Bubble Watch: Thursday Results, Friday Games

Taking a look at the bubble results on Thursday, games to monitor on Friday and how they impact Syracuse's NCAA Tournament hopes.


Michigan 75 Illinois 55

Despite distractions and an altered travel schedule, the Wolverines dominated the Illini from the start. The outcome ended Illinois chances at an NCAA Tournament bid. This was a good result for Syracuse.  

Middle Tennessee 86 UTSA 70

MTSU controlled things from the start to advance to the Conference USA semifinals. Syracuse wants MTSU to win their conference title. 

Georgia 59 Tennessee 57

Oh so close. The Volunteers had a three in the air to win it at the buzzer, but it was no good. A Tennessee win would have eliminated Georgia. Still, the Bulldogs may need at least another win to get in as they are just 1-8 against the top 50 and do not have a top 25 win. 

Michigan State 78 Penn State 51

This did not do much. A loss would have really hurt the Spartans. But a win over a bad PSU squad does not enhance their resume. They may be in anyway, but a loss in their game would make the discussion interesting. They have fewer top 25 and top 50 wins than Syracuse, have a similar record, and are just 2-7 on the road. As much as SU gets hammered for their road record, MSU's is not much better. 

Seton Hall 82 Marquette 76

This win likely puts the Pirates in. What about the Golden Eagles? They were in before this game and still are most likely in the field. Marquette is 19-12, has eight top 50 wins and five wins away from home. 

TCU 85 Kansas 82

In the shocker of the day, TCU pulled off a major upset with a win over Kansas. The first thought is this puts the Horned Frogs in. Not so fast. When you look at their resume, they still have 14 losses, are 1-7 against the top 25 and just 3-10 against the top 50. Combine that with a 6-12 conference record and have a subpar resume. The Kansas win helps, but TCU may need to win their conference tournament to get in. 

Cal 78 Utah 75

Utah and Cal both had similar resumes going in. Cal's win likely eliminates Utah, who are just 1-6 against the top 50 and have zero top 25 wins. Utah also has a strength of schedule of 117. That's just not good enough. 

Indiana 95 Iowa 75

A very good outcome for Syracuse here. This eliminates Iowa from NCAA Tournament consideration.  

Vanderbilt 66 Texas A&M 41

While this was not the result Orange fans wanted, it does not bolster Vandy's resume. Texas A&M has a sub-.500 record are not a good basketball team.  

Xavier 62 Butler 57

A loss would have made things very interesting for Xavier, but they were still probably in based on their entire body of work. This win clinched it. 

Kansas State 70 Baylor 64

This one stings a bit for Syracuse. The Orange were ahead of the Wildcats going into this game, and a loss would have kept it that way. The win may push KSU ahead of SU. Syracuse does have more top 50 and top 100 wins, however. The Wildcats do not have bad the losses Syracuse has. 

Creighton 70 Providence 58

Providence now sits at 20-12 after the loss. A full two games ahead of Syracuse in overall record. However, they have fewer top 25 wins and top 100 wins. Strength of schedules are similar, but SU has worse losses. Providence is still slightly ahead of Syracuse most likely, but the loss definitely helps. 

UCLA 76 USC 74

This game looked like UCLA would blow out the Trojans early, but they responded and made it a game. Still, the win by the Bruins helps Syracuse. USC is now 24-9, which is an impressive record. However, their strength of schedule is just 85, and they have only two top 50 wins.


St. Bonaventure vs Rhode Island

Rhode Island is considered a bubble team. A loss likely eliminates them but could give the Bonnies an outside shot. 

Indiana vs Wisconsin

Indiana is not in yet, but Syracuse fans want to keep it that way. A Badger victory ensures that happens. If the Hoosiers can pull this out, they may be only one win away from being in. 

Seton Hall vs Villanova

The Pirates may be in after knocking off Marquette, but a loss to Villanova would make it an interesting discussion. Seton Hall has only one top 25 win, but they have four top 50 victories. They also have more than 20 wins and only one loss to a team outside of the top 100. 

Vanderbilt vs Florida

This is a huge game. Syracuse is pulling for the Gators here. A Florida win puts Vandy at 18-15 and just a 2-6 record against the top 25. Syracuse would have a case over Vandy in that scenario. A win and they are likely in. 

TCU vs Iowa State

A Cyclone win and Jamie Dixon's TCU squad is not going dancing. They just do not have the quality wins to warrant inclusion in the field over teams like Syracuse and Wake Forest. 

UConn vs Houston

Houston has a nice 21-9 record, but are 0-4 against the top 25 and just 2-5 against the top 50. In fact, they only have three top 100 wins. So most of their wins are against bad teams. A UConn victory knocks the Cougars out while a Houston win keeps their hopes alive. 

Cal vs Oregon

Cal still lacks quality wins on their resume despite a 21-11 record. They are 0-6 against the top 25 and 1-7 against the top 50. A win over Oregon would make their resume look a lot better. A loss and Cal may be on the outside of the bubble due to lack of quality wins. 

Kansas St vs West Virginia

Kansas State's win over Baylor may have put them in. Their resume compared to Syracuse's is very interesting. It all depends on which criteria you prefer. Another win over West Virginia certainly moves them ahead of the Orange. A loss makes it a discussion. 

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