Bubble Updates: March 10th, 2011

Dylan Burkhardt

All of the bubble focus was on the Big 12 yesterday and two of the conference’s three bubble teams were upset. Colorado, the Big 12 bubble team with the strongest resume, did manage to come back and survive against Iowa State. There’s much more action today as the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-10 all begin the thick of their conference tournaments. Full viewing guide and bracketology roundup after the jump.

Root for Root against Time Channel
East Carolina UAB 12:00 PM CBS CS
Auburn Georgia 1:00 PM ESPN3
Wake Forest Boston College 2:30 PM ESPN3
Southern Miss Memphis 2:30 PM CBS CS
Kansas St. Colorado 3:00 PM ESPN3
California USC 3:00 PM FSN
Iowa vs. Michigan State 4:30 PM ESPN2
Arkansas Tennessee 7:30 PM ESPN3
Indiana/Penn St. 7:30 PM BTN
Georgia Tech Virginia Tech 9:30 PM ESPN3
Washington Washington St 11:30 PM FSN

The Iowa-Michigan State game is a toss-up. A Michigan State loss would take another team off the Bubble but it would probably come at the expense of two of Michigan’s top 50 wins. So we’ll leave that one up for debate. The best case scenario for Michigan is probably a Michigan State win followed by a loss to Purdue. Indiana-Penn State is a similar situation where an Indiana win won’t catapult Penn State but a loss would hurt their RPI. Considering Michigan has beaten the Nittany Lions twice, it might be best to root for a respectable showing.

These are the notable games involving bubble teams, I didn’t include the early rounds of the mid-major conference tournaments. As a general rule you want to always root for teams in the field – BYU, San Diego St. – and against the bubble teams.

Now, here’s a rundown of the latest bracketology updates:

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  • Dylan Peiffer

    I still can’t cheer for MSU. I hope Iowa plays really, really bad…I mean horrible!!

    • JimC

      Yes I’m a little conflicted on that one too.
      But it will be entertaining if Sparty loses it today – and if you live near Detroit, you can hear Mike Valente on 97.1 The Ticket have his green & white meltdown on air.

      • Dylan Peiffer

        Don’t get me wrong, its win-win either way. A state loss is always great, but so is a win that helps Michigan. Go Blue!!!

  • Fred_Ex

    I don’t understand why we a rooting against UAB. There already first in the C-USA, if they win the tournament than there are no worries of them shifting to bubble status. Are we just rooting for a UTEP win or is it whoever wins the C-USA tournament is aoutobid and there are no at-large bids going to another C-USA team. Either way I don’t understand why we’re rooting against UAB, unless we’re considering UTEP a team we played earlier in the season.

    • Giddings

      That confused me as well. At this point most people have UAB in as an at-large (they are 2 spots above us on Lunardi’s S-curve) and no other CUSA teams in the tourney, so I’d think we want them to win out. I’m not so sure that a loss to East Carolina would knock them out.

    • UMQuasi

      This is a tough one. I think we would only be rooting against UAB today. A loss to ECU would spell trouble for them. If they get past today, we want them to win the tournament.

      Them winning the tournament would be the safe bet though. I personally am pulling for them to win and Memphis and UTEP (who was just moved back into the bubble watch today) to lose early. Cheering against UTEP is tough since it’s a former opponent, but I think taking a team off the bubble is more valuable than a slight RPI change–especially considering that their RPI is 60 (last time I checked) so there is no danger of them dropping into “bad loss” territory.

      • Fred_Ex

        Good points. Maybe we root against UAB and Memphis early and root for UTEP, after all the C-USA tourney is held on UTEP’s home court. Seems like a conflict of interest and a major advantage for UTEP

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    OK … I think you guys are right on UAB. I switched it over. My mistake.

  • Michissippi

    If we are rooting for MSU why aren’t we rooting for PSU? It seems like that is the same situation as the MSU game. The only difference is that MSU is hovering around the arbitrary top 50 cutoff point.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Another fair point. I’m not sure who to root for in either of those games quite honestly.

