clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cincinnati, Rutgers, and Richmond are all in bubble action tonight

The bottom of the bubble has a big sorting day as teams make their final cases for tournament inclusion.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The bubble was fairly quiet last night, as the only game of interest ended with Duke beating the brakes off of NC State. The Wolfpack could have used the Q1 win, but they're not dead and buried yet. Tonight is frickin packed with bubble action though; let's get into it.

Mississippi State (next four out) @ South Carolina, 6:30pm, SEC Network

Mississippi State is 7-8 in Q1/2 games, but only 2-6 in Q1. This represents a chance for one of the softest possible Q1 wins, at a team just inside the top 75 in the NET. This is the last chance for the Bulldogs to grab a good win before the SEC tournament; losing this one would be crippling.

Rutgers (11) v. Maryland, 7pm, Big 10 Network

Like Xavier, Rutgers has a lot of good wins but precious few great ones, and they also have a Q3 loss weighing them down. They're 32nd in the KenPom, but their results haven't caught up to their metrics just yet. They've got this game and @ Purdue left to add a couple of nice items to the top line of their resume; picking one of those up is probably vital for their at-large hopes.

Richmond (first four out) v. Davidson, 7pm

Richmond is 22-7, but 18 of those wins are in Q3/4. They need to bolster their 4-6 mark in the top 2 quads, and a game against Davidson gives them that shot before the close @ Duquesne. I'm not convinced they've got an at-large resume, but dropping one of those games would probably come close to crippling them.

Cincinnati (11, last four in) @ South Florida, 7pm, ESPNU

Speaking of teams I'm not convinced have an at-large resume, UC lost their last chance for a third Q1 victory and now have the final Q2 game of the regular season staring them in the face. They should be able to beat USF, but if they don't, the auto bid is the only way.

Alabama (next four out) v. Vanderbilt, 8:30pm, SEC Network

I don't see it with Alabama, but I'm not a bracketologist, so... yeah. Their only Q1 win was at URI back in November and they have 2 Q3 losses, but they're a respectable 8-11 in Q1/2 games. If they drop this one, they're certainly done.

Texas (first four out) v. Oklahoma (9), 9pm, ESPN2

Texas has won four straight, the last two of which were Q1 games, to get themselves back into the bubble conversation. This would be a third consecutive Q1 win and almost certainly put them back on the right side of the bubble. Oklahoma is in fine shape, but at 18-11 you'd assume they would feel better if they caught another win or two before Selection Sunday.

In addition to all this bubble action, the ASun, Patriot League, Big South, and Horizon League all have conference tournament games tonight. March is well and truly upon us.