Posts Tagged ‘Murray State Racers’

Bubble Trouble: Let the Madness of March Begin

March 2nd, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NCAA Basketball   Comments Off on Bubble Trouble: Let the Madness of March Begin
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March Madness has officially kicked off, as conference tournaments are underway and the first official tickets to the dance will be handed out in the days to come. When it’s all said and done, there are 35 teams that won’t win their conference tournaments that are invited to the grandest dance in the world anyway.

Truth be told, a whole bunch of those spots have already been handed out for certain. Figure that these teams, without any shred of a doubt whatsoever, are already making plans for being in the brackets come Selection Sunday…

Atlantic 10 (3): Temple, Xavier, Rhode Island
ACC (1): Duke
Big XII (4): Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Texas
Big East (4): Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Pittsburgh
Big Ten (4): Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State, Wisconsin
Mountain West (2): New Mexico, BYU
SEC (3): Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee

Now, we’ll argue that one of these teams from each conference is going to get their respective league’s automatic bid to the tourney. That makes 14 at-large bids that are certainly gone. If you’re team’s not on this list above and you think you’re going to the NCAA Tournament, you’d better pay really good attention to the rest of this article.

Everyone get out your Gonzaga shirt, your Murray State hat, your Northern Iowa socks, your Siena sweater, your Old Dominion shoes, and your Butler underwear.

In a perfect world, all six of these teams are just going to win their conference tournaments and take their automatic slots in the field. That would leave the other, oh, 40 or so of you out there the maximum possible 21 tickets to fight for.

However, this isn’t a perfect world, and this is what makes the madness of March so fantastic. In the event that the Zags, Racers, Panthers, Saints, Monarchs, and/or Bulldogs happens to lose a game in the next week or so in their conference tournaments, they’ll be thrust into the at-large pool with the rest of you suckers that are groveling to the Selection Committee to put you in the field of 65 in spite of the fact that you have obvious flaws on your resumes. In the cases of Gonzaga, Northern Iowa, and Butler, they’re not going to join the 40 of you that are praying to get in. They’re going to join the 14 that already know that they’re in the driver’s seat.

For Murray State, Siena, and Old Dominion, not winning their conference tournaments may leave them in the NIT. Or maybe it won’t. One thing is for certain, though. If you happened to lose to one of these three teams in the regular season (I’m looking at you Georgetown and Charlotte!), you’d better hope that that team gets into the field via the automatic bid, because if they don’t, you’re going to be subjected to having the Dikembe Mutombo finger waved at you for having lost the head-to-head series against a fellow bubble dweller.

The beauty about college basketball though, is that virtually everyone gets a chance. If you want to play in the NCAA Tournament, play your way into the field. Keep winning in your conference tournaments, and you’ll find your way onto the dance floor one way or the other.

If not and your bubble pops, don’t go blaming anyone but yourself.

Let the madness of March begin…