Bubble Banter: All of today’s bubble action in one place
Throughout the day, we will be tracking how every result impacts the teams currently sitting on the bubble. You can find our most recent bracket projection right here. This story will be updated throughout the afternoon and evening.
OHIO STATE (NET: 55, SOS: 55): The Buckeyes picked up a win that they desperately needed, knocking off Indiana in the second round of the Big Ten tournament and avoiding a loss in what was billed as a play-out game. The Buckeyes are 4-9 against Q1 and 9-12 against Q2, but it is worth noting that their best win is at Cincinnati (27) and that it is their only win over a team in the top 40. They also lost to Illinois (105) at home. I don’t think the Buckeyes are safe just yet, but Chris Holtmann can sleep a little easier tonight with this win than he would have otherwise.
FLORIDA (NET: 33, SOS: 40): Florida picked up a win in the second round of the SEC tournament over Arkansas, which is good because the Gators really need to add to their resume. Personally, I am probably lower on Florida than the rest of the industry. They have a terrific win at LSU (14), but that’s really their only Q1 win worth writing home about. They won at Alabama (59), they won at Arkansas (63), they beat Ole Miss at home (36), but none of those wins really move the needle. The kicker is Florida is just 3-11 against Q1 and 7-12 against Q1 and Q2 with two Q3 home losses. They’ve played a ridiculous schedule. They’ve landed one win of note. That should matter.
ALABAMA (NET: 59, SOS: 23): The Crimson Tide are the one true bubble team that picked up an important win on Thursday, as they knocked off Ole Miss in the second round of the SEC tournament. It’s their third Q1 win of the season, bumping them up to 10-12 in Q1 and Q2 games. They do have a pair of bad losses -- Texas A&M (79) and Georgia State (127) at home -- but a win over Kentucky in Tuscaloosa is going to go a long way. I still think they are going to want to get a win over those Wildcats in the quarterfinals on Friday to actually feel comfortable, but there is no question that Avery Johnson’s team took a step closer to dancing today.
UTAH STATE (NET: 30, SOS: 101): I guess Utah State wanted to make it interesting. That’s why they decided to trail New Mexico for the majority of the second half. Eventually, they outlasted the Lobos, they won their quarterfinal game and advanced to play Fresno State (82) in the Mountain West semis. At this point, with two Q1 wins, a 4-5 mark against the top two quadrants and just one bad loss -- Fresno State (82) at home by one -- I think the Aggies are in.
ARIZONA STATE (NET: 67, SOS: 71): Arizona State picked up a win over UCLA in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament, keeping their hopes of an at-large bid alive. I still think they need to win one more game. Wins over Kansas (20), Mississippi State (22) and Utah State (30) are not enough to make up for the fact that the Sun Devils have two Q3 and two Q4 losses. No other bubble team is close to that.
XAVIER (NET: 70, SOS: 50): The Musketeers moved another step closer to the cut-line with a win over Creighton (54) in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament, but there is still a lot of work for this group to do. Their best win is against Villanova (25) at home, and that is their only win over a top 50 opponent. They are 18-14 on the season and have a pair of Q3 losses to boot. I think they need to beat Villanova in the semifinals, and even that might not end up being enough.
MINNESOTA (NET: 56, SOS: 38): With a win over Penn State (49) in the second round of the Big Ten tournament, I think the Golden Gophers punched their ticket. I can’t see a loss to Purdue (12) in the quarterfinals changing anything, and I think there is enough of a gap between them and the teams of the cut-line that they don’t have anything more to worry about.
SETON HALL (NET: 62, SOS: 34): Seton Hall is in. If they lost to Georgetown (78) on Thursday night, and a bunch of other weird stuff happened across the college hoops landscape, there was a chance that they could have missed out. They won. They’re in.
INDIANA (NET: 51, SOS: 49): Indiana lost what amounted to something of a play-out game in the second round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday, losing to Ohio State in a game where the Buckeyes never really lost control. It puts the Hoosiers in a really tough spot. They have played much better over the last two weeks, but this is still a team that lost 12 out of 13 at one point. They do have some really impressive wins -- a sweep of Michigan State (8), Wisconsin (15), Louisville (21), Marquette (29), at Penn State (49) -- but with 15 losses on the season, they are going to have to hope that St. Mary’s is the final bid thief and that the rest of the bubble loses out. They are the cut-line.
ST. JOHN’S (NET: 64, SOS: 80): St. John’s is not as comfortably in the tournament as you might think that they are. After losing to Marquette by 32 points on Thursday night, the Johnnies are now 5-7 against Q1 opponents with 10 wins in Q1 and Q2 competition. But the only top 25 win that they have on the season came at home against Villanova (25). They swept Marquette (29) during the regular season, but VCU (31) on a neutral and won at Creighton (53), but they also have a pair of Q3 home losses -- DePaul (102) and Georgetown (79). I think there are a few teams between them and the cut-line as it currently stands, but if a couple more bubble teams pick up wins and the likes of Nevada, VCU and Buffalo lose in their league tournament, this could become a real problem.
TEXAS (NET: 38, SOS: 6): Thursday night was a worst case scenario for the Longhorns. Not only did they lose to Kansas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament, but they lost Jaxson Hayes to what appeared to be a pretty serious knee injury. I think that this might be the weirdest profile that I have ever seen. Texas is 16-16 on the season, but there’s a real argument to be made that they have a good enough profile to get a bid. They have five Q1 wins -- including North Carolina (7) on a neutral, at Kansas State (24) and Purdue (12), Kansas (20) and Iowa State (23) at home. They have nine Q1 and Q2 wins and just one loss outside the top two quadrants. They played one of the toughest schedules in all of college basketball. In a year with a week bubble, that might have been enough if they weren’t currently sitting at .500.
N.C. STATE (NET: 32, SOS: 207): The Wolfpack did the bare minimum to keep themselves in the bubble conversation by beating Clemson (35) on Wednesday. They now have three Q1 wins to their name and a 9-9 mark against Q1 and Q2. The problem? They played the single worst non-conference schedule in college basketball this season, and they have a pair of Q3 losses to their name. It’s going to be tight, and I have a feeling that this is going to be a situation where the committee punishes the Wolfpack for how poor their non-conference schedule is.
CREIGHTON (NET: 54, SOS: 14): Creighton has a stronger profile that you probably realize, enough so that losing to Xavier (70) on a neutral court is probably their worst loss of the season. They’ve also won at Marquette (29) and beaten Clemson (35) on a neutral. That is probably not going to be enough, however, as their 17-14 record with no bad losses just doesn’t have enough top end wins to justify a spot.
TCU (NET: 48, SOS: 42): The Horned Frogs held a lead for most of their quarterfinal game against No. 15 Kansas State on Thursday afternoon, but it was all for naught. The Wildcats pulled away in the end and TCU is now in an unenviable situation. They are 20-13 on the season with three Q1 wins and a 9-13 record against Q1 and Q2 with a sweep of Iowa State (23) and a win at Texas (38) highlighting their resume. Will that end up being enough? For what it’s worth, TCU was one of the last four byes heading into today, meaning our latest projection did not even have TCU in a play-in game.
GEORGETOWN (NET: 78, SOS: 79): The Hoyas are done. They needed to beat Seton Hall to have a chance and they couldn’t even keep it close.