Bubble Banter: It’s a quiet night on the bubble

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

LOSERS

UNC Wilmington (RPI: 36, KenPom: 55, No. 11 seed): The Seahawks lost at home on Thursday night, falling to Charleston, a good CAA program but a loss that is not going to be flattering on a tournament profile that already borders on being at-large worthy. At this point, I would strongly recommend to Kevin Keatts that his team win the CAA automatic bid, because I have a feeling they will not like the outcome of Selection Sunday otherwise. Their computer numbers are going to go down playing in the CAA. The rest of the bubble is going to see their numbers increase playing in stronger conferences.

Utah (RPI: 69, KenPom: 40, bubble): The Utes are in big trouble now. Why? Because it’s February 3rd and they have just a single top 100 win. That came against USC. Now, to be fair, the Utes took the majority of their losses without David Collette and Sedrick Barefield available. But they also lost to Santa Clara, their worst loss of the season, with those two available. I’d strongly recommend winning at Oregon later this month.

WINNERS

Valparaiso (RPI: 61, KenPom: 92, No. 12 seed): Like UNCW, Valpo is in a position where they are currently on the bubble but can only hurt their profile the rest of the way. I’m not sure they can get an at-large bid if they don’t win out during the regular season, but they do have wins over Rhode Island, Alabama and BYU, all of whom are pretty good teams.

Cal (RPI: 46, KenPom: 58, last four in): Cal added another top 100 win to their résumé on Thursday as they knocked off Utah in double-overtime. This was big, because the Golden Bears have a fairly weak schedule down the stretch. They play just two more top 50 teams – at Arizona and Oregon at home. They probably need to win at least one of those two games to have a chance.