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THE WEEKLY DISH: MARCH MADNESS BUBBLES BURSTING
March 2, 2011

SCS.com Three schools have moved from the bubble to solidly in this week while only one has fallen from solidly in to the bubble. This leaves just ten spots open for bubble teams. The 32 teams currently leading their conferences are presumed conference champions and 26 can be considered solidly in. The Weekly Dish next week will examine what each bubble team must do to reach the tournament or at least keep its hopes alive. Here is this weekís Dish:

ACC

Teams Solidly In:
DUKE, North Carolina, Florida State
On the Bubble:
Virginia Tech (19-8, 9-5 ACC, RPI 30)
Key Wins:
Florida State, Duke
Bad Losses: Virginia (twice)
As of now: In. The Hokies got the win they needed on Saturday night against Duke. Virginia Tech has won nine of its last 12 games.

Clemson (19-9, 8-6 ACC, RPI 37)
Key Wins:
Florida State
Bad Losses: Virginia, NC State
As of now: Out. Clemson will have a major opportunity to make a statement as it plays host to Duke on Wednesday.

Maryland (18-11, 7-7 ACC, RPI 16)
Key Wins:
Florida State
Bad Losses: None
As of now: Out. Maryland picked up a big win over Florida State on Wednesday night. The Terrapins should be able to win their two remaining regular season games.

Boston College (17-11, 7-7 ACC, RPI 64)
Key Wins:
Texas A&M
Bad Losses: Yale, Harvard, Miami (twice)
As of now: Out. Boston College must win at Virginia Tech on Tuesday if it is to have any chance of reaching the NCAA Tournament as an at-large.

Big Ten: Minnesota falls from a team solidly in to the bubble.

Teams Solidly In: OHIO STATE, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois

On the Bubble:

Michigan State (16-12, 8-8 Big Ten, RPI 49)
Key Wins:
Washington, Wisconsin, Illinois
Bad Losses: Iowa
As of now: In. The Spartans looked sluggish at home against Purdue on Sunday. Michigan State cannot afford another regular season loss.

Penn State (15-12, 8-8 Big Ten, RPI 46)
Key Wins:
Illinois, Wisconsin
Bad Losses: Maine
As of now: Out. The Nittany Lions will almost have to beat Ohio State on Tuesday night to keep at-large hopes alive.

Minnesota (17-11, 6-10 Big Ten, RPI 50)
Key Wins:
North Carolina, West Virginia, Purdue
Bad Losses: Virginia, Indiana
As of now: Out. Minnesota has lost seven of its last eight with two losses this week coming to other Big Ten bubble teams at home.

Michigan (18-12, 8-9 Big Ten, RPI 47)
Key Wins:
Michigan State
Bad Losses: Indiana, Northwestern
As of now: Out. Michigan let a huge opportunity slip away against Wisconsin last Wednesday night. The Wolverines are the first team out.

Big XII: Kansas State shifts from the bubble to a team that is solidly in.

Teams Solidly In: TEXAS, Kansas, Texas A&M, Missouri, Kansas State

On the Bubble:

Nebraska (19-12, 7-8 Big XII, RPI 43)

Key Wins: Texas A&M, Texas, Missouri
Bad Losses: Davidson, Iowa State
As of now: Out. Nebraska followed its huge win over Texas with a pair of losses last week.

Baylor (18-11, 7-8 Big XII RPI 61)
Key Wins:
Texas A&M (twice)
Bad Losses: Iowa State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech
As of now: Out.. The Bears picked up a nice victory over Texas A&M on Saturday night, but suffered a tough loss at Oklahoma State on Tuesday night.

Colorado (18-11, 7-7 Big XII, RPI 59)
Key Wins:
Missouri, Kansas State (twice), Texas
Bad Losses: San Francisco, Harvard, New Mexico
As of now: In. The Buffaloes rallied from 22 points down to knock off Texas on Saturday. Winning its final two regular season games would give Colorado a convincing case for a NCAA at-large bid.

Big East: Cincinnati and Marquette move from the bubble to solidly in. The Big East bubble is currently empty.

Teams Solidly In: NOTRE DAME, Pittsburgh, Louisville, St. Johnís, Georgetown, Syracuse, Villanova, Cincinnati, Marquette, Connecticut, West Virginia

Pac-10: USC moves onto the bubble.

Teams Solidly In: ARIZONA, UCLA, Washington

On the Bubble:

USC (17-12, 9-7 Pac-10, RPI 44)
Key Wins:
Texas, UCLA, Arizona
Bad Losses: Rider, Bradley, TCU, Oregon (twice), Oregon State
As of now: Out. USCís recent play has at least merited the Trojans some tournament consideration.

Washington State (18-10, 8-8 Pac-10, RPI 48)
Key Wins:
Washington (twice)
Bad Losses: California, Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State
As of now: Out. The Cougars almost have to win its final two regular season games with USC and UCLA at home to avoid having to win the conference tournament to be in the field of 68.

SEC: Ole Miss has fallen off of the bubble.

Teams Solidly In: FLORIDA, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Kentucky

On the Bubble:

Tennessee (17-12, 7-7 SEC, RPI 54)
Key Wins:
Villanova, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt (twice)
Bad Losses: Oakland, Charlotte, College of Charleston, Mississippi State
As of now: In. Jekyll and Hyde Tennessee followed a big road win at Vandy with a tough home loss against Mississippi State.

Georgia (19-9, 8-6 SEC, RPI 56)
Key Wins:
Kentucky
Bad Losses: None
As of now: In. The Bulldogs continue to close in on a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Arkansas (18-10, 7-7 SEC, RPI 91)
Key Wins:
Alabama, Vanderbilt, Kentucky
Bad Losses: LSU, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State
As of now: Out. Winning its final two regular season games would give the Razorbacks a bye in the SEC Tournament.

The Mid-Majors Teams Solidly In: San Diego State, Temple

On the Bubble:

Mid-Majors In:
Old Dominion, Butler, UNLV, Gonzaga, Richmond

Mid-Majors Out: Virginia Commonwealth, Southern Mississippi, Memphis, Cleveland State, Wichita State

As of now: Richmond has joined the other four Mid-Majors as currently in the tournament. Gonzaga picked up a big road victory over St. Maryís last week to move into a first place tie in the West Coast Conference. Old Dominion is in the best shape of any of the Mid-Majors on the bubble. The Monarchs need just to advance past the first round of the Colonial tournament to be a solid in for the NCAA Tournament. Both Memphis and Wichita State had a chance to be in first place in each teamís respective conference, but both came up short. Both Conference USA and the Missouri Valley Conference are beginning to look more and more like one-bid leagues. Richmond is the last team in, but can ill-afford to be a quick out in the A-10 Tournament.

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