Bubble Banter

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Bubble Banter: Are Purdue and Davidson safe despite today’s losses?

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(This post will be updated throughout the day.)

READ MORE: Today’s Bracketology | Who are the four No. 1 seeds?

WINNERS

LOSERS

  • Tulsa: Tulsa is in trouble. They have an RPI of 45. They have just two top 50 wins — both against Temple — and an ugly loss against Oral Roberts, to say nothing of the loss they suffered to a Division II team that doesn’t get factored into the RPI. They have just five top 100 wins, and all of them came in conference play. The Golden Hurricane probably needed to win the automatic bid to feel comfortable. They certainly needed to beat UConn and get a shot at SMU. Now? I think they’re out.
  • Georgia: Someone is going to have to explain to me why Georgia is comfortably in the tournament in most bracket projections, because I just don’t see it. As of today, the Bulldogs have zero top 50 wins. ZERO. They’re 11-9 against the top 100, but their best win is over an Ole Miss team that might not end up going to the NCAA tournament. They also have two sub-100 losses. So, again, why is this team considered comfortably in?
  • Purdue: The Boilermakers had a lead at the half against Wisconsin before watching the Badgers blitz them with a 41-16 run in the second half. At this point, Purdue is probably safe, considering that teams like BYU, Ole Miss, Temple and LSU are projected to be in the tournament right now. That said, there are some red flags on their resume. They have a weak non-conference strength of schedule, and those home losses to North Florida and Gardner-Webb are never going to look good. That RPI of 54 isn’t going to help, either. That said, I think they’re in.
  • Davidson: Like Purdue, the Wildcats are going to be in for a stressful couple of days as they wait to hear their NCAA tournament fate. And like Purdue, the biggest red flag on Davidson’s resume is their non-conference schedule. It ranks 242nd nationally. The good news? The Wildcats won the Atlantic 10 regular season title, they’re 9-5 against the top 100, they have wins over VCU and Dayton, and their two sub-100 losses came without Jack Gibbs on the floor. I think they’re in.
  • Temple: This is getting repetitive: the Owls lost to SMU, a loss that isn’t going to hurt their resume but will leave them without the kind of profile that will make Selection Sunday relaxing. The Owls played a strong schedule — and a good non-conference schedule — but they are just 2-8 against the top 50. They have eight top 100 wins, but just two of them are against tournament teams, the same number of sub-100 losses they have on their resume. That’s not all that impressive, but you know what is? Their 25-point win over Kansas. Temple has also been much better when they have everyone healthy, which is going to get factored into the discussion as well. Temple is going to be right there on the cut-line on Selection Sunday, but Wyoming’s win might end up being their death knell.

BID THIEVES

  • Wyoming: The Pokes are dancing! Wyoming won the Mountain West’s automatic bid, beating San Diego State in the title game. They are the first bid thief in 2015, meaning that all the teams on the bubble are not going to be happy about this result.
  • UConn: The Huskies won a thriller over Tulsa, meaning that they will play No. 20 SMU in the XL Center in Hartford for the right to go to the NCAA tournament. SMU is getting in regardless of what happens. UConn? They’re not. Bid thief alert!
  • Auburn: The best big man for the Tigers was suspended before the game even started — no one ever said Cinmeon Bowers was smart — and, as you can imagine, Auburn got obliterated by Kentucky.
  • Rhode Island: The Rams put up a fight, but they ended up losing to Dayton by four, which relegates URI to the NIT and potentially saves an at-large bid. Dayton is going dancing regardless.

Bubble Banter: So what do we make of LSU, Indiana and Boise State?

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(This post will be updated throughout the day.)