    • billiam

      I’d have to agree on the PSU rooting. Them winning ONLY this game helps us and doesn’t (that I see) hurt us.
      Helps by:
      RPI, SOS go up.
      How most people see it hurting (but it really doesn’t):
      Even if they win this ONE game, they are still behind us. I know that takes a bubble spot out, but we’d still get it before them. So, while there might only be 4 bubble spots left (instead of, say 5) we’d still get in over them. I just don’t see how having a team you’re better than win games really hurts. Only caveat is that they can’t go TAYLOR ROX! and win a few games. Then, they’d catipult us in the standings.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        Also fair… A loss to Indiana would probably drop their RPI while a win would hold it steady. If they go and beat Wisconsin, perhaps they jump Michigan if the Wolverines lose. It’s a 50-50 in my opinion.

  • Tom_McC

    Shouldn’t we be watching this Okla St/Kansas game with some trepidation? They beat Kansas and they would have to start being in the bubble conversation, no?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      They beat Missouri, Kansas State and Missouri State but they are also 6-10 in Big 12 games. So I guess a little bit of worry would be fair.

  • Brian W

    Bradley guard Sam Maniscalco has asked for his release from BU in order to join the University of Illinois basketball program. I’m on my lunch, so I can’t recap the whole thing. This is significant if Maniscalco gets a scholarship because Illinois only has one scholarship to give and has offered it to Bielfeldt.


  • Tom_McC

    Right on…I just did a cursory look at their resume…the 6-10 thing is pretty damaging.

    Still, would prefer to see them put out of their misery all the same.

  • Blue fan

    The Sparty game is tough – I wish our game were first so we could know which team (if any) to root for!

  • MikeSal

    That WVU matchup in the first round would be interesting…they do not scare me at all

  • MiamiWolv

    A couple areas of disagreement.

    Root for Tennessee. They played the #2 SOS and beat some real heavyweights in the non-conference. The SEC’s conference tournament is a joke. They’ve already given an NIT team — Miss. State — a berth in the quarterfinals. We do not need another NIT caliber team in Arkansas moving on. The SEC is one of the tournaments where I am very afraid someone random may win it, partly because of its format.

    Root against MSU and PSU. If MSU and PSU win and then pull upsets on Friday, Michigan is in a WORLD OF TROUBLE. One could hope the head to head is enough, but the NCAA committee could say there were 4 Big 10 teams at 9-9, and only 1 didn’t reach the Big 10 semifinals, gee who should we leave out.

  • mike

    well UAB lost in OT, dont see how there going to be left out of the field.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I still think Michigan hops UAB on the s-curve. They just have 1 top 50 win and are probably in the last four in at best.

      • Jeff

        I think the shot UAB has is if the committee puts a lot of weight on winning the outright regular season title for the #8 RPI (Warren Nolan) conference. They also have an inflated RPI, which doesn’t seem to mean as much for mid-majors, other than that, there’s not much to recommend them. Hopefully, we’ll move ahead of them.

        • evan

          espn has UAB as first out after the loss so maybe we really did want ECU to win

  • Tom_McC

    There is still a ton of hoops to be played these next 4 days but the one thing that is becoming clear is, the bubble doesn’t appear to be filling up with teams that have significantly better resumes than UM. UM has certainly been fortunate that teams in the mid-majors that were supposed to win, did win so the field has remained relatively stable since UM beat MSU.

    Certainly, a lot can happen b/w now and Sunday but UM seems to be fairly entrenched in their spot until they play tomorrow. The biggest benefit for UM is, losing to Illinois won’t be seen as a bad loss in the sense that their resume will change drastically. In other words, UAB, who lost in the quarters to a team outside the RPI 100 and who was the 8th seed in their conference tourney is much less favorable result than UM losing to the 5th seed who also happens to be Top 40 RPI team.