College Basketball Bubble Watch

Updated: March 10, 2009, 4:22 PM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com


Siena Saints go marching in ... but what about Saint Mary's?

Editor's note: This file has been updated to include all games through Monday, March 9. However, RPI and SOS numbers will not be updated until Tuesday morning.

College basketball's championship week is hitting its stride, and the early results from mid-major tournaments have been favorable for bubble teams from the six major conferences.

Siena beat Niagara 77-70 in the championship game of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament in Albany, N.Y., on Monday night, earning the Saints an automatic NCAA bid. With a top-25 RPI rating, Siena might have grabbed an elusive at-large spot on Selection Sunday even if it had lost to the Purple Eagles, but that's a moot point now.

At the same time Siena was ensuring its berth, Gonzaga routed Saint Mary's 83-58 in the finals of the West Coast Conference tournament in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs were getting into the NCAA tournament no matter what. The Gaels still might get an at-large bid, but their lack of high-quality wins -- and, more importantly, star point guard Patty Mills' injured right hand -- puts them in a very precarious spot.

Next on the radar for the two dozen teams sitting on the NCAA tournament bubble: Tuesday night's Horizon League championship game between Butler and Cleveland State. Butler has earned a spot in the NCAA's 65-team field, but it will earn an automatic bid by beating the Vikings on its home floor at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. That would be very, very good news for all those current residents of the bubble.

Here's the latest Bubble Watch: