Bubble Banter: Three teams can lock up a bid, and then there’s N.C. State
There is one day left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before.
(This post will update throughout the day)
St. Joseph’s: The Hawks picked up a win over St. Bonaventure, avoiding another bad loss on their resume and advancing them to the Atlantic 10 tournament title game against the winner of VCU and George Washington. Regardless of what happens on Sunday, the Hawks are probably safe at this point. They are now 9-8 against the top 100 with a RPI in the high-30s and just one sub-100 loss.
RELATED: Is your team in the field of 68? Check our latest Bracketology
Providence: The Friars played their way off the bubble ... by winning the Big East tournament.
Tennessee: The Vols had a chance to lock up a bid to the NCAA tournament with a win over Florida, but the Gators erased a 35-25 halftime deficit and pulled away late, knocking off Tennessee 56-49 in the SEC semifinals. Cuonzo Martin’s club will now be forced to play the waiting game, and I think that they’ve done enough that they will hear their name called on Selection Sunday. Their RPI is in the low-40s, they have three top 50 wins (including the 35-point win over Virginia in December) and a 7-9 record against the top 100 with four of those losses coming to top four teams. The three sub-100 losses are ugly, but remember: two of them came as a result of last-second three pointers from Antwan Space of Texas A&M, who hit 11 threes all season long.
This doesn’t factor into the conversation officially, but Tennessee is playing as well as anyone in the country of late and they are one of just seven teams to be ranked in the top 30 in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack were barely in the bubble conversation until they beat Syracuse on Friday afternoon. After that win, the conversation was “beat Duke, and they’ll have a shot”. Well, N.C. State lost to Duke, which means that T.J. Warren will be lighting up scoreboards in the NIT.