So here we are, less than three weeks away from Selection Sunday–which still remains one of the most anticipated days in the sports calendar year–and the NCAA tournament field is filled with legitimate bubble” teams, whose fate will be largely determined in the final few games of the regular season.
In doing a soft look at the potential NCAA tournament field, we came up with 71 teams for 68 spots–barring upsets in the conference tournaments which could cause a last second bubble burst moment for some teams.
We came up with 10 teams in the “bubble”.
Let’s take a look, conference by conference
ACC-Syracuse and NC State
Big 12–Texas, Baylor
Big 10–Nebraska, Penn State
Pac-12–USC, UCLA, Washington, Utah
But there is also some weird things brewing, such as:
The Pac 12 with only two teams.
The Big Ten with only 4
The SEC with as many as 8
The ACC with 10.
Seed wise it looks like this. Villanova seems pretty solid as the No. 1 seed in the East and it will take a major meltdown to move Virginia off the No. 1 line in the South. Kansas is playing like Kansas again, which is a No. 1 seed–probably in the Midwest, although if Michigan State continues to roll, the Spartans could bump Kansas to the West.
There is some debate about whether Xavier grabs a No. 1 slot, not over Villanova, but over a Michigan State or Kansas. Auburn remains in contention for a No.1 seed, but the Tigers look like they are a notch below everyone else, which could put them as a No.2 in the South.
We could see a No. 8 seed make it to the Final Four or even win a national championship, if Oklahoma and Kentucky slide down that far in the brackets.
It is also not a stretch to have a list of at least 12 teams who could easily make it to San Antonio (Final Four) with a decent draw….There is more parity this season than any time in the past 15 years.
Boston College is now back in a familiar role of climbing uphill to get into any kind of March Madness discussion. The Eagles need one more victory to clinch a .500 record, but after being dumped by Notre Dame last weekend, the Eagles must find a way to win on the road or upset Syracuse in their final home game of the season next week. Neither prospect looks promising. Although an NCAA tournament bid would probably require either a sweep of their final four games or a three game winning streak in the ACC tournament, even being considered for any kind of a post season tournament slot is a huge leap forward for Coach Jim Christian’s team.