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Bubble Action Picks Up Again

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 10 Brown at St John’s
Teams will actually be desperate to NOT drop the ball.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There was no action that made much impact on the bubble last night. Instead, there were a few conference tournament finals that turned into blowouts and it didn’t really make for great viewing. Teams that got their ticket punched last night were NKU, Robert Morris, Hofstra, Gonzaga, and North Dakota State.

While yesterday had little in the way of bubble action today should have plenty of it. With nothing else to discuss, let’s get straight into it.

NC State (First 4 Out) vs Pittsburgh, 2pm, ESPN

NC State is currently sitting just outside the field at 19-12 and probably need a couple wins to crack into the tournament. They have good wins over Virginia and Wisconsin and beat the brakes off of Duke at home. These are weighed down by 2 Q3 losses and 5 losses in Q2. The resume is just very mediocre and needs a couple more wins and for one of them to be big.

Indiana (10) vs Nebraska, 8:25pm, BTN

A 10 seed on most brackets may seem like a blanket of security, but Indiana really needs this win. The main reason for this is that a loss this bad would slide them down the bubble. If the Hoosiers can win a game they’re supposed to win, they should be fine.

Stanford (11) vs California, 9pm, Pac-12 Network

Much like Indiana, a win today doesn’t gain much, but more importantly it doesn’t torpedo their season. Stanford did somehow lose to California on the road, giving them their 1 Q3 loss of the season. Avoiding a repeat of that result is key tonight.

Arkansas (Others Receiving Votes) vs Vanderbilt, 9:30, SEC Network

Perhaps it’s a bit generous to include Arkansas in the bubble watch, but a quick look that their resume shows that they aren’t that far off the pace. They have no bad losses but they are held back by the fact that most of their wins come in Q3. If they are to have a hope of making the tournament they probably have to make the SEC championship. It doesn’t look likely, but it’s certainly possible.

As we inch closer to the tournament the excitement continues to grow. Some teams will punch their ticket while others will fade out of conference tournaments and off of the bubble. Whatever happens, fans will continue to run the hundreds of different scenarios that suit their teams best in the hope that they will make it to the Big Dance. Thanks for the anxiety, March!