It’s about to go off. There are 8 conference tournaments having games contested today. Tomorrow there will be 12. On Thursday there will be 17. Today is, in a sense, the last big inhale before the dive.
Right now, the margins could not be more fine for Xavier. They’re currently on 86 of the 133 brackets posted on the Bracket Matrix. They’re the last of the last four in by that measure. Of course there are too many moving parts for that to stick. Xavier’s resume will necessarily change, as will that of the teams around them.
The good news is that early returns haven’t been good for bid pirates. Loyola Chicago beat Drake to keep the MVC a likely one-bid conference. Gonzaga and BYU will face off in the WCC title game; both of them are in regardless of the result. St. Bonaventure and Virginia Commonwealth are in much the same situation in the A10.
In the Mountain West, San Diego State is in no matter what happens. Colorado State, Boise State, and Utah State are all clinging to the same fringe of the bubble Xavier is. We’ll remind you in our daily post to cheer against those teams; some intra-conference cannibalism there would really help X out. The same goes for the AAC, where Houston is in and Wichita State needs to avoid an early bad loss. Nobody else has a snowball’s chance without the auto bid.
Major conference tournaments rarely provide a chance for someone to steal the bid, but we’ll keep you posted as it develops. None of this matters, of course, if Xavier doesn’t take care of at least a little bit of business at MSG. If Xavier takes care of all the business I guess the bubble becomes a moot point that way, as well.
Anyway, there’s one game with even a tangential relationship to the bubble today. Here it is.
Boston College v. Duke, 4:30pm, ACC Network
Duke has two bad losses and is 6-9 in the top two quadrants. They’re 11-11 overall. Realistically, they should be dead and buried already, and they probably are. My concern is that they’re Duke, and given the chance, the committee will put them in. A couple of wins in the conference tournament might be just the excuse they need to consider the Blue Devils. Boston College probably won’t drive the final nail in their coffin today, but it’d be a lot cooler if they did.