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Andy Katz | Correspondent | March 9, 2018

Bubble watch: These 20 teams can still make the tournament

Selection Sunday is two days away. The committee is seeding and now getting into selecting. It's all happening.

Let's dive into the results this week and what's ahead Friday. 

Done playing but still in contention:

Notre Dame: The Irish look like an NCAA tournament team now with Bonzie Colson. If the Irish are judged on their totality of games just with Colson, they should be in without question. But you can’t eliminate all the games they lost without him. Since he returned, they have beaten Pitt twice and Virginia Tech, while losing at Virginia. This will be one of the toughest calls for the committee.

Louisville: The Cardinals fell to Virginia, like most, for the second time in a week. The Cardinals are squarely a bubble team. Beating Florida State in the second round of the ACC tournament gave them another quality win. This will be another interesting call for the committee.

Creighton and Seton Hall: I had both in the field before the Big East tournament. So, there should be no issue with the losses in the Big East quarterfinals.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys did lose to Kansas Thursday, but they had two wins over the Jayhawks as well as wins over Texas Tech and West Virginia. That should be enough to push them across the finish line.

Texas: The Longhorns will be a tough call. Texas has dealt with injuries to Mo Bamba as well as the heartbreaking cancer diagnosis for Andrew Jones. The Longhorns will be judged on their numbers but it isn’t a reach to say that they deserve a good look and it would be wonderful to see them get a bid.

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TCU: The Horned Frogs have the resume. The loss to Kansas State shouldn’t deter them from getting a bid.

Baylor: The Bears were void of some consistency Thursday. Beating West Virginia would have given them another quality win that they desperately needed -- but they didn’t get it. They will sweat big time Sunday.

Middle Tennessee State: The Blue Raiders won Conference USA and are a team that could win a game in the NCAA tournament. But losing at home to Marshall last weekend and then dropping a quarterfinal game to Southern Mississippi Thursday has to make the committee pause. If those losses happened in January, they would certainly be singled out as a negative, just like they should be in March.

Missouri: The Tigers had enough quality wins overall to be in the field, regardless of the loss to Georgia in the SEC tournament.

Texas A&M: The Aggies have had a bizarre season with injuries and suspensions. The loss at the buzzer to Alabama seemed to follow the trend. The Aggies have NCAA talent and one shot going in versus not should not be a difference maker. But if the Aggies are on the line, failing to get another chance for a quality win doesn’t help.

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Nebraska: Winning 13 games in Big Ten is the Huskers pitch, but only one of the 13 was against a top five Big Ten team (Michigan at home).

Penn State: Holding onto three Ohio State wins as its case.

Saint Mary’s: Shaky due to only quad one win at Gonzaga and didn’t reach the WCC final.

Oklahoma: Despite slide, the Sooners own quality non-conference wins that could propel them.

Syracuse: Still owns quality road wins and losing to North Carolina doesn’t eliminate them.

Arizona State: Overall resume still strong, despite loss to a non-bound NCAA team in Colorado.

Virginia Tech: A number of quality wins, including at Virginia.

Florida State: Still own strong wins within the ACC at home against UNC, Clemson and Miami and won at Louisville.

NC State: Remember, the Wolfpack beat four of the top 16 released by the committee last month, including at North Carolina.

Lost this week and hard to see them still in contention:

Boise State: The Broncos lost to Utah State in the MWC quarterfinals. That means Boise State has lost three games to non-bound NCAA teams (twice to Utah State and once to SDSU) in the past month while missing out on beating Nevada at home. That’s not a good look for a bid.

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Marquette: The Golden Eagles needed a signature win, regardless of date. They couldn’t get it Thursday against Villanova.

Utah: The Utes have lost to two teams not bound for the NCAA tournament in the past week, once at home and once on a neutral court.

Washington: Huskies lost to Oregon State in overtime in Las Vegas and have dropped six of the last nine, including two at home. The Huskies needed more of a run in the Pac-12 tournament.

Games to watch Friday:

SMU vs. Cincinnati, 12 p.m., ESPN2, AAC tournament: The Bearcats are playing for seeding. One loss won’t crush them, but Cincinnati is playing for a top four-line seed.

