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Xavier fan’s bubble cheering guide: March 2nd

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Last night, Dayton shot themselves in the foot and here is who we should keep an eye on today.

MLB: New York Yankees at Arizona Diamondbacks
This is probably the closest the state of Arizona is going to get to anything bubble related this month.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Dayton Flyers pretty much ended their at large hopes by losing in UD Arena to a pretty mediocre URI squad last night, freeing up another bubble spot for the rest of the teams hovering around the cut line. Without further ado, here is what to watch tonight.

Bubble teams appear in italics

LSU @ Alabama, 12 PM, ESPN

The Crimson Tide are already appearing on 97 of the 100 brackets accounted for on BracketMatrix, so they are currently on the right side of the bubble. A win here probably gets them out of Dayton for the time being, while a loss keeps them sweating results elsewhere.

NC State @ Florida State, 12 PM, ESPN2

The Wolfpack have to win here or face going to the ACC Tournament needing to cement their resume. All that remains on their schedule after the Seminoles is Georgia Tech and Boston College, neither of which can move the needle in a positive direction.

Iowa State @ Texas, 2 PM, ESPN2

Texas is surviving on the bubble because of wins against UNC, Purdue, K State, and Kansas. They are on the bubble in the first place because they lost to Radford, OK State, and Georgia. If Shaka Smart can get his charges to beat either the Cyclones or Texas Tech on Monday, they should be sitting pretty despite being just over .500.

Furman @ Chattanooga, 2 PM, ESPN+

The Paladins are clinging to the edge of the bubble right now in hopes that the SOCON is a 2-bid league this year. They were swept by Wofford, but may just have enough to get in if they beat everyone between now and the SOCON final and lose to the Terriers again. A loss here or anytime before then will end it.

UCF @ Houston, 4 PM, ESPN

UCF is projected to go to Dayton right now and has yet to get a win better than their late November triumph over Alabama. With chances to resume boosting victories few and far between in the AAC, they need a win today or home to UC next Thursday to really cement themselves.

Texas Tech @ TCU, 4 PM, ESPN2

The Horned Frogs were sitting pretty before taking a pair of bad losses in the past three games, falling to Oklahoma State and West Virginia. A sweep of Iowa State highlights a bevy of impressive wins, but losing here sets them in a precarious position with K State and Texas rounding out the schedule.

VCU @ Richmond, 4 PM, CBSSN

VCU is in according to every projection on BracketMatrix, but a loss here would certainly put them in danger without any more chances for good wins left on their schedule. Ah, the agony of March in the A-10.

UNC @ Clemson, 6 PM, ESPN

Much as it makes me break out in hives to type it, Xavier could use for the Tar Heels to win here and keep Clemson from getting the marquee win their resume so desperately needs. Their last two games give them no such opportunities, so a loss here has them going to the ACC Tournament needing a big scalp to push them over the top.

Seton Hall @ Georgetown, 6:30 PM, CBSSN

Both of these teams need to win this game for seeding purposes at MSG, although for bubble purposes, Georgetown probably needs this more. Seton Hall has chances to put some gloss on their resume with Marquette and Nova to end the season, but the Hoyas are still in need of good wins to get themselves into the discussion. It is almost certain that what happens in the BET with these teams will go a long way in deciding their fates, and both need to win here to avoid the first round of games.

Belmont @ SE Missouri State, 8 PM, ESPN+

Is the OVC a 2-bid league this year? Belmont and Murray State will be hoping so, but a loss for the Bruins here would have them needing the auto bid to have any chance of getting in.

Nevada @ Utah State, 8:30 PM, CBSSN

Utah State needs a win over an at large opponent to get onto the right side of the bubble in my opinion, which doesn’t count for much, and Nevada is the last chance they have to get one. Their best win currently is Saint Mary’s, who we will get to in a second, and a loss to SDSU is enough of an albatross to make this somewhat of a do or die for the Aggies’ at large hopes.

Gonzaga @ Saint Mary’s, 10 PM, ESPN

I guess I am missing something with this team, because I can not for the life of me figure out how they have a pulse in the at large discussion. They haven’t beaten anyone even close to the bubble discussion. Their best win is New Mexico State or San Fransisco, but they have lost to Harvard, Western Kentucky, and Pepperdine. With their current resume, there is no way they should be on the bubble, but a win against the Zags would certainly help them at least put themselves in the discussion.