NCAA Bubble Teams As Of 2-11-13

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As the NCAA tournament approaches, teams are scrambling to improve their chances of being one of the 68 teams invited to participate. As it stands now, which teams are on the fringes of tournament consideration? In other words, which teams are on the bubble? Atlantic 10 Conference St. Louis, Massachusetts, La Salle, Xavier, Charlotte, Temple La Salle and Xavier are likely to be going to the tournament along with VCU and Butler. St. Louis needs to add to their 7-2 conference record to prove that they belong in the tournament. Temple and Charlotte have taken a nosedive over the past week or so. Atlantic Coast Conference North Carolina, Maryland, N.C State The ACC has three teams on the bubble as of this Sunday. The good news for all three of these teams is that they all have 16 or more wins. However, they are all hovering around .500 in conference play. It will take strong finishes from all three teams to get in. North Carolina in particular has to recover from a 26-point loss to Miami on Saturday. Big East St. John's, Villanova Connecticut would have made this list as well if they were not disqualified from postseason play due to academic issues. St. John's lost to Syracuse on Sunday, but they are still 7-5 in the Big East and have 15 wins so far this season. Although Villanova has been up and down this year, they do have wins over Louisville and Syracuse. Big 10 Minnesota, Illinois Of the two teams mentioned above, Illinois has the best chance of making it to the tournament. Last week, Illinois shocked top ranked Indiana at home. If they can improve on their 4-7 mark in conference play, they should be headed to the tournament. Big 12 Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State With a win over Kansas State and Oklahoma, Iowa State looks like the best bet to make it from this list. Oklahoma may make it based on their recent victory over Kansas to boost their resume. However, Kansas has been in an abrupt free fall of late. It is possible that one of these three teams sneaks up to take the Big 12 regular season crown and earns an at-large bid. PAC-12 Stanford, Colorado, California With wins over Oregon and Arizona, California is a team that should be given some extra consideration moving forward despite their 13-9 overall record. Colorado can boast wins over Baylor and Oregon as reasons why they should get in. Stanford has won four of their last five to push their way onto the bubble with a 15-9 record. Southeastern Conference Alabama Although Missouri has a worse conference record, it is almost unheard of for a ranked team to miss the tournament. Every other team in the conference is either a lock to make it or isn't close enough to the bubble to put them on the radar. Other Teams That Could Be On The Bubble: Southern Miss (Conference USA) Boise State (Mountain West) St. Mary's, BYU (West Coast Conference) Although all of these teams find themselves on the bubble as of right now, there is plenty of time for that status to change. A long winning streak could cause a bubble team to make themselves a lock for the tournament or improve their seeding to make it easier to win a game or two in the conference tournament and earn an at-large bid. Although it is a couple of weeks until March, it is time to start thinking about the madness that looms. By Don Phan: A part-time sports writer and lifelong Chicago sports fan.


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