READ MORE: Thursday’s Bubble Banter | Friday’s Bracketology

WINNERS

  • Davidson: I still think that the Wildcats are closer to the bubble’s cut-line than a lot of folks are implying at this point, but that doesn’t change the fact that today’s buzzer-beating win over La Salle should just about lock up their bid. Here’s why: Davidson would have a ways to go to drop to the wrong side of the bubble, but thanks to the bloodbath that was Thursday’s action for bubble teams, there aren’t enough teams close enough to actually threaten the Wildcats with an NIT trip. Think about it like this: Using our latest bracket, we can assume that the Wildcats are, at worst, the sixth-to-last team in the bracket. That means they’d need at least six teams to jump them in order to lose their bid. A loss to either Richmond or VCU won’t hurt all that much, and of the teams behind them, only Indiana, Tulsa, UCLA, Richmond and Rhode Island have yet to get knocked out of their league tournaments. They’re safe.
  • Temple: The Owls did what they needed to do against Memphis, getting a win and advancing to face SMU in the American semifinals. Temple is probably on the right side of the bubble as of today, and while today’s win does help, it certainly doesn’t lock them into a bid. Beating SMU would. A loss on Saturday wouldn’t be a killer, but it would make Selection Sunday quite stressful.
  • Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane got past Houston, which would have been the loss that kept them out of the NCAA tournament. As it stands, Frank Haith is probably on the wrong side of the bubble. I’m not convinced that Tulsa can get in without winning the automatic bid given the way the American bracket shook out; beating Cincinnati or UConn in the semifinals is not the kind of win that drastically changes a profile.
  • Purdue: The Boilermakers likely locked up their bid on Friday by beating Penn State. With two horrid non-conference home losses on their resume and an ugly non-conference strength of schedule, Purdue could not afford another “bad” loss. They were on the right side of the bubble entering the day, and losing to Wisconsin in the semifinals tomorrow won’t change that.
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LOSERS

  • LSU: LSU just couldn’t make it easy, could they? The Tigers lost (choked?) to Auburn in a thriller in the SEC tournament quarterfinals, and it’s a loss that I’m not sure the Tigers can afford. At the very least, they are going to be one of the most intriguing bubble discussions on Sunday. Let’s lay it out for you: LSU has 13 top 100 wins, but only three of those wins are against the top 50. They won at Arkansas and at West Virginia, which are two very impressive road victories, but they also lost to five (!!!) teams ranked outside the top 100 of the RPI, two of whom are ranked outside the top 200. The only reason they don’t have six sub-100 losses is that Tennessee is still, as of today, ranked in the top 100. Their non-conference schedule strength is 186th, and as we saw with SMU last season, that’s a major factor for the committee. It’s going to be a long, long 48 hours for Johnny Jones and company. They’re going to be rooting very strongly against everyone else on the bubble for the rest of the weekend.
  • Indiana: The Hoosiers lost to Maryland on Friday night in the Big Ten quarterfinals, meaning that they are going to end up being one of the most discussed bubble teams out there. Personally, I think they’re in, and I think that most bracket projections will say as much. They were in entering the day, and they lost to a top ten team where they had a shot to take the lead in the final two minutes. The issue would be whether or not the bubble teams behind them win the games they need to move past them in the pecking order, and for the most part, bubble teams have not had a good week (ahem, looking at you, LSU). They need teams like Tulsa, UConn and UCLA to lose. My guess: they’re in on Selection Sunday, but it’s going to be a long couple of days.
  • UCLA: The Bruins badly needed to land a win over No. 5 Arizona in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament on Friday night, and they came up short. That means that UCLA will have to wait it out until Selection Sunday, and for my money, they’re going to end up being on the wrong side of the bubble. They have wins over Oregon and Utah, which are nice, but they have three sub-100 losses, they’re just 5-10 against the top 100 and their only two road wins are at Stanford and at Arizona State. Compare that to LSU, who has 13 top 100 wins and three top 50 wins.
  • Boise State: The Broncos lost to Wyoming on Friday, which is far from a crushing loss. The Pokes are ranked 90th in the RPI, but their numbers are skewed by a couple of losses that they took while their star, Larry Nance Jr., was battling mono. The problem is that Boise State has just three top 50 wins — all top 30, including a win at San Diego State — and three sub-100 losses. They did win the Mountain West regular season title, but their non-conference schedule strength is 176th and they have just one other top 100 win. The complicating factor? This team actually got markedly better when Anthony Drmic made the decision to sit out the season in mid-December. Boise State is in a tough spot, and while they got helped out by the fact that seemingly every team behind them in the bubble pecking order lost, there’s still a good chance that they don’t end up hearing their name called. At this point, I think they’re out.
  • Colorado State: The Rams might be in some trouble after losing to San Diego State in the MWC semifinals. They have just two top 50 wins (Boise State and San Diego State) and they are just 5-5 against the top 100 with an ugly loss at New Mexico. That said, Larry Eustachy is a master of working the RPI, which is why the Rams currently are No. 25 in that ranking. If I had to guess, they’re probably looking at a play-in game.
  • Richmond: The Spiders wouldn’t have been a lock even if they had beaten the Rams on Friday, but they ended losing a thriller in the A-10 quarterfinals, which likely relegates them to the NIT.

