One in a row! North Carolina finally picked up its first Quad 1 win of the season with a victory at home over Virginia. At the moment, the Tar Heels are 1-8 vs Quad 1 teams and I believe they will need at least two Quad 1 wins to have a shot at selection. The home loss to Miami is no longer in Quad 1 thanks to an epic collapse by the Hurricanes at home to Florida State.
Also in the ACC, Clemson got a big win not just because of who the Tigers beat but also the margin. They won at NC State by 25 in a game that was not as close as the score would indicate. Thanks to the MOV-heavy nature of the NET, Clemson moved up 26 spots this week after an 18-point win over Syracuse and Saturday's win. And, that means we also welcome the Tigers back to the bubble.
Arizona State is also returning to the bubble following an 89-88 win at Arizona that ended on a longer-than half-court game-winner at the buzzer. The win over the Wildcats is just their second over a likely NCAA Tournament team. The other came against Creighton. They also have a Quad 4 loss to Texas Southern.
It was a rough night for Mountain West bubble teams. New Mexico lost on a buzzer-beater at home to San Diego State. It's getting hard to see a path for the Lobos to the NCAA Tournament without winning the conference tournament.
Boise State also lost at San Jose State, which is a Quad 2 loss. The Broncos have two Quad 3 losses as well and a short list of wins over potential tournament teams. One of those is a neutral court victory over Texas A&M.
Oklahoma State and West Virginia each lost in Big 12 action to drop to 16-13 overall. The Mountaineers are now just 4-12 against Quad 1 teams and 10-13 vs the top three quadrants. No team has ever received an at-large bid that was more than two games below .500 against that group of teams. Only one team, Temple in 2016, has gotten an at-large bid at two games below .500 against the top three quadrants
The Cowboys are 5-10 against quad 1 and 11-13 vs the top three quadrants, but one of those is a Quad 3 loss to Southern Illinois.
NCAA Tournament locks
Locks based on résumé: 19 | Bids secured: 0 | At-large spots remaining: 36
On the cutline
|Last Four In||Record||NET|
|First Four Out||Record||NET|
|Next Four Out||Record||NET|
Check out all the teams on Palm's Bubble Watch, the field of the 68 and the entire bracket on the Bracketology hub
Sunday's 'Double Bubble' games
Wisconsin at Michigan
2 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free)
| Wisconsin has been a better road team than a home team against the top three quadrants this season, so this game may play into the Badgers' hands. Wisconsin's schedule is heavy with Quad 1 and 2 games, but they are just .500 against those teams. This is a Quad 1 game for the Badgers.|
| It may not be a Quad 1 game for Michigan though because Wisconsin's NET ranking as of this morning is 71. The Wolverines are coming off wins over Michigan State and at Rutgers to help bolster their tournament resume. They still have games at Illinois and Indiana, so this is their best chance for a good win until the conference tournament.|
Rutgers at Penn State
6:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, fuboTV (try for free)
| Rutgers has lost four of five and is getting perilously close to playing their way out of the tournament. The Scarlet Knights are within one game of .500 against each of the top three quadrants and one game below .500 against that group in total. This is the last Quad 1 opportunity in the regular season for Rutgers.|
| Penn State is going the other way, having won three in a row following a four-game losing streak. The Nittany Lions have chances to resume build down the stretch with a road game at Northwestern after this and a visit from Maryland in the regular season finale. Their margin for error is small though.|
Other bubble team in action Sunday
| Vs. Cincinnati, 2 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) – The Tigers are biding their time until they get another shot at Houston. That does not mean they can take the other games lightly. The best chance for Memphis to make the NCAA Tournament without beating Houston is to lose to nobody else. Cincinnati is good enough to win this game, so Memphis better be ready.|
All references to NCAA Tournament selection records and trends refer only to tournaments going back to 1994 with the exception of 2021. Due to shortened schedules and a relatively small number of nonconference games in 2021, those rankings were not reliable enough to be considered.