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Bubble Banter: Wednesday’s key bubble watch games

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You can find the latest NBC Sports bracketology here. This is where the seeds listed below come from. 


VCU (RPI: 29, KenPom: 47, No. 9 seed): Somehow, some way, VCU is still in the NCAA tournament field with a bit of room to spare thanks to their second straight win in a game where they fell behind with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.

Tennessee (RPI: 37, KenPom: 36, first four out): The Vols kept themselves in tournament contention with a win over Ole Miss on Wednesday. It’s not a profile-changing win, but it does provide another top 100 win. Tennessee’s biggest issue at this point is that they already have 10 losses and the season and still have to play at Kentucky and at South Carolina. There isn’t much room for error with this group, regardless of how tough their schedule has been.

Miami (RPI: 54, KenPom: 39, play-in game): The Hurricanes picked up a massive win on Wednesday, landing just their second top 50 win of the season. Miami’s biggest issue right now is that they just don’t have enough good wins, and with four games left against Louisville, Duke, Virginia and Florida State – with all but Duke coming on the road – there are a lot of tough games left on their schedule. Miami has the feel of a team that’s going to head into the ACC tournament needing to win a game or two to get a bid.

Seton Hall (RPI: 36, KenPom: 52, play-in game): The Pirates got taken to overtime at home by Providence, but they survived thanks to a game-winning bucket from Myles Powell. It adds another top 100 win to their profile and, more importantly, the Pirates still haven’t lost at home to anyone not named Butler. The Pirates will earn their bid in the next two weeks, when they get Creighton, Villanova and Xavier in consecutive games.

Cal (RPI: 39, KenPom: 53, No. 10 seed): The Golden Bears moved to 18-6 overall and 9-3 in the Pac-12 with just one bad loss to their name. But there isn’t much meat to their profile. Their only top 50 win is at USC, and the only two chances they have left come at Arizona this weekend and against Oregon in two weeks at home. They need at least one of those two wins.

Minnesota (RPI: 22, KenPom: 38, No. 9 seed): The Gophers added another win over Iowa in overtime, this time at home. I continue to believe Minnesota is safer than a No. 9 seed. They have four top 50 wins, three of which were away from home and two of which were true road games. They also only have two sub-50 losses, both on the road, and a non-conference SOS of 18.


Oklahoma State (RPI: 28, KenPom: 21, No. 9 seed): The Pokes are still in a really good spot on the bubble – losing to Baylor anywhere isn’t going to hurt one’s profile – but this was a golden opportunity to steal a win that could have, in theory, moved them off the bubble for now. As of today, eight of their nine losses came against top 50 opponents and four of their six best wins came away from home. This is a good position for them to be in, but the only other chance Oklahoma State will have to get an elite win comes at home against Kansas in the season finale.

Virginia Tech (RPI: 38, KenPom: 54, No. 8 seed): The Hokies are still in a good spot despite losing at Miami on Wednesday. A road loss to a top 50ish team isn’t a stain on their profile and they still have those eight top 100 wins, including a home win over Duke. If Buzz Williams’ club can hold serve at home the rest of the way, they should be just fine on Selection Sunday.


VIDEO: Jay-Z’s nephew posterizes nation’s No. 1 recruit Marvin Bagley III

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Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.

He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.

NCAA denies extra-year request by NC State guard Henderson

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.

Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.

The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.

Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.

SMU gets transfer in Georgetown’s Akoy Agau

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SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.

The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.

Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.

South Carolina loses big man Sedee Keita to transfer

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South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.

The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.

Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.

A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.

Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.

Mississippi State losing two to transfer

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Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.

Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.

The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.

Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.