STILL TO PLAY

Colorado State vs. San Diego State, 11:30 p.m.

Bubble Banter: Have three teams seen their bubbles popped today?

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(This post will be updated throughout the day.)

READ MORE: New Bracketology! | Bubble teams with the most on the line

WINNERS

  • Indiana: The Hoosiers may have picked up the biggest win of the day. They knocked off Northwestern on Thursday, and while beating the Wildcats isn’t exactly a statement win, it was one of the best performances that Indiana has had in a month. For a team that has been sputtering, that’s the kind of win that can instill some confidence heading into a matchup with Maryland. It also may have locked Indiana into an at-large bid. Most projections had the Hoosiers on the right side of the bubble entering the day, and that won’t change with this win. Losing to Maryland won’t hurt them enough to cost a bid. I’d still recommend beating the Terps and removing any doubt, but the Hoosiers should be able to survive. The big question now: Hanner Mosquera-Perea’s knee.
  • Boise State: The Broncos are in a pretty good spot in terms of the bubble these days, but what they cannot afford in the early rounds of the Mountain West tournament is a bad loss. They took care of business in their first game in the event with a big win over Air Force. They play Wyoming on Friday, and even with a loss they should probably be OK.
  • Colorado State: The Rams got passed Fresno State in the MWC quarterfinals, setting them up for a date with San Diego State in the semis. Colorado State is right there on the cut line, and while most projections have them in the tournament, there are quite a few that place the Rams in the play-in game. Beating SDSU tomorrow will likely lock the Rams into a bid, but they can probably still get in with a loss. The best news of the day was the struggles of the other teams on the bubble.
  • UCLA: The Bruins blew out crosstown rivals USC in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals, setting up the game that they absolutely have to win if they want an at-large bid: a date with No. 5 Arizona. Get by the Wildcats and into the Pac-12 finals, and Steve Alford’s crew will have a real shot at hearing Greg Gumbel call their name on Sunday.
  • Xavier: If the Musketeers were on the bubble, they aren’t anymore after beating No. 22 Butler in overtime in the Big East tournament.

