Bracketology Bubble Tracker: Sweep of SMU would be sweet for UConn

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Every time you think Connecticut looks safe, they get beat. Last time out, it was Houston taking down the Huskies at UConn, putting them squarely back on the fence.

Bracketology

Jerry Palm’s projected bracket

The Huskies have the best non-conference wins of the collection of American conference bubble teams. Wins over Texas and Michigan are what has UConn in consideration at all. Overall, they are just 6-9 against the top 100 RPI teams, and several of those losses have come at the hands of other bubble teams or worse. However, they have no losses outside the top 100. UConn is also just 1-5 against the other league bubble teams, including sweeps at the hands of Temple and Cincinnati.

UConn beat the Mustangs at home in their first meeting. Now they will try for the season sweep against the best team in the league. A win would give the Huskies four top 50 wins, three of which are top 25 quality. That would help mitigate some of those less spectacular losses. Either way, they will enter the conference tournament on the bubble.

UCONN: at SMU (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Status: Probably in

Record: 20-9, 10-6 AAC | RPI: 55 | SOS: 62

UConn's Jalen Adams was pumped when the Huskies defeated SMU last month. (USATSI)
UConn’s Jalen Adams was pumped when the Huskies defeated SMU last month. (USATSI)

OTHER BUBBLE TEAMS IN ACTION ON THURSDAY

CINCINNATI: at Houston (9 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network)

Status: On the fence

Record: 21-8, 11-5 AAC | RPI: 51 | SOS: 93

The Bearcats have done reasonable well against other bubble teams, but haven’t gotten a signature win yet. That won’t happen Thursday, but the Bearcats are the last team in my bracket as of now, so the game at Houston is important, and winning there won’t be easy.

I don’t have the Cougars on the bubble yet because they don’t have enough good wins and have a couple of bad losses, including a particularly egregious one at home to South Florida. They also have a non-conference SOS ranking well south of 300. A win tonight would get them bubble consideration, but in all likelihood, Houston has to win the conference tournament to get in.

TEMPLE: vs. Memphis (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Status: On the fence

Record: 18-10, 12-4 AAC | RPI: 52 | SOS: 51

Temple sits atop the American conference and can clinch the tournament’s top seed with a win Thursday. The Owls are just 8-10 against the top 200 teams in the RPI, which is historically fatal to a team’s at-large changes. Beating Memphis would get them a step closer to .500 and avenge an earlier loss to the Tigers.

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