Bubble Banter: Thursday’s bracket relevant games

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If you missed it earlier, you can find the latest NBC Sports Bracketology update right here

Here, you can find a look at what each of tonight’s bubblelicious results means for the big picture:

WINNERS

ARIZONA STATE (NET: 61, SOS: 63): The Sun Devils managed to remain somewhat relevant in the bubble conversation by finding a way to survive Arizona in overtime. They are currently 3-1 in Q1 games with wins over Kansas, Mississippi State and Utah State while improving to 4-3 in Q2 games thanks to this win. The negatives? They lost at Vanderbilt (114), at Stanford (117) and to Utah (85) and Princeton (170) at home. There are much worse resumes in the discussion right now.

WOFFORD (NET: 31, SOS: 118): The Terriers took care of business on the road on Thursday night, knocking off Mercer to win their ninth straight game and remain undefeated in a really good SoCon. There are some bullets to dodge down the stretch — at East Tennessee State (73), at Furman (78(, UNCG (51) — but this is a winnable league. With a resume that includes a win at South Carolina and four losses to tournament teams (UNC at home, roadies against Kansas, Mississippi State and Oklahoma) this is a team firmly in the bubble conversation.

UCF (NET: 42, SOS: 102): The Knights knocked off UConn on Thursday, which frankly doesn’t do all that much to help. This is a team that has played just one Q1 game — losing by 20 at Memphis (59) — and has not played a single team in the top 40 of NET. They’ve lost at Missouri (92), at Wichita State (133) and at home against FAU (175), a Q4 loss. I don’t understand why they are in so many bracket projections right now. The good news is that they have five more chances to land Q1 wins — Houston twice, Cincinnati twice and at Temple. They’ll need at least two of those, if not more.

BELMONT (NET: 68, SOS: 109): Blowing out SEMO help Belmont because it’s not a loss to SEMO. The Bruins actually have better wins that most of the other mid-majors in contention — Lipscomb (39) both home and away, at Murray State (49), at UCLA (89) — but they were also swept by Jacksonville State (134) and lost at Green Bay (217).

LOSERS

TEMPLE (NET: 58, SOS: 30): The Owls whiffed on their last chance to land a marquee win during the regular season, as they went into Houston and got dropped by the Cougars (8), 73-66. The Owls are now 1-4 in Q1 games with a 4-1 mark against Q2 and a home loss to Penn (83) for a Q3 loss. All things considered, it could be worse, but as of today, there is only one more chance for Fran Dunphy’s crew to pick up a Q1 win the rest of the way — at Memphis (59). Their margin for error does not exist.

MURRAY STATE (NET: 49, SOS: 293): Those of us that are hoping to see the Racers play in the NCAA tournament so we can get a front row seat to the Ja Morant show were dealt a major blow on Thursday night: The Racers were smacked around by Jacksonville State (who quietly might be the best team in the OVC) to lose their second game in the last three. With an 0-4 record against Q1 and Q2 opponents and no wins against teams ranked in the top 148 of NET, it’s looking like the Racers are destined for an autobid or bust season.

ARIZONA (NET: 66, SOS: 78): The Wildcats lost their third straight road game on Thursday, falling in overtime at Arizona State in what could have been their second Q1 win of the season. The good news for Arizona is that they don’t really have any terrible losses. Losing at USC and UCLA are not exactly resume-killers. The issue is that they are 1-4 against Q1 opponents and just 2-4 in Q2 games. Three wins against the top two Qs is not going to send them to the tournament. The Wildcats now have a week to prep for Washington, who they get at home. It’s their only regular season meeting. That might as well be a play-in game. Lose, and I don’t know how the Wildcats will be able to do enough to put together an at-large resume.