LOSERS

  • Miami: The Hurricanes missed out on a terrific opportunity to capitalize on losses from a number of teams currently on the bubble when they lost to No. 11 Notre Dame on Thursday night. The Hurricanes erased a 20-point lead and eventually tied the Irish late in the second half, but they were never able to break through, suffering a loss that will ultimately be quite costly. Will this keep them out of the tournament? That’s hard to say, but they certainly didn’t do themselves any favors. That win at Duke looks really, really good, but the Hurricanes have enough ugly on their resume to cover it up.
  • Texas: The Longhorns blew a 16 point lead — and a 67-57 deficit in the final 3:35 — to lose to Iowa State. We wrote all about how bad that loss is for them here.
  • Ole Miss: The Rebels may have finally played their way out of the NCAA tournament. Ole Miss has lost four of their last five games, including this heartbreaker against South Carolina in the opening round of the SEC tournament. Andy Kennedy’s club does have three top 50 all — at Arkansas, at Oregon and against Cincinnati on a neutral court — but they also have three ugly non-conference losses. Losing to Vanderbilt and the Gamecocks in their last two games adds two extra sub-75 losses to their resume. The good news? Just about everyone behind Ole Miss in the bubble pecking order lost today as well. The loss certainly isn’t a good thing, but in a weird way, the Rebels may actually come out as a winner when the day is all said and done. Backing your way into the tournament means you got a bid.
  • Texas A&M: The Aggies are in big trouble. Big, big trouble. The best thing that Texas A&M had going for them was that they didn’t have any bad losses. Then, to close out the regular season, they lost to Alabama at home. They followed that up with Thursday’s loss to Auburn in the SEC tournament, and suddenly, their profile — which includes a sweep of LSU and … not much else — doesn’t look good at all. The Aggies were in a bad spot entering the weekend, and this seemingly ensures that they will be NIT bound.
  • Old Dominion: The Monarchs lost to Middle Tennessee on Thursday in the Conference USA tournament. They were showing up on some First Five Out lists, which seemed quite generous to me. Now? They can probably kiss those pipe dreams goodbye.
  • Stanford: The Cardinal needed to beat Utah to have any shot of earning an at-large bid. They were blown out. Enjoy the NIT, guys.
  • Illinois: The Illini were on the wrong side of the bubble in just about every bracket projection entering the day, meaning that in order to play their way into the NCAA tournament, they likely needed to beat not only Michigan today but No. 1 seed Wisconsin tomorrow. The Illini were blown out by the Wolverines. Welcome to the NIT!

Bubble Banter: Key American games, and a bid thief in action

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READ MORE: NBCSports.com’s Latest Bracketology | Saturday’s Bubble Banter

WINNERS

  • Cincinnati: Cincinnati’s win at Tulsa during the week was the big one, putting the Bearcats comfortably into the tournament, and Sunday’s win over Memphis in the season finale was the icing on the cake. Six top 50 wins and an 8-6 record against the top 100 is quite good, but three really bad losses keep Cincinnati in some trouble. As long as they avoid an ugly loss in the American tournament, they’ll be just fine.
  • Every team on the bubble: Northern Iowa erased an 18-point first half deficit to beat Illinois State in the Missouri Valley title game. Northern Iowa is looking at getting a five seed in the NCAA tournament, which meant that Illinois State, had they earned the league’s automatic, would have stoled a tournament spot from one of the teams on the bubble.

LOSERS

  • Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane gave No. 22 SMU a fight, but they came up short in the American regular season title game, putting Frank Haith’s club in a tough spot as they enter the conference tournament. A sweep of Temple is really the only strength of their profile, which is why losing out on the regular season title was particularly painful. I think Tulsa is on the wrong side of the bubble, and I think they probably need at least a win or two in the league tournament to really have a chance.

Bubble Banter: Big wins for LSU, Xavier, Texas; why is Indiana in trouble and Georgia safe?

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(This post will be updated as the games are completed.)

Let’s have a conversation about Indiana, shall we?

The Hoosiers have now lost eight of their last 12 games after falling at home to Michigan State on Saturday afternoon. They’re 19-12 overall, 9-9 in the Big Ten and headed for a first round Big Ten tournament game that they simply cannot afford to lose.

And to think, just six weeks ago, they were tied for first place in the conference and ranked in the top 25, fresh off of a 19 point win over Maryland.

At this point, I don’t think it’s fair to slot the Hoosiers on the wrong side of the bubble. I know that their win over Maryland was fluky and at home, but they smacked around the Terps, and that’s one of four top 40 wins they have. They’re 8-11 against the top 100 and their only bad loss came on the road against a Northwestern team that is better than their record would indicate.

Indiana’s profile is far from perfect, but when you put them up against Texas A&M, Tulsa, Texas, Davidson, Temple, BYU and the rest of the bubble, they actually look fairly strong.

That might change if the Hoosiers lose to, say, Northwestern in their Big Ten opener. The Hoosiers certainly aren’t safe.

But the sky hasn’t completely fallen just yet.

