Bubble Watch - 2/25

Tuesday was a day of missed opportunities for Florida. They had a potential NCAA bid clinching road win against LSU slip through their hands, and teams they could have benefited from losing like Providence and Boston College won. All the more reason for Gator fans to keep an eye on these matchups for tonight which can have a positive effect on UF's tournament chances.

VIRGINIA TECH AT CLEMSON (7:30) - The Hokies are a borderline NCAA team right now, but they may have the toughest closing stretch of any team in the country. This road tilt against Clemson is followed by back to back home games with Duke and North Carolina before a season closing trip to face an FSU squad which already beat VT in Blacksburg. All of those teams are securely in the tournament, so Florida fans might as well put a picture of Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg up on their dartboards for the next two weeks.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT TENNESSEE (9 PM) - It's probably too late for MSU's NCAA hopes barring a major run in the SEC tournament. The Volunteers have been expected to be a tournament team all season, but things are starting to get interesting for Bruce Pearl's team. Tennessee lost their last two games by 16 and 19 points, but those were away from Knoxville. With just two games left at home, this is a must for the Vols to have a shot at winning the SEC East. With UT headed to Gainesville next, Florida obviously would benefit from a Tennessee loss to maintain their one game lead over the Vols in the East division standings as well.

DUKE AT MARYLAND (9 PM) - The Terrapins were dead and buried as a tournament hopeful until their Saturday win over North Carolina. They're still on the outside looking in, but that could change with another upset victory against a team that beat them by 41 earlier this season. Should they notch a win over Duke, Maryland would be a game over .500 in ACC play with two very winnable games against N.C. State and Virginia among the three remaining on their schedule. Gator fans should root against Maryland the rest of the season.

KANSAS STATE AT MISSOURI (9 PM) - K State played a putrid non-conference schedule, one ranked 327th. The Wildcats have hit their stride lately, winning eight of their last nine (including a home win against Missouri) after losing their first four Big 12 games of the year. This road trip to Columbia is their toughest remaining regular season game, and if they win it they start to become a legit factor for the NCAA field. Mizzou has already locked up a tournament bid. so Gator fans should be pulling for them to cool off K State.

UNLV AT UTAH (10 PM) - Lon Kruger's Rebels have been wildly inconsistent in conference play. They've suffered road losses to Wyoming, TCU and Colorado State, all teams with losing records in the Mountain West. Now they travel to face a Utah team which leads the conference, although it's one UNLV beat at home by ten. With their RPI at 50 entering the week, UNLV is the definition of a bubble team. Another loss here would push them down into fifth in the MWC standings, and it's hard to imagine the conference will get that many bids. Florida would be in favor of the Utes triumphing here.


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