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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bubbly blogging: Wednesday update

So far the bubble has been kind to Georgia and other at-large hopefuls. Butler won the Horizon League championship on Tuesday night, following up Old Dominion's win of the CAA on Monday. That prevented at least two bid-stealers.

Yes, Marquette did win its first-round Big East tournament game, and had the Eagles lost it would have been helped the bubble teams. But Marquette is the likely 11th team from the Big East anyway. If it beats West Virginia today, Marquette is almost certainly in, but if it loses it's still got a good chance.

The Big 12 tournament tips off today, and that's what bears watching: Nebraska, Colorado and Baylor are all on the bubble, and in that order they play today, starting at 12:30 p.m. Every time one of them loses, you might say an at-large candidate goes away - or, at a minimum, falls behind Georgia in the pecking order.

I still think Georgia's chances are good as long as it beats Auburn ... and there aren't a string of upsets and long tournament runs that suddenly makes the quality of the at-large candidates stronger.

This is a point I've made (perhaps too strenuously) on Twitter the past few days: It's simply inaccurate to say the Georgia-Alabama game (if it happens) is a play-in game for the NCAAs, or that Georgia is definitely in if it beats Auburn. Either of those could end up being true, but not necessarily. You have to watch the rest of the field come together, and today that means watching the Big 12.

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