For the first time in two years, Selection Sunday is now one day away.
The past 36 hours have helped shape the Bubble Watch focus to a few games and teams. Here’s what you need to know heading into today’s slate of semifinal and championship games.
We have listed Friday’s winners, those now waiting in the clubhouse, and the four bid stealers who have an opportunity to win their way into the field by winning their conference tournament.
FRIDAY’S BUBBLE WATCH WINNERS
There were three clear winners from Friday’s slate - Utah State and the first two teams who are not selected into the field of 68 late Sunday afternoon!
Why, because of the positive Covid-19 tests within the Virginia and Kansas programs. The general thought around college basketball is that both will be included in the field. However, if they cannot participate, it’s possible that the teams that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee list as the first two teams out could wind up playing in Indianapolis.
But let’s focus on the court for this Bubble Watch post.
Utah State (19-7, 16-4; NCAA NET: 34): Beat Colorado State 72-60
Mountain West Championship Game - San Diego State - 6:00 pm - CBS
Neemias Queta was one block shy of a triple-double in leading the Aggies to the Mountain West Championship game and all but sealing an NCAA Tournament berth in what was a virtual play-in game against Colorado State. Quetta finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds, and nine blocks. They play San Diego State and a win most definitely gets them off the Bubble into the field.
Wichita State (14-4, 12-2; NCAA NET: 64): Beat USF 68-67
AAC Semifinals - Cincinnati - 3:00 pm - ESPN2
Tyson Etienne’s free throws with 8.9 seconds left advanced the Shockers into the AAC semifinals today. Wichita State would greatly help their cause with a win today over Cincinnati. Further proof of that point, the Shockers fell two spots in the NCAA NET ranking despite Friday’s win.
Memphis (16-7, 12-4; NCAA NET: 52): Beat UCF 70-62
AAC Semifinals - Houston - 5:30 pm ESPN2
Memphis outlasted UCF behind 17 points from DJ Jeffries. The Tigers now get a HUGE resume-enhancing opportunity against Houston. Memphis lost to Houston on a half-court heave last Sunday to close the regular season. Today is a must-win game for Penny Hardaway and crew.
WAITING IN THE CLUBHOUSE:
These teams have lost in their conference tournament ending their regular season. Their fate now lies in the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee's hands. Some are safer than others to hear their names called Selection Sunday.
FRIDAY’S BUBBLE WATCH LOSERS:
Maryland (15-13, 10-12; NCAA NET: 33): Lost to Michigan 79-66 Friday
Seton Hall (14-13, 10-10; NCAA NET: 53): Lost to Georgetown 66-58 Friday
SMU (11-5, 7-5; NCAA NET: 65): Lost to Cincinnati 74-71 Friday
Ole Miss (16-11, 11-9; NCAA NET: 53): Lost to LSU 76-73 Friday
Colorado State (17-6, 15-5; NCAA NET: 51): Lost to Utah State 72-60 Friday
Michigan State (15-12, 9-12; NCAA NET: 70): Lost to Maryland Thursday
Syracuse (16-9, 10-8; NCAA NET: 40): Lost to Virginia Thursday
Xavier (13-8, 6-8; NCAA NET: 59): Lost to Butler Wednesday
St. John’s (16-11, 10-10; NCAA NET: 69): Lost to Seton Hall Thursday
Boise State (17-8, 14-7; NCAA NET: 50): Lost to Nevada Thursday
Drake (23-4, 15-3; NCAA NET: 49)
Saint Louis (14-6, 6-4; NCAA NET: 45)
POTENTIAL BID STEALERS:
Finally, these teams need to win their conference tournament to hear their name called on Selection Sunday. If they happen to do that, the Bubble Watch teams noted above will NOT be happy as they will be stealing a bid from someone. The teams we have listed have reached the quarterfinals or semifinals of their tournament and need to win the title to grab the automatic bid.
AAC - Cincinnati (vs Wichita State) and Memphis (vs Houston)
Big East - Georgetown (vs Creighton)
Pac 12 - Oregon State (vs Colorado)