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BSD Bubble Forecast: Saturday

Deacs solidify position as fellow bubble teams fade

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional Practice Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Hello and welcome to yet another installment of the BSD Bubble Forecast. Where does Wake stand heading into the day before Selection Sunday? Let’s take a look.

Big Picture for Wake Forest

Yesterday went about as well as it could have for Wake fans. In the 20 games I highlighted to watch, the teams we wanted to win posted an impressive 16-4 record. With so many bubble teams losing yesterday, there are really only a few situations left to watch. As we head down the stretch, I still feel very confident that Wake will make the NCAA Tournament. The First Four remains much more in question, in my opinion. Between now and 5:30 P.M. ET tomorrow, we’ll have comprehensive bubble resume coverage for you all to analyze. For now though, we get ready for one more big day of scoreboard watching.

Friday Bubble Recap

Bubble teams who were supposed to win, and won:

UT-Arlington (vs. Coastal Carolina)
Rhode Island (vs. St. Bonaventure)
Nevada (vs. Fresno State)

Bubble teams who were supposed to lose, and lost:

Georgia (vs. Kentucky)
Michigan State (vs. Minnesota)
Seton Hall (vs. Villanova)
Indiana (vs. Wisconsin)
TCU (vs. Iowa State)
Kansas State (vs. West Virginia)
Xavier (vs. Creighton)
California (vs. Oregon)
Ole Miss (vs. Arkansas)

Great to see such a long section here. We dodged bullets with Kansas State and California in particular. Georgia, Indiana, TCU and Ole Miss should be firmly out of the conversation at this point. Michigan State, Seton Hall, and Xavier are likely safely in, although the First Four is not out of the question.

Bubble teams landing upset victories:

Alabama (vs. South Carolina)
Vanderbilt (vs. Florida)

Bubble teams suffering upset losses:

Houston (@ Connecticut)

Houston’s bubble is officially burst.

Saturday Bubble Schedule

11:00 ESPN2: #128 Albany @ #60 Vermont (81%)
12:30 ESPN3: #188 Texas State vs. #65 UT-Arlington (77%)
1:00 ESPN: #54 Alabama (19%) vs. #5 Kentucky
1:00 CBSSN: #79 Davidson vs. #52 Rhode Island (63%)
1:30 ESPNU: #63 Princeton (63%) @ #167 Penn

3:00 ESPN2: #66 UCF vs. #15 SMU (77%)
3:25 ESPN: #40 Arkansas vs. #31 Vanderbilt (61%)
3:30 CBSSN: #88 Richmond vs. #48 VCU (67%)

5:00 ESPN2: #18 Cincinnati (71%) @ #91 Connecticut
6:00 CBS: #82 Colorado State vs. #55 Nevada (61%)
8:30 CBSSN: #149 Marshall vs. #47 MTSU (82%)

And here’s the rooting guide in table form:

The picture is much clearer today, as most bubble teams have been eliminated by this point. The four teams in the bottom left are all favorites in one-bid leagues. I don’t think any would earn an at-large, but they are close enough that we would prefer they win the auto bid and take themselves out of consideration entirely. Vermont and Nevada play for the the auto-bid today, while UT-Arlington and Princeton are in semifinal action and would play for their conference title tomorrow.

In the middle left, we have the AAC semifinals. Right now it is a 2-bid league: SMU and Cincinnati. If they both win today, that becomes clinched. If one of them loses, the league could earn a third bid in the championship tomorrow.

MTSU once again sits in the upper left. They are another mid-major conference favorite, but they are unique because they have a solid shot at an at-large bid should they lose in the championship tonight. A win guarantees only one bid for the CUSA.

The other key situations to watch today are in the SEC and the A10. Alabama is the final remaining bid thief candidate in a power conference. We would prefer Kentucky end that possibility today, reducing our stress level tomorrow. Vanderbilt is probably safely in at this point (after yet another win over Florida), but I think they could still be in range for the First Four, so we should prefer them to lose.

A few conference title games are addressed above, but most of today’s championship slate is not bubble relevant. Here’s the schedule:

1:00 ESPN2, MEAC: #296 Norfolk State vs. #153 NC Central (73%)
5:30 FOX, BIG EAST: #27 Creighton vs. #2 Villanova (74%)
6:00 ESPN, BIG 12: #20 Iowa State vs. #4 West Virginia (62%)
6:30 ESPNU, SWAC: #283 Alcorn State vs. #205 Texas Southern (73% | 100%)
7:30 ESPN2, MAC: #146 Kent State vs. #97 Akron (62%)
8:30 ESPNU, BIG SKY: #178 Weber State vs. #176 North Dakota (50%)
9:00 ESPN, ACC: #25 Notre Dame vs. #12 Duke (59%)
9:30 ESPN2, SOUTHLAND: #204 TAMU-CC vs. #177 New Orleans (56%)
11:00 ESPN, PAC 12: #21 Arizona vs. #16 Oregon (53%)
11:00 ESPNU, WAC: #110 Cal State Bakersfield vs. #93 New Mexico State (54%)
11:30 ESPN2, BIG WEST: #220 UC Davis vs. #135 UC Irvine (67%)

I think it’s safe to say we have another excellent day of college basketball in front of us. As always, enjoy the games and Go Deacs!