Auburn's Saturday Bubble Watch

Will there be enough room in the field of 65 for Auburn?

Saturday, 11:30 p.m. Update

As of now there, are six available spots for at-large teams that aren't locks. If Tennessee beats Mississippi State, there will be seven spots for the following teams: Boston College, Maryland, Texas A&M, Auburn, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, San Diego State, Creighton, St. Mary's, Arizona (in no particular order).

Boston College, because of its big wins, is probably in. Arizona and Minnesota are probably out. The remaining teams are very, very close. For Auburn, it could come down to how the Tigers compare to teams like St. Mary's and Creighton. That's a tough stance to take because it's apples and oranges.

There are only three big conference championship games remaining:

Florida State vs. Duke in the ACC, Ohio State vs. Purdue in the Big 10 and Tennessee vs. Mississippi State in the SEC. The first two games are for NCAA seeding, while the SEC championship is for the bubble watch.

THE FIELD OF SIXTY-FIVE

(One-bid leagues)
1. Southland (Texas-San Antonio/Stephen F. Austin)
2. Big West (Pacific/Cal-State Northridge)
(Already in)
3. Alabama State (SWAC)
4. Akron (MAC)
5. Morgan State (MEAC)
6. American (Patriot)
7. Binghamton (America East)
8. Portland State (Big Sky)
9. Robert Morris (Northeast)
10. Cornell (Ivy League)
11. Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley)
12. East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun)
13. Radford (Big South)
14. Morehead State (Ohio Valley)
15. Gonzaga (West Coast)
16. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
17. North Dakota State (Summit)
18. Chattanooga (Southern)
19. Siena (Metro Atlantic)
20. Cleveland State (Horizon)
21. VCU (Colonial)
22. Memphis (Conference USA)
23. Missouri (Big 12)
24. Temple (Atlantic 10)
25. USC (Pac-10)
26. Utah (Mountain West)
27. Louisville (Big East)
28. Utah State (WAC)
(other automatics)
29. ACC (Florida State/Duke)
30. SEC (Mississippi State/Tennessee)
31. Big 10 (Ohio State/Purdue)
(locks)
32. North Carolina
33. Florida State/Duke
34. Wake Forest
35. Clemson
36. Syracuse
37. Pittsburgh
38. Connecticut
39. Villanova
40. Marquette
41. West Virginia
42. Michigan State
43. Illinois
44. Ohio State/Purdue
45. Oklahoma
46. Kansas
47. Texas
48. Oklahoma State
49. Washington
50. UCLA
51. California
52. Arizona State
53. Xavier
54. Dayton
55. Tennessee
56. LSU
57. BYU
58. Butler
59. Utah State
60. OPEN
61. OPEN
62. OPEN
63. OPEN
64. OPEN
65. OPEN

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Saturday, 5:50 p.m. Update

Auburn lost to Tennessee earlier this afternoon, making it unclear if the Tigers will get an NCAA bid. In the end it probably comes down to what happens around the country on Saturday night.

Missouri vs. Baylor and Utah State vs. Nevada are ultra-important for Auburn. Temple (vs. Duquesne), Utah (vs. San Diego State) and Arizona State (vs. USC) also need to win. Duke defeating Maryland earlier today in the ACC semifinals was also big for Auburn.

Ohio State took itself off the bubble today with the convincing victory over regular season champ Michigan State. The Buckeyes are in the big dance regardless of their play on Sunday vs. Purdue.

In the SEC, Auburn has the third best resume behind LSU and Tennessee. Mississippi State's accomplishments may be greater than that of Florida and South Carolina, both of which were bounced in Tampa in the quarterfinals. Should Tennessee take out the Bulldogs in the finals, probably the only way Auburn wouldn't make the big dance is if only two SEC teams get invited. Is that possible?

With Ohio State solidifying itself, Auburn is one of several teams right behind for an at-large bid along with Boston College, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maryland, Temple, St. Mary's, San Diego State and Creighton.

Arizona, USC, Minnesota, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi State, New Mexico, Penn State and Tulsa are perhaps on the wrong side of the fence.

One tricky team is Texas A&M, which is a lock according to several prognostications. The Aggies are have a #36 RPI at 22-9 with a 9-7 conference record. The NCAA committee likes teams that have success away from home. TAMU is a respectable 5-5 on the road and 2-2 on a neutral court. However, these are the road wins: Alabama, Rice, Texas Tech, Nebraska and Colorado.

No more than nine of the bubble teams will get an invite.

Auburn has a better resume than most teams on the bubble, but will there be enough spots remaining?

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Saturday, 12:45 p.m. Update

FRIDAY BUBBLE RECAP

Minnesota lost to Michigan State 64-56
Virginia Tech lost to North Carolina 79-76
Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 61-57
South Carolina lost to Mississippi State 82-68
Tulsa defeated UAB 70-67
Michigan lost to Illinois 60-50
Temple defeated Xavier 55-53
Maryland defeated Wake Forest 75-64
San Diego State defeated BYU 64-62
Penn State lost to Purdue 79-65
Boston College lost to Duke 66-65
Auburn defeated Florida 61-58
St. Mary's defeated Eastern Washington 85-65
USC defeated UCLA 65-55

FIELD OF 65

Despite the win over Florida, Auburn may not be in just yet. As of Friday morning there could be as many as 11 open spots for at-large teams not considered locks, but that changed to 10 when Duquesne and Temple reached the finals of the Atlantic 10 tournament. If Baylor wins the Big 12, USC wins the Pac-10, San Diego State wins the MWC and Nevada wins the WAC, that would decrease the number of at-large spots to six for the bubble teams. Should Ohio State, Mississippi State and Maryland win their conference tournaments that would decrease the number to three for the following bubble teams...

1. Boston College
2. Maryland
3. Wisconsin
4. Minnesota
5. Michigan
6. Ohio State
7. Penn State
8. Texas A&M
9. Tulsa
10. New Mexico
11. San Diego State
12. Arizona
13. USC
14. South Carolina
15. Florida
16. Auburn
17. Temple
18. Creighton
19. St. Mary's

Right now there are going to be at least three openings for teams not listed as locks. One was opened with Syracuse and Louisville making the Big East finals. The other was created when Memphis won the Conference USA Tournament Saturday morning. If the locks continue to win conference tournaments, more at-large spots will open up.

