Commentary

BI: Bracket makers and breakers

Victories over Michigan State helped Minnesota and Florida receive bids

Originally Published: March 14, 2010
By Mike Hume | ESPN Insider
Ravern JohnsonChris Chambers/Getty ImagesRavern Johnson and the Bulldogs missed their shot to make the bracket before Sunday.

Year after year, the selection committee has indicated that it examines a team's entire body of work. But for the final teams in and out of the field, single games often make or break them. Here's a look at three games that made teams tourney-worthy, and three more that bounced other teams out of the bracket.

Bid winners

Nov. 27: Florida 77, Michigan State 74

One of the Gators' three wins against the RPI top 50, the early-season win over Sparty is what separated the Gators from Mississippi State. While the Bulldogs entered the SEC tournament with just one victory over the RPI top 50, Florida was already sitting pretty, having passed the eye test early on. With no emphasis this season by the selection committee on teams' final games, the win over MSU gave the Gators a buffer to overcome a 1-4 record in their last five games of the season.