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March Madness Bubble Update: March 7th

The regular season is over, so teams have just one last chance in their conference tournament to make a push towards the tournament. Below are what I believe each bubble team needs to do to better their chances to be selected on Selection Sunday.

The big boy power conference tournaments are now under way, so these bubble teams may drop like flies or rise into the tournament field.

Bubble

St Marys (10 seed)- With the Gaels falling to BYU in the semi-finals of the WCC Tournament, they enter the bubble. I give them a 65% chance to get into the NCAA Tournament, and now they sit and wait for their name to be called on Sunday.

Alabama (10 seed)- The Tide enter the SEC Tournament with a rematch with Texas A&M on their plate. Texas A&M beat Alabama by just two in a hard-fought game in the last game of the season. Because of that match-up, this is must-win game for Alabama, or else they will have about a 50/50 shot to make the tournament.

Kansas State (10 seed)- Kansas State is pretty safe in my eyes, and I actually believe they will still receive a ticket to the NCAA Tournament if they lose to TCU in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

Providence (10 Seed)- The Friars are like Kansas State, with a quarterfinal game against Creighton coming up, where a loss could still leave them inside the tournament field.

Oklahoma (11 seed)- Oklahoma is in trouble, as a game with Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament could eliminate them from the tournament field. With a loss, I would put Oklahoma in, but I am not sure if the committee would do the same, so it would be a waiting game for the Sooners. If Oklahoma State wins this game, they could enter the bubble after beating Kansas to end their regular season, then get another shot to upset Kansas to sky rocket right into the tournament field.

ASU (11 seed)- For the Sun Devils, a win over Colorado gets them in and a loss would leave them out of the NCAA Tournament. It is crazy to say that ASU may not make it when they have two top-ten wins this year (Xavier and Kansas). If they end up beating Colorado, I believe even with a loss to Arizona they will be in.

Baylor (Last 4 In)- Baylor’s first game in the Big 12 Tournament is against West Virginia. I believe that with a loss they should still be in, unless they get blown out or another bubble team does something crazy to steal their bid.

Texas (Last 4 In)- The Longhorns get a sigh of relief, as they upset West Virginia to make their chances of playing in the NCAA Tournament very high. A win over Iowa State in the Big 12 first round should be enough, but a loss will leave them outside the tournament.

UCLA (Last 4 In)- UCLA needed a win over USC to close the season, and they got it. However, a loss in the quarterfinal of the PAC 12 Tournament to either Stanford or Cal would leave them outside of the tournament field because of the bad quality of both the teams. Win that game and the Bruins are in easily.

Syracuse (Last 4 In)- As much as I hate to say it, Syracuse will have to beat the defending national champs of North Carolina to receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament, in my eyes.

Marquette (Out)- Marquette won the must-win game against Creighton that I mentioned in the last update, setting them up in a great spot. That great spot may be ruined by their seed in the Big East Tournament. Marquette has another must-win game with Depaul to start, then they will LIKELY have to beat Villanova to get into the Big Dance.

USC (Out)- USC is a two seed in the PAC 12 Tournament, which gives them many opportunities to win the game or two they need to increase their chances to make the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame (Out)- The Irish are an interesting story, since they have been without their best player Bonzie Colson, who has been injured. Bonzie is now back and I know I would not want to see this team in March. For Notre Dame to make it to March Madness, they will need to beat Virginia Tech and put up a great fight, or even beat Duke to have a real good shot on Selection Sunday.

Utah (Out)- Utah simply needs to prove that they belong in the Big Dance by impressing the committee in the PAC 12 Tournament. Utah will need AT LEAST two wins to be considered on Sunday.

Louisville (Out)- Blowing a significant lead and losing at the buzzer to Virginia and falling to NC State to end the regular season may keep them out of the NCAA Tournament. Louisville still has hope, as they opened up ACC Tournament play beating Florida State to stay alive, but they will LIKELY have to upset #1 Virginia to get into the NCAA Tournament.

Penn State (Out)- Penn State may have a slim amount of life even after they beat Ohio State for the third time and barely fell to Purdue in the semi-finals of the Big Ten Tournament. Only time will tell if they will be dancing in March Madness.

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