Saturday, March 13, 2010

Road to Selection Sunday

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. 

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