Bubble Banter: Will the Pac-12’s bubble picture gain some clarity?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
0 Comments

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 Thursday.

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

UTAH (RPI: 42, KenPom: 59, NBC seed: Next four out): The Utes continued their steady climb closer and closer to the bubble with a home win over UCLA on Thursday night. The downside here is that UCLA isn’t even a tournament team at this point, and that the lack of power at the top of the Pac-12 has resulted in a total lack of quality wins for the Utes in league play. But they’ve won five in a row and eight out of ten with two winnable home games left. With just two Quadrant 1 wins and a Quadrant 3 loss, I think that Utah still needs to find a way to beat one of the Arizona teams in the Pac-12 tournament if they are serious about vaulting some of the teams in front of them.

LOSERS

WASHINGTON (RPI: 55, KenPom: 99, NBC seed: Play-in game): The Huskies got smoked at Stanford tonight, meaning that since their sweep of the Arizona schools three weeks ago, they’ve now lost four of their last five games with their only win coming against Colorado at home. The worst part is that none of the three games left on their schedule can really help them. They can only hurt themselves with a loss. If the committee does decide factor in KenPom rankings, Washington is sitting at 99th.

UCLA (RPI: 50, KenPom: 54, NBC seed: First four out): The Bruins missed on a golden chance to add another Quadrant 1 win on Thursday when they lost at Utah. The good news — or bad news, depending on how you look at UCLA’s ability on the road — is that they do have another Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2 game left on their schedule with trips to Colorado and USC. I think they need to win them both.