Bubble Banter: Rhode Island, Middle Tennessee and bid thieves

AP Photo/John Minchillo
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The latest NBC Sports bracketology can be found here. This post will be updated throughout the day.

WINNERS

Rhode Island (RPI: 40, KenPom: 52, first four out): The Rams got the win that they needed to get on Saturday afternoon, knocking off Davidson to advance to the finals of the Atlantic 10 tournament. The problem? URI has not done enough in this tournament to vault themselves past the teams that are already in front of them in the bubble pecking order. I think they need the automatic bid if they want to get into the tournament, and they’ll have a shot to get it tomorrow.

Middle Tennessee (RPI: 36, KenPom: 47, No. 11 seed): Middle is no longer on the bubble. They now are proud owners of Conference USA’s automatic bid. I guess that means the rest of the bubble are the real winners here.

LOSERS

Vanderbilt (RPI: 36, KenPom: 31, No. 10 seed): The Commodores lost to Arkansas in the second SEC semifinal, a loss that means they are going to have to set a record for the most losses for an at-large team if they are going to get into the tournament. I think that they will. Given the wins that they have — including a three-game sweep of Florida — and the schedule they played, my guess is Bryce Drew’s inaugural season in Nashville will end in the NCAA tournament.