Saturday wasn't a great day for Bubble Watch teams, as Houston and New Mexico State, stole bids, meaning two teams are destined for the NIT. Things could get even worse Sunday, if Mississippi State claims the SEC title.
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Saturday's Conference Winners
Two teams took advantage of the opportunity offered to them by claiming their conference's automatic bid on Saturday. Cal and UTEP are left to sweat, however.
San Diego State also removed themselves from the bubble picture with a 55-45 victory over UNLV (recap).
New Mexico State won the Battle of the Aggies to claim the WAC crown over Utah State, 69-63 (recap). The Blue Aggies now find themselves with a nervous wait.
Sunday's Conference Finals
Sunday, two teams can get themselves off the bubble with wins in their conference championship games.
Minnesota, one of my "Last Five In," thoroughly embarrassed Purdue in their Big Ten semifinal, 69-42 (recap), holding the Boilermakers to 11 points in the first half. I'll be stunned if the Golden Gophers aren't in, barring a collapse against Ohio State in tomorrow's final.
Mississippi State moved closer to, but not into, the field with a 62-52 win over Vanderbilt (recap) in the SEC semifinals. The SEC West champs will next face Kentucky for the conference title (1 p.m. ET, ABC).
Waiting For The Selection Show
In Good Shape
Louisville should be in even though they lost to Cincinnati in the Big East Second Round Wednesday.
Last Five In
California, UTEP and Utah State are here after losses Saturday.
Minnesota can book a place by winning the Big Ten.
First Four Out
Florida will have to sweat it out after their loss to Mississippi State Friday. The fact they came back to avoid a blowout against the Bulldogs helps; events around the country Saturday did not.
Illinois lost a double overtime thriller to Ohio State, 88-81 (recap), though they had chances to win the game at both the end of regulation and the first overtime. They just couldn't get a shot off. The loss came at a bad time, considering how Minnesota performed in the very next game.
Mississippi State can remove themselves from this group with a win over Kentucky.
Keep an eye on William & Mary, even though they lost to Old Dominion in the Colonial Athletic Association final Monday. They have enough quality wins to make a solid case, but some headscratching losses may keep them out.
UAB is likely on the outside looking in after they failed to beat Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Quarterfinals Thursday.
Arizona State looks to be out of the running after they lost their Pac-10 Quarterfinal to Stanford.
Charlotte is off the board after they lost to Massachusetts at home in the Atlantic 10 Opening Round Tuesday.
Cincinnati had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Dion Dixon couldn't hold on to the ball and Da'Sean Butler banked in a three when time expired to give West Virginia a 54-51 win in the Big East Quarterfinals Thursday, bursting the Bearcats bubble.
Dayton once again couldn't close out a close game, as they fell to Xavier in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals Friday. That was a fatal loss for the Flyers.
Memphis, like UAB, is finished, as they lost their Conference USA Quarterfinal against Houston.
Rhode Island is out of the running after they lost to Temple for the third time this season, 57-44 (recap) in the Atlantic 10 semifinals in Atlantic City.
Seton Hall and South Florida are both likely finished after they lost Big East Second Round games Wednesday.
Wichita State lost their chance when they fell to Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley final Sunday..