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Jeff Eisenberg

A running tally of Saturday's bubble winnners and losers

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Since so many of Saturday's games have major bubble implications, we'll be keeping a running tally here of the winners and losers. Check back at this post throughout the day for updated results and analysis:

BUBBLE WINNERS

Clemson (20-10, 9-7 ACC): A 69-60 home victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday won't put the Tigers in the field, but at least they remain within striking distance of an at-large bid entering the ACC tournament. The fourth-seeded Tigers went 0-3 against North Carolina and Duke in conference play and lack any signature nonleague victories. As a result, they likely need at least one ACC tournament win to have a good chance at an at-large and might need an appearance in the title game to feel comfortable.

Alabama (20-10, 12-4 SEC): Alabama officially remains the most polarizing bubble team in the nation thanks to Saturday's 65-57 home win over Georgia that elevated the Tide to 12-4 in the SEC. Can 12 wins in a major conference including victories over Kentucky and Tennessee counteract a woeful nonleague season that included losses to St. Peters and Providence? Maybe, but the Tide at least need to beat Georgia once more in the SEC quarterfinals next week to feel more secure.

Michigan (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten): Amid all the griping about bubble teams being unable to play their way into the field, Michigan has quietly emerged as an exception. The Wolverines, left for dead after a 1-6 start to Big Ten play, raised their conference record to 9-9 on Saturday by completing a season sweep of rival Michigan State with a 70-63 victory. An NCAA tournament bid still is no certainty, but Michigan would feel good about its chances with a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal win over Illinois on Friday.

Richmond (23-7, 13-3 A-10): The Spiders continue to avoid profile-killing losses in Atlantic 10 play, rolling to a 68-56 victory over Duquesne on Saturday afternoon to finish three games clear of the fourth-place Dukes. That separation and an early win over Purdue might be enough to get Richmond a second straight at-large bid, even though the Spiders suffered a couple puzzling nonleague losses and failed to beat Atlantic 10 front runners Temple and Xavier this season.

Butler (22-9, 13-5 Horizon): Three wins against a quality opponent isn't easy to accomplish, but the Bulldogs finished off a sweep of Cleveland State with a 76-68 victory in the Horizon League semifinals on Saturday evening. It's possible that a strong schedule, wins over Florida State and Washington State, and eight straight victories to close the season are enough for Butler. Even so, the Bulldogs would be far more anxiety-free next week if they win the Horizon League title game against Milwaukee on Tuesday and remove all doubt.

Colorado (19-12, 8-8 Big 12): After a dispiriting loss at Iowa State earlier in the week, the Buffaloes' 67-57 victory over Nebraska on Saturday was one they needed to have in order to stay in contention for an at-large bid. Assessing Colorado's profile now is somewhat of an optical illusion in that it depends what you focus on. Quality wins over Texas, Missouri and Kansas State twice? Good. A woeful nonconference schedule and losses to New Mexico, Oklahoma and San Francisco? Not so good.

Illinois (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten): Perhaps motivated by Tom Crean's bizarre celebration in the lobby after Indiana's win in Bloomington earlier this season, the Illini throttled the Hoosiers, 72-48, on Saturday afternoon in Champaign. As a result of the weakness of the rest of the bubble, Illinois appears to be solidly in the field after this win. The Illini could remove any semblance of doubt with a Big Ten quarterfinal win over Michigan or Michigan State this week.

BUBBLE LOSERS

Virginia Tech (19-10, 9-7 ACC): Since Dick Vitale prematurely declared the Hokies an NCAA tournament lock in the wake of their upset victory over Duke seven days ago, Seth Greenberg's team has lost at home to Boston College and at Clemson. Saturday's 69-60 loss to the Tigers leaves Virginia Tech with major work to do in the ACC tournament. Avoiding an upset in the first round is a must, of course, as is winning its quarterfinal matchup against an opponent yet to be determined.

Michigan State (17-13, 9-9 Big Ten): If Michigan State is going to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large team, the Spartans will have to do it with 14 losses on their resume. A 70-63 loss at rival Michigan on Saturday lowered Michigan State to .500 in Big Ten play and ensured that the Spartans will need at least one Big Ten tournament victory and maybe two before they feel confident their name will be called on Selection Sunday.

Marquette (18-13, 9-9 Big East): The Big East's chances of landing 11 NCAA tourney bids took a huge hit Saturday when Seton Hall upset Marquette, 85-72, to prevent the Golden Eagles from finishing above .500 in conference play. Wins over UConn, Syracuse, Notre Dame and West Virginia bolster Marquette's case, but a 13-loss team would be wise to at least avoid a first-round Big East tournament loss and might not feel comfortable without at least reaching the quarterfinals.

Baylor (18-12, 7-9 Big 12): Perhaps Baylor fans still see a case for their team to be included in the at-large conversation. I don't. The Bears sealed their fate Saturday by losing a very winnable home game against struggling Texas, 60-54. They did zero of note against a bad nonconference schedule, they failed to even finish .500 in the Big 12 and their only two wins of note are a sweep of Texas A&M. Now matter how much talent Baylor has, that's the profile of an NIT hopeful.

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