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March to Madness: NCAA Basketball Bubble Watch, January 11th

Frogs fall from the Top 30, but get another showcase opportunity Saturday

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Frog Status

· NET Rank: 32 (↓2)

· RPI: 9 (↑2)

· KenPom Rank: 27 (↓1)

· ESPN BPI: 33 (-)

Why was everyone so negative about RPI? It appears to be very smart and accurate

NET Results for the loss at Kansas

It’s never easy to go into Allen Fieldhouse and walk away with a win, but it is especially difficult with 20 turnovers and half as many free throws as the Jayhawks. The loss hurts, as this result will remain in the NET quadrant 1 all season and would have been the type of win that could be the foundation of every seeding and bubble argument. Instead, it will prove a minimal blemish so long as TCU can put up some Ws in the Q1 win column. The Frogs have another such opportunity Saturday in Norman against NET #20 Oklahoma.


NET Impacts of the Week

The NET may prove to be more volatile on a week-to-week basis that KenPom is, but these teams are all jockeying for position on the NET and into the Bracket, and each game will have a cascading effect.

· #56 Minnesota (↓18) vs #25 Maryland (↑7) – Getting smashed at home is the cardinal sin of NET. The Golden Gophers allowed this one to end up way worse than it should have – up six at halftime, they just cratered over the final 5 minutes to fall completely off the Bubble picture

· #23 Auburn (↓9) vs # 29 Ole Miss (↑7) Auburn drops from luxurious comfort of the top 15, with #70 Georgia coming to town Saturday, where a loss could put the Tigers in very dangerous territory. Ole Miss gets to double down on big time Bubble wins in a date with their reeling in-state rival #33 Mississippi State, coming off its own terrible loss to South Carolina.


NET Positive / NET Negative

· #14 Buffalo (↑10) – The Bulls were one of the big Cinderellas of the last Tourney and have continued that success this season, with dominant wins over big teams, with only a road loss at Marquette keeping them from the top 10.

· #28 Villanova (↑5) – The Wildcats have been flying under the radar and are already 3-0 in conference – the win this week over #27 St. John’s was the biggest feather in their cap to date. Expect Nova to hang around the top 25 all season and be typically dangerous in March.

· #49 Utah State (↓10) – Another win for the TCU résumé, as the Aggies fell at home to #63 Fresno State.

· #17 NC State (↓7) – The Wolfpack are in fine shape, despite the home loss to UNC, but with their next three games against teams outside the Top 50, NC State cannot allow this to become a losing streak


Bubbles Burst

· #51 Kansas St (↓2)

· #52 Creighton (↓2)

These two fell out of the top 50, but both will have plenty of opportunities to be right back in the race, including this weekend against #19 Iowa State and #28 Villanova, respectively.

· #56 Minnesota (↓18) – This disaster was discussed above

· #73 Ball State (↓25) – The Cardinals dropped a home game to #215 EMU. This probably ends any Bubble at-large chance for Ball State. However, this result is helpful to TCU’s resume, boosting EMU up from #263…but only a small help, as the Eagles would have to improve another 55 spots to bump the Frogs’ home win into Q3.


New Faces

· #38 Florida (↑17) – The road win over #87 Arkansas was enough for NET to send the Gators back into the Bubble conversation. We need the Gators to gain (and maintain) another 8 spots to make our January 26 matchup a Q1 opportunity.

· #41 Temple (↑21) – The Owls ended #9 Houston’s undefeated season with a game-winning charge. It was thrilling, it was controversial, and it’s only January!

· #46 Syracuse (↑5) – We know Boeheim will keep this team hovering around the Bubble discussion all season…perhaps this year we can avoid their evil zone in March.

· #48 Butler (↑9) – I don’t totally know how the NET made this happen. The Bulldogs climbed 9 spots with a close road loss to #44 Seton Hall. The Pirates only moved up 3 spots with the win. Road moral victories are about as good as home actual victories.


What to (Bubble) Watch

· #52 Creighton vs. #28 Villanova – Saturday January 12, 11:00 AM, Fox

· #29 Ole Miss vs. #33 Mississippi State – Saturday January 12, Noon, CBS

· #35 Ohio St. vs. #34 Iowa – Saturday January 12, 6:00 PM, B1G Network

NET Top 50 Dashboard