Bubble Watch Week in Review: Winners and Losers

T.R. PetersonCorrespondent IJanuary 30, 2009

Things continue to change on the bubble landscape, as teams play their way into or out of the discussion for an at-large big. Since the last edition, several teams have failed to take advantage of their situation.

Notre Dame and Wisconsin are officially bubble teams and possibly on the wrong side of the bubble. Notre Dame suffered its second consecutive home loss to Marquette on Monday, and continues to fall in the Big East standings.

Similarly, the Badgers lost their fifth straight game and now stand at 3-5 in the Big Ten.

On the other hand, it's time to take a serious look at Providence and Arizona as at-large contenders.

The Friars picked up a signature win against Syracuse on Wednesday, while Arizona beat Washington, and looks to be on a bit of a roll.

Here are this week's winners and losers. As always, comments are welcome.

Note: Next edition will be published on Monday morning. All RPI and SOS numbers are taken from realtimerpi.com.





The Friars don’t have to listen to the critics, at least for a couple of days. Providence got a marquee win by downing Syracuse on Wednesday. Although it doesn’t get any easier with UConn on Saturday, at least the Friars have earned a little respect and, more importantly, some at-large discussion.



After losing Saturday to UNLV , it looked like the Utes were on the outside looking in. However, with Tuesday’s win over BYU, Utah may have traded spots with the Cougars. Utah is back atop the Mountain West with UNLV and San Diego State in what looks like a knock-down, drag-out conference battle.



The Tigers rebounded from last Saturday’s loss to Xavier by knocking off Tennessee, and they put themselves in great shape in the SEC West. The next three games. very winnable for LSU, could set up a showdown with Mississippi State.



This may be a bit premature, but the Wildcats got a huge win Thursday against Washington to improve to 13-8 and 3-5 in the Pac-10. With three winnable games next, it’s time to start talking about Arizona as a bubble team.



USC got a win they had to have by beating fellow bubble team and conference foe California. With an RPI of 47, they are in better shape than Arizona at this point. However, the Trojans have a tough four-game stretch that includes the Wildcats.

Other winners: Cincinnati, Arkansas, Dayton, Texas A&M, Northern Iowa, San Diego State, Northwestern, South Carolina, St. Joseph’s, Rhode Island, Northeastern, Boston College, Buffalo, Tulsa.





The Badgers let a golden opportunity slide away Tuesday night against Purdue. A win would have stopped their four-game losing streak, and put a solid win on their resume. Instead the losing streak is at five with a must-win game Saturday at improving Northwestern.



With the win last Saturday against San Diego State, the Cougars looked to be in the driver's seat in the MWC heading into their match-up against Utah. However, a tight loss to the Utes has everything up for grabs again. BYU has probably the weakest resume of the big three.

They can’t afford any hiccups in the next five games if they want to stay in the at-large discussion.



It looks as though the Wolverines are slowly fading away into the NIT. After getting pummeled Wednesday at Ohio State, they have lost four out of five, and now have a tough four-game stretch that includes a game at UConn.



Much like Michigan, Stanford seems to be sliding towards the NIT. Falling to USC was a critical loss for the Cardinal, and with an SOS above 100, Stanford is in a desperate situation.



Just when you thought UAB was capable of being the second tournament team out of Conference-USA, they drop a game at Tulsa. The Blazers have a decent resume with an RPI of 46 and an SOS of 32m but no top-50 wins. Dropping to 3-3 in C-USA isn’t good enough to be an at-large team at this point.


Other losers: Illinois St., Notre Dame, Oklahoma St., Temple, Missouri, VCU