(One-bid leagues)
1. MAC (Akron/Buffalo)
2. SWAC (Jackson State/Alabama State)
3. Southland (Texas-San Antonio/Stephen F. Austin)
4. Big West (Pacific/Cal-State Northridge)
5. MEAC
(Already in)
6. American (Patriot)
7. Binghamton (America East)
8. Portland State (Big Sky)
9. Robert Morris (Northeast)
10. Cornell (Ivy League)
11. Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley)
12. East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun)
13. Radford (Big South)
14. Morehead State (Ohio Valley)
15. Gonzaga (West Coast)
16. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
17. North Dakota State (Summit)
18. Chattanooga (Southern)
19. Siena (Metro Atlantic)
20. Cleveland State (Horizon)
21. VCU (Colonial)
22. Memphis (Conference USA) (other automatics)
23. Mountain West (San Diego State/Utah)
24. Big 12 (Baylor/Missouri)
25. Pac-10 (USC/Arizona State
26. WAC (Utah State/Nevada)
27. Big East (Syracuse/Louisville)
28. Atlantic-10 (Duquesne/Temple)
29. ACC
30. SEC
31. Big 10
(locks)
32. North Carolina
33. Duke
34. Wake Forest
35. Clemson
36. Florida State
37. Louisville/Syracuse
38. Pittsburgh
39. Connecticut
40. Villanova
41. Marquette
42. West Virginia
43. Michigan State
44. Illinois
45. Purdue
46. Oklahoma
47. Kansas
48. Missouri
49. Texas
50. Oklahoma State
51. Washington
52. UCLA
53. California
54. Arizona State
55. Xavier
56. Dayton
57. Tennessee
58. LSU
59. BYU
60. Utah
61. Butler
62. Utah State
63. OPEN
64. OPEN
65. OPEN

SATURDAY'S FINALS

Conference USA...

Memphis defeated Tulsa 64-39 in the finals. Tulsa is left on the bubble and probably won't get a bid.

Pac-10...

USC vs. Arizona State, 5 p.m.
USC probably needs to win the conference tournament to get a invite to the big dance.

Atlantic 10...

Duquesne vs. Temple, 5 p.m.

Big 12...

Baylor vs. Missouri, 5 p.m.
The Bears need a win to get in. The Tigers don't. If Baylor wins it would take a spot away from an at-large hopeful.

Mountain West...

San Diego State vs. Utah, 6 p.m.
San Diego State is in the "should be in" category with Auburn, Boston College and Texas A&M.

Big East...

Syracuse vs. Louisville, 8 p.m.

Western Athletic...

Utah State vs. Nevada, 9 p.m.
A Utah State win would help the teams sitting on the fence.

SATURDAY'S SEMIFINALS

SEC...

Mississippi State vs. LSU, Noon

Auburn vs. Tennessee, 2:15 p.m.
There are a few bubble teams that could be selected ahead of Auburn like Boston College or Texas A&M, but the Tigers would have probably better than a 50 percent change to get a bid even if they lose to Tennessee. An Auburn win and the Tigers are in, and that's the last time that should be said.

ACC...

Florida State vs. North Carolina, 12:30 p.m.

Maryland vs. Duke, 3 p.m.
With a win over Wake Forest on Friday, Maryland is positioning itself for an at-large bid should it fall short of the ACC tournament title.

Big 10...

Ohio State vs. Michigan State, 12:40 p.m.
If teams like Auburn, Maryland and Ohio State continue to win and there is a numbers crunch, a team that feels like it played its way into the tournament could be left out.

Purdue vs. Illinois, 3:05 p.m.

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Friday, 11:40 a.m. Update

What can be said about the Syracuse versus Connecticut game last night? Villanova's win over Marquette was about as good as it gets, but it wasn't even close to being the best game in the building. Syracuse versus Connecticut was awesome, spectacular, breathtaking and magnificent. It signified everything great about March Madness. Well, except for Jonny Flynn playing 35 minutes on Wednesday, 67 minutes and Thursday and having to take on West Virginia tonight at 8 p.m.

THURSDAY BUBBLE RECAP

Providence lost to Louisville 73-55
Minnesota defeated Northwestern 66-53
Michigan defeated Iowa 73-45
Penn State defeated Indiana 66-51
Virginia Tech defeated Miami 65-47
Maryland defeated N.C. State 74-69
Boston College defeated Virginia 76-63
Tulsa defeated Rice 73-51
UAB defeated Southern Miss 74-73 (OT)
Temple defeated St. Joseph's 79-65
Rhode Island lost to Duquesne 78-74
Arizona lost to Arizona State 68-56
USC defeated California 79-75
Kansas State lost to Texas 61-58
San Diego State defeated UNLV 71-57
New Mexico lost to Wyoming 75-67
Florida defeated Arkansas 73-58

FRIDAY'S ACTION
(Bubble teams in bold, all times Central)

Starting in the Big 10...

Every team that plays today is either a lock or a bubble.

Minnesota vs. Michigan State, 11 a.m.
The Gophers may be in the dance already with the victory over Northwestern. A win over the Spartans would all but guarantee that.

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, 1:30 p.m.
The winner can put on their dancing shoes. The loser still has a good shot.

Illinois vs. Michigan, 5:30 p.m.
Illinois is in, Michigan is probably in with a win.

Purdue vs. Penn State, 8 p.m.
With the Nittany Lions' loss at Iowa to close the regular season, they probably need a quarterfinal victory the most of anyone on the conference.

In the ACC...

The only team in the ACC quarterfinals not a lock or bubble team is Georgia Tech, which beat Clemson yesterday. According to some, the loss for Clemson might ruin its chances of a getting a three or four seed. Really? A three or four seed? For a team that has lost eight of its last 15 games, including a terrible loss to Georgia Tech? The Tigers should be in on the verge of bubble talk and they'll be lucky to be the higher seed in their first-round game.

North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech, 11 a.m.
The Hokies lost six out of seven to close the regular season and will need to beat UNC and FSU to get serious consideration.

Florida State vs. Georgia Tech, 1 a.m.

Wake Forest vs. Maryland, 6 p.m.
The Terrapins still have work to do. They lost at home to Wake Forest 10 days ago and will be in the NIT if it happens again.

Duke vs. Boston College, 8 p.m.
Boston College has wins over UAB, Providence, North Carolina, Florida State and Duke. The Eagles are probably in regardless, but another win over the Blue Devils wouldn't hurt.

Conference USA...

Memphis vs. Houston, 2 p.m.

