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 Monday.
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.
ST. BONAVENTURE (RPI: 23, KenPom: 68, NBC seed: 11): The Bonnies pushed their winning streak to 11 games with a win in a 117-113, triple-overtime thriller at home against Davidson. I think the Bonnies might have been able to survive this loss — Davidson has been much better of late — but given where they currently are in the bubble pecking order and the fact that there are fewer quality wins available in their league than in just about any other league with a bubble team, the Bonnies could very well end up in a position where they get jumped by a bunch of teams below them that get hot. Better not to risk it.
BAYLOR (RPI: 58, KenPom: 29, NBC seed: First four out): The Bears shook off a two-game losing streak to mollywhop Oklahoma at home on Tuesday. I still think Baylor is on the right side of the bubble as of today, but beating Kansas State in Manhattan on Saturday is paramount. That would be a fifth Quadrant 1 win and just their third win on the road.
MISSOURI (RPI: 40, KenPom: 42, NBC seed: 9): Missouri had lost three in a row before they headed to Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, and thanks for a monster performance from Jontay Porter, the Tigers avoided what would have been a disastrous loss. At this point, I think that the Tigers are a lock for the dance.
FLORIDA (RPI: 47, KenPom: 25, NBC seed: 7): I’ve seen some talk about Florida being on the bubble this week. They may have 11 losses, but let me be very clear: They. Are. Not. On. The. Bubble. If they beat Kentucky at home and make a run in the SEC tournament, we could be looking at, what, a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament if they beat the right teams?
ALABAMA (RPI: 54, KenPom: 55, NBC seed: 8): So let’s talk about Alabama. The Crimson Tide lost their fourth straight game on Tuesday night. They are now 17-13 on the season and 8-9 in the SEC, and they still have to go play at Texas A&M on Saturday. But they also have five Quadrant 1 wins and an 11-12 record against the top two Quadrants. That’s a lot of games against good teams, and they’ve beaten some good teams: Rhode Island, Auburn, Tennessee. They need to win some more games — at Texas A&M and a first round game in the SEC tournament should do it — but even with all those losses, I think they are in decent shape.
OKLAHOMA (RPI: 37, KenPom: 46, NBC seed: 10): If you thought the Sooners were back after beating Kansas State, you were wrong. Oklahoma went into Waco on Tuesday and got dropped by 23 points in a game they were never in. For those scoring at home, that’s now seven losses in their last eight games and 10 losses in the last 13 games for the Fighting Trae Youngs. The Sooners still have those six Quadrant 1 wins, and of their 12 losses, none of them are bad losses. They have Iowa State has home in their season finale and then head to the Big 12 tournament. With a 17-12 mark and a 7-10 league, I think they need two wins to really feel good.
KANSAS STATE (RPI: 63, KenPom: 47, NBC seed: 10): The Wildcats fell at TCU on Tuesday night, which is far from a bad loss this year. But they’ve now lost two games in a row and won’t have a chance to add a fourth Quadrant 1 win until the Big 12 tournament. The big concern for K-State at this point is that their non-conference SOS is just so bad.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (RPI: 68, KenPom: 59, NBC seed: First four out): The Bulldogs missed out on their best chance to add an elite win the rest of the season as they lost at home to Tennessee by 22 points. With just a trip to LSU left on their schedule, I think the Bulldogs — who only have two Quadrant 1 wins and just two road wins on the season — need to win three more games to really have a chance.