Posted: Tuesday February 14, 2012 12:44PM ; Updated: Tuesday February 14, 2012 3:05PM
Andy Glockner
Andy Glockner>BUBBLE WATCH

Bubble Watch: Pac-12, SEC, Atlantic-10, More (Cont.)

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Winning the Pac-12 regular-season title could be enough to push Washington into the NCAA tournament.
Winning the Pac-12 regular-season title could be enough to push Washington into the NCAA tournament.

Locks: None

There is no separation happening, as five teams remain within a game of first place. In a league where quantity of wins will be a large part of any at-large profile, that's not good news.




California (20-6, 10-3; RPI: 36, SOS: 91)

The Golden Bears swept their L.A. roadie and moved back into a tie for first place when Washington lost at Oregon. This is feeling more and more like 2010. Next up, the Oregon schools at home. Thursday's game with the Ducks is huge for both teams. These are Cal's final two home games of the season. The Bears close at Utah, Colorado and Stanford.
GW: None, but a handful of OK ones
BL: at Washington State, at Oregon State, Arizona?

Washington (17-8, 10-3; RPI: 62; SOS: 67)

When your profile case is being built on bulk and a league title, losing by 25 at Oregon is not a good look. The Huskies currently sit 2-8 against the RPI top-100 and only have one top-100 game remaining on the schedule. By any historical standard, this is not an at-large resume, but they (usually) pass the eye test and a league (co)championship may be enough. Maybe. Arizona comes in on Saturday in a huge game.
GW: at Arizona?
BL: Home to South Dakota State by 19

Colorado (15-8, 9-4; RPI: 74; SOS: 85)

The Buffaloes got handled in Tucson and really have very little wiggle room now. They still have home games with Cal and Stanford, along with a trip to Oregon, so they have a chance to grab some more OK wins. Best road win remains No. 193 Air Force.
GW: None, really
BL: at UCLA?

Arizona (18-8, 9-4; RPI: 66, SOS: 84)

The Wildcats avoided a major disaster by pushing past Utah in the final minutes. Now they head to Washington State and then a huge game at Washington on Saturday. The Cats need that one. They did a small bit of work in nonleague play and wins at Cal and Washington would look OK.
GW: at Cal
BL: at UCLA?

Oregon (18-7, 9-4; RPI: 67, SOS: 98)

A huge home rout of Washington keeps the Ducks in the mix. This week's road trip to Cal and Stanford is a massive chance to enhance a mostly empty profile. Pretty good team, though, at times. The sloppy home loss to the Beavers looks like a huge whiff right now.
GW: at Arizona?, Washington by 25?
BL: Oregon State


Locks: Kentucky

There's now a huge gap between the Wildcats and the rest of the league. The Cats are trending very steadily toward a No. 1 seed and (presumably) a spot in Catlanta for the South Regional.


Florida (19-6, 7-3; RPI: 26, SOS: 57)

The Gators had a bad week, getting trucked at Kentucky and then losing at home to Tennessee, finishing off a season sweep by the Vols. They have three top-10 losses and three losses to 100+ RPI opponents, but are also 7-3 against the top 100. Odd profile, inconsistent team. And with four road games in their next five and a home date with Kentucky to finish, this profile could move a lot before March 11.
GW: Florida State?, Vandy?, at Ole Miss?
BL: Swept by Tennessee, at Rutgers

Vanderbilt (17-8, 6-4; RPI: 29, SOS: 5)

The Commodores gave it a good go but couldn't handle Kentucky at home. Now they have to recover for a road trip to Mississippi and Georgia. The end of the schedule isn't kind, so picking up more wins now would be a good idea for seeding purposes.
GW: at Marquette, at Alabama, Middle Tennessee State, N.C. State? At Davidson?
BL: Indiana State, Cleveland State?

Mississippi State (19-6, 6-4; RPI: 43, SOS: 72)

That truck I saw last week backing up for wins? Georgia had other ideas and handed the Bulldogs a bad home loss. Now four of the next five are on the road, wrapped around a visit from Kentucky.
GW: at Vanderbilt, Alabama, Arizona?, West Virginia
BL: Georgia, Akron?


Alabama (16-8, 5-5; RPI: 32, SOS: 22)

The Tide's profile evaluation is on hold until these suspensions sort themselves out. It's impossible to know how long the team will be shorthanded, so it's hard to evaluate this past week or any future efforts.
GW: Wichita State, Purdue?
BL: at South Carolina, at LSU?

