three Quadrant 2 opponents left on their schedule. They’ll have chances to add to it.

WESTERN KENTUCKY (RPI: 44, KenPom: 46, NBC seed: Next four out) and MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE (RPI: 28, KenPom: 44, NBC seed: 12): The Hilltoppers and Blue Raiders both won on Thursday night. Western Kentucky has the best win (Purdue) but worse losses. They both have just one Quadrant 1 win. The problem? Conference USA has a lot of bad teams. Neither team can afford a loss to anyone else in the league.


SMU (RPI: 60, KenPom: 43, NBC seed: Play-in game): The Mustangs took a fairly ugly loss on Thursday, falling at Tulsa (120). But SMU did not have Shake Milton for this game, and that is something that the committee will take into account. They play Quadrant 1 games in three of their next four. I’d recommend winning two of those.

BYU (RPI: 70, KenPom: 52, NBC seed: Out): BYU’s at-large candidacy is all-but dead after they lost to LMU (286). It’s their second Quadrant 4 loss.