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Bubble Banter: Day full of Bid Thievery

P12 Oregon Washington Basketball

Oregon celebrates after defeating Washington 68-48 in an NCAA college basketball game in the final of the Pac-12 men’s tournament Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)


The most recent NBC Sports bracket projection can be found here.

At this point, I do not believe that there are any bubble teams that are still playing.

For my money, Florida, Minnesota and Utah State have all done enough this year that they will not need to sweat out Selection Sunday even if they do end up losing today. Washington is not dropping out with a loss to Oregon, and Memphis probably doesn’t get in even if they beat Houston today and lose in the title game.

What that means is today is all about the teams currently sitting right around the bubble -- according to our Dave Ommen, that includes TCU, Temple, St. John’s, Arizona State, Belmont, N.C. State, Indiana, Alabama, UNC Greensboro, Furman and Texas -- avoiding the dreaded Bid Thief.

Of the five games that involved Bid Thieves today, four went the way of the bubble teams.

Memphis and Wichita State lost to Houston and Cincinnati, respectively, in the AAC semifinals, and if either of them had reached the title game, they would have been playing for the right to pop someone’s bubble. Utah State was in the tournament regardless of today’s outcome, but a win over San Diego State in the Mountain West title game means that another bubble team survives. Bowling Green, who had already beaten Buffalo once this season, did not get their second win against the Bulls. Buffalo is dancing.

And then there was Oregon.

The Ducks went out and smacked around Washington (NET: 40, SOS: 59) in the Pac-12 tournament title game, and it created a nightmare situation for the conference. Instead of potentially looking at a situation where the league gets three teams into the tournament, there is a chance that Oregon’s automatic bid will mean that the Ducks take the spot of Arizona State in the tournament, and -- more worryingly -- it puts Washington in a position that they absolutely do not want to be in.

Because the Huskies do not have a resume that is anywhere near as strong as you think it is.

They are 2-4 against Q1 opponents, but they have won a single top 50 game this season. Those two Q1 wins are at Oregon (56) and at Colorado (67). They don’t have a top 80 win against a non-conference opponent -- Texas A&M (83) on a neutral is the best of the bunch -- and they also suffered the indignity of losing to Cal (230).

Now, their non-conference SOS is 13, they have a strong NET and they did win a regular Pac-12 title -- which isn’t technically something that the committee considers -- and in a year like this, that might be enough.

But don’t be surprised if the Huskies end up as a much lower seed than you think.