READ MORE: Latest Bracketology

WINNERS

  • LSU: The Tigers picked up a massive, massive win on Saturday, going into Bud Walton Arena and knocking off No. 18 Arkansas, which is one of the better road wins that you’ll come across for any bubble team this season. The win just about locks LSU into an NCAA tournament bid. They can still get tripped up by one of the league’s bottom-feeders in the SEC tournament, but even with another loss to a sub-150 team, LSU might be OK. They now have five top 50 wins, with the Arkansas win being their best on the season. They do have five losses to teams ranked outside the top 90, but it is really hard to argue with 12 top 100 wins.
  • Xavier: Creighton had a shot to win it at the buzzer, but the how is much less important than the what: Xavier won in Omaha, and now the Musketeers look like a good bet to get a big to the Big Dance on Selection Sunday. They have five top 50 wins and nine top 100 wins, but with four sub-100 losses on their profile, avoiding a loss to DePaul, Creighton or Marquette in the Big East tournament will be critical.
  • Texas: The Longhorns picked up a vital win over Kansas State in Austin to close out the regular season. Bear in mind, beating the Wildcats is not a “good” win, but the Longhorns’ profile is only bubble-worthy because they don’t have any bad losses. Their worst loss of the season came to Stanford at home, and the Cardinal were legitimately considered a potential top-two team in the Pac-12 at the time. With just two wins over top seven Big 12 teams and just a 3-11 record against the top 50, Texas needs all the help they can get right now. Their work is not done yet. They need at least one win in the conference tournament.
  • Temple: The Owls completed their sweep of UConn, beating the Huskies in Philly on Saturday. It’s a win they needed, but it remains to be seen if they have done enough to get into the tournament. Temple has just two top 50 wins and six top 100 wins, but they beat Kansas by 25 points. Only having one bad loss is a good thing, and they did win 10 of their last 12, but Temple is just 1-5 against the top three teams in the league.
  • Georgia: The Bulldogs won at Auburn, and the consensus seems to be that will be enough to get Georgia into the Big Dance. I don’t understand that. Like Texas A&M, the Bulldogs don’t have any great wins. They’ve beaten two NCAA tournament-caliber teams, winning at Texas A&M and sweeping Ole Miss. But they also have four bad losses — South Carolina twice, Georgia Tech and Auburn. At 20-10 overall, I just don’t see how Georgia has a markedly better profile than, say, Indiana. Feel free to explain that one to me.
  • Purdue: The Boilermakers landed a key win over Illinois, one that strengthens their position on the bubble. They don’t have any great wins — their best is either Iowa at home or BYU on a neutral floor — but they are 9-9 against the top 100, which would be enough if they hadn’t lost to North Florida and Gardner-Webb at home in December. As it stands, they probably want to win at least one game in the Big Ten tournament to feel safe.
  • N.C. State: The Wolfpack landed a convincing win over Syracuse, one that will further solidify their NCAA tournament standing. I don’t want to say definitively that N.C. State is in the NCAA tournament, but with their trio of great wins — Duke, at North Carolina, at Louisville — and their strength of schedule, Mark Gottfried’s club should be able to rest easy on Selection Sunday Eve barring an awful loss in the ACC tournament.
  • Davidson and Boise State: The Wildcats and the Broncos avoided hurting themselves on Saturday. Davidson smacked around Duquesne and Boise beat Fresno State. Those wins don’t help their profiles outside of the fact that losses to sub-200 teams would have been killers. Both are still in the same spot they were at the start of the day: probably in right now, but with work to do to lock themselves into a bid.
  • Colorado State: The Rams won at Utah State, meaning, like Davidson and Boise State, they’re still on the right side of the bubble with work to do.
  • BYU: The Cougars avoided what would have been a disastrous loss to Santa Clara in the WCC semifinals, a loss that they could not afford as one of the teams on the bubble’s cut-line. I still think they need to get to the finals of their conference tournament and, at worst, lose to Gonzaga.
  • Miami: The best thing that you can say about Miami’s win over Virginia Tech is that they didn’t lose to Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes are still on the wrong side of the bubble with some ground to make up in the ACC tournament.
  • Michigan State: I’m not sure if the Spartans were actually in trouble, but winning at Indiana locks up their bid.
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LOSERS

