Bracketology Bubble Watch: Arizona State, Stanford trending oppositely

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CINCINNATI, OH – DECEMBER 18: Bearcats celebrate. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)


Lead-Pipe Locks: None.

Safely in the field: Houston.

Some perspiration: None.

Double the deodorant: Wichita State, Cincinnati, Memphis

Houston Cougars (19-5, 9-2 AAC)

NET: 29 | KPI: 24 | SOR: 26 | BPI: 18 | KP: 19 | Sag: 16

Q1: 1-3 | Q2: 7-2 | Q3: 6-0 | Q4: 5-0

Houston secured back-to-back home victories over Tulane and Wichita State during this past week. The latter of these performances was an absolute beatdown as the Cougars showcased that they are the best team in the conference this season. With these two games, Houston furthered its excellent record and has emerged as the closest thing to an NCAA Tournament lock that the American has seen this season. Only having one Q1 win is what is holding back Houston’s resume at this point. With a few solid road chances left in the season, the Cougars could bolster their potential seeding. The team should safely dance, though. Current Bracketology Placement: No. 7 seed

Wichita State Shockers (17-6, 5-5 AAC)

NET: 50 | KPI: 32 | SOR: 38 | BPI: 48 | KP: 47 | Sag: 48

Q1: 2-3 | Q2:  5-3 | Q3: 2-0 | Q4: 8-0

Wichita State has now dropped three games in a row and the last one, a 33-point defeat at Houston, plummeted the team down efficiency metrics. The Shockers have quickly dropped five of their last seven games after starting 15-1 and now find themselves squarely in the bubble picture. This team still belongs on the right side of the projected cutline due to its Top 50 metrics across the board and the lack of a bad loss, but sweat is starting to develop. Ther is not a whole lot to this resume at the moment and some of the recent struggles by VCU, Ole Miss, and Oklahoma as non -conference home wins aren’t helping. Wichita State has a winnable three-game stretch (at UCF, vs. Tulane, vs. USF) coming up and it needs to take advantage. Current Bracketology Placement: No. 10 seed

Cincinnati Bearcats (15-8, 8-3 AAC)

NET: 46 | KPI: 29 | SOR: 56 | BPI: 41 | KP: 39 | Sag: 31

Q1: 2-5 | Q2: 5-0 | Q3: 5-3 | Q4: 3-0

Cincinnati has soared onto the right side of my projected cutline over the past few weeks while rattling off a five-game winning streak that included victories over SMU, Houston, and Wichita State. While the Bearcats did drop a road game to UConn on the road during this past week, they still deserve plenty of bubble watch consideration. Cincinnati boasts relatively strong metrics across the board but overcoming three Q3 losses is not easy to do. They need to snag more quality wins in order to move up on the S-curve and opportunities remain with matchups against Memphis (H), Wichita State (H), and Houston (A) left on the schedule. Current Bracketology Placement: No. 12 seed

Memphis Tigers (17-6, 6-4 AAC)

NET: 59 | KPI: 45 | SOR: 51 | BPI: 64 | KP: 63 | Sag: 53

Q1: 1-2 | Q2: 5-2 | Q3: 5-2 | Q4: 6-0

Memphis was hanging right around the cutline for the past few weeks but a home loss to South Florida dropped it onto the wrong side of the bubble. There is still plenty of hope for the Tigers to dance as they are not far off the pace, but they have some work to do. It is also important to mention that the journey back to the projected field will not be easy as Memphis will be tasked with playing five of its final eight regular-season games on the road. With both matchups against Houston still looking on the schedule, as well as road meetings against Cincinnati, UConn, and SMU, opportunities are available for Coach Hardaway’s squad. Current Bracketology Placement: OUT.

Lots of work to do: None.

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