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Bubble Watch Rooting Guide: Report card, update on BYU's standing

Conference tournaments are bringing a lot of resolution to BYU's spot on the bubble. Here's an update.

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There has been a lot of hoops played in the last three days, and it's been a fun week for fans of college basketball. It's also been a good week for fans of BYU basketball.

It hasn't been perfect, but I can't imagine the week going much better for BYU's bubble case thus far. In fact, barring some crazy results today and Sunday, I'm fairly confident BYU isn't even on the bubble anymore. (Thanks, SEC!)

Let's check in on the results and report on our original rooting guide:

Root For Chalk

BYU needs an absence of "bid thieves" and thus we should root for favorites.

American: SMU or Cincinnati
SMU is through to the semifinals, but Cincinnati was upset by UConn. So get on that Larry Brown bandwagon, BYU could use SMU taking care of business from here.

Atlantic 10: VCU, Dayton, or Davidson
All three are through to the semifinals. Davidson escaped LaSalle with a buzzer-beater and plays VCU, so the real target of interest is Dayton against Rhode Island. A win from Dayton should assure that no bid-thieving occurs in the A-10.

Mountain West: San Diego State, Boise State, Colorado State
Wyoming upset Boise and will face SDSU for the title. I know it is rough, but for one day we must root for the .... Aztecs. Ugh. Feels gross typing that.

Pac 12: Arizona, Utah, Oregon
Arizona and Oregon are playing each other for the title, so all is well.

SEC: Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia
All three are through to the semifinals. As long as Kentucky doesn't somehow lose its first game of the season to Auburn, who was 4-14 in the SEC regular season, the SEC will have done right by bubblers.

Root Against Other Bubblers

American: Temple, Tulsa
Temple and Tulsa are both in the semifinals. We're definitely rooting for SMU here, but beyond that, I'm not sure how big of a bubble effect other results will have. If UConn beats Tulsa, Tulsa's life-support bubble case will be officially dead (it may already be, the committee knows Tulsa lost to a non-DI team even if RPI doesn't calculate it.) So perhaps the best-case scenario is SMU and UConn reach the final, then SMU ends UConn's run to avoid a bid theft.

Atlantic 10: Richmond
Richmond lost to VCU in the quarterfinals, ending its longshot at-large hopes.

ACC: Miami
Miami lost to Notre Dame in the quarterfinals. Not a bad loss by any means, but Miami is squarely on the bubble and definitely sits behind BYU in the pecking order.

Big 12: Okahoma State, Texas
Texas and Okie State both lost in the quarterfinals, but both to really good teams in Oklahoma and Iowa State. So they weren't hurt too much, but they also didn't make a clear case for consideration before BYU. Not even Rick Barnes could lose to Texas Tech in the first round, so this was the best-case scenario from there.

Big East: Xavier
Xavier was already ahead of BYU in the pecking order, so the hope here was that sliding could occur. No chance. Xavier is a lock after reaching the Big East final against Villanova. Not a huge impact for BYU, just didn't deliver on the slight chance there may have been help to be had.

Big Ten: Indiana, Illinois
Illinois definitely trashed its outside shot at an at-large bid by losing to Michigan in the second round. Indiana did get past a bad Northwestern team, then battled but lost against a good Maryland team. Again, not a bad loss, but IU is now 20-13, so I'm confident a 25-9 BYU team has Indiana in its rear-view mirror. The Hoosiers missed a chance to move up.

Pac 12: UCLA
UCLA was hurt when USC upset Arizona State, making the Bruins have to take a slight RPI hit. They destroyed USC, then battled Arizona but lost. Their case is like Indiana's. UCLA shouldn't be a threat to BYU and missed a chance to move up.

SEC: Ole Miss, LSU, Texas A&M
The SEC came through in a big way from this angle. As mentioned, Auburn was 4-14 in the SEC and the Tigers upset both LSU and Texas A&M, really hurting them on the bubble, and Ole Miss was upset by 11-seed South Carolina. They may not have had great seasons, but Bruce Pearl and Frank Martin showed some tournament chops, and bubble teams are grateful.

C-USA: Old Dominion
Good and bad news in Conference USA. Old Dominion was upset in the quarterfinals by Middle Tennessee and ODU's at-large chances are now pretty long. The bad news is Louisiana Tech was upset by UAB and the Blazers play MTSU for the title. La Tech has a decent RPI and resume, so C-USA may have just given us a bid thief -- but La Tech certainly isn't a lock to get a bid, either.

Root For BYU Opponents

Utah: Ideally, the Utes would have won the Pac-12 tournament. They lost to Oregon in the semis, which isn't bad. Beating Oregon and Arizona would've been a good thing RPI-wise, but not anything hurt here.

Utah State: The Aggies lost their first game to Wyoming. Not much help.

Weber State: Weber could have helped BYU marginally with some Big Sky wins, but the 8-seed lost a somewhat wacky finish in overtime to 1-seed Montana in the first round. Not a huge deal for BYU.

Long Beach State / Hawaii: LBSU and Hawaii played each other in the first round of the Big West tournament so BYU was only getting help from one of these two. Good news: 5-seed Hawaii just upset 1-seed UC Davis and is playing 3-seed UC Irvine for the Big West title. Hawaii is helping marginally, but getting the autobid gives BYU another win over a tournament team, which never hurts.

Stanford: Stanford got destroyed by Utah in the second half. There wasn't much help to be had here anyway, as too much from Stanford would have opened up the Pac 12 to a bid theft.

UMass: UMass lost to LaSalle in the first round. What was a huge resume-booster last season, even in a loss, turned into a big pile of meh for BYU this season. Good thing BYU beat em this time.


Purdue: Purdue was a double-edged sword, where winning meant helping BYU's RPI but also more competition on the bubble. With all the help (especially in the SEC), it isn't too much of a factor at this point as both BYU and Purdue should be above the "last four in" line.