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Bubble Banter: A lot of bubble teams helped themselves on Wednesday night

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February is here!

And now that we are nearly halfway through conference play, it is time for us to get fully invested in the “who’s-in-who’s-out” discussion. Bubble Banter has never been more important!

Some quick housekeeping before we dive into it:

  • This page will be updated throughout the night. 
  • We’ll update them best that we can, but the NET rankings will be accurate through Tuesday morning. 
  • If you see something we missed, if you have an issue with a team we left out or if you want to congratulate us on a job well done, drop a comment below or hit us up here: @RobDauster.
  • On Monday, our Dave Ommen released an updated bracket. It is the only bracket you need to be up to date on. 

Onto Tuesday’s action.

WINNERS

TEMPLE (NET: 53, SOS: 39): The Owls blew out UConn on Wednesday, a good win because they couldn’t afford to take that loss. The win over Houston (7) is still really the only thing buoying Temple’s resume, but it is worth noting that road trips to South Florida, Memphis and UConn are all, as of today, Q1 games.

TEXAS (NET: 41, SOS: 4): The Longhorns snapped Baylor’s six-game winning streak, picking off the Bears by 12 in Austin on Wednesday night. I know that this team is 13-10 on the year and just 5-5 in league play with home losses to VCU, Providence and VCU and road losses to Oklahoma State and Georgia, but I still think Texas is actually fairly safe as of today. They beat North Carolina on a neutral, Purdue and Kansas in Austin and Kansas State on the road. There aren’t a lot of teams that can boast wins like that.

CLEMSON (NET: 50, SOS: 30): Clemson is one of those teams that is probably better than their resume says. They are 0-6 in Q1 games, but they do have four Q2 wins and their two Q2 losses — to Nebraska at home and Creighton on a neutral — came when those two teams were healthy. The Tigers have no bad losses, but they don’t have any good wins. They will have chances, however: Virginia Tech (11), at Louisville (15), Florida State (29), North Carolina (8) and Syracuse (47) are still on their schedule. They probably want to win three of those to really feel comfortable.

ALABAMA (NET: 45, SOS: 12): The Tide held serve at home against Georgia, which only matters in the sense that it was a Q3 games and Alabama already has two Q3 losses. They’re in good shape, however. The win over Kentucky is going to hold serious weight on Selection Sunday, and a 6-1 mark in Q2 games is a byproduct of playing a tough schedule.

LIPSCOMB (NET: 32, SOS: 216): If Lipscomb can win out and they lose to Liberty (54) in the Atlantic Sun title game, they’ll have a very real shot at getting an at-large bid. Their worst loss came home to archrival Belmont, and they have wins at TCU (37), at Liberty by 20 and at SMU(115). Things like Nebraska going in the tank and the Big East looking more and more like a three-bid league will only help.

DAVIDSON (NET: 61, SOS: 108): After a win over Rhode Island, the Wildcats will have an interesting case for an at-large bd should they not win the Atlantic 10 tournament. At it currently stands, they are 17-5 on the season with a 4-3 record against the top two quadrants but without a win in two tries against Q1 opponents. They also have a pair of Q3 losses to their name, but it’s important to note here that they lost three out of four games when the best player in the Atlantic 10 — Kellan Grady — was out injured. The biggest issue they are going to face is that they only play one top 100 NET team the rest of the year, and that’s Dayton (95) at home, a Q3 game. The Atlantic 10 might as well be the CAA this year.

VCU (NET: 49, SOS: 38): VCU won at George Washington on Wednesday. The Rams have a very similar resume to Davidson, the only difference is that they currently own a road win against Texas (41). And like Davidson, the Rams just don’t have anything worthwhile left on their schedule.

TCU (NET: 37, SOS: 22): The Horned Frogs kept themselves from falling further away from safety by holding serve against Oklahoma State at home. They head to Iowa State on Saturday and host Kansas next Monday.

LOSERS

NEBRASKA (NET: 34, SOS: 92): The slump continues. The Cornhuskers lost their sixth straight game on Wednesday night. They are now 12-10 overall and 3-9 in the Big Ten. They still get Purdue twice and have to play Michigan and Michigan State on the road, meaning that if they turn this around, there are plenty of chances there to get quality wins, but that is a monstrous ‘if’.

CREIGHTON (NET: 58, SOS: 9): The Bluejays missed on an absolutely golden opportunity to cash in on a marquee win on Wednesday night, as they lost at No. 14 Villanova in overtime. Creighton missed two free throws that would have given them the lead with 37 seconds left in regulation and followed that up by missing a shot at the buzzer that would have won the game. As of today, Creighton has just a 1-8 mark against Q1 opponents, and the one win is a neutral court win over Clemson, which will only remain Q1 if they stay in the top 50 of NET. They are currently No. 50. At this point, I think Creighton has to win at Seton Hall and at Marquette to have any chance of getting an at-large bid.

BAYLOR (NET: 31, SOS: 71): The Bears had their six-game losing streak snapped at Texas (41). That’s survivable, but it has to be noted that the Bears have a slimmer margin for error due to the fact that they have a pair of horrific losses to Texas Southern (226) and Stephen F. Austin (289) at home.

