Contribution by Dick
March is here kids, and with it comes two of what I consider the most American things a person can do, publicly show their closet gambling problem, and proudly drink and consume vast amounts of alcohol while wearing the color green. Aside from guaranteed entry teams, lets pull back the curtain and take a look into the bubble teams, the George Masons of the world that can make or break your bracket and your bank account.Breaking it down Conference by Conference from the Big East and the ACC to the Ivy and the Big sky conference here are the bubble teams to watch for the SEC, The Big East, and the ACC.
With a record teetering just above .500 and a schedule that was not entirely all that difficult it is disappointing to see they are on the bubble and not further solidified as a big dance team. Their 10 point loss to Butler (another plausible big dance team) does not help their argument and a 4 game losing streak to the likes of Alabama, UK, TENN, and Gonzaga do not bode well for decision time come selection day.
Unless Vanderbilt wins the remainder of their schedule and teams like Arkanasas lose, I don’t expect Vanderbilt to be in the big Dance.
Arkansas is arguably interchangeable with South Carolina for the Lock however, their weak wins and non-existent wins against top 25 teams leaves them with something left to prove. Their record is solid thanks to a schedule that was not entirely diffuclt, no fault of their own.
Unless Arkansas gets their W against Georgia by a major portion, I don’t expect them in the Dance.
South Carolina Gamecocks- surprisingly….LOCK 12-5
In my opinion the greatest basketball conference in college sports once upon a time, the big east is now a sad sack of what it once was; however, they did produce the reigning NCAA Tournament Champs, Villanova, complete with their very own Michael Corleone ice cold killer for a coach.
The bubble team to watch at the top is Providence. The Friars are on a winning streak, they’ve nabbed some big wins, some by the skin of their teeth, others more comfortably. Nothing shows their progression as a team better than their loss to DePaul early on and their most recent win over DePaul. The team is on the up and with Atlantic Ten’s St. Johns up next, the Friars will look to feast and hopefully secure their place in the big dance.
With a strong win, I pick the Friars to head to the big dance.
Xavier, Seton Hall and Marquette are all on the warpath to squeeze into the big dance as well. With these 3 teams all hinging on their end of the season wins, I pick in order Providence, Marquette and Seton Hall to make the bubble.
Xavier is plagued with injury and has appeared too inconsistent this season as it closes out the season with a multi game losing streak.
BIG EAST LOCKS
Butler Bulldogs 23-6
Fucking Creighton 23-7
The fucking ACC….Prom Queen extraordinaire, the ACC might be the worst thing to happen to college basketball based on the money that pours in from College football….but that is not what you came for. The ACC as usual, has produced arguably 8-9 locks for the big dance which forces a number of bubble teams out of the conversation. Sadly for Boston College, despite being in the ACC, they were never a part of that bubble conversation. RIP BC someone call Al Skinner from the Men’s Warehouse commercials and get him working again.
Syracuse is always in the conversation when the big dance comes around; from the great dance games of Gerry McNamara and Carmelo Anthony to the golden days of the Big East Conference squaring off in Madison Square Garden “The Cuse” always delivers something. Right now their late season push with an entertaining win against DUKE helped push them towards the dance, their follow up with what would have been a big dance lock against Louisville was flubbed as they lost 86-68 in a game where it never felt like they had the upper hand.
With Wake Forest and Georgia Tech floating around the perimeter on the bubble watch, I do not expect either to make it in the dance as their conference record is weaker than Syracuse.
THE U Miami 20-9
Florida State- 23-7
Virginia Tech 21-8