It was a slow night as far as bubble action is concerned, but there were a few games of importance. Let’s take a look:
POP THE BUBBLY
It may not be time or age appropriate for the Bearcats to start popping bottles, but after last night’s home victory over Louisville, coach Mick Cronin may have to take a couple sips for the team. The huge 60-56 victory doesn’t promise Cincinnati a bid or get them completely off the bubble, but it puts them in pretty decent shape, which is much more than could be said yesterday. However, even at a 10-5 Big East clip, Cincinnati cannot afford to flop in their last three road games, all potential Ls.
Alabama got a much needed road victory at Arkansas to get them over .500 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide has been inconsistent and unspectacular this season, but if they can win two of their last three regular season games and avoid a first round exit in the SEC tournament, they should be able to rest easy the night before Selection Sunday.
St. Mary’s, California, and Arizona all did what they were supposed to do and beat overmatched competition, last night. The Gaels look to be in good shape for an at-large bid, regardless of what happens down the stretch, though their seed could slip. The same is not necessarily true for Cal, as they should avoid losing both of their remaining league road games and a decent run in the Pac 12 tournament would be good for their nerves. The Wildcats still have work to do. They need to win their last two conference games and at the very least, get to the Pac 12 championship game.
When your only strong suit is winning your home games, no matter who you play, losing two straight home games, one by 30 points, equals doom. In other words, Arkansas is done after a 79-68 home loss to Alabama.
There is more nuance to the BYU case, but the ending could be just as bleak thanks to a 74-63 loss at Gonzaga. The Cougars lost a game they were supposed to lose, but they just better hope some other teams close to the edge of the bubble do the same. Being that the best of their few decent wins was a home victory over the Zags, it would be in BYU’s significant interest to win out, or at least get to the WCC finals.
What are your thoughts on the state of the bubble?