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.