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Bubble Watch: March 3rd

Every day until Selection Sunday we'll be breaking down the bubble and analyzing who can play themselves in, and who is on the way out.

"Guys... I want to play."
"Guys... I want to play."
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Games are being contested in leagues I haven't thought twice about all year, but suddenly I care because it's March. More pertinently to Xavier's cause, teams with questionable at-large resumes are trying to steal automatic bids or shore up their tournament credentials in these final two weeks. Here are the game's on tonight's docket that could shake up the at-large picture. Not all these teams are on the bubble in an in/out sense, but they're all competing with Xavier for consideration and seeding.

7:00PM Rhode Island at Dayton
Dayton is currently sitting at that 8/9 break and many brackets even have them facing off against Xavier in the first round. Conventional wisdom has them safely in the tournament right now, but dropping this game makes their season-ending road trip to La Salle a little trickier to navigate. They're 22-6 right now through mostly smoke and mirrors, and it's not out of the question that they could finish 22-9 and nervous on Selection Sunday.

7:00PM Iowa at Indiana
A battle between two 19-10 Big Ten teams trying to get that 20th win. Both of these teams are positioned on the 8/9 line as well, so they're probably in barring a collapse. Whoever wins this game likely punches a no-doubt ticket to the field, while the loser still has work to do but can feel okay about its chances.

7:00PM Ole Miss at Alabama
Ole Miss is right on the lower edge of most brackets and holding the lowest 10 seed in the Bracket Matrix, so their margin for error is not large. Alabama is a good team with a solid KenPom rating, but some tough losses have torpedoed their tournament hopes and left them languishing in the 80s in the RPI. A loss here wouldn't send Ole Miss under, but it certainly wouldn't do them any favors.

9:00PM Texas A&M at Florida
Florida is a really good, really unlucky team. That means their at-large hopes are completely shot, but they're a potential resume killer for a team like Texas A&M. The Aggies are 20-8 but boast an SOS of just 86 and are just 2-6 against the top 50. Their resume is not one that can afford too many more losses against teams with sub-.500 records, even ones as good as Florida.

9:00PM Kentucky at Georgia
Realistically, everyone expects Georgia to lose here and doing so isn't going to hurt them. A win would be a trump card on their resume that no team in the nation could match.