We’re back with week 2 of the College Hoops Scoops Bubble Report. A week is like an eternity in college basketball and a lot changed. Some teams may have played themselves off the bubble –St. Mary’s, Virginia– while some (UTEP, St. Louis) did the opposite. A few teams that were locks (UAB, Georgia Tech) are now in question.
Already in: Duke, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest
On the Bubble: Florida State (18-7, 6-5 ACC)
Good wins: Georgia Tech (2), Marquette, Virginia Tech
Bad losses: N.C. State
Outlook: Two of their final five games against North Carolina and Miami, which are all under .500 in conference play. They also have Clemson, Virginia and Wake Forest. The Seminoles absolutely cannot lose to North Carolina or Miami.
Clemson (18-7, 6-5)
Good wins: Butler, Maryland
Bad losses: Boston College
Outlook: The Tigers don’t have any bad losses, but they also don’t have a ton of signature wins. Beating Butler was a big help, but what would really benefit them is winning at least three of their final five. It won’t be easy though, as road games against Maryland, Florida State and Wake Forest loom.
Georgia Tech (18-8, 6-6)
Good wins: Siena, Charlotte, Clemson, Wake Forest
Bad losses: Georgia
Outlook: The Yellow Jackets played themselves back onto the bubble with consecutive losses to Miami and Wake Forest. Recovering with a home win against a fading North Carolina team won’t do much. Georgia Tech needs to win three of four and take at least one game in the ACC Tournament.
Already in: Temple, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Xavier, Richmond
On the Bubble
Dayton (17-7, 6-4, A-10)
Good wins: Georgia Tech, Old Dominion, Xavier
Bad losses: St. Joseph’s
Outlook: The Flyers still have Temple and Richmond left among their six eight games. A split amongst those two and three more wins would bring the Flyers to 21 wins. That plus two wins in the A-10 Tournament could be enough.
St. Louis (18-6, 7-3)
Good wins: Richmond, Dayton
Bad losses: Iowa State, Missouri State, Bowling Green
Outlook: The Bilikens played themselves onto the bubble with four straight wins. But with no solid non-conference wins, it will be a tough sell to the committee. The good news the Bilikens still have Rhode Island, Xavier, Temple and Dayton on the slate.
BIG EAST Already in: Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Georgetown, Pittsburgh,
On the Bubble: Marquette (16-8, 7-5 Big East)
Good wins: Xavier, Georgetown
Bad losses: N.C. State DePaul
Outlook: Sorry Marquette fans, but UConn is no longer a good win, but Xavier and Georgetown were quality victories. The Golden Eagles are back in the mix after five straight wins. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Louisville are still on the schedule. A win against any of those teams counts as a quality win.
Cincinnati (15-10, 6-7)
Good wins: Maryland, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame
Bad losses: UAB, St. John’s
Outlook: It’s not looking good for the Bearcats. Their win at UConn isn’t enough at this point. But a five-game winning streak to end the regular season would get it done. The problem is Cincy’s last three opponents are West Virginia, Villanova, and Georgetown. Barring them winning the Big East Tournament, Cincy will be in the NIT.
Louisville (16-9, 7-5)
Good wins: Syracuse
Bad losses: UNLV, Western Carolina
Outlook: Not much separates Louisville from Cincinnati. The Cardinals have just one solid win and two terrible losses. Winning at least four of six is a must. And that might not be enough, especially since just two of those games are against the conference’s top five teams.
Notre Dame (17-9, 6-7)
Good wins: St. Louis, West Virginia
Bad losses: Rutgers, St. John’s, Loyola Marymount
Outlook: If Luke Harangody, who missed Sunday’s loss to St. John’s, is out for any length of time, the Irish can forget it. Even if Harangody does play in any of Notre Dame’s final five games, it may not be enough. The Irish, who play at Louisville tonight (Wednesday) have only one quality non-conference win and several bad losses.
