College Basketball Bubble Watch

Updated: March 14, 2013, 2:38 AM ET
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com


Villanova among the teams that lock up bids as Champ Week continues

Editor's note: This file has been updated to include all games through Wednesday night. RPI and SOS numbers will update in the morning.

For bubble purposes, Champ Week is a bit like the college hoops season writ small. It begins a bit slowly but builds into a crescendo by Thursday, Friday and Saturday, just in time for everyone to sweat out Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Monday and Tuesday were largely quiet days along the cut line, and for the most part we avoided the customary rush of bid thieves that shrink and tighten things for the various schools still clinging to hopes of an at-large bid.

Naturally, Wednesday was a bit more eventful: The early rounds of the Big East, Big 12, Mountain West and Pac-12 tournaments all kicked off, and through Wednesday night we saw only minor tweaks. Villanova and Colorado firmed up their bids by avoiding bad losses. Thanks to Jahii Carson's brilliant 34-point performance, Arizona State notched a thrilling overtime win over Stanford and held fast to the very tail end of the bubble, with a chance to make real waves against UCLA Thursday. And Providence's loss to Cincinnati officially spelled its doom.

Probably the biggest, or at least the most straightforward, bubble task of the night belonged to Boise State, which had a chance to double down on its late-season win over San Diego State in their first Mountain West tourney tilt. Instead, the Broncos -- hampered by a brutal 0-for-12 start from star guard Derrick Marks -- fell short. A win may not have guaranteed Boise's bid, and a loss doesn't guarantee their exclusion, but there's no question they left a major opportunity on the table.

As usual, Thursday, which features nearly 50 games in total, will be a much more eventful day, including more than our fair share of bubble drama. Short of securing an automatic qualifier spot, teams may not be able to repair their entire season's reputation on the final week before the NCAA tournament. But for the score of teams you see below, many of whom are almost indistinguishable from the other, resume-wise, what happens Thursday could be the difference between the Big Dance and the NIT. It's a big day. Stay tuned.