Bracketology Bubble Watch: Duke vs. North Carolina takes on extra weight. The Big 12 package aims to avoid the cutline

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Thursday was a tough night for bubble teams, especially those in the Big Ten. Michigan, Rutgers and Wisconsin all lost — with the Scarlet Knights feeling the sting the hardest courtesy of a one-point loss to Minnesota, the bottom team in the Big Ten. Leading by 10 with 1:15 left, Rutgers allowed the Golden Gophers to rally for a 75-74 victory.

That’s in line with Rutgers’ season so far: The Knights are under .500 in Quad 1 and Quad 3 games, but one game above that mark against Quad 2.

Michigan lost in double overtime at Illinois, which was arguably the best loss of the three because it was on the road against a good team. Wisconsin lost at home to Purdue, its sixth home loss of the season. Throw two of those away and we have a very different conversation about the Badgers.

This is the last chance of the regular season for everyone on this list. It’s not the last chance to make a good impression on the committee because the conference tournaments are ahead. However, for some of these teams, they may need to win their respective tournaments.

NCAA Tournament Locks

Resume based locks: 20 | Guaranteed offers: 0 | Major positions remaining: 36



Miami, Virginia

Great East


Marquette, UConn, Xavier

Big Ten


Indiana, Purdue

Big 12


Baylor, Kansas, Texas, Kansas State



Arizona, UCLA



Alabama, Tennessee, Texas A&M






Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State

At the cutline

See all the teams in Palm’s Bubble Watch, the field of 68 and the entire bracket in the Bracketology Center

Saturday’s ‘Double Bubble’ games.

Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt

20:30 | SEC Network, fuboTV (try free)

Boise State at Utah State

9 pm

Arizona State at USC

11 p.m. | FS1, fuboTV (try free)

Other bubble teams in action on Saturday

All references to NCAA tournament seeding records and trends refer only to tournaments dating back to 1994 with the exception of 2021. Due to the shortened schedules and relatively small number of non-conference games in 2021, these rankings were not reliable enough to obtain into account.

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