VCU vs. Rhode Island, 12 p.m., NBC Sports Network, A-10 tournament: The Rams need to start playing well after losing to Davidson and Saint Joseph’s in the past two weeks. The Rams have probably lost a chance at a top four-line seed.

Alabama vs. Auburn, 1 p.m., ESPN, SEC tournament: The Tide may have gotten in with the win over Texas A&M. Beat Auburn and there should be no question of them getting a bid. The Tigers are trying to stay within the top three lines.

Georgia vs. Kentucky, 3 p.m., ESPN, SEC tournament: The Bulldogs are playing their best basketball of the season and are a legitimate bid stealer. Kentucky needs to work on its own NCAA seeding.

Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Network, CUSA tournament: Middle Tennessee is out. One of these two teams is going to play for the CUSA title. If the winner of this game gets the auto bid, look for them to be a possible upset team in the first round. They both have the ability to do so.

Richmond vs. St. Bonaventure, 6 p.m. NBC Sports Network, A-10 tournament: The Bonnies are in for me, but I'm not on the committee. Beating the Spiders wouldn't put them in the field, but advances them to the semifinals where they really need to be to quiet any skeptics. 

Providence vs. Xavier, 6:30 p.m., FS1, Big East tournament: The Friars and Musketeers will play a rough and tough one Friday night. The Friars are in. The Musketeers may already be a No. 1 seed.

Clemson vs. Virginia, 7 p.m., ESPN2, ACC tournament: The Cavs are going to be the No. 1 overall seed. Clemson is hoping to get in the top four lines.

Kansas State vs. Kansas, 7 p.m., ESPN, Big 12 tournament: The Wildcats should be in after knocking off TCU. Beat Kansas and it’s moot. The Jayhawks are still in contention for a No. 1 seed.

Temple at Wichita State, 7 p.m., ESPNU, AAC tournament: The Shockers are hoping to get into the top four lines. Temple split with the Shockers and are hoping to steal a bid.

Mississippi State vs. Tennessee, 7 p.m., SEC Network, SEC tournament: The Bulldogs are hoping to steal a bid. The Vols could be a top four-line seed.

Saint Louis vs. Davidson, 8:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network, A-10 tournament: The Wildcats could be a bid stealer and, if they get in, are a legit first-round winner.

Butler vs. Villanova, 9 p.m., FS1, Big East tournament: The Wildcats are still playing for a No. 1 seed. Butler is in. The Bulldogs picked up their first-ever Big East tournament win Thursday by beating Seton Hall.

North Carolina vs. Duke, 9 p.m., ESPN, ACC tournament: This rivalry never disappoints, regardless of venue. Duke can still be a No. 1 seed. The Tar Heels could make a case for a No. 2 with a win.

West Virginia vs. Texas Tech, 9 p.m., ESPN2, Big 12 tournament: Both teams are in and playing for higher seeding.

UCLA vs. Arizona, 9 p.m., Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 tournament: UCLA should be in, but knocking off Arizona for the second time this season, neither of which was at Pauley, should be enough to quiet any dissenters.

UCF vs. Houston, 9 p.m., ESPNU, AAC tournament: The Cougars are locked into the field but advancing will help with an advantageous seed in the NCAAs.

San Diego State vs. Nevada, 9 p.m., CBS Sports Network, MWC tournament: The Wolf Pack won the league. They should be in the field. But they did lose at San Diego State last week -- lose again and there could be some pause on the case.

Arkansas vs. Florida, 9 p.m., SEC Network, SEC tournament: I can’t see a scenario where both aren’t in the field. This is all about NCAA seeding.

Oregon vs. USC, 11:30 p.m., FS1, Pac-12 tournament: The Trojans should be in the field. But there’s a chance they may get to the final. And look out for the Ducks. They are a legit bid stealer.

Utah State vs. New Mexico, 11:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network, MWC tournament: The Lobos are playing their best basketball of the season under Paul Weir. Win this game and the Lobos will be a legit bid stealer.

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