Ole Miss Big Winner Among Tuesday's Bubble Watch Teams; Michigan State Too
Who were tonight’s winners and losers on Bubble Watch?
Ole Miss (beat Missouri 60-53): The Rebels are being just that down the stretch of the season. Tonight’s win over Missouri gives Ole Miss a sweep of the Tigers, another Quad 1 win, and continues their late-season push for a berth. Ole Miss is now 13-9 (8-7 in SEC) and has won four of their last five games. They finish with Vanderbilt and Kentucky to boost their resume.
UConn (beat Georgetown 70-55): Depending on what Bracketologist you reference, the Huskies are either one the last teams in or first teams out. This was a must-win over a Hoya squad that had won two in a row and was playing its best ball of the season. James Bouknight and RJ Cole combined for 28 second-half points in an important Huskies win. The two teams will meet again in the regular-season finale on March 6.
VCU (beat St. Louis 67-65): The Rams stayed atop the Atlantic-10 standings and solidified their resume with two late free throws in their home win over the Billikens. Adrian Baldwin made four free throws in the final minute, including two with 4.7 seconds for VCU. The Rams fell to an 11-seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest ESPN Bracketology, but this will help keep them in the field.
Georgia Tech (beat Virginia Tech 69-53): Moses Wright scored 26 points as Georgia Tech stayed in Bubble Watch consideration with a Quad 1 road win over Virginia Tech. The Hokies were coming off a pause and it showed in the second half when they were outscored 45-29. This was Coach Pastner’s squad's fourth Quad 1 win (Clemson, FSU, and UNC). Georgia Tech is 12-8 with games against Syracuse, Duke, and Wake Forest left.
Richmond (beat UMass 79-65): The Spiders are a senior-laden team and that experience paid off in its win over UMass. Blake Francis had 20 points for Richmond, who could ill-afford a bad loss.
Michigan State (beat Illinois 81-72): The Spartans haven’t been on any Bracketologist radar until tonight. They now have a 6-9 record in Quad 1 and 2 games and three Quad 1 wins. Oh, and they have resume-enhancer opportunities against Ohio State and Michigan twice left on their schedule. Sparty and Coach Izzo aren’t making golfing plans yet.
St. Louis (lost to VCU 67-65): St. Louis had pre-season hype and a strong start (7-1), but are now only 4-4 following a long pause. They fell to 11-5 overall and are falling further out of favor for a bid. They were in the Next Four Out grouping in the latest Bracketology.
St. John’s (lost to Villanova 81-58): A sweep of Villanova would have elevated St. John’s resume. It wasn’t meant to be. Villanova started strong and never looked back. The Red Storm fell to 14-10 (8-9 in Big East) and have to wait over a week before getting back in action against Providence.
Wednesday’s Important Games: Indiana/Rutgers; St. Bonaventure/Dayton; Seton Hall/Butler; and UNC/Marquette.