  • Every bubble team: Illinois State upset No. 8 Wichita State, meaning the Redbirds will be playing for the Missouri Valley’s automatic bid. Bid thief!
  • Texas A&M: The Aggies lost to Alabama at home on Saturday, meaning that they are now staring down the barrel of a potential trip to the NIT. The only NCAA tournament team that the Aggies have beaten is LSU, who they swept (and who beat Arkansas today), and while they’re 21-10 on the season, losing to Alabama at home — No. 90 in the RPI — is their worst loss of the season. My opinion of A&M can be read in full right here. I haven’t changed it at all.
  • Ole Miss: The Rebels lost at home to Vanderbilt on Saturday evening, dropping Ole Miss ever closer to the cut line. For now, they’re probably safe, but it means that their margin of error in the SEC tournament is just that much smaller. Also working against the Rebels: three ugly non-conference losses to TCU, Western Kentucky and Charleston Southern.
  • Stanford: The Cardinal were in big trouble entering the day, but the good news was that they were playing at Arizona, meaning they had a terrific chance to land a great win. They didn’t. Arizona blew them out, putting Stanford in a position where they have to either win the automatic bid or beat the Wildcats in the Pac-12 tournament to have a chance.
  • Illinois: The Illini really needed to win at Purdue on Saturday, but despite dominating the first 15 minutes in Mackey Arena, they head back to Champaign knowing they have some work to do in the Big Ten tournament. The Illini have a pair of great wins — Maryland at home and Baylor in a neutral floor — but they’re 5-11 against the top 100 with a loss to Nebraska. I’d have them among the first four out right now.
  • Oklahoma State: The Pokes lost at No. 20 West Virginia, and while that, in and of itself, doesn’t kill the Cowboys, they are now 8-10 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State lost five of their last six games, and while they’re 3-8 against the top 25, they’re 5-1 against the rest of the top 100. The concern? You have to factor all of that in with three sub-100 losses on their resume. I think they’re safe, but I’d strongly recommend winning a game in the Big 12 tournament.
  • Kansas State: The Wildcats had an outside chance of getting an at-large bid, but that went out the window with their loss at Texas on Saturday.
  • Pitt: The Panthers lost to Florida State today. They were already on the wrong side of the bubble, and this ensures that they will need to win the ACC’s automatic bid to go dancing.

Bubble Banter: Why LSU losing is bad news for Texas A&M

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(This post will be updated throughout the night.)

WINNERS

  • Cincinnati: The Bearcats picked up a key road win against American leader Tulsa. Cincinnati had been inching closer to the cut-line over the last couple of weeks, but knocking off Tulsa should give them some breathing room. If Cincinnati wins two more games, they’ll avoid sweating out Selection Sunday. Lose to Memphis this weekend and then fall in the first round of the American tournament, and the Bearcats are going not going to be sleeping well next Saturday night.
  • Michigan State: The Spartans beat Purdue on Wednesday night, shoring up a profile that is not quite as strong as their bracket projection would have you believe. The Spartans have just two top 50 wins, the same number of sub-100 losses they have. The reason they’re safely in for now? Five of their ten losses have come to top ten opponents.
  • Miami: The Hurricanes picked up a nice road win over a Pitt team that is currently ranked in the top 50 — although, at No. 49, not for long — which will help them. But it doesn’t get the Hurricanes over the hump. Miami probably isn’t even one of the first four out right now, and with a road trip to Virginia Tech coming up, there’s nothing else they can do to strengthen their profile before the ACC tournament. They probably need to win two games in the ACC tournament to have a real chance.
  • Boise State and Colorado State: The Broncos and the Rams are both sitting on the right side of the bubble right now, but neither of them are in a position where they can feel comfortable about getting a bid. That’s why it’s a good thing they didn’t lose to
  • UCLA: The best thing you can say about UCLA’s night is that they didn’t lose to USC. The Bruins are still on the outside looking in and they still need to do some things in the Pac-12 tournament.
  • Illinois: The Illini avoided getting tripped up by Nebraska, setting up a massive bubble showdown at Purdue this weekend. Both teams will likely be in the purgatory that is “last four in” and “first four out” heading into that game.
  • Oregon: The Ducks finished their regular season on Wednesday, going into Corvallis and knocking off Oregon State in the Civil War. Oregon is going to be an interesting case on Selection Sunday regardless of what happens in the Pac-12 tournament. Right now, Oregon has nine top 100 wins and 15 top 150 wins, but they have just one elite win out of that group, coming at home against Utah. As long as they avoid an awful loss in the Pac-12 tournament, they should be just fine.
  • Oklahoma State: The Cowboys avoided what would have been a bad loss to TCU on Wednesday. With a number of really good-to-great wins and their four worst losses all coming in true road games, the Pokes are probably a lock by now.