Tulsa vs. UAB, 4:30 p.m.
Memphis may be the only team in the conference that could get an at-large bid, but the winner of Tulsa and UAB could have an argument with a semifinal victory and a strong showing against the Tigers in the finals.

Big East...

Through 12 games in three days in New York City, three teams are left standing... and one crawling.

Louisville vs. Villanova, 6 p.m.
The Cardinals are still hoping for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and with Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Oklahoma getting ousted on Thursday and North Carolina playing without Ty Lawson, that's a good possibility for Rick Pitino's squad.

West Virginia vs. Syracuse, 8 p.m.
Good thing the Orange plays zone.

Atlantic 10

Xavier vs. Temple, 5:30 p.m.
Temple isn't a lock with a win over Xavier, but they're certainly out with a loss.

Duquesne vs. Dayton, 8 p.m.

Big 12...

Baylor vs. Texas, 5 p.m.
Baylor is almost worthy of bubble consideration, but with as tight as the numbers are it would have to win the Big 12 tournament to get in.

Oklahoma State vs. Missouri, 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers, the third seed, are the only team with a first-round bye to win their game yesterday. The byes were 1-3 yesterday.

Mountain West...

BYU vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m.
This is a HUGE game for the Aztecs. They could already be in, but a win over the #1 seed Cougars would lock it up.

Utah vs. Wyoming, 10:30 p.m.
While SDSU burst UNLV's bubble, Wyoming perhaps took out New Mexico last night.

Pac-10...

Arizona State vs. Washington, 8 p.m.

USC vs. UCLA, 10:30 p.m.
USC has a 18-12 record and No. 50 RPI, but no decent non-conference wins. Are the Trojans worth the bubble talk? Not if they lose to their cross-town rival tonight.

WAC...

For bubble watchers, the only team that matters in the WAC is Utah State. The Aggies need to win the tournament for there to be the maximum number of at-large spots. They play New Mexico State in the semifinals at 8 p.m.

The SEC...

Kentucky vs. LSU, Noon
Kentucky is not on the bubble. The C-A-T-S are N-I-T bound.

Mississippi State vs. South Carolina, 2:15 p.m.
A Bulldog victory may help Auburn's chances of making the dance. State has a decent resume, but Auburn's is better with a series sweep and more conference victories. Plus, the Tigers may be competing against South Carolina for one of the last spots. The Gamecocks need a victory to remain on the bubble.

Alabama vs. Tennessee, 6:30 p.m.
Tennessee is a lock and Alabama needs to win the SEC tournament to get to the NCAAs. If the Tide beats Tennessee, that would likely take away Auburn's only RPI top 25 win. But will it matter?

Florida vs. Auburn, 8:45 p.m.
If Auburn beats Florida, perhaps nothing else will matter. The Tigers will have won 10 regular season conference games, reached the semifinals of the SEC tournament and won nine out of 10 against solid competition. The Gators also desperately need a win. Is the loser done? Quite possibly.

THE FIELD OF SIXTY-FIVE

(One-bid leagues)
1. America East (UMBC/Binghamton)
2. Patriot (Holy Cross/American)
3. MAC
4. SWAC
5. Southland
6. Big West
7. MEAC
(Already in)
8. Portland State (Big Sky)
9. Robert Morris (Northeast)
10. Cornell (Ivy League)
11. Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley)
12. East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun)
13. Radford (Big South)
14. Morehead State (Ohio Valley)
15. Gonzaga (West Coast)
16. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
17. North Dakota State (Summit)
18. Chattanooga (Southern)
19. Siena (Metro Atlantic)
20. Cleveland State (Horizon)
21. VCU (Colonial)
(other automatics)
22. C-USA
23. Mountain West
24. Big 12
25. Pac-10
26. Big 10
27. Big East
28. Atlantic-10
29. ACC
30. SEC
31. WAC
(locks)
32. North Carolina
33. Duke
34. Wake Forest
35. Clemson
36. Florida State
37. Louisville
38. Pittsburgh
39. Connecticut
40. Syracuse
41. Villanova
42. Marquette
43. West Virginia
44. Michigan State
45. Illinois
46. Purdue
47. Oklahoma
48. Kansas
49. Missouri
50. Texas
51. Oklahoma State
52. Washington
53. UCLA
54. California
55. Arizona State
56. Xavier
57. Dayton
58. Tennessee
59. LSU
60. BYU
61. Utah
62. Memphis
63. Butler
64. Utah State
65. OPEN

Utah State, with a #29 RPI, has been moved from a bubble to a lock. Miami, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rhode Island, Kansas State and UNLV have been removed. Therefore, right now there is only one open spot for a bubble team. However, for every lock team that wins a conference tournament, the number goes up by one for the bubble teams.

There could potentially be 11 spots open for the bubble teams as long as there aren't upsets in conference tournaments.

Potential teams for the remaining spots:
1. Boston College
2. Maryland
3. Virginia Tech
4. Providence
5. Wisconsin
6. Minnesota
7. Michigan
8. Ohio State
9. Penn State
10. Texas A&M
11. Tulsa
12. UAB
13. New Mexico
14. San Diego State
15. Arizona
16. USC
17. South Carolina
18. Florida
19. Auburn
20. Temple
21. Creighton
22. St. Mary's

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Thursday, 10:20 a.m. Update

The SEC tournament is one of three big ones that gets underway on Thursday.

E4 Kentucky vs. W5 Ole Miss, Noon
W3 Mississippi State vs. E6 Georgia, 2:15 p.m.
W4 Alabama vs. E5 Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m.
E3 Florida vs. W6 Arkansas, 8:45 p.m.

The winners play LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee and Auburn, respectively.

Two more teams earned automatic bids on Wednesday with conference tournament wins--Robert Morris (20-12) in the NEC and Portland State (23-9) from the Big Sky.

Thursday is a huge day around the country with the last of the tournaments getting underway. Bubble teams are in bold.

Starting in the Big 10...

#8 Minnesota vs. #9 Northwestern, 11 a.m.
The winner plays #1 Michigan State on Friday. #4 Wisconsin and #5 Ohio State are also on this side of the bracket, but gets byes on Thursday.

#7 Michigan vs. #12 Iowa, 1:30 p.m.
The winning team plays #2 Illinois on Friday.

#6 Penn State vs. #11 Indiana, 4 p.m.
The winner plays #3 Purdue.

Having Minnesota and Northwestern playing in the first round with Michigan State waiting on Friday is a good scenario for bubble watchers.

In the ACC...

