A very busy Saturday for the bubble was headlined by the bluebloods of the ACC that have been trying to scrape their way into the bracket lately. One of them succeeded. North Carolina came back in the second half to beat Florida State, moving the Tar Heels into the bracket for now. They are just beyond the last four teams into the field after picking up their best win of the season, but can’t rest on their laurels, though, because they still have games at Syracuse and home against rival Duke.
Speaking of the Blue Devils, they missed a chance to get into the bracket on Saturday when they fell to Louisville in overtime in their home finale. There are still chances for Duke, though. It takes to the road to face Georgia Tech before playing at UNC. And, of course, there is still the ACC Tournament where quality wins away from home can be had.
Mississippi and Minnesota had their bubbles burst yesterday, and you can pretty much stick a fork into Indiana as well.
Vanderbilt ended any of Mississippi’s realistic hopes for an at-large bid with a 75-70 win on Saturday, and there aren’t any good wins left on Mississippi’s schedule to make up for games like this. Minnesota’s late-season swoon hit yet another low in a 78-74 loss at Nebraska. That is five straight losses for the Gophers, who have not won since an injury in practice to Gabe Kalscheur which occurred before the second of the losses in this streak, which came at Indiana.
That was the last time the Hoosiers tasted victory. Not at all surprisingly, Indiana lost at home to Michigan yesterday 73-58 to drop to .500 on the season. They still have games at Michigan State and Purdue, two teams the Hoosiers already lost to at home. After the game, coach Archie Miller said that guard Arman Franklin will likely miss those games with a foot injury. He is Indiana’s most reliable guard.
In the Big East, UConn and Xavier came off the bubble for now for good reasons. Each won, with Xavier’s win coming over Creighton at home, avenging an earlier loss to the Bluejays.
Here are the bubble teams in action Sunday, starting with a “double-bubble” game. All times Eastern
|at Maryland 2 p.m. (CBS) — Michigan State got hot in a big way this past week by beating Illinois and Ohio State at home, but can the Spartans take that act on the road? And can they get up for a big game, but one not quite as big as the last two? They need to because this game as well as the next one against Indiana are important because they can provide a cushion for the home-and-home season ending series with Michigan.|
|vs. Michigan State, 2 p.m. (CBS) — Maryland has also gotten hot of late and moved up into the middle of the bracket despite a 13-10 record. That is because they have played one of the strongest schedules in the country this season. The Terrapins have won four straight, most recently at Rutgers. If they can stay hot, they can play themselves off the bubble before too long.|
|vs. FIU, 3 p.m. (ESPN+) — The Hilltoppers could not take advantage of a game at Houston that was a late addition to the schedule last week, but now they find themselves in first place in C-USA. Their at-large hopes are not great because if they need an at-large bid, it means another loss to a team that likely damages those hopes. This is one of those games.|