Rule No. 1 when you're on the bubble: Don't lose.
It's a simple enough concept, but wins eluded several teams that badly needed them on Thursday, none more so than the Northwestern Wildcats.
Thursday's loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers was precisely what the Wildcats needed to avoid. Now their résumé is complete, and it flaunts just one top-50 RPI win. Although it was an impressive one -- Michigan State -- a sub-.500 record in the Big Ten does not argue in the Wildcats' favor.
The loss drops Northwestern to No. 71 on my S-curve, which puts them among my First Four Out.
Two other violators of rule No. 1: the Washington Huskies and Mississippi State Bulldogs. Both teams now reside in the Last Four In, which would put them into the first-round games in Dayton. More notable than that, however, is the intriguing case Washington presents the selection committee.
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