The ACC could very well only get five teams into the tournament if the #1 through #3 seeds don't get upset on Friday. The bubble teams get North Carolina, Wake Forest or Duke in the second round.

#8 Virginia Tech vs. #9 Miami, 11 a.m.
The #1 Tar Heels await the victor on Friday.

#5 Clemson vs. #12 Georgia Tech, 1 p.m.
The winner plays #4 Florida State on Friday.

#7 Maryland vs. N.C. State, 6 p.m.
#2 Wake Forest draws the winner.

#6 Boston College vs. #11 Virginia, 8 p.m.
The winner plays Duke in the second round.

BUBBLE WATCH FOR TOURNAMENTS THAT HAVE ALREADY STARTED

The Atlantic-10...

#4 Temple vs. #5 St. Joseph's, 1:30 p.m.
The Owls need at least a couple of wins and would get the winner of #1 Xavier vs. #9 St. Louis on Saturday.

#2 Rhode Island vs. #7 Duquesne, 5:30 p.m.
Rhode Island also needs a few wins. The winner draws either #3 Dayton or #5 Richmond in the semifinals.

Big East...

If there is one place a sports fan would want to be today, it would be front row, center court at Madison Square Garden. The only bubble game is the first of the day, but the other three games are well worth watching.

#8 Providence vs. #1 Louisville, 11 a.m.
The Friars are still on the bubble after surviving DePaul on Wednesday. A win over the outright regular season champion Cardinals may put Providence into the dance.

The other Big East quarterfinal games:
#5 Marquette vs. #4 Villanova, 1 p.m.
#7 West Virginia vs. #2 Pittsburgh, 6 p.m.
#6 Syracuse vs. #3 Connecticut, 8 p.m.

Big 12...

Texas Tech reserve Mike Singletary was magnificent scoring 29 straight Red Raider points as they came from 21 points down in the second half to beat Texas A&M on Wednesday. Singletary came into the tournament averaging 11.1 points on the year, but scored 29 in the final eight minutes of the game.

Assuming that Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas are NCAA bound, the only bubble team in the field is Kansas State.

The Wildcats take on Texas at 1 p.m.

Pac-10...

#4 Arizona State vs. #5 Arizona, 2 p.m.
The Wildcats have lost four out of five and would be done if they lose their third game this year to the Sun Devils.
The Winner takes on either #1 Washington or #9 Stanford in the semifinals.

In the other side of the bracket, #3 California takes on #6 USC at 8 p.m. and #2 UCLA plays #7 Washington State in the night cap.

Mountain West...

#9 Air Force pulled a DePaul last night, going 0-for in conference games but winning the opening round tournament contest. The Falcons play #1 BYU in the Thursday opener at 2 p.m.

#4 San Diego State vs. #5 UNLV, 4:30 p.m.
The Aztecs beat the Runnin' Rebs just five days ago. Both are on the bubble.

#3 New Mexico vs. #6 Wyoming, 10:30 p.m.
The winner takes on either #2 Utah or #7 TCU in the semis.

Conference USA...

#10 Rice vs. #2 Tulsa, Noon
The winner advances to a semifinal game against another bubble game.

#11 Southern Miss vs. #3 UAB, 2:30 p.m.

Memphis plays on the other side of the bracket at 6 p.m. against Tulane.

Also...

The Utah State Aggies play Fresno State in the WAC quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m.

A recap of Thursday bubble watch...

Providence: Louisville, 11 a.m.
Northwestern vs. Minnesota: 11 a.m.
Miami vs. Virginia Tech: 11 a.m.
Tulsa: Rice, Noon
Michigan: Iowa, 1:30 p.m.
Temple: St. Joseph's, 1:30 p.m.
Arizona: Arizona State, 2 p.m.
Kansas State: Texas, 2 p.m.
UAB: Southern Miss, 2:30 p.m.
Penn State: Iowa, 4 p.m.
UNLV vs. San Diego State: 4:30 p.m.
Rhode Island: Duquesne, 5:30 p.m.
Maryland: N.C. State, 6 p.m.
Boston College: Virginia, 8 p.m.
Florida: Arkansas, 8:45 p.m.
New Mexico: Wyoming, 10:30 p.m.

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Wednesday, Noon Update

NUMBER CRUNCHING

The Horizon League Championship game last night was gut-wrenching for bubble watchers. Cleveland State beat Butler for the automatic bid, giving the conference two invites since the Bulldogs will get an at-large.

Here is a breakdown of the automatic bids. The first nine conference tournaments do not matter to anyone else. Whoever wins is in, and that's it.

1. America East (UMBC/Binghamton)
2. Northeast (Mt. St. Mary's/Robert Morris)
3. Patriot (Holy Cross/American)
4. MAC
5. SWAC
6. Southland
7. Big Sky
8. Big West
9. MEAC

Teams 10 through 21 have already canceled class and made reservations for the dance.

10. Cornell (Ivy League)
11. Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley)
12. East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun)
13. Radford (Big South)
14. Morehead State (Ohio Valley)
15. Gonzaga (West Coast)
16. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
17. North Dakota State (Summit)
18. Chattanooga (Southern)
19. Siena (Metro Atlantic)
20. Cleveland State (Horizon)
21. VCU (Colonial)

The other 10 automatic bids will go to teams from the following conferences. Teams in parenthesis are already considered locks.

22. C-USA (Memphis)
23. Mountain West (Utah, BYU)
24. Big 12 (Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas)
25. Pac-10 (Washington, UCLA, Arizona State, California)
26. Big 10 (Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois)
27. Big East (Louisville, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Villanova, Syracuse, West Virginia)
28. Atlantic-10 (Xavier, Dayton)
29. ACC (Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Florida State, Clemson)
30. SEC (LSU, Tennessee)

The final spot, #31, will go to the WAC, where Utah State could lose its tournament and still make the dance.

The worst-case scenario for bubble teams is that for none of the teams in parenthesis above win their conference tournaments, similar to last night's Cleveland State win. If that happened, there would be two at large-spots for the following 29 teams.

1. Boston College
2. Miami
3. Maryland
4. Virginia Tech
5. Providence
6. Wisconsin
7. Minnesota
8. Michigan
9. Ohio State
10. Northwestern
11. Penn State
12. Texas A&M
13. Kansas State
14. Nebraska
15. Tulsa
16. UAB
17. New Mexico
18. UNLV
19. San Diego State
20. Arizona
21. USC
22. St. Mary's
23. Utah State
24. South Carolina
25. Florida
26. Auburn
27. Creighton
28. Rhode Island
29. Temple

At most, there will be 12 spots available for the above 29 teams. If Utah State wins its conference tournament then it wouldn't count against the 12 available. If any other team on the list wins its tournament it would take one away from the 12 spots. If there are any repeats of teams like Georgia from last year, that would also take away from the 12 at-large spots.

