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Bubble Banter: Seton Hall, Michigan State and Georgia with massive opportunities Saturday

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The up-to-date NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here. This is where the seeds you see below come from.

This post will be updated to reflect results throughout the day. 


Wichita State (RPI: 46, KenPom: 13, play-in game): The Shockers blew out a Northern Iowa team that had won eight of their last nine games and sat in third place in the Missouri Valley on Saturday. The Shockers are now 25-4 on the season, but their best non-league wins are over Oklahoma and at Colorado State, neither of which are top 100 wins. Their only top 100 win is Illinois State. The Shockers will be an interesting case come Selection Sunday, but as long as the only loss they take down the stretch of the season Illinois State in the MVC title game they should be just fine.

Marquette (RPI: 82, KenPom: 42, first four out): Marquette was the Big East’s big winner on Saturday, as they mowed down Xavier by 22 points to add a top 25 win to their profile. They are now 16-10 overall with one horrible loss but three top 25 wins and eight top 100 wins in total, including a couple on the road. I think they’re going dancing if they can win three of their last four games.

Oklahoma State (RPI: 28, KenPom: 20, No. 8 seed): Oklahoma State’s profile, outside of the computer numbers, is very similar to Marquette’s after their win over Oklahoma on Saturday night. A handful of really good wins, a bunch of losses and only one truly bad loss. They should be fine if they can get two more wins before the start of the Big 12 tournaments.

Arkansas (RPI: 33, KenPom: 53, No. 10 seed): The Razorbacks continue to build on their win at South Carolina last week as they handled Ole Miss at home on Saturday pretty easily. Mike Anderson’s club is going to be in the NCAA tournament if they can avoid doing anything dumb down the stretch, but given that this is the team that lost at Missouri earlier this season, there’s very little guarantee that will happen.

Miami (RPI: 47, KenPom: 35, No. 11 seed): Miami picked up a massive win over Clemson on Saturday, and not because the Tigers are some awe-inspiring win, it’s because the schedule down the stretch for the ‘Canes is brutal: at Virginia, Duke, at Virginia Tech, at Louisville. Win two and they’re in. Win one, and they’re going to probably have some work to do in the ACC tournament.

Dayton (RPI: 29, KenPom: 33, No. 8 seed): The Flyers kept themselves in a really strong position by beating St. Bonaventure on Saturday. The Flyers are 21-5 on the season and sitting in first place in the Atlantic 10, but they don’t have a single top 50 win on the season. Those 10 top 100 wins are nice, but with a loss to UMass – sub-150 – also on their résumé, the Flyers have less room for error than you may think.

Middle Tennessee (RPI: 35, KenPom: 45, No. 11 seed): The Blue Raiders kept themselves in at-large contention with a win at Marshall on Saturday. Here’s their issue: they have wins over UNC Wilmington (on a neutral), at Belmont, at Ole Miss and over Vanderbilt. That’s good. They’ve also lost to UTEP (289th in the RPI) and two more sub-125 teams. My advice to Kermit Davis: don’t test the committee.

Kansas State (RPI: 55, KenPom: 29, No. 10 seed): How weird is the bubble this year? Kansas State, who has just three top 100 wins, is 17-10 overall and 6-8 in the Big 12, is in the tournament with some room to spare even before their win at Texas on Saturday.

Tennessee (RPI: 44, KenPom: 43, bubble): The Vols beat Missouri, which is significant only because it means they didn’t lose to Missouri, which would have been a season-ender. I’d strongly recommended Tennessee win all of their remaining regular season games.

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2016, file photo, Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Drake, in Des Moines, Iowa. At this time of year college basketball coaches often sound like political candidates looking for votes as they tout their teams' NCAA tournament worthiness. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)


Wake Forest (RPI: 36, KenPom: 34, next four out): The Demon Deacons are running out of chances after losing at Duke on Saturday in a game where they missed a layup that would have given them the lead with less than a minute left. Wake doesn’t have a bad loss to their name, but they also don’t have much in the way of impressive wins. A win at Duke would have changed that. A win over Louisville next will will as well. Wake may need to win that if they really want to have a chance.

Michigan State (RPI: 40, KenPom: 54, No. 9 seed): The Spartans lost a game at Purdue, which hurts. Losing Eron Harris to a knee injury is a bigger loss.

Georgia (RPI: 48, KenPom: 51, next four out): Georgia lost a winnable game to Kentucky despite 36 points from J.J. Frazier. They’ve had some hard-luck losses in league play, and it’s probably going to keep them out of the NCAA tournament at this point. The bigger news? They may have lost Yante Maten to a knee injury.

TCU (RPI: 49, KenPom: 40, play-in game): The Horned Frogs missed out on a terrific opportunity to add to their tournament profile as they lost at Iowa State on Saturday evening. This loss isn’t a killer, but it does put TCU in a position where they likely will need to win their final three games of the season, assuming they lose at Kansas.

