Saturday, May 15

March Madness Bubble Watch: Michigan State, Memphis Expect A Tough Week Looking For NCAA Offers To End Graciously

If you’ve seen the teams that have populated the NCAA Tournament bubble clock since we started it a week ago, or even if you simply checked the scores because you were too squeamish to take the carnage, you know it’s been something like that. one of those “Saw” movies they made 15 years ago.

Stanford was beaten up by USC. Michigan State was destroyed by Michigan. Boise State suffered a loss to Fresno State sub-.500. Xavier fell twice on Big East Highway.

So fortunately, we will end the conversation about the regular season bubble today.

And we’ll pick up the conversation about the conference tournament bubble in the coming days, hoping it will be less gruesome for the teams involved.

MORE: March Madness Bracket Tracker – Updated List of Automatic Offers

Sunday bubble games:

Memphis In Houston

When: 12 p.m. ET, CBS.

The Tigers (15-6, No. 55 NET) took a long time to figure out how to win basketball games, and during that time they lost most of the biggest games they played: against VCU, Western Kentucky and even Auburn, at SMU. . They have won six in a row against mostly inconsequential opponents. All of his opponents in that stretch scored 100 or higher. So beating the Cougars wouldn’t change everything for the Tigers. They would still be 1-2 against Quad 1 and 4-5 against the first two quadrants combined. But it would keep them relevant while many other bubble teams struggle.

Campbell vs. Winthrop

When: 12 pm, ESPN.

If Winthrop lost the Big South Conference title game to a Campbell team 17-9, he would end the regular season with a 22-2 record and something in the neighborhood of a NET top 65 ranking. It would seem that the committee would at least have to have a long conversation about how to qualify a minor team during a season in which competition outside of the conference was so difficult to organize. If they had the same conversation about Belmont, it could easily be brushed off by the Bruins’ lopsided losses when they face stiff competition from Western Kentucky and Morehead State in recent weeks. So, Winthrop’s options could be as follows: Win the automatic offer and enjoy the next seven days; lose close and at least hope to have a chance; explode and join Belmont in wishing this season had been different.

Duck vs. Loyola

When: 2:10 pm, CBS.

If Drake (25-3, No. 42) lost the Missouri Valley Conference title game, he would finish 6-2 against the first two quadrants and with a .862 winning percentage. There is no way on Earth that is not an NCAA tournament resume. One would hope that the committee, if faced with such a discussion, would agree.

Michigan in Michigan state

When: 4:30 pm, CBS.

When the final redesigned weeks of the Big Ten schedule were released and the Spartans (14-11, No. 73) faced two games in four days against rival UM, that seemed like a good thing. Of course, that was before they racked up back-to-back victories over NCAA Tournament number one contenders, Illinois and Ohio State. Suddenly, a couple of games against mid-level Big Ten teams seemed more appealing. But this is where the state of Michigan stands: If they beat one of the best teams in the nation, it will be difficult to keep them off the field. If they lose, they’re in the mix with many bubble teams that don’t own two top-level Quad-1 wins, but also don’t have 14-12 records.

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