Bubble Banter: Georgia lands critical win over No. 23 Florida

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As we will do every day throughout the rest of the season, here is a look at how college basketball’s bubble teams fared on Tuesday night.

It’s worth reminding you here that the way winning are labeled have changed this season. Instead of looking at all top 50 wins equally, the selection committee will be using criteria that breaks wins down into four quadrants, using the RPI:

  • Quadrant 1: Home vs. 1-30, Neutral vs. 1-50, Road vs. 1-75
  • Quadrant 2: Home vs. 31-75, Neutral vs. 51-100, Road vs. 76-135
  • Quadrant 3: Home vs. 76-160, Neutral vs. 101-200, Road vs. 136-240
  • Quadrant 4: Home vs. 161 plus, Neutral vs. 201 plus, Road vs. 240 plus

The latest NBC Sports Bracketology can be found here.

WINNERS

GEORGIA (RPI: 57, KenPom: 69, NBC seed: Next four out): The Bulldogs landed an important win on Tuesday night, picking off Florida (35) at home. That is just a Quadrant 2 win for the Bulldogs, but they already have three Quadrant 1 wins — Saint Mary’s (38) on a neutral, Marquette (46) on the road and Alabama (26) at home — on their résumé. The key for Mark Fox’s club is going to be amassing enough good wins to make up for the fact that they lost to San Diego State (123) on a neutral and at UMass (200). That UMass loss will be one of the worst we see for an at-large team this season.

This win snapped a three game-losing streak. Georgia had also lost five of their last six games. Their next two games, three of their next four and four of their next six games come on the road. The next two — at Mississippi State (63) and Vanderbilt (115) — are wins that Georgia needs to get if they are serious about being a tournament team.

TEXAS A&M (RPI: 33, KenPom: 34, NBC seed: First four out): Texas A&M badly needed to get a win over Arkansas at home on Tuesday night, and not necessarily because they needed it for their résumé. The win is their fourth Quadrant 1 win and the sixth win they have in the top two Quadrants. Combine that with just two losses outside the top 35 — both to LSU (79) — and their excellent non-conference SOS and what you get is a team that has the foundation of an at-large profile. Their problem? They’ve played like crap for a month, losing seven of their last nine games. Five of their next eight games are on the road, and one of those home games is Kentucky. The Aggies needed this because, with a 13-8 record, they couldn’t afford to be stuck in that slump for that much longer.

LOSERS

BUFFALO (RPI: 27, KenPom: 73, NBC seed: 12): Buffalo probably cost themselves just about any chance they have of getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Bulls had a terrific RPI entering the day (27), but that is going to take a dip with a loss at Kent State (174). Buffalo also does not have a win better than Toledo (71) at home. That is their only win against a team in the top 130, and Miami (OH (134) is the highest-ranked team they have left. There was a slim chance that Buffalo would be able to get an at-large if they had won out. They didn’t win out.

OKLAHOMA STATE (RPI: 87, KenPom: 68, NBC seed: Out): Oklahoma State missed out on a chance to earn another Quadrant 1 win at home when they lost to TCU (22) on Tuesday. The Cowboys are now 13-9 on the season, and while there are no bad losses to their name, two of their next three games are at Kansas and at West Virginia. At this point, OK State is going to be pulled out of contention until they string together a few wins.

ARKANSAS (RPI: 21, KenPom: 47, NBC seed: 9): Losing on the road to Texas A&M is hardly a bad loss for the Razorbacks, but for a team with just one road win, adding one against a top 40 opponent would have been nice. As it stands, this doesn’t hurt Arkansas as much as it cost them a chance to put themselves into a much more comfortable position.