Mississippi (15-9, 5-5; RPI: 50, SOS: 48)

Splitting weeks is not going to do it most weeks with this profile, but the Rebels may take a split this week when they host Vanderbilt and then travel to Kentucky.
GW: Mississippi State?, Miami (Fla.)?
BL: at Auburn

Arkansas (17-8, 5-5; RPI: 70, SOS: 78)

The only number that matters right now is 0-7 road/neutral. That's an at-large nonstarter. The Hogs can start to fix that Wednesday at Tennessee before hosting Florida.
GW: Michigan, Mississippi State?
BL: Houston, at LSU?, at Georgia?

Atlantic 10

Temple will face five top-100 foes, three of which come on the road.
Temple will face five top-100 foes, three of which come on the road.

Locks: None

Finally, we're seeing a bit of separation at the top of the league, and three teams in still seems like the most reasonable scenario. Temple likely will be one. Saint Louis is looking more likely as the second.


Temple (19-5, 8-2; RPI: 18, SOS: 55)

The Owls are rolling, with their latest win, a pounding of Xavier, making it eight in a row. The stretch run will test them, as the next five games are against top-100 foes, three of which come on the road.
GW: Wichita State (N), Duke, at Saint Louis, Xavier?
BL: at Bowling Green, at Richmond?


Saint Louis (19-5, 8-3; RPI: 23, SOS: 69)

The Billikens got a huge road sweep in Philly, taking out La Salle and St. Joe's. With a much softer remaining schedule than Temple, earning at least a share of the league title is very possible. The next three: Richmond, Fordham, at Rhode Island. All they do is win, win, win?
GW: at Xavier, Oklahoma (N)?, Villanova (N)?, Washington?, at Saint Joseph's
BL: at Loyola Marymount?

Xavier (16-9, 7-4; RPI: 56, SOS: 53)

The Musketeers really could have used a road win at Temple, but instead got blitzed. Now they must handle desperate Dayton at home before a trip to Massachusetts next week.
GW: at Vanderbilt, Purdue
BL: at Hawaii, at La Salle?

Dayton (15-9, 5-5; RPI: 71, SOS: 43)

The Flyers survived against Fordham in overtime, avoiding a profile-shredding loss. If they can handle Charlotte at home, this weekend features a shot at Cintas Center to sweep heated rival Xavier.
GW: Alabama, Xavier, at Temple, Minnesota?, Ole Miss?
BL: at Miami (Ohio), Buffalo by 29?, Rhode Island, Duquesne?

Massachusetts (18-7, 7-4; RPI: 73, SOS: 138)

The Minutemen split the week, and now has four more very difficult games in a row -- which they need, because they lack good wins. La Salle and Xavier come to Mullins next.
GW: Saint Louis
BL: Charleston (N), at Rhode Island

Saint Joseph's (16-10, 6-5; RPI: 48, SOS: 26)

The Hawks really could have used a home win over Saint Louis, but couldn't get it. Now the schedule's really soft, other than a home date with Temple (and at St. Bonaventure won't be a walkover, for sure). Is there enough left to make 10-6 look inviting?
GW: Creighton, Dayton?
BL: at American, Charlotte?

Mountain West

Locks: UNLV, San Diego State

The Rebels beat the Aztecs by a deuce in the second classic game this season between the two. Everyone wants to see a third installment in the MWC tourney, but could that matchup come in the semifinal? New Mexico is tied for first and now has two more cracks at the other big two this week.




New Mexico (19-4, 6-2; RPI: 33, SOS: 100)

OK, here we go. At San Diego State. Home to UNLV. Get both and you're in first place and a win at Colorado State away from having a pretty clear path to the league title. Get one and you probably need to do some work in the conference tourney. Get none and get lost?
GW: Colorado State, Saint Louis?
BL: Santa Clara (N), New Mexico State?

Colorado State (14-8, 4-4; RPI: 28, SOS: 10)

The Rams very well may rue last week's loss at TCU. That's a grievous blow to their at-large hopes. They need to win at last-place Boise State this week and then handle Wyoming at home before a three-pack of shots at the league leaders, two of which come at home.
GW: San Diego State
BL: None

Wyoming (16-6, 4-4; RPI: 65, SOS: 118)

One shot down, one missed after a gnarly 48-38 loss at New Mexico. If the Cowboys can handle Air Force at home, they get road chances at Colorado State and San Diego State afterward.
GW: UNLV, Colorado State
BL: at Wisconsin-Green Bay

Missouri Valley

Locks: Wichita State

Things look a lot different now after Wichita State crushed Creighton in Omaha to take a two-game lead atop the conference and a huge step toward a title. Now this week's BracketBusters game against Long Beach State is really important for the reeling Bluejays.


