Bubble Watch -- 3/13

Florida made it 4-for-4 at failing to end the need for the Bubble Watch, so we slog on toward Selection Sunday. There are fewer games overall to keep an eye on thanks to conference tournaments being down to the semifinals or finals, but the ones to watch are very important.

Friday was a pretty awful day for the Gators, with San Diego State, Georgia Tech, and Illinois winning and UF's top non-conference wins being reduced in value thanks to Michigan State losing to Minnesota and FSU to NC State. Here's today's key matchups with the potential to impact Florida's NCAA fate.

RHODE ISLAND VS TEMPLE - 1

Rhode Island's struggle down the stretch had them on the outside looking in of most projected brackets, but this would be a solid win to add to their resume. It would also put them into the Atlantic 10 final, which would give them a great shot at snagging the automatic bid. A Temple win probably ends their hopes.

MIAMI VS DUKE - 1:30

Miami has no chance of being an at large team, but now that they're in the ACC Tournament semifinals they become a threat to steal a bid if they can somehow spring another shocker against Duke. Absolutely nothing good can come for Florida out of the Hurricanes winning another game and putting themselves in position for a possible miracle.

ILLINOIS VS OHIO STATE - 1:40

The Illini getting a win against Wisconsin was one of Florida's disappointments yesterday. The Illini were dead and buried without that win, thanks to an RPI in the seventies. Now they've got a chance to add another high value win, one that probably would be enough to earn them a spot in this year's depleted field. Ohio State would never think of it this way, but they have a chance to do Florida a big favor.

MISSISSIPPI STATE VS VANDERBILT - 3

MSU beating Florida wasn't enough to get them into the NCAA field. In a perfect world, Georgia would have beaten Vanderbilt and given them a team with little RPI value to potentially beat in round two. Now that the Commodores won that one, it's essential for UF that they win here as well. The Bulldogs have got to be kept from having a "win and you're in" NCAA scenario against one of two teams that really will have nothing on the line.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE VS GEORGIA TECH - 3:30

If Duke won against Miami, an NC State win here wouldn't be damaging unless they also take down the Blue Devils. They are a Florida non-conference win, and it would continue to polish the value of that one up. Should Miami shock Duke though, a Georgia Tech win here is the only chance bubble teams have of not having a bid definitely go to a school that otherwise never would have a chance of getting into the field. As amusing as the "mighty" ACC having the 11th and 12th seeds meeting in their conference title game might seem, for UF it wouldn't be funny.

MINNESOTA AT PURDUE - 4

The Gophers were dead and buried as an NCAA contender before they beat Michigan State. By itself that probably wasn't enough, but this is another opportunity against a Purdue team with a high RPI that was compiled before Robbie Hummel's season ending injury. Should they win, Minnesota reaches a "win and in" game as well. Boilermakers at least have to something to play for, as they're trying to prove they still deserve a high seed. Here's hoping they do what's necessary to get it.

WASHINGTON VS CAL - 6

Wins over Oregon State and Stanford, both with losing records, haven't helped Washington's stock very much for an at large spot. Cal would get an at large spot if they stumble, which means they need to win so we can see find out the Huskies impressed the committee enough or not.


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