Seton Hall went down yesterday, likely moving them off the bracket and creating another space for the good guys. That's been the only real bubble story so far this week...but that's getting ready to change in a hurry.
There are 49 games today in 15 conference tournaments, with the last of the major players getting their tournaments underway. In New Orleans (all games on SEC Network/ESPN3, all times eastern):
- LSU vs Arkansas - 1:00 PM - winner gets Kentucky, so it's likely a short trip for a pair of NIT hopefuls. Arkansas' RPI is 98, so a loss here could remove a Top 100 win for Tennessee.
- Alabama vs South Carolina - 3:30 PM - Bama will be in regardless. Winner gets Florida tomorrow.
- Ole Miss vs Auburn - 7:30 PM - Again, we're all pulling for Ole Miss (RPI 59) over Auburn (RPI 138) to boost our own argument tomorrow.
- Mississippi State vs Georgia - 10:00 PM - MSU may be on the bubble, but you also want Georgia out of the equation (RPI 112) so our case can get stronger whether it's Mississippi State or Vanderbilt on Saturday, if we make it that far. Ideal scenario would be a Georgia win today and a Vandy win tomorrow.
Here are the other games with major bubble implications for Tennessee - bubble teams on the left, which means you want the team on the right to win:
- NC State vs Boston College - 2:00 PM - ESPNU - The Wolfpack are behind Tennessee in almost every bracket and we'd like them to stay there, but their RPI is 53. BC is 9-21 (4-12), but you never know.
- Washington vs Oregon State - 3:00 PM - Fox Sports Net - UDub is the one seed in a crazy year for the Pac-12 with an RPI of 54. Obviously someone from this league is going to win the tournament, but it's Cal who most agree has the strongest NCAA resume with an RPI of 37. The Golden Bears winning it and Washington going down as soon as possible seems like the best outcome for Tennessee.
- Colorado State vs TCU - 5:30 PM - The Mtn - In the land of the absurdly high RPI, CSU is 21 at 19-10, 8-6 in the Mountain West. Most projections have them in for now, but a loss to TCU could certainly derail that case.
- Arizona vs UCLA - 5:30 PM - Fox Sports Net - A late loss to Arizona State likely doomed Arizona's bubble chances - they were the ninth team out in yesterday's Bracket Matrix - but we could go ahead and get it over with if UCLA beats them today.
- Northwestern vs Minnesota - 5:30 PM - ESPN2 - The hardest team to pull against, Northwestern has never made the NCAA Tournament. Their RPI is strong at 47, but their lack of quality wins will really hurt them. They're currently the next-to-last team in the field in the Bracket Matrix, but a loss to Tubby Smith's squad would change that.
- Miami vs Georgia Tech - 9:00 PM - ESPNU - Miami's RPI is 55, the first team out of the matrix at the moment. They face a bad Georgia Tech team, another example of "glad we didn't hire that guy" (Brian Gregory).
- Texas vs Iowa State - 9:30 PM - Fox Sports Net - The Longhorns took Seton Hall's place in Chris Dobbertean's newest bracket, and are still in the field in the matrix overall. At 9-9 in Big 12 play and with an RPI of 52, a loss here could really hurt them.
- Oregon vs Colorado - 11:30 PM - Fox Sports Net - Some might technically have Colorado on the bubble, but they're well behind us at 83 in RPI and they play in this ridiculous conference. Oregon is the real threat here, 49 in RPI and the first team ahead of Tennessee in the matrix. Again, you want Cal to win this tournament and all the other bubble teams to crash and burn.
We'll be here all day.