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2011 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch Scores: Saturday Recap, St. Mary's Implications

We had a few more games go final this evening that might have some bearing on the St. Mary’s Gaels at-large possibilities. The Gaels will face the Santa Clara Broncos later today with a spot in the WCC tournament final on the line. If Saint Mary’s can win the conference tournament, these games will only affect 2011 NCAA Tournament seeding, rather than being in the tournament at all. However, given Gonzaga’s recent run and St. Mary’s precarious position in the Bubble Watch, every game is worth keeping an eye on.

The biggest matchup of the evening saw Baylor drop a tough loss to No. 8 Texas 60-54. Baylor entered the game 18-11 and ranked No. 77 in the RPI. A win over Texas would not have moved them into an at-large spot, but it would have put the Bears into position to use a Big 12 tourney run to get into at-large consideration. Instead they likely have to win the conference to get a spot in the NCAA tournament.

The other game of significance saw Colorado beat Nebraska 67-57. The Cornhuskers were ranked No. 72 in the RPI while the Buffaloes were ranked No. 78. Nebraska was on the wrong side of the bubble heading into the game and now finds themselves in an even worse position. The Buffaloes benefit from the win but are still in a poor position.

Finally, the Horizon League has all sorts of random implications as they wrap up their conference tournament. Butler defeated Cleveland State and will face Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the championship game. Cleveland State entered the game ranked No. 41 in RPI but this semifinal loss likely will leave them on the outside looking in. Tomorrow, Gaels fans will be rooting for Butler to defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Horizon League championship game.