The Washington Times - March 13, 2009, 12:56PM

ATLANTA — Didn’t forget about the bubble tracker for the day, but there’s also a need for a word on New Mexico.

I see the Lobos still bandied about as a tournament possibility after their loss to Wyoming, and it’s just hard to justify it.


I mean, New Mexico is a nice team. It would surely remain in the discussion had it won last night.

But folks —- this is a team with a 1-7 record against top-100 teams away from Albuquerque (the win was last weekend at Wyoming). The Lobos beat all the good teams in the Mountain West, but they did it at home.

The point of vetting the at-large teams is to try to figure out who could possibly win a couple games against good competition on a neutral floor. New Mexico simply hasn’t proven it.

Should I probably have them on the at-large board still? Yeah, that was a mistake. But it’s still hard to envision the Lobos as a tournament team.

As for today’s bubble tracker…

* Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina, noon: The Hokies are hanging in at this stage against the Ty Lawson-less Tar Heels. A win would make it very difficult to leave Virginia Tech out at the expense of an Arizona.

* Kentucky vs. Louisiana State, 1: The Wildcats are done with a loss; even with a win, there’s still more work to do, but at least this would help Big Blue.

* Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, 2:30: Both teams should be safe, but just mentioning this game as a courtesy.

* South Carolina vs. Mississippi State, 3:30: The Gamecocks have done next to nothing to warrant safe inclusion in any field (1-5 vs. the top 50, 2-5 vs. top 100 on the road). A loss here should send them packing to the NIT.

* Houston at Memphis, 4: A Memphis loss costs the at-large field a spot.

* Temple-Xavier and Dayton-Duquesne: Wins by Xavier and Dayton ensure there won’t be an A-10 spoiler this year.

* Baylor vs. Texas, 7: The Bears meed to keep winning to keep their hopes alive. A loss ends any bubble angst in the Big 12.

* Maryland vs. Wake Forest, 7: Terps still need another win.

* San Diego State vs. Brigham Young, 9: Aztecs would be tough to keep out with another win; their biggest problem is they’ve devalued their best wins by continuing to beat UNLV.

* Florida vs. Auburn, 9:45: Tough to see the loser making the field. If the Gators win, the guess here is they get in.

* Eastern Washington at Saint Mary’s, 10:05: The Gaels need to look good. Really good. So does Patrick Mills.

* Southern Cal vs. UCLA, 11:30: The Trojans would have a better case with an extra solid victory. As it stands, they look like they’re just on the outside of things.

—- Patrick Stevens