Already in: Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, Wisconsin
On the Bubble: Northwestern (17-8, 6-7 Big Ten)
Good wins: Purdue, Illinois
Bad losses: Minnesota
Outlook: Northwestern was shaping up to be one of the feel-good stories of the year. But wins against Notre Dame, N.C. State and Michigan no longer count as solid wins. The Wildcats absolutely cannot lose to Penn State on Wednesday and they probably have to win at Wisconsin on Sunday to have any shot at an at-large bid.
Already in: Kansas, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Missouri, Texas, Baylor
On the Bubble: Oklahoma State (17-7, 5-5)
Good wins: Texas Tech, Kansas State, Texas A&M
Bad losses: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Outlook: The Cowboys have lost three of their last four and are fading. The good news is they have Baylor, Texas, Kansas and Texas A&M left. A split with those four and wins against Iowa State and Nebraska over their final six will keep them in the at-large mix.
Already in: The tournament winner
On the Bubble: Old Dominion (21-7, 13-3 CAA)
Good wins: Georgetown, Charlotte
Bad losses: None
Outlook: A mid-major team that finishes with over 20 wins, including a triumph over an elite Big East team is usually a lock. The Monarchs scored big points with their defeat of Georgetown and backed that up with a win over Charlotte. The Monarchs have won three straight. A win at Northern Iowa in a Bracketbuster game would all but lock up a bid. A run to the CAA tournament semifinal would probably make the Monarchs feel a little more confident on Selection Sunday.
Northeastern (18-9, 13-3)
Good wins: Old Dominion
Bad losses: Boston University, Western Michigan
Outlook: With no signature non-conference wins, the Huskies probably need to win the CAA Tournament to get in, especially with no top-50 RPI teams left on the schedule.
Already in: Conference tournament winner
On the Bubble: UAB (19-5, 7-3)
Good wins: Cincinnati, Butler
Bad losses: Kent State, Marshall
Outlook: UAB was looking good until dropping two of its last three against Memphis and Marshall. Fortunately the Blazers have six games left. But they are going to have to do a lot to impress the Selection Committee, especially since none of their remaining opponents have a RPI in the top 75.
UTEP (19-5, 10-1)
Good wins: Oklahoma, UAB
Bad losses: Houston
Outlook: UTEP has won nine straight. The prospect of the Miners winning their final five games and finishing with 24 wins is not far fetched. The problem is UTEP has just one decent non-conference win. A run to the Conference USA final would give the Miners a tremendous overall record that could be too much for the committee to ignore.
Already in: California
On the Bubble: Washington (17-8, 7-6 PAC-10)
Good wins: Texas A&M, Arizona State
Bad losses: Oregon
Outlook: The Huskies are hanging on by a thread. They can’t afford to lose more than one of their final five games, especially since only one is against a PAC-10 team that is above .500 in conference play.
Already in: Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Florida
On the Bubble: Mississippi State (18-8, 6-5)
Good wins: Old Dominion, Mississippi (2),
Bad losses: Rider, Western Kentucky, Alabama
Outlook: The Bulldogs have won two of three and could be back on the upswing. But they can’t slip up at any point in their next four games (LSU, Alabama, South Carolina, Auburn). A loss against Tennessee in its final game is forgivable, but only if they beat the aforementioned quartet.
Mississippi (17-7, 5-5)
Good wins: Kansas State, UTEP
Bad losses: Arkansas
Outlook: The Rebels put themselves back on the bubble after dropping two of three games. Losing to Arkansas was especially a terrible loss. But they have Vanderbilt at home on Thursday night and a game against Florida left on the schedule.
Already in: Gonzaga
On the Bubble: St. Mary’s (21-3, 8-3 WCC)
Good wins: New Mexico State, Northeastern
Bad losses: USC
Outlook: The Gaels have put themselves in a deep hole after dropping two straight to Gonzaga and Portland. Losing to Gonzaga is nothing to be ashamed of, but losing to Portland this late in the season is. The Gaels need to win their final three conference games and make a run to the West Coast final to have a chance.