Bubble Rap: A Recap Of Last Night’s Bubble-Related Action

Feb 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats forward Justin Jackson (5) and guard Dion Dixon (3) celebrate at the end of the game against the Louisville Cardinals at the FifthThird Arena. The Bearcats defeated the Cardinals 60-56. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

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.

BUBBLE TROUBLE

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?

Topics: Alabama Crimson Tide, Cincinnati Bearcats, College Basketball, College Hoops, March Madness, Ncaa Tournament, Pac 12 Basketball

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  • http://www.bracketwag.com/ bracketwag

    Is it just me or is the bubble weaker than ever this year?  SOOOOO glad it’s not a 96-team tourney!

    • J_Murph

       @bracketwag_dot_com yep, as Seth Davis tweeted, it’s the weakest bubble since last year. 68 is bad enough. 96 should abolish the selection committee.

      • BlakeLovell

         @J_Murph  @bracketwag_dot_com No kidding guys. I mean, in Jamal’s latest bracket, even Illinois was in as one of the last four teams in. But a spiraling Illinois team is still better than some of the teams behind them in the last four out. Not impressed with the bottom of the field at all. Which is why I think several of these quality mid-major teams could make deep runs this year.

        • J_Murph

           @BlakeLovell  @bracketwag_dot_com definitely agree that mid majors could/should make some major noise in the tournament. But hey, they’ve been doing so for the past couple years.

        • http://www.bracketwag.com/ bracketwag

           @J_Murph  @BlakeLovell Another Butler-ish run?  Could be – Murray St?  Should make for some good games though.

        • BlakeLovell

           @bracketwag  @J_Murph  Very true. We’ve had a lot of mid-major runs. But it does feel like this may be the deepest field in a while in terms of teams that could make runs beyond the Sweet 16. Or maybe it’s the highest expectations we’ve had for more than a couple mid-major teams in a while. I mean, we’ve got teams like Murray State, Iona, Drexel, Wichita State, VCU, Belmont, George Mason, and MTSU. That’s a pretty loaded group. It’ll never happen because of pairings and such, but would it surprise anyone if all of those teams were in the Sweet 16?

        • BlakeLovell

           @bracketwag  @J_Murph Forgot to throw Creighton and Long Beach State in there as well.

        • J_Murph

           @BlakeLovell  @bracketwag i’m also looking forward to seeing how the 14/15 seeds perform this year. it’s the toughest i’v seen those lines, ever probably.

        • BlakeLovell

           @J_Murph  @bracketwag That entire 15 line in your last bracket (Davidson; Nevada,Weber State, Bucknell) is pretty scary. As is Belmont and George Mason as 14′s. 

        • http://www.bracketwag.com/ bracketwag

           @BlakeLovell  @J_Murph Weber St gonna give someone problems

  • BracketWAG

    @theblakelovell @Blacketologist I could talk tourney all day, if my wife would let me! ha

    • theblakelovell

      @BracketWAG Haha I’ve already made it clear to my girlfriend that she will hate me come March.

      • BracketWAG

        @theblakelovell My wife learned all about it our first March together – she takes the kids and goes to her parents! Nice!

        • theblakelovell

          @BracketWAG Wow. That’s a good deal then!

        • BracketWAG

          @theblakelovell Yep – I got lucky. I am a winner in the #Super10 Mock selection committee and she’s all for me going!

        • theblakelovell

          @BracketWAG That’s awesome dude! I’m sure that will be a lot of fun. I’m jealous haha.

        • BracketWAG

          @theblakelovell I think it will be a blast!

  • http://www.bracketwag.com/ bracketwag

    Don’t forget Oral Roberts – they aren’t too shabby! I think we are getting closer and closer to a 16 beating a 1, probably not this yr, but it’s coming.

    • J_Murph

       @bracketwag i agree, a 16 beating a 1 is coming soon…