Creighton (21-5, 11-4; RPI: 29, SOS: 83)

Three losses in a row and things suddenly look a lot less secure for the Bluejays. The remaining Valley schedule is relatively weak, but Evansville and Indiana State are capable teams. If the Bluejays lose at home to Long Beach State and dump another Valley game before the league final, could the unthinkable happen?
GW: at San Diego State, at Wichita State, Northwestern?
BL: at Evansville

Conference USA

Locks: None

The top two in this league look like they're going to make the Field of 68. Not sure anyone else is all that reasonable at this point, but a surprise tourney winner in Memphis could tack on a bonus bid.


Southern Miss (19-4, 8-2; RPI: 10, SOS: 40)

The Golden Eagles celebrated beating Memphis for the first time in ages by ... dumping a game at UAB and letting the Tigers back into a tie for first. Up until the finale at Marshall, the schedule is quite soft, but not that much softer than a game at UAB, so buyer beware.
GW: Memphis, Ole Miss, at Colorado State, sweep of New Mexico State?
BL: at UAB

Memphis (18-7, 8-2; RPI: 19, SOS: 13)

Memphis didn't lose to UAB. The Tigers beat the Blazers by 34 at home. Their schedule is a bit tougher than USM's down the stretch, but a tie for the title seems like a very reasonable guess.
GW: Southern Miss, Xavier, Belmont?, at Miami
BL: None

West Coast

Locks: Saint Mary's

The Gaels couldn't get it done in Spokane, but still lead the league by a game and are done with the other two big teams, so the title is theirs to lose. They also get a fun trip to Murray State for BracketBusters.


Gonzaga (20-4, 10-2; RPI: 16, SOS: 61)

Three of the last four in league play are on the road, but the one home game -- against BYU -- could be crucial. A win there would all but wrap up at least a second place finish, earn the Zags the coveted double-bye in the league tournament and snag an NCAA bid. Beating Saint Mary's helped big time.
GW: at Xavier, Saint Mary's, Oral Roberts?, Arizona (N)?
BL: None


BYU (19-6, 9-3; RPI: 46, SOS: 85)

A three-game league roadie kicks off in San Francisco and culminates in Spokane on Feb. 23. That game is huge for postseason positioning. BYU could really use a sweep of the Zags.
GW: Gonzaga
BL: at Utah State?, at Loyola Marymount?

The Others

Locks: Murray State

The Racers will stay here for one more week, with the BracketBusters game against Saint Mary's pending. Harvard's potential lifeline sans Ivy tournament involves a home loss to Penn or Yale and both teams then running the table until a playoff the Crimson would then have to lose.

Harvard (20-3, 7-1; RPI: 37, SOS: 194)

The Crimson won a tough game at Penn last Friday night, but then lost at Princeton for the 23rd straight season and let Penn and Yale back into the race. The Crimson still have a huge schedule advantage and a game lead on the pack, so they're an enormous favorite to win the league's auto bid. If they somehow get caught at 12-2 and lose a playoff again? It will be really close.
GW: Florida State (N), UCF (N)?, St. Joe's?
BL: at Fordham, at Princeton?

Long Beach State (17-6, 12-0; RPI: 43, SOS: 126)

Pitt and Xavier are not doing anything to help the 49ers, who get another serious chance this weekend in BracketBusters when they play at Creighton. They need to win out until the Big West final to have any legit claim. They're only 2-6 against the RPI top 100 and those two wins are losing steam.
GW: at Pitt, Xavier (N)
BL: at Montana

Middle Tennessee State (22-4, 12-1; RPI: 39, SOS: 152)

The Blue Raiders are cruising toward a Sun Belt crown. They're two games ahead of the field in the loss column with three modest opponents left. The league tourney won't be easy, so win, win, win as long as you can and hope a flashy win total will impress.
GW: Ole Miss (N), at UCLA?
BL: at UAB

Oral Roberts (23-5, 15-1; RPI: 45, SOS: 160)

The Golden Eagles have clinched at least a share of the league crown, and with two road games against last-place teams remaining, it looks good for an outright title. Xavier's fade is also hurting here. Will a win over Akron in BracketBusters mean anything?
GW: at Xavier
BL: UT-San Antonio (N)

Nevada (19-4, 10-1; RPI: 57, SOS: 156)

Keep. Winning.
GW: Washington?
BL: Idaho

I'm waiting until this week's VCU-George Mason game to start to evaluate the top of the CAA. A second team in still seems unlikely, but we'll see. VCU and Drexel appear to be the only reasonable candidates.

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