SATURDAY’S BUBBLE WINNERS
Boise State: The Broncos were the day’s biggest winner, as Derrick Marks caught fire, scoring a career-high 38 points to lead Boise State to a win over Colorado State at home. that’s huge, as it gives Leon Rice’s club a second top 25 win and a third top 50 win, which includes a win at Creighton. The Broncos now have seven top 100 wins and may end up adding to that total, as the end of their regular season includes a trip to UNLV and a home-date with San Diego State. As of today, the Broncos are probably in, which is a good sign, as they don’t have many more chances to mess something up.
Creighton: The Bluejays got 41 points from Doug McDermott as they shot 70.2% from the floor in a big win over Wichita State on their home floor. Creighton is now the outright Missouri Valley champ, and while that doesn’t factor into the selection committee’s decision-making process, the win over the Shockers should be enough to lock up a bid regardless of what happens in the first round of Arch Madness.
Maryland: The Terps are still alive after winning at Wake Forest, but it’s not going to be easy. Thanks to an incredibly empty non-conference schedule, Maryland’s overall profile is pretty weak despite beating Duke and NC State. They host UNC and visit Virginia before the ACC tournament begins. Win the next three and they’ll have a chance.
La Salle: The Explorers are still living off of the week where they knocked off both Butler and VCU. Those are La Salle’s only two top 50 wins, but good computer numbers and just one atrocious loss keeps them in the mix. Beat GW this week and the Explorers will get a shot at St. Louis to lock up a bid.
Temple: The Owls survived URI, notching their fifth-straight win after a head-scratching loss to Duquesne. Temple has good enough computer numbers and nine top 100 wins — headlined by Syracuse and St. Louis — which should be enough to get them into the tournament as long as they avoid a loss to a team like URI.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks kept their hopes alive, knocking off Kentucky at home on Saturday afternoon. This team still has quite a bit of work to do, however. They have just five top 100 wins, ugly computer numbers and just a single road win: at Auburn. Win at Missouri, beat Texas A&M, and land a win or two in the SEC tournament, and we’ll talk.
Belmont, Louisiana Tech and Middle Tennessee State: The only thing these three teams can do is play out the rest of their season and hope that enough bubble teams end up losing that an at-large bid opens up. None of the three have strong enough wins to make up for their questionable losses. The easy answer? Don’t leave it up to the committee; take care of business in the conference tournament.
California, Missouri, Oklahoma and Memphis: These five make up what I like to call the ‘Play Yourself Out Crew’. All four should be able to earn themselves an at-large bid as long as they don’t do anything crazy in the season’s final week. Cal beat Colorado, Missouri handled LSU, Oklahoma blew out Iowa State and Memphis beat Central Florida on the road. That’s how it’s done.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.