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SEC Bubble Watch: March 8

Texas A&M didn't help itself, and it didn't get much help from elsewhere either.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

In the SEC

LSU did a lot to help itself by taking down Arkansas 81-78 with a Keith Hornsby three-pointer at the buzzer. That win might just be enough to get the Tigers in the NCAA Tournament, provided they don't do something like lose to Mississippi State or Auburn in the SEC Tournament.

Texas A&M did a lot of damage to itself this past week by losing to Florida and Alabama. The Aggies are officially out of the field in the latest Bracket Matrix, and that doesn't even take the loss to Bama into consideration. They almost certainly will need to win two games in the conference tournament to even be in the discussion for a First Four game, and hey, beating Kentucky in the third game wouldn't be a bad idea.

Ole Miss didn't do itself any favors in losing to Vanderbilt on Saturday, but the Rebels probably have enough cushion that merely beating (or really, not losing to) either Missouri or South Carolina in Nashville will officially punch their ticket.

Around the Country

Purdue is barely in and Illinois was trying to get back in the projected field. The Boilermakers held off the Illini to win 63-58, possibly eliminating Illinois for good. Purdue is a team that A&M is fighting with, but at least Illinois no longer is.

BYU is in just as precarious position as Purdue is, and it hit a basket with six seconds to go to beat Santa Clara 78-76 in the WCC Tournament. Santa Clara is under .500, so it could've been a devastating loss for the Cougars. Instead, BYU is still alive.

Temple stayed on the right side of the bubble by beating UConn 75-63. The win doesn't so much boost the Owls as it keeps them from falling down. The same can be said for Boise State, which beat Fresno State 71-52, and NC State, which beat Syracuse 71-57.

Davidson continued its torrid play of late, taking first in the A-10 and blowing out Duquesne 101-78. The Wildcats are looking better and better for inclusion in the tournament. Texas likewise played its way into bracket this week, and the Longhorns kept that up in beating K-State 62-49.

The only real good news of any sort was Arizona demolishing Stanford 91-69 and Florida State beating Pitt 61-52. The Cardinal and Panthers are pretty safely out now, barring some kind of unforeseen miracle run in either's conference tournament.

In short, Saturday saw three teams out of the projected bracket take on losses—Illinois, Stanford, and Pitt—but the teams who are barely in got the wins they needed. The damage to Texas A&M's tournament hopes were mostly self-inflicted with the loss to Alabama, but the rest of the country didn't help out much either.