Bracketology Bubble Tracker: Top mid-major in nation has big game

That’s right, Monmouth is on the bubble. In fact, the Hawks may have the best chance of any of the non-majors to get an at-large bid. Yes, better than Wichita State. Better than Gonzaga.


Jerry Palm’s projected bracket

Monmouth went out and played a good non-conference schedule and picked up some big wins. They beat Notre Dame and USC on neutral floors, although they later lost to the Trojans in L.A. They also won at UCLA and Georgetown, and while those don’t look like NCAA tournament teams, they aren’t terrible. Kentucky couldn’t win at UCLA, and Xavier couldn’t win at Georgetown, so those teams are capable. However, the Hawks have three 200+ RPI losses, and it’s tough to get an at-large bid with that many.

Friday night’s game will be a tough test for Monmouth. They host Iona, which is in second place in the MAAC. The first game between the two ended with a near-brawl in the handshake line, so you can expect an intense battle. And if the first game is any indication, it’ll be high scoring. Monmouth won 110-102 — and that was in in regulation.

MONMOUTH: vs. Iona (10 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Status: On the fence

Record: 21-5, 13-2 MAAC | RPI: 37 | SOS: 157

The Monmouth bench won't be celebrating if the Hawks lose to Iona on Friday. (USATSI)
The Monmouth bench won’t be celebrating if the Hawks lose to Iona on Friday. (USATSI)


VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH: vs. Richmond (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Status: On the fence

Record: 19-7, 11-2 Atlantic 10 | RPI: 56 | SOS: 86

This should also be an intense game as these inter-city rivals meet at the Siegel Center. VCU needed overtime to win the first matchup at Richmond. Although the emotional pain of losing to the Spiders would be great for VCU, the bracket pain might be greater. The last thing the Rams need right now is another bad loss.


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