Cincinnati picked up a 65-60 win over UConn at home on Saturday in a Double-Bubble contest, completing the regular season sweep of the Huskies. However, the Bearcats are far from out of the woods. They have two road games against non-contenders followed by SMU at home. For the Huskies, not only have they been swept by the Bearcats, they were also swept by Temple. They don’t have a very good record against teams in contention for tournament bids, but they also don’t have any bad losses. They do have some games coming up where they have to take care of business.
BUBBLE TEAMS IN ACTION ON SATURDAY:
BUTLER: L 77-67 at Villanova
Record: 18-9, 7-8 Big East | RPI: 59 | SOS: 80
Status update: Butler put up a good fight at the Ski Lodge, but lost to Villanova 77-67. The Bulldogs finish the regular season 0-6 against Villanova, Xavier and Providence. They still have a win over Purdue and three more over bubble teams, but there is a lot of pressure on their remaining regular season games now.
GONZAGA: vs. St. Mary’s (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2) (TV)
Status: Work to do
Record: 21-6, 13-2 WCC | RPI: 60 | SOS: 124
Neither one of these teams has done much to distinguish themselves in the race for a spot in the bracket. Gonzaga beat UConn and Washington earlier in the season, but that’s it for top 100 RPI wins, and Washington and only UConn is in the current bracket. A win over St. Mary’s would give the Zags another top 100 win, but it’s not the kind that of win that would register loudly with the committee. It would also give Gonzaga at least a share of the WCC crown.
A win for St. Mary’s would give the Gaels the inside track to the top seed in the WCC tournament and a sweep of the season series. It probably still wouldn’t be enough to make them much of an at-large candidate though.
PITT: W 66-52 at Syracuse
Record: 19-7, 8-6 ACC | RPI: 45 | SOS: 48
Status update: Pitt and Syracuse were tied at 45, but the Panthers finished the game on a 21-7 run for a 66-52 win. That gives Pitt as season sweep of the Orange and another quality win as the Panthers try to play their way up the bracket. Pitt also has a win at Notre Dame, and more tough games coming.
FLORIDA: L 73-69 (OT) at South Carolina
Record: 17-10, 8-6 SEC | RPI: 30 | SOS: 11
Status update: Florida was able to get the Gamecocks into overtime, and even had a three-point lead about halfway through it, but the Gators eventually fell 73-69. Losing to a quality team on the road isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a bubble team, but Florida is now just 2-7 against the top 50 in the RPI.
OREGON STATE: at Oregon (10 p.m. ET, Pac 12 Network)
Status: In for now
Record: 15-9, 6-7 Pac-12 | RPI: 36 | SOS: 5
The Beavers have half a dozen top 50 wins, all against likely bracket teams, and all at home. That includes an earlier win over the Ducks. The only thing really missing from Oregon State’s profile is that big win away from home.
ST. JOSEPH’S: L 99-93 at Davidson
Record: 22-5, 11-3 Atlantic 10 | RPI: 23 | SOS: 79
Status update: Defense took a vacation at Davison in the Wildcats 99-93 win over formerly first place St. Joseph’s. The Hawks lost on the road for the first time all season and ended a four-game winning streak. It also qualifies as the worst loss of the year for St. Joe’s, and it’s not really all that bad.
ST. BONAVENTURE: W 79-72 at Dayton
Record: 18-7, 10-4 Atlantic 10 | RPI: 53 | SOS: 90
Status update: Dayton seems intent on playing the entire A-10 bubble squad into the NCAA tournament. The Flyers took their second straight loss to a bubble team, this time at home to St. Bonaventure by a score of 79-72. For the Bonnies, it was a much needed bounce back after the loss at LaSalle on Wednesday. They now have wins over three of the other four NCAA Tournament contenders in the league.
FLORIDA STATE: L 83-73 at Virginia Tech
Record: 16-11, 6-9 ACC | RPI: 64 | SOS: 55
Status update: The Seminoles led for much of the game at Virginia Tech, but completely fell apart late and lost to the Hokies 83-73. It’s hard to classify Florida State as a bubble team anymore, especially when you look at their remaining schedule, which is much more difficult than what they faced the last two games.