Campus Chatter: Bubble Teams Edition Part 1

Wright State, Oral Roberts and North Texas all joined the dance last night but today we are going to discuss the teams that may or may not be joining them. The ACC, Big East and Big Ten teams are on tap today while the Big 12, Pac-10, SEC, and other teams will be addressed on Friday.

Automatic Bids (Continued):
-Horizon: Wright State; Every team with at-large hopes cringed last night when the Raiders knocked off Butler and won the Horizon. By the way, was that one of the louder crowds you have ever seen or what at the Nutter Center in Dayton last night? Wright State looks to be in that #13-14 range in terms of seeding and has all the makings of a team that can pull off a first round upset.

Mid-Continent: Oral Roberts; If you are one of the higher seeds and you see Oral Roberts as your first round opponent, be very afraid. ORU knocked off Kansas at Kansas this year so the window for an upset has already been opened. If Caleb Green is on, then the #2 or 3 seed whom they draw is going to be in for a long 40 minutes of basketball.

-Sun Belt: North Texas; The Mean Green might be looking at a game in the “Opening-Round” game which is never a good thing. Should North Texas win that one, they are looking at a #16 seed which spells disaster.

The Field of 65:

Teams That Are In- Boston College, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Bubble Teams-
Clemson: The Tigers pulled off a miracle by beating Virginia Tech on the road to keep their faint hopes alive. Entering the ACC tournament, they must knock off Florida State in the opening-round or they can kiss their at-large hopes goodbye. Even a win over FSU would not guarantee them anything as they might need to knock off North Carolina as well.
Chances: Not looking too good.

Florida State: Like Clemson, they must win their opening-round game if they hope to make the field. Again, like Clemson they would not be guaranteed of anything and would still need a win over North Carolina to move them closer to the field of 65.
Chances: It’s possible, but appears unlikely.

Georgia Tech: Should Tech knock off Wake Forest in the opening-round, they could very well be looking at an at-large bid. They have solid wins and a solid RPI and unless they are upset by the Demon Deacons, they should be dancing next week.
Chances: Barring an upset, they should be in.

Big East
Teams That Are In- Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Villanova
Bubble Teams-
DePaul: By the time this is posted, DePaul can be eliminated from the Big East tournament as well as the NCAA tournament. They are currently down 10 early in the 2nd half so it is not looking good for them. If they are able to come back and beat Villanova, then we can talk.
Notre Dame: Many appear to think the Irish are in but I think that they need to beat the winner of Syracuse/UConn to achieve lock status. Even if they are to lose, they should still get in but I just have a problem putting them as a “lock.”

Syracuse: Win today against UConn and the Orange can breathe a little bit easier. They, like Notre Dame, are a borderline lock but need just one win to make sure that they are in. Should they lose to UConn, their at-large hopes might take a serious nose-dive.

West Virginia: Aside from the overrated win over UCLA, the Mountaineers have not done much to solidify their status as a tournament team. They probably need to knock off Providence and Louisville at the very least if they want to be in serious consideration and even that might not be enough.

Big Ten
Teams That Are In- Indiana, Ohio State, Wisconsin
Bubble Teams-
Illinois: Illinois must beat Penn State and possibly Indiana as well if it wants to be assured of an at-large bid. Beating Penn State and losing to Indiana would leave them on the bubble still while losing to Penn State would all but knock them into the NIT.

Michigan: The boys in maize and blue are practically on life support at the moment. Michigan has to beat Minnesota and Ohio State if it wants to get into the tournament. The Wolverines lack a marquee win and beating Ohio State just might be enough to get them in, but it still might not be enough.

Michigan State: If Michigan State can knock off lowly Northwestern, they are in. A win over Wisconsin in the quarterfinals isn’t necessary but it would sure wrap things up in their favor.

Purdue: Purdue is as bubble as a bubble team can get right now. They are teetering on the brink of elimination and wins are their best friend at the moment. Beating Iowa puts them in good shape but a win in the semifinals should clinch them a berth in the tournament.

That’s all for now, be sure to check back on Friday as we discuss the rest of the tournament field.