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FSU basketball NCAA tournament bubble watch: January 28

Your (sometimes maybe) daily rooting guide for college basketball

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Florida State basketball rooting guides, where we figure out which teams to hate. The basic premise is that while FSU basketball may be ON the bubble, their season is not progressing IN a bubble. In short, FSU's next 10 games will go a long way in determining if they dance and what their seed might be, but this is also influenced by literally hundreds of games played by different teams in different conferences.

The rooting guides try to identify those games. That way you can tune your television to a random Pac 12 game and actually care about which team wins.

We follow four brackets to figure out where Florida State is currently situated. Those brackets are SB Nation (Chris Dobbertean), ESPN (Joe Lunardi), CBS (Jerry Palm), and the composite Bracket Matrix.

Prior to the win at Boston College this is where FSU stood:

SB Nation: 11-seed (last four in)

ESPN: 1st four out

CBS: 10-seed

Bracket Matrix: 1st four out

Clearly, FSU is considered a bubble team, so in the rooting guides we look for games that impact the bubble. If Florida State were to advance to a 6-seed, for example, then we'd look for games that would influence that portion of the bracket.

Which games are important? Luckily, Matt Minnick already covered that in detail.

What happened yesterday? (thanks to Aminole1114)

Jacksonville beat FGCU — J’ville’s been on a nice win streak lately (winners of 4 of their last 5) and their RPI has risen significantly.
East Carolina beat Temple — Temple was a fringe bubble team at the start of the night. They aren’t even close to the bubble anymore.
UNLV beat Boise St — Boise needed to win this game to stay on the bubble. They’re off it for now and will have to do some significant work to get back on it.

Clemson beat Pitt — Good arguments could have been made to root for either team. Going into the night, I don’t think Clemson was as close to an at-large bid as many of the prognosticators (RPI is terrible, Non Conf SOS is terrible, Road/Neutral Record is terrible, 1 sub 150 loss, 1 sub 200 loss). But this win certainly keeps them climbing. On the plus side, we play them twice and Pitt only once. Big game this weekend. Clemson is just playing really really good ball right now. 
Colorado beat Stanford — I think this was probably a good result because Colorado was at home and I think they’re going to make the tourney pretty easily (good record, great RPISOS, 7 top 100 wins, 5-4 road/neutral record, no bad losses) and Stanford is a quintessential bubble team. This loss keeps them on the bad side of the bubble and behind FSU on the S-curve.

Winthrop beat Charleston Southern — this was expected. 
Butler beat DePaul — this was expected. Hopefully DePaul can spring another upset or two over the remainder of the season. Bonus if those upsets are against bubble teams. 
Seton Hall beat St. Johns — expected. 
St Joe’s beat UMass — expected. 
GA Tech beat NC State — NC State drops another home game, this time against an average GA Tech team. Neither is on the bubble. GA Tech could potentially make it, but they’d have to go on a serious (Clemson-like) run. Bad for us because we play NC State twice (GT only once) and we’d like NC State to stay in the top 100 (currently right outside). Losses like this make it really unlikely that they’ll be able to get back into the top 100.

To tonight's games!

Out of conference opponents in action:

Iowa at Maryland (7 PM, ESPN)

Elon at Hofstra (7 PM)

Old Dominion at FAU (7 PM)

Other key games:

Notre Dame at Syracuse (7 PM, ESPN2): FSU plays Syracuse twice, so we want them to be good. Unfortunately, they are currently one slot behind Florida State at Bracket Matrix. A home loss would erase the momentum gained by winning at Duke. Domers!

Cincinnati at Connecticut (7 PM, ESPNU): Neither team is safe, though UConn is probably the safer of the two. A road win by Cincy would definitely have them solidly ahead of Florida State. Let's go Huskies!

Monmouth at Quinnipiac (7:30 PM): Could Monmouth earn an at-large bid? They could. But sadz for them that they can only pick up bad losses in conference, and don't really have the opportunity for big wins. We need them to drop one or two down the stretch so that they're NIT bound should they fail to win the MAAC tourney. Q!

Cleveland State at Valparaiso (8:00, ESPN3): See Monmouth and insert Valpo. Cleveland State!

Oregon State at Arizona State (8:30, P-12 Network): Biggest game of the night? Biggest game of the night. OSU is one spot ahead of FSU at Bracket Matrix, and we really don't need them picking up road wins over decent teams. Sun Devils it is.

George Washington at Richmond (9:00, ESPNU): GW is a bit ahead of Florida State. A road loss to Richmond won't be a killer, but it certainly won't help. Spidies!

Santa Clara at Gonzaga (9:00, ROOT): Bizarre that Gonzaga is a bubble team, but bubble they are. A home loss to a bad team would crush them.

Ohio State at Illinois (9 PM, BTN): The Buckeyes are teetering and trying not to fall off the cliff. Hopefully Illinois will give them a little shove.

Washington at UCLA (10 PM, FS1): Both are bubble teams, so probably better for the home team to win. However, I do think Washington is just going to get steamrolled down the season's back stretch, so maybe a win by them tonight would hurt UCLA, and then the Huskies wouldn't make it anyway?