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Syracuse basketball bubble watch: March 9

Some good and some bad from yesterday’s action.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-North Carolina vs Syracuse Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange have done all they can do in terms of resume, so now they’ll sit and wait to find out whether or not they make the NCAA Tournament.

Before Sunday, however, there are still plenty of other games that can decide our bubble fate for us -- for better or worse.

Games got started around noon again today, but the earliest game we’re really interested in begin at 1 p.m. We’ll be updating this daily through Sunday.

Yesterday’s results

Some good and some bad here. First, a rundown of scores, and then an assessment of who played their way in or out (bubble teams bolded):

  • Virginia 75, Louisville 58
  • Villanova 94, Marquette 70
  • Duke 88, Notre Dame 70
  • Kansas 82, Oklahoma State 68
  • Texas Tech 73, Texas 69
  • West Virginia 78, Baylor 65
  • Kansas State 66, TCU 64
  • Alabama 71, Texas A&M 70
  • UCLA 88, Stanford 77
  • Southern Miss 71, Middle Tennessee 68
  • USC 61, Oregon State 48
  • Oregon 68, Utah 66
NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Villanova vs Marquette Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s eliminated from at-large contention? Middle Tennessee, Utah, Marquette

Who’s a lock? Probably Alabama and that’s it

Sitting and waiting: Louisville, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor

Work left to do: Kansas State, UCLA, USC, Oregon

Oregon? Yeah, Oregon’s here now

Expanding on the Ducks, a Final Four team from 2017, for one second. Oregon sleep-walked through the schedule this year and finished 10-8 in a down Pac-12. However, they’re now in the conference semifinals with a chance to knock off USC (and potentially toss the Trojans off the bubble) on Friday. The computer numbers aren’t great, but the late push could do something for them. They’re also a potential bid stealer if they win the tournament outright.

Today’s games

(all times ET)

SEC Tournament: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers, 1 p.m.

Alabama picked up a third win over Texas A&M yesterday, and now has five wins over RPI top 25 teams (and seven over the top 50). There are three bad losses on there, but the quality victories might be enough, even with just an 18-14 record. I think they’re in. But a win over Auburn would seal it if not.

A-10 Tournament: Rhode Island Rams vs. VCU Rams, Noon

A-10 Tournament: St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs. Richmond Spiders, 6 p.m.

Grouping these together, since they’re not “bubble” games -- just important ones to keep an at-large spot open. Both the Bonnies and URI are in. So either team can win the conference and it’s fine. But if both lose, that means someone is stealing a bid. Root for those teams.

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

MAC Tournament: Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Buffalo Bulls, 6:30 p.m.

I don’t think Buffalo can grab an at-large bid despite a top-30 RPI. However, them continuing to win helps us, so go Bulls.

Big 12 Tournament: Kansas State Wildcats vs. Kansas Jayhawks, 7 p.m.

State’s RPI and SOS are both outside the top 50, but they do own five top-50 wins -- including two apiece against both Texas and TCU. The 7-6 record away from home is helpful as well. They’re probably in. But just to feel safe, an upset over Kansas would clinch it. Let’s hope they don’t get that.

Pac-12 Tournament: UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona Wildcats, 9 p.m.

UCLA’s wins over USC (two), Arizona and Kentucky already are probably enough, though their RPI and SOS numbers are pretty similar to Syracuse’s. Facing the Wildcats is a chance to lock up a bid, though.

Pac-12 Tournament: Oregon Ducks vs. USC Trojans, 11:30 p.m.

Mentioned above, briefly. USC’s computer numbers are far better than Oregon’s, but those Utah wins are likely to fall out of the top 50. I’m not sure how USC is locked in without getting to the Pac-12 title game. Their footing is based on a neutral site win over MTSU, beating New Mexico State and those two victories over the Utes. Not all that impressive.


Tomorrow, we’ll break down the bubble team resumes and compare them to Syracuse going into the final two games.