Texas Tech (RPI: 83, KenPom: 37, next four out): The Red Raiders badly needed a win at West Virginia on Saturday. They took the Mountaineers to double overtime before losing. This is what Texas Tech’s remaining schedule looks like: Iowa State, at Oklahoma State, Texas, at Kansas State. Win three of those and they should be OK.

Seton Hall (RPI: 39, KenPom: 55, No. 10 seed): The Pirates whiffed on a chance to lock up a tournament bid on Saturday, losing at home to No. 2 Villanova. If they can take care of business this week at home against Xavier, Seton Hall should feel pretty good about their chances.

Clemson (RPI: 53, KenPom: 36, play-in game): Clemson is now 14-12 on the season and 4-10 in the ACC, but since they play in the ACC, Saturday’s loss at Miami isn’t a killer for them. They’ll still be a good win or two from being back on the right side of the bubble by next week. That’s how weak the bubble is this season.

Virginia Tech (RPI: 32, KenPom: 49, No. 9 seed): A win at Louisville on Saturday would have put the Hokies in the tournament. Losing at Louisville? They’re a top ten team. You’re supposed to lose there.


Police: Thief steals electronics from UNC basketball program

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Police say someone stole thousands of dollars in electronics from the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team locker room and office while they were away for the ACC tournament.

UNC-Chapel Hill campus police said on Twitter that the break-in happened at the Dean Smith Center on March 9, and they released images of a man they believe may have been involved.

A police report says the thief managed to get into the team locker room and basketball office without forced entry, according to The Herald-Sun.

The report says the thief stole a PlayStation 4, Xbox One and clothing worth $2,900 that belonged to the athletic department. Police say the thief also stole a laptop worth $1,200 and a financial document worth about $3,000 belonging to one of the players.

No upsets over here: No. 1 seed UConn women set scoring records in first round game

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The No. 1 overall seed on the men’s side of the NCAA tournament made history on Friday night.

They because the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the first round of the tournament, as Virginia lost to UMBC, if you were still unaware.

Over on the women’s side, the bracket is nowhere near as broken, because UConn’s women made history, too. They set NCAA tournament records for … well, almost everything it seems like.

The Huskies were up 55-19 at the end of the first quarter of their first round game against St. Francis (PA). Those 55 points are an NCAA tournament record. They held a 94-31 lead at the half, another NCAA tournament record, and held on to win 140-52.

The 140 points that Geno Auriemma’s team scored was an NCAA tournament record. The 88 points that they won by was one point short of an NCAA tournament record 89 points that was set by Baylor in a win over Texas Southern last season.

Oh, and the Huskies set the record for more assists in an NCAA tournament game — 38 — for good measure.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say that the fans in Storrs had a better weekend than the fans in Charlottesville. Hopefully, that will allow them to forget the fact that the men’s basketball program has become a laughing stock.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Maryland Governor calls UMBC upset, so does NBC Sports’ writer son

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Never before in the history of the NCAA tournament as a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed.

That was until Friday night, when UMBC sent the No. 1 overall seed Virginia packing.

And if you thought no one had picked that upset, you were wrong.

Let’s start with the Maryland Governor, who was clearly a homer in picking UMBC to not only beat Virginia, but to win a national title:

Never say never, but … that’s never going to happen bud.

But how about this: My son, who is two years old and based his picks on his hard and fast rule of “all the doggies”, called this upset!

He also called Penn over Kansas, Fullerton over Purdue and Butler winning a national title, but whatever.

That bracket is actually pretty good!

VIDEO: Virginia’s Ty Jerome does not appreciate dumb question after UMBC loss

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You have to give Virginia some credit.

After losing to No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the players on that roster faced the music. They went up to the dais and answered question from reporters on national television.

There is no way they enjoyed that.

And you can tell because Ty Jerome had absolutely no interest in answering dumb questions from reporters:

He was not amused.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Saturday’s betting lines, point spreads, over-unders

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Here is the full TV schedule, with spreads, over-unders and betting lines, for every game for the first four days of the NCAA tournament.

(Lines are updated for Saturday morning.)

Pittsburgh: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson

  • 12:10 p.m.: No. 1 Villanova (-11.5) vs. No. 9 Alabama, CBS (149.5)
  • 2:40 p.m.: No. 2 Duke (-9.5) vs. No. 7 Rhode Island, CBS (149)

Boise: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington

  • 5:15 p.m.: No. 5 Kentucky (-5.5) vs. No. 13 Buffalo, CBS (155)
  • 7:45 p.m.: No. 4 Gonzaga (-4) vs. No. 5 Ohio State, CBS (141.5)

Dallas: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore and Ros Gold-Onwude

  • 6:10 p.m.: No. 3 Tennessee (-5) vs. No. 11 Loyola (Chicago), TNT (131.5)
  • 8:40: No. 3 Texas Tech (-1.5) vs. No. 6 Florida, TNT (133.5)

Wichita: Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin and Evan Washburn

  • 7:10 p.m.: No. 1 Kansas (-4.5) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall, TBS (154.5)
  • 9:40 p.m.: No. 3 Michigan (-3) vs. No. 6 Houston, TBS (135)