Bubble Watch -- 3/12

Thursday wasn't a perfect day for Florida on the Bubble Watch, but it was a really good one. Most importantly of course, they won their game with Auburn. Memphis, UAB and Arizona State all played themselves out of NCAA contention with bad losses. NC State stunned Clemson, upping the value of the Gators win over the Wolfpack a little bit.

Several other teams had close calls but escaped. If Florida wins tonight against Mississippi State, the Bubble Watch is over. Should they fail to get the bid sealing win for the fourth and final time this season, here are the games that still might help them squeeze into the NCAA field.

ILLINOIS VS WISCONSIN - 2

The Illini don't have a tourney worthy resume right now. Wisconsin is their last chance to get a win that would make the committee look seriously at them as an NCAA contender. Illinois lost at home to the Badgers five days ago, and Florida's hoping they'll do that again.

TENNESSEE VS OLE MISS - 3:15

The Volunteers sleepwalked their way through a lackluster opening win against LSU, and now face Ole Miss at the SEC tournament. Tennessee won the regular season meeting, but has little on the line here other than pride. For Ole Miss, it's win or go back to the NIT. A win over the Vols won't clinch them a bid for sure, but they're toast without it. Tennessee's tournament history under Bruce Pearl is not very good. If they show up interested and ready to play, they'll win. Since they're Florida's best win and would be killing off another bubble contender, that would be ideal for the Gators.

DAYTON VS XAVIER - 6:30

The Flyers are down to their last chance. Some bracket gurus believe they won't reach the NCAAs without winning the Atlantic-10 tournament, but it's possible they can. With Xavier on UF's schedule as a loss, it's in their interest for XU to last deep into their conference tournament. Couple that with Dayton's need for more wins and this is an easy choice for Gator fans.

GEORGIA TECH VS MARYLAND - 7

GT escaped with a win over North Carolina after being in a tie game late. It keeps them alive for the NCAA field but doesn't secure the spot the way a win over the regular season ACC co-champs would. Odds are the Yellow Jackets will make it, but Maryland might as well make Sunday interesting for them.

SAN DIEGO STATE VS NEW MEXICO - 9

The Aztecs nearly lost to Colorado State yesterday, one of the ones that got away for UF that kept it from being a perfect day. SDSU is right on the edge of the NCAA field, but with a win over potential second or third seed New Mexico they'd be in. Gators are big Lobos fans in this one.


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