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NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Colorado Improves Their At-Large Hopes

With Selection Sunday 15 days away the at-large pool is shrinking as teams are playing their way into the NCAA Tournament. In SB Nation's latest Bubble Watch, Chris Dobbertean projects that the at large pool is down to only 10 available spots

26 Locks + 11 In Good Shape = 37 teams at or near safety
10 of these 37 hold their conference's auto bid at the moment, so 27 at-larges are accounted for
37 Total At-Large Bids - 27 = 10 Available Bids

Thirty-one teams are currently vying for those 10 projected available bids which makes the next seven days important for bubble teams such as the Colorado St. Rams and Colorado Buffaloes. The number of bubble teams, as well as available at-large spots, will fluctuate as the regular season and conference tournaments over the next two weeks.

In the bracket projections earlier in the week the Colorado St. Rams were in with the Colorado Buffaloes being one of the first teams out. Now, with the Rams currently on a two-game losing streak, where they lost to UNLV and BYU, the two have switched bracket spots with the Buffs who recently beat Texas Tech. Colorado has a golden opportunity on Saturday to move off the bubble and into a less-stressful spot if they can knock of the No. 5 ranked Texas Longhorns, who the Buffs host today. The Buffs finish the season playing at Iowa State and Nebraska, and both of those are games that they need to win to stay on the right side of the bubble, especially if they are unable to beat Texas on Saturday.

The Nebraska game for Colorado to end the season is shaping up to be huge for Big 12 tournament seeding, because if both teams split their next two games, which seems likely, then Colorado and Nebraska will be battling for the sixth seed which would have them not face Texas or Kansas until the semi-final round. That is a great advantage for that winner who would then most likely face a more manageable game against Missouri or Texas A&M.

As for Colorado State, they end the season by playing at Air Force today, host Utah and then travel to San Diego State next Saturday. The Rams can not lose to either Utah or Air Force to keep the Rams in the at-large consideration, and a win on the road against the Aztecs would go a long way to putting the Rams in the tournament. The Rams are currently locked into the four-seed of the Mountain West tournament, but if things go well there is a chance they could face Utah instead of New Mexico which would be an easier opponent. However, a win over Utah is worse then beating New Mexico is a fairly quality opponent, but wins are wins and that is what Colorado State needs at this point.

As bubble teams, both Colorado State and Colorado will need to win at least two of their last three games and win one game in their respective conference tournaments to have a very good shot at landing an at-large NCAA Tournament berth.