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Final Saturday NCAA Tournament Bubble Thread

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A big day for the Bears

NCAA Men's Final Four - Previews Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I’ll update this page throughout the day with results from big bubble games.

Baylor is currently in the field on 80 of 93 brackets on Bracket Matrix.

West Virginia at Texas at 11:00 is a giant game. It airs on ESPN. If Texas wins, Baylor would actually clinch the No. 6 seed in the Big 12 Tournament. But a loss is preferable. Texas is on the bubble and in 65 of the 93 brackets. We don’t want them taking a final spot. Mo Bamba is out today.

St. John’s at Providence- 11:00- Providence is just in the field. A loss to a bad (though upset making) St. John’s would be fairly devastating.

Mississippi State at LSU- 12:00 on SEC Network. I don’t think either team is likely to make it. But MSU seems in a slightly better spot without too many losses. So, I’d root for LSU. Either team would need a deep run in St. Louis to make it.

Clemson at Syracuse- 1:00 on ACC Network. Syracuse seems on the outside of the field. A win over a good Clemson team would sure help. Good luck to Clemson.

Alabama at Texas A&M- 1:00. ESPN2. I think Alabama is in. They’re close to the bubble, and a loss today could make an early loss in the SEC Tournament a problem. I normally don’t advise rooting for the Aggies, but Baylor would benefit from a Texas A&M win.

Creighton at Marquette- 1:30 on Fox- The Blue Jays are by far the Bear’s best non-conference win. Marquette is also on the bubble. They appear in just nine brackets. But a win today would help them. A loss would likely require a deep run or winning the Big East Tournament.

Oregon at Washington at 3:30- The game airs on PAC-12 Network. Washington has a win over Kansas in Kansas City. And Arizona and Arizona State at home. There’s not much else. They also rank 94th on KenPom. While the field won’t put much stock in that, they’re a weird candidate. Root for the Ducks.

Penn State at Purdue- 3:30 on CBS. Penn State ranks very highly in advanced metrics. Their traditional resume isn’t great. They have three wins over Ohio State. They don’t have much else. A win over Purdue would give them an okay shot at a bid. And more importantly, it would put them one win away from guaranteeing the Big Ten’s Tournament bid. Root for Purdue.

Louisville at North Carolina State- 5:00 on ESPN. I believe North Carolina State is in. They have enough big wins that I can’t see them falling out. Louisville is in 81 of 93 brackets. After failing to beat Virginia, another loss would be tough for the Cardinals. With the strength of the ACC, they’ll have opportunities to add wins in the conference tournament. They’ll also have a chance to lose early.

UCLA at USC- 9:15. I’d be shocked if USC missed the tournament. UCLA is right on the bubble. Root for USC and hope the Bruins take an early loss in the PAC-12 Tournament.

Pepperdine v. St. Mary’s- 11:00 P.M.- St. May’s is in the field right now. Whether the West Coast Conference could get a non-Gonzaga at large bid is a fair question. A loss to Pepperdine would leave them sweating.

There are a few other games that matter. Notre Dame plays at Virginia. The Irish played so well before injuries that they’ll be an interesting case. They shouldn’t be in, but beating Virginia, coupled with their win at the Maui Invitational would at least set up a debate on Selection Sunday.

Oklahoma State hosts Kansas. The Cowboys’ RPI is not good. But sweeping the Jayhawks, getting eight Big 12 wins, knocking off Florida State and beating Texas Tech is a heck of a resume. A Cowboys win would ensure Baylor the No. 6 seed in Kansas City, but I’d prefer Oklahoma State not move closer to the field.

I don’t think anyone else has much of an at large chance or isn’t pretty much guaranteed to make the tournament. But a team might free fall and miss the field, or somebody could go on a deep run and sneak into the field. There’s still a decent bit of basketball left.