After a crazy Thursday in which teams played themselves out of the NCAA Tournament at seemingly every turn, Friday saw several teams attempt to send a message to the Selection Committee that they belong in the Big Dance. There were a multitude of bubble teams in action on Friday, and it was a make-or-break day for a variety of teams and their NCAA Tournament chances. Several teams that were on the bubble going into Friday had a chance to add a key win to their profile for the Big Dance, while others have already 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.
Bubble teams trying to play themselves into the NCAA Tournament:
Illinois: The Fighting Illini needed a win over Wisconsin to help their hopes, and they knocked off the Badgers. Plenty of good wins on the resume.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets were in okay shape, but a win over Maryland might have locked up a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Minnesota: They aren’t in just yet, but the Golden Gophers’ victory over Michigan State gets them one step closer to an at-large bid.
San Diego State: A second win over New Mexico could have been the victory that gets the Aztecs into the NCAA Tournament.
Rhode Island: While the Rams still need a win over Temple in the semifinals, handling Saint Louis on Friday afternoon was impressive.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs finally beat a good SEC East team, dominating Florida early and then holding on late. Need to beat Vandy.
Washington: With Arizona State already out, the Huskies are the Pac-10’s only shot at a second bid. They did their part by beating Stanford.
Bubble teams not helping their NCAA Tournament case:
Virginia Tech: The Hokies were thought to be in good shape, but a loss to Miami (Fl.) on Friday brings their awful SOS back into question.
Florida: The Gators could still be fine, but a win over Mississippi State would have locked up a bid. Now they have to wait and see.
Dayton: The Flyers are headed to the NIT after losing yet another close game, this time blowing a lead against Xavier. Disappointing season.
Mississippi: The Rebels now have little shot at getting a bid after losing to Tennessee. After their start this season, this is not what they expected.
Saint Louis: The Billikens had a slim shot going in, and they needed to make a run to the title game. However, they lost to Rhode Island on Friday.