College Basketball Bubble Watch
Sunday slipups could spell trouble for bubble teams
A day like Sunday is why the bubble always contracts leading into Selection Sunday, and why teams that are on the edge right now can't rest on their laurels.
The two biggest developments for bubble teams were VCU losing to William & Mary in the CAA semis, and Saint Mary's collapsing late in the WCC semis and losing at San Diego in double-overtime. The Rams are smack in the middle of the bubble discussion as the winner (by three games) of a top-10 league, but will have a very long week watching what goes on around them. The Gaels should be able to survive their loss, which means Bubble Nation is now rooting like mad for Gonzaga to handle San Diego in Monday night's WCC final (ESPN, 9 ET) and stop the Toreros from poaching an automatic bid.
One potentially positive development for bubblers was Illinois State getting blasted by Drake in the Valley final. On paper, a top-40 RPI, a second-place Valley finish and a berth in the league final looks solid, but the Redbirds' profile is pretty thin when you pick it apart. Any doubt created by yesterday's rout could help bubble teams trying to displace ISU.
Other movers to the good: Kentucky (beat Florida), Ohio State (beat Michigan State), Kent State (won at Akron), South Alabama (won Sun Belt quarterfinal)
Other movers to the bad: Maryland (lost at Virginia), Virginia Tech (edged at Clemson), Florida (lost at Kentucky)
Monday's "Who to root for": In addition to Gonzaga, bubblers want Davidson to beat Elon in the SoCon final (ESPN2, 9 ET) so the Wildcats stay out of the at-large pool. They also are rooting against Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt semifinals.
As always, the records listed are Division I only, per NCAA Tournament selection guidelines. If you have a legitimate grievance or just like talking bubble, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One more bit of good news: Bubble Watch is now daily, so every day from now through Selection Sunday, you'll get a fresh look at the at-large picture.
Next update: Tuesday, March 11.