Bracketology Bubble Tracker: Temple faces Tulsa with both needing a win

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Temple visits Tulsa in a double-bubble battle for position at the bottom of the bracket. The Owls lead the American conference by two games over their nearest eligible contender and have one of the strangest profiles out there.

Bracketology

Jerry Palm’s projected bracket

This would be Temple’s eighth win against a top 100 team, which is a pretty good number. However, the win would bring the Owls back to just .500 against the top 200 teams in the RPI. That does not include their loss to East Carolina.

Teams below .500 against that group very rarely get at-large bids.

Tulsa is looking to avoid the season sweep at the hands of the Owls. Like Temple, the Golden Hurricane have beaten SMU, but they did so on the road. That is arguably the best win any of the American conference bubble teams have this season.

Tulsa is currently right at .500 against the top 200 teams in the RPI.

This is the last game of the regular season for both teams against one of the other league contenders. The winner takes one more step in the right direction, but regardless of the result, both teams will enter the conference tournament with a lot at stake.

DOUBLE-BUBBLE GAME: TEMPLE AT TULSA (7 p.m. ET, ESPNNews)

  • Owls’ status: : Work to do | Record: 17-9, 11-3 AAC | RPI: 55| SOS: 55
  • Golden Hurricanes’ status: : Work to do | Record: 18-9, 10-5 AAC | RPI: 37| SOS: 43

Temple's Josh Brown was happy after the Owls defeated Houston on the road on Sunday. (USATSI)
Temple’s Josh Brown was happy after the Owls defeated Houston on the road on Sunday. (USATSI)

FLORIDA: vs. Vanderbilt (7 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

  • Status: On the fence
  • Record: 17-10, 8-6 SEC | RPI: 32| Strength of schedule: 13

Florida is coming off an overtime loss at South Carolina that was a missed opportunity to add to the sparse quality win ledger. The Gators have a very good strength of schedule, but they can only live on that for so long. Vanderbilt beat the Gators in Nashville in their first meeting and is hoping to play its way onto the bubble.

ALABAMA: at Kentucky (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

  • Status: In for now
  • Record: 16-10, 7-7 SEC | RPI: 48| Strength of schedule: 25

Alabama is coming off its worse loss of the season so far. The Tide lost at home to Mississippi State last time out, and that’s the kind of game that NCAA tournament teams win at this time of year. They have a couple more games like that coming, but first a trip to Rupp Arena, which is always fraught with peril. Alabama is catching Kentucky at a bad time with the Wildcats coming off that crazy loss at Texas A&M.

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