Bubble Watch -- 3/9

Florida heads into the SEC tournament knowing that they're currently considered in the NCAA field but can not survive a loss to Auburn Thursday. Should they win that one, many seem feel Friday's game with Mississippi State would be the clincher. If they falter, it's not out of the question the Gators could still get in but they'll need help from other teams.

One spot in the field got snatched up Monday night, as Saint Mary's surprised Gonzaga in the WCC tournament final. They might have gotten in without the automatic bid, but it was going to be very close. Now the WCC gets two spots, and UF's margin for error just got smaller. Most of the big conference tournaments don't commence until Wednesday or Thursday, but here are today's games to keep an eye on.

DePAUL VS USF - NOON

The Bulls would have to make a lengthy run in the Big East tournament to have any hope of making the NCAA field, but they are a .500 team in conference play. With some people still trying to make a case for the team that finished 12th in the conference standings, you never know how much love the Big East bubble teams will get. Considering DePaul won one conference game all year, the upset isn't likely here but UF would take it if they could get it.

ST. JOHN'S VS UCONN - 2

The Huskies are the previously noted 12th place finisher in the Big East, and sit four games below .500 in conference play with a 17-14 record overall. Simply put, they have no business being talked about as an NCAA team. Despite that, if they're still alive after two tournament games ESPN's army of Big East apologists will begin beating the drum for them again based on their strength of schedule. St. John's can do everyone a favor by putting an end to the nonsense now.

NORTH TEXAS VS TROY - 7

Florida has gotten more out of their early season win against Troy than they typically do out of those walkover home games. Troy was at 113 in the RPI heading into Monday's action and would become the Sun Belt's NCAA team with a win over the Mean Green. Never hurts to have a win against a team in the field on your resume, so the Gators want Troy to get the victory.

GEORGE WASHINGTON AT DAYTON - 7

The Flyers were one spot ahead of Florida in the RPI as the week began, but right now most have them on the outside of the field due to a lack of big wins. Their only chance to change that is to stay alive deep into the Atlantic 10 tournament. Losing at home to GW would definitely slam the door on any NCAA hopes - the Flyers have to win this just to go to Atlantic City for the quarterfinals of the conference event beginning Friday.

WRIGHT STATE VS BUTLER - 9

This is for the Horizon League's automatic NCAA bid. Without winning, Wright State has no chance of being a tournament team. Butler is a sure thing, which means all bubble teams desperately want them to get the job done here.

RUTGERS VS CINCINNATI - 9

One team Florida wouldn't mind seeing getting hot in the Big East tournament is Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are currently at 151 in the RPI, but the value of UF's neutral court win against them would go up a little bit if they could pick up some Ws. Cincinnati has been generally left for dead by even the Big East worshippers in the media at this point, but with an RPI of 68 a couple of wins will get someone pushing them as an NCAA team again.


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