Makes perfect sense, right? Didn't think so. Just root for the locks to win their tournaments and against other bubble teams.

WEDNESDAY GAMES OF INTEREST

DePaul vs. Providence, 11 a.m., ESPN
Baylor vs. Nebraska, 11 a.m.
Texas Tech vs. Texas A&M, 8:30 p.m.

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Monday, 10:30 p.m. Update

In the AP Poll this week, Auburn isn't in the top 25 but it did receive the 31st most votes, which is second highest behind LSU in the SEC. Tennessee is a lock with less AP votes than Auburn. Florida and South Carolina are getting much more bubble talk than Auburn, but neither received a single vote...

Four more teams booked their passes into the NCAA Tournament on Monday. VCU defeated George Mason 71-50, Chattanooga beat Charleston 80-69, Gonzaga put a beating on St. Mary's bubble 83-58 and Siena topped Niagara 77-70. None of these are negative for bubble watchers around the country.

TEAMS WITH AUTOMATIC NCAA BIDS

Siena (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
Gonzaga (West Coast Conference)
Chattanooga (Southern Conference)
Virginia Commonwealth (Colonial Athletic Association)
Morehead State (Ohio Valley)
Radford (Big South)
East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun)
Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley)
Cornell (Ivy League regular season champs)

A number of Big East squads who have been on NCAA watch play on Tuesday–Cincinnati, Georgetown, Notre Dame and Seton Hall–but none are in favorable position to get a bid. One game that does matter is Cleveland State versus Butler at 8 p.m.

Butler is in win or lose. Cleveland State needs the automatic bid. The Bulldogs won in Cleveland 50-48 in December and at home versus the Vikings 58-56 in the regular season finale. Expect a close game even though Butler's resume is much better.

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Monday, 7 p.m. Update

There are two important games on Monday night as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned. St. Mary's plays Gonzaga on ESPN while Niagara takes on Siena on ESPN2. Both games are scheduled for 8 p.m. (All times in this article are Central).

Gonzaga is a lock and St. Mary's is on the bubble. Siena, with a high RPI, could lose and still likely get an at-large bid. That would create two spots for the MEAC in the NCAAs as opposed to one.

Auburn is finally getting some mention on a national stage for being an NCAA possibility. Ten SEC wins, a No. 2 seed in the tournament, and an eight of nine finish in a normal year would be enough, but this isn't a normal year with the SEC's RPI being low and the solid non-conference wins few and far between.

Auburn's chances of an at-large bid will be helped if teams like Utah State, Butler and Gonzaga win their conference tournaments as well as the teams that are already NCAA locks.

FINAL SEC STANDINGS

SEC EastSECOverallRPI
Tennessee10-619-1124
South Carolina10-621-850
Florida
9-722-949
Kentucky8-819-1280
Vanderbilt8-819-1185
Georgia3-1312-19188
SEC WestSECOverallRPI
LSU13-325-637
Auburn10-621-1064
Miss. State
9-718-1282
Alabama7-917-13111
Ole Miss7-916-1481
Arkansas2-1414-15150

SEC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Thursday
Game 1: Kentucky vs. Ole Miss, Noon
Game 2: Mississippi State vs. Georgia, 2:15 p.m.
Game 3: Alabama vs. Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m.
Game 4: Florida vs. Arkansas, 8:45 p.m.

Friday
Game 5: LSU vs. Kentucky/Ole Miss, Noon
Game 6: South Carolina vs. Mississippi State/Georgia, 2:15 p.m.
Game 7: Tennessee vs. Alabama/Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m.
Game 8: Auburn vs. Florida/Arkansas, 8:45 p.m.

Saturday
Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, Noon
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 2:15 p.m.

Sunday
Game 11: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, Noon

TEAMS WITH AUTOMATIC NCAA BIDS

Morehead State (Ohio Valley)
Radford (Big South)
East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun)
Northern Iowa, (Missouri Valley)
Cornell (Ivy League regular season champs)

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS

America East Conference
The AEC is a one-bid league with the championship game in Albany, N.Y., between the University of Maryland Baltimore County versus Binghamton on ESPN2 at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Atlantic Coast Conference
The ACC starts on Thursday at the Georgia Dome. The championship game is on Sunday at Noon on ESPN. North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Wake Forest, Clemson are in already locks for the NCAA while Boston College, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Miami are fighting to get in. Other bubble teams around the country will be hoping that one of the five locks wins the tournament while the Eagles, Terps, Hokies and Hurricanes bow out early.

Atlantic 10
Fittingly, the Atlantic 10 conference is in Atlantic City. It begins on Wednesday with the championship on Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Xavier and Dayton are likely already in the NCAA while Rhode Island and Temple are on the bubble. Rhode Island and Temple begin play on Thursday.

Big East
Rather than having a normal 16-team tournament, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Villanova get double-byes while the nine through 16 seeds open play on Tuesday. Seeds five through eight start join in on Wednesday and the big boys join on Thursday. Finals are Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The top four seeds plus Marquette, Syracuse and West Virginia are NCAA locks. Providence, and possibly Notre Dame, are on the bubble.

Big Sky
A one-bid league, the tournament has already started with finals from Ogden, Utah on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

Big 10
Play from Indianapolis starts on Thursday with the championship game on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS. Michigan State, Illinois and Purdue are NCAA locks. Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan are very close while Penn State, Minnesota and Northwestern are on the bubble.

Big 12
The Big 12 Tournament, from Oklahoma City, normally ends on Sunday, but this year will end on Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN. It starts on Wednesday. Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas are in. Kansas State and Texas A&M are on the bubble and Nebraska has a lot of ground to make up.

Big West
The Big West is a one-bid league with the championship game from Anaheim, Calif., Saturday on ESPN2 at 11:59 p.m. Essentially it'll be played in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Colonial Athletic Association
Another one-bid conference, VCU vs. George Mason play in the championship on Monday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 in Richmond, Va.

Conference USA
Memphis is in, and since they're playing at home it'll be tough for any other team to earn the automatic bid. UAB and Tulsa are perhaps on the bubble and needing a lot of "ifs." The tournament tips off on Wednesday with the finals on Saturday at 10:35 a.m.