Nike ‘working to identify issue’ that caused Zion Williamson’s shoe to blow out

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Nike released a statement on Thursday saying that they are “working to identify the issue” that caused the left shoe of Duke star Zion Williamson to burst open, leading to the 285 pound freshman to slip and injure his right knee.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

The injury was termed a “mild knee sprain” by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski after the game.

“The knee is stable,” he added. “We don’t know how long he’ll be out.”

Nike stock dropped 1% the morning after the incident.

No. 1 Duke lost 88-72 to No. 8 North Carolina at home on Wednesday evening after the injury, which occurred just 30 seconds into the game.

Dan Patrick Show: Should Zion Williamson end Duke career after knee injury?

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Duke’s Zion Williamson faces a tough decision following a scary knee injury against North Carolina: try and return for March Madness or rest up for the NBA.

DAUSTER | Zion should do whatever makes him happy

Dan Patrick Show: Nike stock drops after Zion shoe incident

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After Zion Williamson blew out his shoe, Nike stock dropped a full one percent the morning after.

Bracketology: The Zion Williamson factor for Duke

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The pertinent question this morning is the health of Zion Williamson.  Foremost, because he’s an exceptional talent and life is bigger than basketball.

The secondary component is how his injury impacts Duke – both on the court and, subsequently, the Blue Devils’ standing on the Seed List.

If last night were the eve of Selection Sunday, the Committee would be forced to make a tough decision: evaluating Duke while Zion’s future availability is unknown.

Since a decision related to today’s bracket had to be made quickly in the wee hours of the morning with little information, Duke stays put, largely because the Blue Devils own a season sweep of Virginia, and two of its losses occurred with less than a full roster.

Once we know more about Zion’s status, further review will ensue.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 21, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
SOUTH REGION Temple vs. Alabama
MIDWEST REGION UCF vs. Utah State
EAST REGION ST. FRANCIS (PA) vs. CANISIUS
WEST REGION NORFOLK ST vs. PRAIRIE VIEW

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                   
Columbia Columbus
1) DUKE 1) Virginia
16) ST. FRANCIS / CANISIUS 16) LEHIGH
8) Ole Miss 8) Auburn
9) Ohio State 9) WOFFORD
Jacksonville Salt Lake City
5) Iowa State 5) Maryland
12) BELMONT 12) Temple / Alabama
4) LSU 4) Texas Tech
13) OLD DOMINION 13) LIBERTY
Hartford Hartford
6) Louisville 6) Villanova
11) Florida 11) VCU
3) MARQUETTE 3) Purdue
14) YALE 14) TEXAS STATE
Des Moines Columbus
7) BUFFALO 7) Cincinnati
10) Texas 10) TCU
2) Michigan 2) Kentucky
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) NORTHERN KENTUCKY
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Columbia
1) GONZAGA 1) TENNESSEE
16) PR VIEW / NORFOLK ST 16) SAM HOUSTON ST
8) Baylor 8) St. John’s
9) Minnesota 9) Syracuse
San Jose San Jose
5) Florida State 5) KANSAS STATE
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) UCF / Utah State
4) NEVADA 4) Wisconsin
13) HOFSTRA 13) VERMONT
Tulsa Tulsa
6) Virginia Tech 6) Iowa
11) Seton Hall 11) Arizona State
3) Kansas 3) HOUSTON
14) UC-IRVINE 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Des Moines Jacksonville
7) WASHINGTON 7) Mississippi State
10) NC State 10) Oklahoma
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) North Carolina
15) MONTANA 15) RADFORD

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
TCU Temple Clemson Nebraska
Seton Hall UCF Georgetown UNC-Greensboro
Arizona State Utah State Butler Lipscomb
Florida Alabama Furman Dayton

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia, Tennessee, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): KANSAS STATE, Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, TCU

SEC (8): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple, UCF

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (1): WOFFORD

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Canisius (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Liberty (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Report: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim hits, kills pedestrian on highway

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Jim Boeheim struck and killed a pedestrian walking outside of his car on I-690 on Wednesday night, just hours after his Syracuse Orange beat No. 18 Louisville at the Carrier Dome.

The man — identified as 51-year old Jorge Jimenez of Syracuse — was in a car with four other people that lost control on the highway, struck a guard rail and came to rest in the middle of the road, according to police. At some point, he got out of the car and was walking along the highway, which is when Boeheim hit him as he tried to avoid the disabled vehicle, which was in the road.

“I am heartbroked that a member of our community died as a result of last night’s accident,” Boeheim said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. “Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”

The incident occurred at 11:22 p.m. ET.

Boeheim remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. He was given a field sobriety test at the scene and police determined that he was not impaired at the time. Speeds could not be determined, according to police, but Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick told WSYR that Boeheim was driving at the proper speed for a highway.

“We are saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community,” Syracuse AD Jim Wildhack said. “On behalf of Chancellor Kent Syverud and the entire Syracuse University community, we extend our deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragic accident. Coach Boeheim is in contact with local authorities and cooperating fully. Out of respect for those grieving, there will be no further comment at this time.”