Monday, December 11th, 2017

2012 College Basketball Championship Week and Bubble Watch

Published on March 8, 2012 by   ·   No Comments

Today is the day when the “Bubble Teams” either begin to make their case to be in the NCAA tournament or risk watching their bubble get burst on Selection Sunday. With that in mind, I’m going to go through some of the scenarios that are going to take place this weekend before the tournament brackets come out. Then, everyone can go nuts filling out their brackets at any of the NCAA tournament contests.

Currently, there are realistically about 10 At-Large spots left and about 20 teams that are vying for them. This means that the conference tournaments will go a long way to determining who’s in and who’s out. Let’s take a look at these teams that are on the Bubble.



The top 4 teams in the ACC are definitely going to be in the NCAA tournament. UNC, Duke, Florida State and Virgina are going to be in even if they lose their first game in the ACC tournament.

However, both Miami and NC State will probably need to win 2 games in the ACC tournament in order to secure a bid. Assuming that UNC and Duke win their first round matchups, either team would have to put up a decent fight against them in the semi-finals to assure a bid to the tournament.

ACC Teams in the NCAA tournament – Least: 4 teams; Most: 5 teams


Both Temple and Saint Louis should be in the NCAA tournament regardless of what happens in the A-10 tournament. Both Dayton and Xavier probably needs at least 1 win but would definitely secure a bid if they make it to the A-10 final. They play each other in the 2nd round in what should be an elimination game for these two bubble teams.

Saint Joseph’s also has a distant shot, but they would most likely need to beat Temple in order to grab a legitimate spot on the bubble.

Big East

This is slightly a down year for the Big East; but that being said, the Big East should get at least 8 teams in the NCAA tournament. This includes Syracuse, Marquette, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Cincinatti, Connecticut and West Virginia.

West Virginia will get in based on their strength of schedule despite the fact that they lost to Connecticut in their first tournament game. Uconn will get in based on the two wins (so far) in the Big East tournament along with a very high RPI and strength of schedule.

South Florida probably needs a win over Notre Dame to claim an NCAA bid. Seton Hall is probably out now that they have lost to Louisville.

Big Ten

The Big Ten scenario is pretty simple. The top 6 teams in the Big 10 will make the NCAA tournament. This includes Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Purdue.

The only question is whether Northwestern can win a couple of games in a row. A loss to Minnesota would kill their chances while a win against Michigan would probably clinch a spot.

Big 12

Similar to the Big Ten, the Big 12 is also relatively simple. The top 5 teams will make the NCAA tournament including Kansas, Missouri, Iowa State, Baylor and Kansas State. The only question is Texas, who probably needs wins against Iowa State and Missouri in the Big 12 tournament to get the invite.

Conference USA

Memphis is a lock for the NCAA tournament. Southern Miss should be too as long as they win their first round matchup against East Carolina. Outside of those two teams, anyone else will need to win the Conference USA tournament in order to get the automatic bid.

Mountain West

The MWC has been gaining steam the past couple of years. New Mexico, San Diego St and UNLV are all definitely in the NCAA tournament. Colorado State has a very high RPI (21) and strength of schedule (4); but they will still probably need a trip to the MWC tournament final to receive a bid.


The Pac-12 is getting hurt by the poor play of the teams in non-conference play as well as the overall poor strength of schedule. California, Oregon, Washington and Arizona all have work to do. None of the teams have a lock on a NCAA bid, especially if they lose in the first round.

Basically, the two teams that make the Pac-12 tournament finals will most likely make the NCAA tournament. This assumes that these are 2 of the 4 teams mentioned above.


There are currently four teams in the Southeastern Conference that have a guaranteed spot in the NCAA tournament: Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt and Alabama. Interestingly, the #2 seed in the SEC tournament, Tennessee (18-13), still finds themselves need of at least 1 win in the tournament and 2 wins to feel comfortable about being on the bubble.

Mississippi State may need 3 wins in order to have a legitimate shot to make the Big Dance. That would include wins over Vanderbilt and Tennessee. The Bulldogs would likely replace Tennessee if they do make it.

Other Conference of Note

The good news for most “Bubble Teams” is that there are not a lot of competition from the lower conferences for those last few NCAA tournament bids. Murray State, Creighton, St Mary’s, Harvard and VCU all got the automatic bid for winning their conference. Any of these teams would have stolen a spot on the bubble.

Wichita State and Gonzaga lost in their conference tournaments, but both of these teams will receive At Large bids. Neither team “stole” a bid from bubble teams as Creighton and St Mary’s won those tournaments.

For those of you who are rooting for your team on the bubble, you will want Long Beach State (22-8) to win the Big West tournament. This team has the potential to take an At Large bid if they lose in the Big West tournament finals.

The following Mid-Major teams have a strong case for an NCAA tournament bid, but slipped up in their conference tournaments and will be nervous on Selection Sunday:

Iona Gaels (25-7) MAAC – A 10 point loss in the semi-finals of the MAAC tournament may leave Iona on the outside looking in.

Drexel Dragons (27-6) CAA – Last year, the Colonial Athletic Association received 3 NCAA bids. This year, they will probably receive 1 At Large bid as Drexel was a last second 3 pointer away from tying VCU in the CAA title game.

Brigham Young Cougars (25-8) WCC – The West Coast Conference may get 3 teams into the NCAA tournament this year. It will just depend on if the Selection Committee thinks that BYU did enough. Working against them is the fact that they were not able to beat Gonzaga or St. Mary’s this year.

The conference tournament games today will go a long way towards edging some teams closer to the tournament while other will get bumped out.

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