Horizon League
Butler versus Cleveland State play at the Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis at 8 p.m., Tuesday on ESPN. Butler will get an NCAA invite regardless, so bubble teams will be rooting for the Bulldogs.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Similar to Butler, Siena (#24 RPI) is all but guaranteed a spot even if it loses to Niagara in the championship game on Monday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.

Mid-American Conference
Starts on Tuesday in Cleveland with the Championship on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The MAC is a one-bid league.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The MEAC will also only get one bid. Its tournament starts on Tuesday in Winston-Salem with the championship on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

Mountain West Conference
The first round from Las Vegas tips off on Wednesday and BYU and Utah are already NCAA locks. New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV are on the bubble. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m.

Northeast Conference
Mount St. Mary's at Robert Morris play in the championship at 7 p.m. on Wednesday with television coverage on ESPN2. The winner will be the only representative in the big dance.

Pac-10
Play starts on Wednesday from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Washington, UCLA, California and Arizona State are in while Arizona is on the edge of fence. The Wildcats play in-state rival Arizona State at 2 p.m. on Thursday. The championship is on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Patriot League
Holy Cross plays at American for the championship at 3:45 p.m. on ESPN2 on Friday. Another one-bid league.

Southern Conference
In all likelihood Stephen Curry and Davidson's NCAA hopes ended on Sunday with a loss to College of Charleston. C of C plays for the championship against Chattanooga in Chattanooga at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

Southland Conference
A one-bid conference, the tournament starts in Katy, Texas on Thursday and ends on Sunday on ESPN2 at Noon.

Southwestern Athletic Conference
The tournament starts on Wednesday in Birmingham with the championship game on ESPNU on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Summit Conference
Only the tournament champion will get an NCAA bid. It started on Saturday in Sioux Falls with the championship on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

Sun Belt Conference
Also a one-bid league, the Sun Belt Conference tournament tipped on Sunday with the finals from Hot Springs, Ark., on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2

West Coast Conference
Gonzaga is an NCAA lock and Saint Mary's (#45 RPI) is on the bubble. Those two teams play in the finals on Monday at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

Western Athletic Conference
The WAC tourney begins on Tuesday. Bubble teams will be hoping Utah State (#27 RPI) wins so that the WAC only gets one team in the NCAAs. The championship game is on Saturday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. Utah State's first game is on Thursday.

**********************************

Saturday, 10:30 Update

Both teams mentioned yesterday won. Notre Dame easily handled St. John's while Creighton shocked the shockers with a buzzer-beating jumper to win 63-62. The Bluejays would have been in bubble trouble with a loss.

Here's the bubble watch for Saturday with teams in question in bold:

Georgia Tech (11-17, 2-13, #150) at Boston College (20-10, 8-7, #54) 11 a.m.

Michigan (18-12, 8-9, #45) at Minnesota (21-8, 9-8, #32) 11 a.m., ESPN

Seton Hall (15-14, 6-11, #106) at Cincinnati (18-12, 8-9, #62) 11 a.m.

Colorado (9-20, 1-14, #231) at Kansas State (20-10, 8-7, #77) 12:30 p.m.

Kentucky (19-11, 8-7, #79) at Florida (21-9, 8-7, #53) 1 p.m., ESPN

South Carolina (20-8, 9-6, #46) at Georgia (12-18, 3-12, #186) 1 p.m.

Missouri (25-6, 12-3, #11) at Texas A&M (22-8, 8-7, #33) 1 p.m.

Massachusetts (11-17, 6-9, #171) at Rhode Island (22-8, 11-4, #47) 1 p.m.

Appalachian State (13-17, 9-11, #261) vs. Davidson (25-6, 18-2, #66) 1 p.m.

Penn State (21-9, 10-7, #58) at Iowa (14-16, 4-13, #115) 1:05 p.m.

Marshall (15-15, 7-8, #141) at UAB (20-10, 10-5, #42) 2 p.m.

Maryland (18-11, 7-8, #56) at Virginia (9-17, 3-12, #108) 2:30 p.m., ABC

New Mexico (20-10, 11-4, #65) at Wyoming (18-11, 7-8, #95) 2:30 p.m.

LSU (25-5, 13-2, #35) at Auburn (20-10, 9-6, #72) 3 p.m., Raycom

Nebraska (17-11, 7-8, #76) at Baylor (17-12, 5-10, #66) 3 p.m.

Tulsa (21-9, 11-4, #61) at Rice (9-20, 4-11, #222) 3 p.m.

Canisius (11-19, 4-14, #210) vs. Siena (23-7, 16-2, #28) 4 p.m.

Illinois State (23-8, 11-7, #60) vs. Creighton (26-6, 14-4, #38) 4:05 p.m.

Temple (18-11, 10-5, #41) at George Washington (10-17, 4-11, #195) 6:30 p.m.

UNLV (21-8, 9-6, #50) at San Diego State (20-8, 10-5, #44) 9 p.m.

***************************************

Friday, 4:15 p.m. Update

Here are the results of games mentioned yesterday:

Temple: Won vs. St. Joseph's 68-59
Providence: Lost at Villanova 97-80
South Carolina: Lost vs. Tennessee 86-70
Penn State: Won vs. Illinois 64-63
Dayton: Lost at Xavier 76-59
Arizona: Lost vs. California 83-77

Temple, which won, and Arizona, which lost, are still hanging onto at-large hopes by a thread. I don't understand why many analysts still like Arizona. Temple moved up to #41 in the RPI and Arizona dropped to #55.

Providence, South Carolina and Dayton all lost, but could be in okay position depending on this weekend and conference tournaments. Providence (#69) is done with its regular season with a 10-8 record in the Big East. South Carolina plays (#46) plays at Georgia on Saturday and Dayton, which moved up to #24, plays Duquesne.

Penn State tallied another big win to its resume and moved up to #58 in the RPI. The Nittany Lions play at Iowa on Saturday, which should be an easy win.

There aren't many bubble games being played on Friday. Notre Dame plays at St. John's, but at this point the Fighting Irish will probably have to win the Big East tournament to go dancing.

Creighton (25-6, 14-4, RPI #38) plays in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference at 6:05 p.m. against Wichita State. The Bluejays have won 10 straight and are likely in, but could become of bubble team if they lose tonight and several underdogs receive automatic bids.

Check back Saturday morning for games to watch on Saturday. The bubble action starts early at 11 a.m. with Georgia Tech at Boston College and Michigan at Minnesota.

