This article is part of our College Hoops Barometer series.
February has been tumultuous for LSU and its potential No. 1 NBA draft pick power forward, Ben Simmons. After beating No. 15 Texas A&M on Feb. 13, the Tigers have dropped consecutive games to unranked SEC teams, Alabama and Tennessee. Simmons was punished for academic issues by not starting against Tennessee. Even though the star freshman only missed four minutes and it didn't affect his play at all, the Vols trounced the Tigers. More concerning, during the Tennessee game starting senior guard Keith Hornsby aggravated a sports hernia injury and could be out for the rest of the season. As a bubble team, this isn't the way you want things to go if you want a spot in the big dance.
LSU's troubles have opened up opportunities for other teams to enter the competition, such as St. Bonaventure, who just beat last week's No. 15 team, Dayton, led by sophomore Jaylen Adams' 31 points, and fellow SEC member Vanderbilt, who is just one game behind LSU in conference play, and just won an important game over Georgia on Saturday.
Here's what's happening around the rest of the NCAA as bubble teams become desperate for a spot in March Madness.
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
Valentine reminded us last week why he was of POY-favorite pre-knee injury, racking up seven assists in the first half against Wisconsin on Thursday. Michigan State's Mr. Versatility has double-doubled in three consecutive games, against tough Big Ten opponents such as Purdue, Indiana and Wisconsin, hitting