With less than one month remaining until Selection Sunday, the NCAA tournament bubble is beginning to take shape. Bubble Breakdown is the Dagger's daily look at the results that impact who's in and who's out.
Every time Georgetown's season appears ready to flatline, the Hoyas do just enough to keep hope of an NCAA tournament bid alive.
It started last month when Georgetown upset Michigan State to snap a five-game losing streak and avoid falling to 11-10 on the season. Then the Hoyas emerged from another mini-funk Tuesday by upsetting Creighton 75-63 to avert a fourth loss in five games.
Thanks to those two marquee victories, Georgetown (17-12, 8-9) now has a résumé that figures to be polarizing among selection committee members.
Judging by quality wins, the Hoyas are clearly an NCAA tournament team considering they've beaten VCU, Kansas State, Michigan State, Creighton, Xavier, Providence and St. John's. Judging by bad losses, the Hoyas have no hope considering they've fallen to Northeastern, gotten swept by Seton Hall and Marquette and may have a 14-loss résumé if they lose at Villanova this weekend and again in the Big East tournament.
What does Georgetown need to do to solidify a bid? A victory at first-place Villanova this weekend might do it. So might a run to the Big East title game even if the Hoyas lose to the Wildcats.
Georgetown has hope of either of those scenarios if it defends as well as it did Tuesday night or continues to get backcourt scoring from a variety of sources.
Jabril Trawick and Mikael Hopkins harassed Creighton star Doug McDermott all night, forcing the national player of the year favorite to take 23 shots to get his 22 points. At the other end, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Markel Starks and Trawick combined for 50 points as the Hoyas built a 14-point halftime lead and survived a McDermott-led rally to notch a huge win.
BUBBLE TEAMS WHOSE STOCK ROSE TUESDAY
• Baylor (20-10, 8-9): Of all the outcomes to Baylor's season, securing an NCAA bid before the Big 12 tournament is not the one I'd have projected when the Bears started Big 12 play by dropping eight of their first 10 games. Credit Baylor for rescuing itself with six wins in seven games culminating with Tuesday night's 74-61 home victory over Iowa State behind 21 points from Cory Jefferson. The Bears still would have to win at Kansas State this weekend to finish .500 in Big 12 play, but that's probably unnecessary for them to reach the NCAA tournament. They have non-league victories over Kentucky, a healthy Colorado and Dayton, plus a Big 12 sweep of Oklahoma State and single wins against Kansas State and Iowa State. That's a vastly superior list of wins to many bubble teams.
• Providence (20-10, 10-7): They had to sweat out some nervous moments, but the Friars secured a win they had to get on Tuesday night in double overtime against Marquette. First Davante Gardner's miracle three-quarters-court heave came about a second after the final buzzer. Then the Friars got a key steal and a pair of late free throws from Bryce Cotton in double overtime to secure a game that seemed lost only seconds earlier. Providence still is probably a quality win or two short of securing a bid, but at least the Friars still have at-large hope. One option is winning at Creighton in their regular season finale. The other would be putting together a run to either the semifinals or title game of the Big East tournament.
• Florida State (18-11, 9-8): Had Florida State not survived Boston College's upset bid on Tuesday night, the Seminoles' at-large hopes probably would have been over. Instead they emerged with a narrow victory, setting up a pivotal home game against flailing Syracuse on Saturday. Quality non-conference wins against VCU and UMass boost Florida State's stock, but the Seminoles had beaten nobody notable since Christmas until upsetting Pittsburgh last week. Unless Florida State beats Syracuse or makes a deep ACC tournament run, it feels like the Seminoles may regret letting potential upsets against Florida and Michigan slip away in non-league play.
• Oregon (21-8, 9-8): How bizarre is the Ducks' season? They went 2-8 from Jan. 5 to Feb. 8 yet they're 19-0 during the rest of the calendar after defeating NCAA tournament-bound Arizona State on Tuesday night in Eugene. It might be overstating it to suggest Oregon is safe after Tuesday's win, but the Ducks certainly are in far better position than ever seemed possible a month ago. They have a top 40 RPI, victories over UCLA, Arizona State, BYU and Georgetown and a chance to all but wrap up a bid if they can upset Arizona on Saturday in Eugene. One reason not to put Oregon in the field of 68 just yet is that the Ducks' biggest win of the season comes with an asterisk. When they won at Pauley Pavilion last week, UCLA was without its two leading scorers, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams.
BUBBLE TEAMS WHOSE STOCK FELL TUESDAY
• None (Every bubble team in action won)
- Sports & Recreation