Also at 11 is a can't miss if you want to have confidence filling out your brackets–Connecticut at Pittsburgh.

****************************************

Thursday, 2:40 p.m. Update

Games That Matter on Thursday

St. Joseph's (15-13, 8-6, #101) at Temple (17-11, 9-5, #42)
The Owls have a #42 RPI, but may need to win the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament after recent losses to La Salle and Dayton. An at-large bid with a strong finish and reaching the finals of the A-10 tournament is still a possibility.

Providence (18-11, 10-7, #69) at Villanova (24-6, 12-5, #15)
As proof of how tight the at-large spots are this year, Providence, at 10-7 in the Big East, needs a few more wins. Plus, the Friars beat Pittsburgh last week. However, the #69 RPI is indicative of just that one big win... Villanova is already in the big dance.

Tennessee (18-10, 9-5, #21) at South Carolina (20-7, 9-5, #41)
Bruce Pearl's Volunteers are an inch away from being a lock while South Carolina, even at 9-5, may have to win a couple more games. From an Auburn perspective, Tennessee needs to win this contest. With a #21 RPI, the Vols are Auburn's only win over a top 25 RPI team.

Illinois (23-7, 11-6, #19) at Penn State (20-9, 9-7, #66)
Illinois is already in and Penn State needs a few more. The February road victories at Michigan State and Illinois will help.

Dayton (24-5, 10-4, #27) at Xavier (23-5, 11-3, #12)
Xavier is already in. Dayton, like Tennessee, is almost there. This game is more about A-10 standings and NCAA seeding than bubble watch. On a side note, Auburn lost to both of these days in pre-conference.

California (21-8, 10-6, #38) at Arizona (18-11, 8-8, #45)
The Golden Bears are in and fighting for a better seed. Arizona is right on the edge of being in/out. Several other bubble teams like UAB, UNLV and Texas A&M have Arizona as a "key win," so a bad finish for the Wildcats could help Auburn in several ways. Arizona has already lost three straight.

Here are the updated SEC standings with updated RPI. Tennessee at South Carolina is the only league game tonight.

SEC EastSECOverallRPI*
South Carolina9-520-741
Tennessee9-518-1021
Florida
8-721-953
Kentucky8-719-1178
Vanderbilt7-818-1183
Georgia3-1212-18184
SEC WestSECOverallRPI*
LSU13-225-533
Auburn9-620-1072
Miss. State
8-718-1285
Ole Miss7-816-1373
Alabama6-916-13123
Arkansas2-1314-14138
*As of Thursday morning.

*************************************

Thursday, 9:45 a.m. Update

Tuesday night was big for Auburn to as it got a road win at rival Alabama and kept its hopes for an NCAA bid alive. Even though the Tigers didn't play on Wednesday, it was another good night as far as getting closer to earning an invite to the big dance. Auburn still has a lot of work to do, but the last five days have been its favor. Wednesday night was big night for bubble watchers in SEC and ACC as a handful of teams needing a win came up short.

LSU lost at home to Vanderbilt, which probably didn't help Auburn's cause. Auburn needs a signature win, and a regular season ending victory over LSU would have been more meaningful if the Tigers were on a 14-game SEC winning streak.

As mentioned yesterday, Florida and Kentucky could ill afford to lose on Wednesday. However, both did. Florida lost 80-71 on the road to Mississippi State, which wasn't a shocker in the slightest. However, the Wildcats lost at Rupp Arena 90-85 to Georgia. The Bulldogs are just 12-18 overall and 3-12 in the SEC. The Cats have lost three straight and seven of 10, and will likely fall into the 70s in the RPI. I'll have an update of the latest RPI after it comes out early this afternoon.

Kentucky plays at Florida on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a game that will likely decide who still has a chance and who is done.

Here are the results of the rest of the bubble games mentioned yesterday:

Virginia Tech: Lost 86-78 vs. North Carolina
Boston College: Lost 74-69 at N.C. State
West Virginia: Won 82-62 vs. DePaul
Nebraska: Won 77-61 vs. Iowa State
Texas A&M: Won 72-66 at Colorado
Miami: Lost 78-68 at Georgia Tech
Tulsa: Won 79-70 vs. Central Florida
BYU: Won 78-68 at Wyoming
Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: Minnesota won 51-46.
UAB: Lost 70-52 at UTEP
San Diego State: Won 68-59 vs. Colorado State
UNLV: Won 46-43 vs. Air Force

This afternoon I'll give an update on the RPIs and a preview of the games that matter tonight.

**********************************************

Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. Update

Auburn's Resume: Having won seven of its last eight games, Auburn has reached the 20-win plateau and assured itself of a winning conference record for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. The Tigers are 20-10 and 9-6 in conference play with one game remaining. For a team on the bubble needing a signature win, the regular season finishes perfectly with 11th-ranked LSU visiting Beard-Eaves on Senior Day. The Fighting Tigers carry a 25-4 overall and 13-1 SEC record into a Wednesday night home game versus Vanderbilt.

Auburn's hot finish to the season will certainly catch the eyes of NCAA selection committee between now and selection Sunday, which is March 15. Also working in the Tigers' favor is a 4-4 SEC road record. With a pre-conference loss at Xavier and a win at Virginia, Auburn's road record for the season is 5-5 with decent wins at Mississippi State and at Alabama in the last week.

Working against Auburn is an average non-conference schedule combined with an SEC RPI that ranks behind the ACC, Big 10, Big XII, Big East and Pac-10. Auburn's RPI moved up from #78 to #72 and the Tigers have just one victory (Tennessee) over a team currently ranked in the top 50.

Auburn lost its first seven games against teams currently ranked in the top 100, but have come back and won four of its last five pushing the record to 4-8 against top 100 opponents. If the Tigers beat LSU on Saturday, they'll have five wins over top 100 teams in less than a month. The NCAA couldn't ignore that statistic as well as a 10-6 conference record and an eight of nine finish heading into the conference tournament March 12-15 in Tampa.

The way Auburn has been playing for the last month, it would certainly be capable of making some noise in the NCAA Tournament. But first, Jeff Lebo's Tigers have to get there. To say the LSU game on Saturday at 3 p.m. is huge would be understatement. It's gigantic.

Tournament Selections: In the 65-team field (as opposed to the should-be 64-team field, which is another discussion for another day) there are 31 automatic bids. Most go to conference tournament champions, but a few go to regular season conference champions. That means there are 34 at-large bids to teams that don't get an automatic invite.

