What an interesting day for bubble teams across the country. The bad news was that Nevada and Xavier lost in their respective conference tournaments. With both of those teams likely (the Musketeers are not a lock, but they should get in) to get an at-large bid, two spots just got snatched up from the Field of 65. Overall, though, it was a moving day for bubble teams. Several teams that were on the bubble going into Friday added to their profile for the Big Dance with key wins, while others lost games they needed to win in order to get a bid. Let's take a look at who helped their chances for an invitation and whose hopes took a hit in their quest for a bid.
Teams that helped themselves:
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs picked up a must-win over Kentucky in overtime. Late mistakes by UK cost the Wildcats. Arkansas up next for MSU.
Purdue: The Boilermakers couldn’t lose in the quarterfinals to Iowa, and they didn’t. A win over Ohio State tomorrow could potentially clinch a bid.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks are starting to look better and better after their late win over Vanderbilt. Huge semi-final game against Mississippi State Saturday.
Kansas State: The Wildcats needed to make a statement against Texas Tech on Friday, and they did—with a 21-point win. A win over Kansas will get them in.
Oklahoma State: Look who’s back in the mix. The Cowboys got a last-second win over Texas A&M to advance to the semis. Need to beat Texas on Saturday.
Illinois: The Fighting Illini might have nearly cemented a bid with their overtime win over Indiana. Another shot to impress the committee against Wisconsin.
Mississippi: The Rebels are another SEC West team making a run. Blowout of LSU gives them a shot at beating Florida and looking good for a bid.
Teams that hurt themselves:
Florida State: The Seminoles simply didn’t look good against North Carolina. The loss puts them at 5-12 against the Top 50—that won’t cut it.
Michigan: The Wolverines had a third chance to beat Ohio State and move into good shape for a bid, and they blew it. They are headed to the NIT.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders likely will sweat on Selection Sunday after their 21-point loss to Kansas State. I still think Tech gets in the Dance, though.
Georgia: The Bulldogs had a chance to put themselves in position for a bid against Florida, but they looked awful from the start and will go to the NIT.
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