Hey kids, it is a special Tuesday night wrap-up of the Bubble games from around the country. Things generally went Purdue's way tonight, as we can see from the following games.
Purdue RPI: 59
Purdue KenPom: 50
North Florida 81, Stetson 67 - North Florida moves on to the Atlantic Sun semifinals and is two wins away from the automatic bid (and likely sacrificial lamb status as a 16 seed). They will host No. 5 seed Lipscomb Thursday night in the semifinals, and they won both regular season meetings by 9 and 15. Yes, the loss sucks still, but it sucks a lot less if North Florida gets their first ever NCAA bid.
Iowa 77, Indiana 63 - That wind you feel is Indiana freefalling out of the tournament. The bad news: Indiana is now No. 54 in the RPI and Purdue lost two top 50 wins tonight. The good news: It doesn't matter what Indiana does as long as Purdue takes care of the business ahead of them. Purdue has plenty of chances left to solidify its bid and doesn't need Indiana critically. Purdue is a lock if it wins at Michigan State. If it loses, but beats Illinois, it is is in very good shape heading to Chicago. If anything, Indiana slipping further (and they were a "Last Four Byes" team today according to Joe Lunardi) helps Purdue because if they are both on the Bubble our season sweep is a huge card in our favor. IU is only five spots ahead in the RPI on Purdue, two ahead in KenPom, and are an ice cold 4-7 in their last 11 with two wins over Rutgers. This is a team in proverbial deep shit. If they lose to Michigan State and in the first round in Chicago...
On the other hand, you have Iowa. Their victory helps Purdue, as they are No. 37 in the RPI. Also, the Hawkeyes are now 11-6 in the Big Ten. Give Maryland and Wisconsin the top two seeds, as they are clinched now. When it comes to the last two double byes you have Purdue, Iowa, Michigan State, and Ohio State. Say the following happens:
Michigan State beats Purdue
Purdue beats Illinois
Michigan State beats Indiana
Ohio State beats Penn State
Wisconsin beats Ohio State
Iowa beats Northwestern
All four teams would then tie at 12-6. The first tiebreaker would then be record among the teams tied, which would be as follows:
Michigan State 3-0
Ohio State 1-4
That would give Michigan State the three seed. The four would be decided on the record between the remaining three teams, and Purdue, at 2-1, would be tied than Iowa's 2-1 or Ohio State's 1-3. The tiebreaker is then head-to-head, which Purdue has with their win over Iowa. Basically, Iowa sweeping Ohio State in two games and jumping into the three-or-more team tiebreaker greatly helps.
Basically, as long as Purdue beats Illinois and Iowa beats Northwestern Purdue will probably get a double bye in Chicago regardless of what happens in East Lansing. A three-way tie with OSU and Iowa goes Purdue's way. A three-way tie with MSU and Iowa is tricky, as the teams would all be 1-1, but since both Iowa and MSU beat second place Maryland and Purdue did not the Boilers would be knocked to fifth.
So priority 1 is beating Michigan State. That locks up at minimum the 4 seed and it can be the 3 with a win over Illinois or Ohio State loss to Penn State or Wisconsin. If we lose to Michigan State we need to beat Illinois and have Indiana beat Michigan State or Wisconsin beat Ohio State. Wisconsin is still playing for a No. 1 seed, so even if they lock up the Big Ten before playing Ohio State they have something to play for against the Buckeyes. Indiana is now fighting for its NCAA life and absolutely needs to beat MSU in Bloomington. I'd rather not rely on them for diddle squat.
Did you get all that?
Dayton 75, Rhode Island 59 - With the Rams being a Bubble team it is definitely not bad for us that they lost by 16.
Mississippi 82, Alabama 74 - The Rebels solidified their place as an 8/9 and did not fall any.
Georgetown 60, Butler 54 - Lunardi is setting Georgetown up for another first round upset as he had them as a six seed, but they got a very nice road win at Hinkle tonight.
Texas A&M-Florida - The Aggies are on the 8/9 line and pretty safe right now, but a push toward the Bubble is good, especially if Purdue wins the last two and is playing for a better seed. As I write this Florida leads by one in the second half.
Clemson-North Carolina State - Do we want the Wolfpack to win, be solidly in, get back into the top 50, and look good for us, or do we want them to lose and go behind us in the pecking order? Going into tonight both Indiana and NC State were in the "Last Four Byes" category. As I write this Clemson leads by three. If both Indiana and NC State lose, and Purdue went 3-0 against them, we have to move ahead of them, right? Well, according to Lunardi's latest update at halftime of Kentucky-Georgia Purdue has moved to the last bye with NC State ahead of us, but Indiana and BYU headed to Dayton. Purdue being 4-0 against these three teams is HUGE.