ESPN.com’s foremost college basketball blogger Eamonn Brennan filed his Bubble Watch earlier this morning and according to him the Owls still have some work to do.
Temple [19-8 (8-5), RPI: 39, SOS: 35] The Owls finally — finally! — ended their five-game-strong streak of one-point final margins, which is no way for a team or a fan base to live. One of those games was a one-point home loss to Duquesne, but the Owls have rebounded with wins at UMass, versus La Salle and at Charlotte. That big win over Syracuse, plus a steadily improving Saint Louis, might just save the day after all.
Brennan currently forecasts two teams as locks for the tournament in Butler and Saint Louis. Joining Temple in the ‘still work to do’ category is La Salle and VCU. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Xavier sneak into the conversation if the Muskies finish strong as they still have UMass, Saint Louis and Butler left on the docket.
The next three games are huge for the Owls as they can not afford a slip up. They might be able to survive a home loss to Detroit but a setback against Fordham or URI would be disastrous. In a perfect world the Owls would win out the rest of the way in the regular season and get to at least the semi’s of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Temple is still very much alive for a first round bye so that scenario is realistic.