If you weren't sure you were ready to commit to March yet, last night had to have gotten you there. Both Cincinnati and Richmond looked like they were in trouble in games that would have had them at auto bid or bust, but they both rallied to keep their hopes alive. Rutgers picked up a monster win against Maryland, and Texas won at the horn against Oklahoma to continue to surge to the right side of the bubble.
Only Alabama among the bubble teams in action got hurt, dropping a game against Vanderbilt at home. That's a Q4 loss on a resume that could not afford it at a time of year where that's debilitating.
There's more where that came from today. To wit:
Xavier (10) v. Providence (10), 6:30pm, FS1
Someone is going to come out of this game feeling pretty good. Providence's resume is weird, sitting at 11-8 in the top 2 quads but just 6-4 beneath them. Xavier is the opposite, with just 3 Q1 wins but only one loss in quads 2-4. X would get to 20 wins with a W here; Providence would pick up another high-level W to separate themselves from the bubble pack. This one is huge.
Indiana (10) v. Minnesota, 7pm, Big 10 Network
Minnesota is 37th in the KenPom but just 13-15 overall, making them a dangerous opponent but not a particularly eye-catching win. They would be a solid Q2 for Indiana though, and the Hoosiers could grab their 19th win and probably exhale a bit if they get this one. With 2 Q2 losses and a spotless 10-0 record in Q3/4 games, Indiana has a high floor on their resume right now.
Arkansas (next 4 out) v. LSU, 7pm, SEC Network
Arkansas doesn't have any bad losses, but they're just 5-11 in the top 2 quads. LSU is one of 2 Q2 games left, and they probably need them both to avoid needing a win or two in the conference tournament to feel safe. Adding a 6th Q2 loss would put them in a tough spot.
Rhode Island (first 4 out) v. Dayton, 9pm, CBSSN
URI kind of shot themselves in the butt a bit by losing to Saint Louis, but not many bubble teams have the chance to get a better win than Dayton this late in the year. UD is currently third in the NET; that would be a real coup for the Rams if they could bring that win home. There aren't many chances to get that kind of win in the A10, and URI will find themselves rueing a missed opportunity if they can't take advantage.
No matter what the outcomes of these games are, we're going to shuffle the deck a bit tonight. As always, we'll keep you posted with winners and losers tomorrow morning when we break down the schedule for the day ahead.