Bubble Watch 2013: Kentucky, Tennessee improve chances for NCAA Tournament

Andy Lyons

A look at which teams hurt and helped themselves over the weekend.

It's do-or-die time for bubble teams around the country right now. Over the weekend, many of them were either playing their final regular season game of the year or were battling in a conference tournament. Who helped themselves and who hurt themselves? Let's take a look.

Kentucky 61, Florida 57

The Wildcats stole a victory away from the Gators on Saturday afternoon, holding UF scoreless for the final seven minutes of play as they went on an 11-0 run to end the game. UK still has some work to do in the SEC Tournament, but their win over No. 11 Florida was huge for their resume.

St. Louis 78, La Salle 54

The Explorers fell flat on their face in an opportunity to grab one more big win. The Billikins torched La Salle on the inside, hitting 64 percent of their twos. Rob Loe didn't miss a shot for St. Louis, hitting all seven from the field and all three from the free throw line on the way to a game-high 20 points. La Salle still has wins over VCU, Butler, and Villanova on their resume, but a win or two in the A-10 tourney would make Selection Sunday a lot less stressful.

Southern Mississippi 70, Central Florida 62

USM took care of business in its final regular-season game with the help of 34 points from Dwayne Davis. That helped overcome an abysmal performance on the defensive glass, where they allowed UCF to grab 48 percent of its own misses. The Golden Eagles' best win of the season is still Denver in the non-conference schedule. The Conference USA Tournament won't provide much help in that department.

Tennessee 64, Missouri 62

In a game the Volunteers had to have, a big second half rally propelled them past the Tigers in Knoxville. Tennessee remains squarely on the bubble, and a couple of wins at the SEC Tournament would go a long way in improving their chances for an at-large bid.

Ole Miss 81, LSU 67

Marshall Henderson led the way for Ole Miss, tallying 22 points as the Rebels wrapped up a 12-6 SEC record. Ole Miss shot well, posting a 61 effective field goal percentage, including 55 percent on two-pointers. The Rebels have a lot of decent wins, but Missouri remains its only marquee victory. The SEC tournament is up next.

Baylor 81, Kansas 58

Scott Drew's squad made a big statement by obliterating the Jayhawks at home. That win came off the heels of a long stretch to end the season where the Bears missed on one opportunity after another to grab resume-building wins. Point guard Pierre Jackson was dominant against KU, scoring 28 points and dishing out 10 assists. Baylor gets another shot at a big win when it faces Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament next.

Temple 84, VCU 76

The committee seems to love a strong finish, and Temple has been on a roll. Sunday's win over VCU was the Owls' seventh-straight, and taking out the Rams is a big notch on the belt. Khalif Wyatt overcame a 1 of 8 three-point performance to tally 30 points for Temple in the win. The Owls get UMass or George Washington next in the A-10 tournament.

Iowa 74, Nebraska 60

The Hawkeyes avenged an earlier loss to the Cornhuskers, and avoided ending the regular season on a sour note in the process. Despite the win, Iowa still needs to win a couple of games at the loaded Big Ten Tournament if they hope to go dancing.

Arizona 73, Arizona State 58

The Sun Devils had a chance on Saturday to end a three-game losing skid and finish the regular season against an Arizona team with a high RPI. Instead, Arizona State was outmatched for most of 40 minutes and could've lost by 25 if the Wildcats kept their foot on the pedal. The Devils have to win the Pac-12 Tournament if they hope to reach the NCAAs next week.

Oregon State 64, Colorado 58

The Buffaloes did not begin the weekend on the bubble, but an awful home loss to a pretty bad Oregon State squad was the very last thing CU needed. Colorado should have enough on their resume to reach the NCAA Tournament, but another upset early in the Pac-12 Tournament could make things awfully uneasy in Boulder. They need to get Andre Roberson back immediately.

-- Scott Coleman contributed to this report.

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