Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pre Weekend Bubble Roundup

After a lot of NCAA Bubble-relevant games the last few days, its worth taking a look at which teams made significant strides or falls during the week as we head into the weekend:

Up off the bubble? (teams closer to becoming a lock)

Syracuse: Back to back wins against L'Ville and Monday against West Virginia now get them over .500 in the Big East and an RPI at 30. If they go 2-1 in their final 3, I think they're a lock.

Michigan: Win over Illinois Tuesday assures them at least .500 conference record and a big RPI move. Looking really good.

Kentucky: Hard to tell how important the three wins in a row against SEC also-rans will be. The next three games could be a mess (@LSU, @Tenn, Fla). Lose all three and Kentucky will be sweating on Selection Sunday. One win in those games combined with a tourney win should be enough though.

Down off the bubble? (teams that may have played themselves out of any shot)

Seton Hall: Losses to Notre Dame and now to St. John's back to back may have done them in. With an RPI at 52, they may be able to play themselves back in.

Maryland: Loss at FSU may have been an elimination game. They'll have to pull at least one upset to get to .500 in conference. With a lot of other ACC teams moving up, Maryland is in big trouble.

Up on the bubble? (teams that might now get some consideration)

Arkansas: There may be RPI issues, but they've almost guaranteed themselves a .500+ record in the SEC with recent wins against Florida and Alabama.

Texas A & M: 4 wins in a row now, the latest at Missouri. Everyone keeps looking for a fourth Big XII team, and if aTm finishes fourth in the conference with an RPI around 50, they'll be it.

Bradley: Crushed Northern Iowa last night and now there are 6 MVC teams seriously in the mix. While I don' t think there's a chance the conference gets 6 in, I think it more likely that Bradley may take Southern Illinois' spot.

Down on the bubble? (teams that are no longer locks)

West Virginia: While they're kind of a sexy pick with great white hopes of Pittsnogle and Gansey (and his T-shirt) and last year's run, they've now lost three straight and have an RPI at 33. With L'ville, Pitt and Cincy to finish out the year, the Mountaneers may not want to get too comfortable.


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