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Bubble Watch: 3/6

Time, like an ever-flowing stream, bears all its sons away. Hopefully it carries some of these bubble contenders along with it.

It's basically an enormous bubble.
It's basically an enormous bubble.
Lintao Zhang

Let's get you caught up with what happened last night. Indiana said goodbye to their buzz and their at-large hopes by losing by 10 to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were actually the team closer to the bubble there, so the Indiana loss does Xavier no good. Arkansas thumped the tar out of Ol' Miss; the game wasn't even over as I typed that clause, but the Razorbacks were up 95-51 with 10 minutes remaining. If Ol' Miss comes back and makes a liar of me, I'll eat my hat.

Tennessee kept their train rolling, beating Auburn by 20. I actually don't mind seeing them win as a bubble team, since everything they do well improves Xavier's resume.

Someone had to lose the Saint Joe's v. George Washington Atlantic 10 bubble showdown, and, because there is a benevolent God, that team was the Hawks. Whether that stupid bird flapped the whole time is immaterial, but I really couldn't think of any way to insult it other than a thinly veiled sentence about it. This loss may not doom St. Joe (unfortunately) but it certainly didn't do them any favors.

Also unfortunately, Dayton won. I can only assume that God got distracted (I feel like this analogy is running away from me) by cheering for the Hawks to lose and took His eyes off Dayton long enough to let them overcome a seven point halftime deficit and score 40 in the second half on a supposedly good defense.

Joel may love Juwan Staten, but he's going to have to tune in to ESPNs NIT coverage to see him play tournament basketball this year. Oklahoma beat West Virginia, which undoubtedly killed any Mountaineer at large hopes. Didn't ESPN used to have the rights to one of the best basketball tournaments in the country? I hope the production values of soliloquizing the Big East don't cut into the budget of that big NIT selection show.

Colorado is eternally interesting simply because they refuse to cement themselves as either in or out of the tournament. A win on the road tonight against Stanford could prove to be a huge step toward them finally rising out of the "last four in" segment they really seem to prefer.

In the west coast game, California suffered a damaging loss against Utah. A home defeat to the Utes is going in red ink their resume.

As far as today's games go, we only have three real bubble games but the night isn't lacking for good basketball. Man, I love March. Cheer fervently against the bubble teams marked in bold, except for Xavier, unless you're some kind of commie.

7:00 PM (6) Villanova at Xavier FOX Sports 1
Well, this is the big one. For us here at Banners, at any rate. The Muskies don't have to have this one in the traditional sense, but they really could use it. It would be another massive resume win, and it might help them secure the #3 seed in the Big East tournament and avoid a potential matchup with Nova against next Friday.

8:00 PM Louisiana Tech at Rice
La Tech is showing up in about half the brackets I've looked at, so they'll get a mention here. I'm confident in the assertion that no team that lost a game to Rice has received an at-large bid since at least before the three-point line went in, so I'm betting a loss here would do it for the... *googles "Louisiana Tech mascot"* Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech is called the Bulldogs.

9:00 PM Virginia Commonwealth at Richmond CBS Sports Network
VCU is playing for seeding right now, but Richmond is still somehow clinging to the bottom of the bracket. I can't imagine they can pile on too many more losses before they're NIT-bound, but losing against VCU wouldn't be as damaging as some of the other losses available in the A-10. If the Spiders can pull this one off, they may still pilfer a bid from a team I like more. I'm no fan of the Rams, but desperation makes for strange bedfellows.