Wednesday Bubble Watch

Florida couldn't have had a much worse Tuesday. Every possible result that could have aided them in making the NCAA tournament went the other way.

The most damaging wins were by Ohio State, Virginia Tech and New Mexico. All of those teams have helped themselves considerably, meaning UF needs to do the same with a win against Tennessee tonight in their final home game. Beyond that, here's some other games to keep an eye on this evening.

Syracuse at Seton Hall, 7 - The Orange have dropped five of their past six, blowing a big lead at home against Pitt to lose their last time out. Syracuse's next loss will guarantee a losing regular season record in the Big East and continue to damage their chances. They're 3-6 away from the Carrier Dome heading into this final road game. Seton Hall endured a February slump of their own, but did win two of their past three. While the teams have identical regular season and conference records, Syracuse is the one with the better tournament chances and thus Florida wants them to lose.

La Salle at UMass, 7:30 - Massachusetts was at 40 in the RPI as of Tuesday. They're vulnerable on their schedule, with a record of just 1-2 against teams in the top 50 of the RPI and three losses to teams in the 100s. Four wins in a row have positioned UMass for a possible tournament shot, as they're going for win twenty against the Explorers and are in a four way tie for third in the Atlantic Ten standings. La Salle's been playing well, with a five game win streak snapped their last time out. Were they to win on the road, it would significantly damage UMass's NCAA hopes.

Tulsa at UAB, 8 - Robert Vaden has been incredible for UAB from long range the past three games, hitting 22 of 42 from three point territory. Not surprisingly, the Blazers have won all of them. This is UAB's final home game, with a Memphis rematch still to come this week. Tulsa's in a groove themselves, winning six of their last seven with only a Memphis loss to break the string up. Any C-USA loss that's not to Memphis significantly hurts a team from the conference's NCAA chances. If the Blazers have Memphis on their minds, this could be a trap game for them. Florida's hoping it will be.

USF at Villanova, 8 - Villanova has dropped back to back games and placed their tournament hopes in real jeopardy. Their best case scenario is to win both games this week and reach break even in conference play with a chance to get to twenty wins for the season in round one of the Big East tournament. Both of the Wildcats remaining opponents are bottom feeders, but USF has been playing extremely well in their past five games. In addition to wins over Syracuse and Rutgers, the Bulls lost by one to both UConn and Cincinnati and just four to Seton Hall. With Villanova within one RPI spot of Florida heading into Wednesday night, a USF upset here would be enormously helpful.

The Heath Cline Show airs daily from 11-1 on Gainesville's Star 99.5 FM

Fightin Gators Top Stories