The NCAA Basketball season is winding down to the last week or so in terms of the regular season which will be followed by the conference tournaments. As selection Sunday approaches, many teams are running out of time to impress the selection committee in efforts to make the big dance. There are of course many teams locked in and some locked out, but then there is what we like to call the bubble teams who still have a chance to get in. We take a look at some of the teams that are on the verge of making the NCAA Tournament in March and who could be left out. Some of these names may come shocking as teams like Kentucky, Georgetown and more are in danger of missing this year’s March Madness.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (16-11)
Once upon a time, the Fighting Irish were ranked no. 7 in the country and off to a great start to their season. However, Notre Dame went missing during the middle of the season losing 7 straight games that really hurt their chances of an NCAA Tournament type postseason. The Fighting Irish have one of the best players in America in Luke Harangody who is averaging 24 points and 12.3 rebounds and have won 4 of their last 5 games since the 7 game losing streak. Still the Fighting Irish lack a lot of big time wins outside of their slashing over Louisville when they routed the Cardinals 90-57. Notre Dame could make really make it hard for the selection committee if they could come up with an upset on Saturday when they battle number 2 Connecticut on the road. Unfortunately, without that win and possibly at least one more victory Notre Dame’s chances look slim.
Virginia Tech Hokies (17-10)
Things are not looking good for the Hokies. A little over a week ago things looked bright for Virginia Tech as they stood at a 16-7 record with a key win over Wake Forest to go on the resume. However, lately Virginia Tech has dropped 3 of their last 4 and the forecast is not pretty. The Hokies get Duke, North Carolina, and Florida State in their last 3 games making it a very possible chance they could lose all 3 games. The Hokies will have to come up big some how against the top ACC teams in the conference and they will likely need to win 2 out of 3.
Boston College Eagles (20-9)
Eagles fans should breathe a sigh of relief because they are most likely a lock to make the dance. It would be extremely hard for the selection committee to reject one of the only team in the ACC outside of Wake Forest to beat both North Carolina and Duke. Boston College sits fairly nice right now with a record of 20-9 with games with NC State and Georgia Tech left on the schedule. Boston College should have no problem at least getting a victory in a least one of those games, but they could make it even if they lost the last two.
Kentucky Wildcats (19-9)
Staring at the Wildcats record you might favor them to be selected. However, the SEC has really been down this year and they are not likely to put many teams into the big dance. Kentucky was crushed by the surprise team of the conference in South Carolina on Wednesday 77-59. Add to the fact their best wins are likely Tennessee and Florida it does not impress as much as one might think. Kentucky has 3 games left to play that include both Florida and No. 18 LSU meaning the Wildcats could lose at least two of those games. If that were to happen they would stand at 20-11 with a rather weak schedule losing 4 of the last 6 which would not exactly scream for attention.
UAB Blazers (19-8)
The Blazers are 2nd in Conference USA behind the Memphis Tigers who are ranked number 5 in the nation and could sneak in as a number 1 seed if the top 4 continue to have problems. However, UAB sports a pretty poor schedule and do not have any big out of conference wins. The Blazers stand at the 19-8 mark with 3 games to go and believe they really need to win all 3 to make a legitimate case for the postseason.
Cincinnati Bearcats (18-10)
The question that the selection committee will have is not that if the Bearcats can play and contend with the NCAA Tournament teams, but how many Big East teams will contend in the big dance. The elite conference could put anywhere from 7-10 teams in the NCAA Tournament. Cincinnati still has a legitimate chance to get to a 20 win season with 3 games remaining with the weaker side of the conference. If they get to 20, they will most definitely be included into this year’s tournament.
USC Trojans (16-10)
Southern Cal’s resume looked like a lock a few weeks ago when they were standing at 15-6 in the Pac-10. However, the Trojans have now lost 4 of their last 5 and simply must turn things around before the season concludes. Luckily USC still has 4 games left meaning they have extra time to right the ship. In those final 4 games, the Trojans are 3-1 against those teams that are in the conference and they have already played once this season. Southern Cal could definitely use another 3-1 run to make up for the recent struggles.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-9)
The Cowboys were on the outside looking in just two weeks ago. Oklahoma State had come off a stretch where they had lost 4 out of 5 games and stood at 14-9. However, the Cowboys have knocked off 4 straight wins improving their resume quite a bit. Oklahoma State gets Kansas State, Baylor, and Oklahoma left to round out the season. The Cowboys are already 0-2 against Oklahoma and Baylor this season and they will need to find a way to avoid losing the last 3 games. Each win concretes their chances a little more considering the Big 12 has been pretty solid this season.
Michigan Wolverines (17-11)
Michigan’s chances have took a plummet during the latter part of the season. The Wolverines have lost 8 of their last 12 games dropping down the Big Ten rankings like a falling rock. However, Michigan still can get into the March spectacle with 4 final games left on the schedule. Michigan plays Purdue tonight and many think that is a must win for the Wolverines to continue to have NCAA postseason hopes. Going out on a limb and saying the Wolverines get the win over Purdue tonight, then they still get Minnesota twice and Wisconsin to bring in a few more wins to help the cause.
Which two (2) of these bubble teams DO NOT belong in the NCAA tournament? (Choose Two)
- Notre Dame (16-11) (53%, 141 Votes)
- USC (16-10) (45%, 118 Votes)
- Michigan (17-11) (24%, 63 Votes)
- Virginia Tech (17-10) (22%, 58 Votes)
- UAB (19-8) (19%, 50 Votes)
- Kentucky (19-9) (16%, 43 Votes)
- Cincinnati (18-10) (12%, 32 Votes)
- Oklahoma St. (18-9) (3%, 8 Votes)
- Boston College (20-9) (2%, 6 Votes)
Total Voters: 264