There are a handful of teams that could lose out and still feel solid about their chances of receiving a bid–Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Wake Forest, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Louisville, Villanova, Marquette, Syracuse, UCLA, Washington, Arizona State, Memphis, LSU, Butler, Gonzaga and Xavier to name a few.

If you're on the bubble, you don't want any upsets in conference tournaments. You don't want any repeats of what Georgia did last year in the SEC Tournament. You want teams that are already all-but-guaranteed a spot to get the automatic bid. Memphis needs to win the Conference-USA Tournament, Gonzaga in the West Coast, Butler in the Horizon, Xavier or Dayton in the Atlantic-10, etc.

Bubble Watch: Tuesday

While Auburn kept its hopes alive, Georgetown's bubble may have burst last night with an overtime loss at St. John's. The Hoyas, with a #45 RPI, were coming off a win at Villanova on Saturday, but the Tuesday loss was their 10th in 13 games as they dropped to 6-11 in conference.

Another Big East team stumbled on Tuesday as Cincinnati (18-12, 8-9) lost at a South Florida team that earned just its ninth win of the year. The Bearcats dropped from #53 to #61 and a double-digit loss to a lousy conference opponent doesn't look good late on the resume.

A pair of Big XII teams in need of a win played on Tuesday as Oklahoma State defeated Kansas State 77-71. The Cowboys (20-9, 9-6, #27) were probably going to get a bid anyway with a high RPI and the #11 Strength of Schedule (SOS), but now they've won six straight and are in good shape. The Wildcats are now in trouble.

Wake Forest brought good news to bubble watchers with a 65-63 win at Maryland. The Terps (18-11, 7-8, #57) finish the season against a Virginia team that won't help the SOS.

Utah is a tough team to figure out. The Utes have lost to Southwest Baptist, Idaho State, San Diego State, among others, but figure to be a lock because of a #10 RPI and wins over Gonzaga, BYU and LSU. Utah (20-9, 11-4) lost at New Mexico on Tuesday. The Lobos (20-10) have an equal conference record, but are #63 in the RPI.

Ohio State (#37) helped its cause with 60-58 win at Iowa. The Buckeyes are 19-9, 9-8 but have a lot of quality wins.

Bubble Watch: Wednesday

Here's a quick rundown of Wednesday night's action (RPI is current, all times Central).

Boston College (20-9, 8-6, #49) at N.C. State (15-12, 5-9, #102), 6 p.m.
N.C. State is out, but Boston College is fighting to get in. The Eagles finish the regular season on Saturday versus Georgia Tech.

North Carolina (25-3, 11-3, #3) at Virginia Tech (17-11, 7-7, #59), 6 p.m., ESPN
Virginia Tech is in similar position as Boston College but against a much tougher opponent. The win at Clemson last week was big, but the Hokies have dropped four of five. A must-win against the Tar Heels is not a good situation, and VT finishes the season on Sunday at Florida State.

DePaul (8-21, 0-16, #201) at West Virginia (20-9, 9-7, #20), 6 p.m.
West Virginia is considered a lock with its RPI and Big East record, but a home loss to DePaul would be a big black eye late in the year and possibly make it interesting.

Miami (17-10, 6-8, #44) at Georgia Tech (10-17, 1-13, #162), 6:30 p.m.
Miami is an at-large possibility despite a losing conference record. A loss tonight would be a pin to the side of the bubble. The Hurricanes had lost six of seven before getting to finish with Boston College, at Virginia, at Georgia Tech and N.C. State. Miami looks headed for 8-8.

Iowa State (14-15, 3-11, #155) at Nebraska (16-11, 6-8, #75), 6:30 p.m.
The Huskers have a lot of ground to make up in the RPI with games remaining versus Iowa State and at Baylor (#65). Nebraska had its chance with Missouri, Kansas, Texas A&M and Kansas State the last three weeks, but lost all of them.

Georgia (11-18, 2-12, #205) at Kentucky (19-10, 8-6, #67), 7 p.m.
Is it even possible for Georgia to win at Rupp? Probably not. But for argument's sake... If Kentucky loses this one they'll be in big trouble. The Wildcats travel to Gainesville on Saturday and 21-10, 10-6 with a big road win will look all right.

Central Florida (16-12, 6-8, #146) at Tulsa (20-9, 10-4, #62), 7 p.m.
The Golden Hurricane is probably well down the line as far as bubble teams are concerned, but have five wins over top 100 opponents. If they beat UCF, Rice and make a run in the C-USA Tournament then they could be a contender.

Florida (21-8, 8-6, #50) at Mississippi State (17-12, 7-7, #96), 7 p.m.
Billy Donovan's Gators haven't beaten anyone in the top 100 in over a month, and quality wins are few and far between. Finishing with wins at State and versus Kentucky would be good, but losses in both and it's off to the NIT.

BYU (22-6, 10-4, #22) at Wyoming (18-10, 7-7, #83), 7 p.m.
Baring a colossal collapse, the Cougars are probably in with the recent wins over San Diego State and Utah and a #22 RPI.

Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.
The Badgers' resume: 18-10, 9-7, #31 RPI, #5 SOS and winners of five of six.
The Gophers' resume: 20-8, 8-8, #39 RPI, #46 SOS and losers of five of seven.
Wisconsin is close to being in and gets Indiana on Saturday. Minnesota has a chance with two top 50 opponents to close the season (with Michigan on Sunday).

Texas A&M (21-8, 7-7, #34) at Colorado (9-19, 1-13, #230), 8 p.m.
The Aggies have won four straight to get on the bubble and face Missouri to end the season. Non-conference wins over Arizona and LSU will help.

UAB (20-9, 10-4, #41) at UTEP (17-11, 8-6, #87), 8:05 p.m.
The Blazers could have helped themselves against Memphis by either a) playing 40 minutes rather than 35, or b) Robert Vaden shooting a little better than 0-17. Now they may have work to do.

Colorado State (9-20, 4-11, #190) at San Diego State (19-8, 9-5, #46), 9 p.m.
SDSU is going for its 20th win while CSU has already reached 20 losses. A home loss to the Rams this late would not be good for the Aztecs. SDSU gets UNLV in a pivotal season finale.

Air Force (9-18, 0-14, #283) at UNLV (20-8, 8-6, #51), 9 p.m.
Speaking of the Runnin' Rebs, they get an easy one on Wednesday.

(This blog will be updated daily as long as Auburn is on the bubble.)


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