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Bubble Watch: Championship midweek and a Xavier check

Bubble teams everywhere will be cheering against the underdog today.

NATIONAL CONFECTIONERS ASSOCIATION’s ALL CANDY EXPO
Gum is gross, but the NCAA bubble is fun.
Photo by Tim Boyle/Newsmakers

A quick update if you couldn’t stay up last night to see what happened. First, Wofford was tied with three minutes to go and then won by 12. Ignore anyone who tells you that UNC-Greensboro merits a bubble spot. They don’t, and they aren’t on it. The next game wasn’t as much a benefit to bubble dwellers, as Jordan Ford and Saint Mary’s got a win over San Diego. The Gaels were probably a next four out type of a team and a win over #88 doesn’t likely make them a lock, but it gives them life.

NKU v. Wright State, 7PM, ESPN

Not a bubble game, but the winner here goes dancing. Pick a side and cheer for some dudes to live their dream.

Gonzaga v. St. Mary’s, 9PM, ESPN

The Gaels are really the only actual bubble team in action tonight. They currently appear in six brackets on the matrix, but that figures to bump up slightly once today’s projections come out. A loss last night likely would have doomed them to a fraught Selection Sunday, but they pulled out the win. Tonight, bubble teams will be hoping Gonzaga beats St. Mary’s by 48 again like they did back on February 9th. The Gaels computer numbers are good (33rd in the KenPom, 37th in NET), but no one is yet certain exactly how that will play out with the committee in this new, blessedly RPI free, world.

Xavier

As of right now, the Musketeers appear in exactly zero brackets. Wofford helped them out last night by knocking off UNCG and preventing a bid thief, but the entire Big East bubble likely would have gotten a boost had St. Mary’s lost. The one that may end up hurting X is Belmont’s loss to Murray State. While the Racers had a tenuous at large claim at best, Belmont has a NET of 45, a 5-3 record Quad 1 and 2 record, and is generally considered to be one of the last four in. Xavier, on the other hand, has a NET of 71, sports 9-13 Quad 1 and 2 record, and is well below the bubble right now. According to Bart Torvik’s projections, X has only 6.9% chance of dancing without the auto bid. It’s going to be a stressful week.