Bubble Watch -- 2/28-3/1

Florida's failure to take care of business against Georgia means the bubble watch will continue on through the SEC tournament. A home win over Vandy would still make an NCAA bid likely, but there's a lot more pressure on the Gators to get it now than there would have been.

Home wins only count at a value of .6 in the RPI, while road wins count 1.4 - which makes the loss to the Bulldogs that much more frustrating. Here are the games which could help Florida's tournament standing over the next two days.

MARQUETTE AT SETON HALL - Sunday, noon

Both of these teams qualify as NCAA possibilities right now, but Seton Hall winning is the better option for Florida here. The Pirates would be winning at home, which is worth less than a road triumph, and would still only get back to .500 in the Big East with a victory. Marquette's at 51 in the RPI right now, and this is their last chance for another road win. Sitting at 18-9 with Louisville and a hot Notre Dame squad still to deal with before their conference tournament, this is a game Marquette really needs. Florida hopes they don't get it.

MICHIGAN STATE AT PURDUE - Sunday, 4

Beating Michigan State on a neutral floor was a huge win for Florida at the time, but the Spartans haven't been doing their part to make it as important as expected. They're a game back of Purdue and Ohio State in the Big Ten standings and have lost four of their last six. With Purdue reeling from the loss of Robbie Hummel for the season, this is a great opportunity for MSU to get a road win over a team currently in the RPI top ten. With the Spartans currently sitting behind Richmond in the RPI, UF would be happy to see them get that boost.

CLEMSON AT FSU - Sunday, 5:30

Cheering for FSU is never a pleasant thought for Gator fans, but every win they get helps improve the value of Florida's victory against the Noles earlier this season. Clemson would fall to .500 in ACC play with a loss here, and a losing conference mark would definitely become a possibility considering what's left on their schedule. At least one of the seven ACC teams that have been getting projected into all the brackets is going to wind up falling out, with Virginia Tech the most likely candidate right now. Clemson could still easily be a possibility as well with a loss in this one.

FRESNO STATE AT UTAH STATE - Monday, 9

Utah State opened WAC play by losing their first two conference games. They haven't stumbled since then, cranking out twelve consecutive victories and moving into the RPI top 40. Despite that, they haven't won the regular season conference title yet. New Mexico State is just one game back and beat Utah State earlier in the year. With them next on the schedule, it creates a classic "look ahead" scenario for USU against a bad Fresno State squad they already handled once this season. With only BYU for a quality nonconference win, a loss here could be fatal for Utah State's at large chances if they don't win the WAC tournament. The Aggies have been left out of the field multiple times under Stew Morrill with records better than their current 23-6.


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