Bubble Banter: Is Butler in trouble after losing to Georgetown?

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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.

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

ARKANSAS (RPI: 34, KenPom: 45, NBC seed: 9): The Razorbacks landed another Quadrant 2 win on Tuesday, picking off Ole Miss on the road and solidifying a resume that already looks like it will be enough to get them into the tournament. They’ve won three in a row and six of their last eight, including a 3-6 marks against Quadrant 1 and three more Quadrant 2 wins. Their stretch run is brutal: Texas A&M, Kentucky, at Alabama, Auburn, at Missouri. Those are all Quadrant 1 games, so going 2-3 should get it done.

NEBRASKA (RPI: 54, KenPom: 52, NBC seed: Out): The Huskers are now 20-8 on the season and 11-4 in the Big Ten after beating Maryland at home on Tuesday. Here’s the problem: Maryland (61) is just Nebraska’s fourth Quadrant 2 win of the season. They don’t have a Quadrant 1 win on the year. The rest of their schedule: at Illinois (184), Indiana (109), Penn State (86). None of those are even Quadrant 2 games. The Huskers need to win out and get some work done in the Big Ten tournament.

ST. BONAVENTURE (RPI: 42, KenPom: 68, NBC seed: First four out): The Bonnies beat La Salle tonight, which they absolutely needed to do because, at this point, they cannot afford another bad loss. St. Bonaventure has now won seven in a row, but the lack of strength at the top of the Atlantic 10 means that the Bonnies have just three Quadrant 1 wins and a 6-4 mark against the top two quadrants. They’ve also lost a Quadrant 3 and Quadrant 4 game. If they win out — which includes Friday against Rhode Island (5) they’ll be dancing.

LOSERS

BUTLER (RPI: 41, KenPom: 20, NBC seed: 10): The Bulldogs took a bad loss on Tuesday night, their first bad loss of the season, when Georgetown picked them off in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Now if we’re being fair, Georgetown is a better team right now than their RPI would indicate, but the numbers don’t care about that. Butler is just 3-8 against Quadrant 1 teams and now has a Quadrant 3 loss to their name. They are still in pretty good shape, and a 2-2 finish to the season — Providence, Creighton, at St. John’s, at Seton Hall — will probably be enough to get it done. But they have to turn this around. They’ve now lost three in a row.

LSU (RPI: 85, KenPom: 66, NBC seed: Last four in): The committee proved to us that they value quality wins. The Tigers have quality wins. They are 5-5 against Quadrant 1 opponents. They’re also 14-11 on the season after losing at Alabama on Tuesday. At some point, they have to stop losing games.