Monday, October 2, 2023

Bracketology Bubble Watch: North Carolina can’t afford a bad loss; Rutgers falls out of bracket

There are four games Monday involving teams on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament


Saturday was a day for celebrating some big wins for teams on the bubble. Sunday was more about the losses.

Rutgers was on a fantastic four-game winning streak against ranked teams and was trying to make it five at Purdue on Sunday. Unfortunately, the Scarlet Knights came up short in an 84-72 loss to the Boilermakers. Rutgers sits at 80 in the NET, and while that metric is not really used decisively, it would be the worst ranking in any NCAA metric for an at-large team since before 1994, when I started tracking the data. Despite the good number of Quad 1 wins, at the moment, the negatives weigh larger.

Michigan also lost on Sunday. The Wolverines were defeated at Wisconsin 77-63 and are now just 14-11. Only one team has received an at-large bid in a pre-pandemic tournament that finished fewer than four games above .500. That team was Georgia in 2001, which played a schedule that no team now can touch. That four-games above .500 mark is not criteria, but when nobody worse than that is getting in, it is hard to ignore.

Our double-bubble game on Saturday gave us SMU beating Memphis at home by a score of 73-57. The Mustangs now have a season sweep of the Tigers and have moved out of the First Four for now. Memphis is still among the last four teams in the bracket today, but their margin for error is smaller now.

Two of the sport’s bigger names try to stay in the hunt for a spot in the field

Here are the bubble teams in action Monday. All times Eastern

Check out all the teams on Palm’s Bubble Watch, the field of the 68 and the entire bracket on the Bracketology hub  

Other bubble teams in action

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