Super Saturday: USC gets every possible good break on the bubble

It was a remarkable week for USC and the other schools which were on the bubble, defined as being in the last eight to 10 slots above the cut line for the NCAA Tournament. This can also be defined as being among the projected No. 10 or No. 11 seeds for the tournament.

If you follow college basketball at all, and you have a general idea of how this process of selecting tournament teams works, you know that in most March dramas preceding Selection Sunday, there are usually two or three instances in which a team with no shot at an at-large bid wins three or four games in a row to claim its conference tournament and an automatic bid.

Oregon could have been that kind of team in the Pac-12 Tournament.

UAB could have been that team in Conference USA.

Cincinnati could have been that team in the AAC.

Most years, a team in the Atlantic 10 Conference jumps up and grabs an extra bid to reduce the size of the bubble and push one team either out of the tournament, or into Dayton for the First Four.

This year, there were zero such examples of surprise automatic bids. Not one.

On Saturday, UAB, Cincinnati, Tulane, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt all had chances to grab surprise automatic bids. UAB was in its tournament championship game, while the other four teams were in the semifinal round. If three of the five had hypothetically won their conference tournaments, that would have pushed USC three spots lower on the seed list, exactly the kind of thing which might have caused the Trojans to fall to Dayton, Ohio, for the First Four next Tuesday or Wednesday.

With zero surprises on the bubble, however, USC should safely avoid Dayton and go directly into a Thursday or Friday game in the Round of 64.

It truly was a Super Saturday for USC. The Trojans can get plenty of rest before they play their NCAA Tournament game.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire