Sunday, July 14, 2024

Bracketology Bubble Watch: North Carolina, Florida can’t afford losses; Oregon gets big win vs. UCLA

Games are getting more important for teams near the cutline of making the NCAA Tournament


It is getting to be crunch time for many of teams on the bubble to earn an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. For most of the major conference teams, there are still three or four games left, but some conferences, like the West Coast Conference, end their regular seasons this weekend. 

Before we get to the bubble teams in action on Friday, here are the noteworthy results from bubble teams in action Thursday.

  • Oregon notched the biggest win of the day. The Ducks knocked off UCLA at home 68-63 to complete the season sweep of the Bruins. Oregon is still a team with a high number of bad losses and I am not ready to put the Ducks in the bracket yet.
  • Indiana also won, beating Maryland at home 74-64. The Hoosiers are shorthanded at the moment with three guards out due to injury, but they still need to win regardless. Next up is a trip to Minnesota.
  • Finally, Murray State clinched the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title outright with another demolition of Belmont. The Racers won the first meeting by 22 at Belmont, then smoked the Bruins last night 76-43. If the Racers can avoid a bad loss in their conference tournament, their chance of an at-large bid is pretty good.

Here are the updated “Last four in” and “First four out” of the 68-team field followed by the bubble teams in action Friday and Saturday. 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  

Bubble team in action Friday

Bubble teams in action Saturday

Note – all references to NCAA Tournament selection records and trends refer only to pre-pandemic tournaments. Due to shortened schedules and a relatively small number of non-conference games in 2021, those rankings were not reliable enough to be considered.

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