LOSERS

  • LSU: Here’s the funny thing about an RPI scale that changes on a daily basis: as of right now, LSU’s blowout loss at home against Tennessee is the fourth sub-100 loss for the Tigers this season. But a road win over a top 50 team will improve the Vols’ profile, meaning that not only will it no longer be a sub-100 loss, but it will likely mean that LSU will get another top 100 win on their resume thanks to an earlier win over Tennessee. My point here is that sometimes you have to take a deeper look at a team’s profile than the simple grouping of a series of wins. LSU has four wins over tournament caliber teams, three horrid losses against the dregs of the SEC and a bunch of ‘meh’ in between. The good news? The Tigers had some room to work with, as they avoided the play-in games in most projections. The bad news? They’re at Arkansas this weekend, meaning they’re probably going to have to do some work in the SEC tournament to avoid sweating out Selection Sunday.
  • Texas A&M: Someone is going to have to explain to me why Texas A&M is in most bracket projections, because I just don’t get it. The Aggies don’t have any bad losses on their resume — they lost at Alabama and Florida and dropped a game against Kansas State on a neutral court — so let’s just get that out of the way now. They do have a 6-9 record against the top 100, but that number is deceiving because only two of those wins came against the top 75. And, curiously enough, both of those top 75 wins were against an LSU team that is anything but a lock to make the tournament after losing to Tennessee at home tonight. That loss will drop the Tigers back out of the top 50 — which is why A&M is a loser on a night where the didn’t play — meaning that A&M is now in these tournament projections solely because … they have not lost a single game to a “bad” team? That’s it. Because it’s a fact that they have not proven the ability to beat NCAA tournament-caliber teams. And that’s not a recipe that I think deserves an at-large bid.
  • Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane whiffed on a great chance to add a quality win to their profile when they lost to Cincinnati. A trip to SMU this weekend — which also just so happens to be the American title game — is looking more and more like a must-win for this group. For starters, they fall into that same boat that Texas A&M does. They have just two quality wins — both Temple, a borderline tournament team — and only five top 100 wins. Tulsa also lost to Oral Roberts, not to mention the Division II team that beat them. There really isn’t much on this resume to like, which is why it’s imperative to add a top 25 road win and an outright regular season title in a top seven conference.
  • Purdue: Purdue lost at Michigan State on Wednesday, which probably doesn’t hurt them all that much. Road losses to top 50 teams on the road aren’t exactly bad losses. The problem? The Boilermakers are one of those teams that find themselves listed as one of the last four in or the first four out, depending on where you look, and missing out on this kind of win could end up haunting them on Selection Sunday. Winning the Illinois game this weekend is a must, as is avoiding a bad loss in the Big Ten tournament.
  • Pitt: The Panthers lost to Miami on Wednesday, a loss that moves them even further away from the bubble. Barring a beep run in the ACC tournament, the Panthers are probably NIT bound.

STILL TO PLAY

  • Oregon at Oregon State, 11:00 p.m.