Bubble Burst: Conference Tournament Edition


Sunday marked the end of the regular season for most teams although the Ivy League and a handful of nonconference games will be played as conference tournament action heats up this week. For some teams, their post-season position has been locked: they’re now a shoe-in for the Big Dance or their bubble has been broken.

Conference tournament play, however, can quickly change things for the supposed eliminated if they win their respective tournament title to earn an automatic bid to the Field of 68.

Let’s take a look at several teams whose post-season picture has now come into focus:

Boston College — They’re in. At 19-11 and with a fifth place ACC finish to their credit, the Eagles won their last three games of the season.  A likely win over Wake Forest in the opening round of the ACC tournament will help the Eagles shape their position in the Big Dance.

Marquette –They’re done. All the talk in recent days that the Big East might have 11 teams in the Field of 68 has evaporated. Season ending losses to Cincinnati and Seton Hall means that the Golden Eagles will be going to the N.I.T. instead. Unless they will the Big East tournament title. Not likely.

Wichita State — They’re out. A 24-8 record won’t be good enough to help the Shockers who lost to Indiana State in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament on Saturday. On Sunday, the ISU Sycamores upset Missouri State to win the automatic bid which means the Bears would get picked ahead of the Shockers by the search committee if the MVU puts two teams in.

USC — The Trojans, at 18-13, are still on the bubble. Beating Cal this Thursday in the Pac 10 tournament is a must. The Golden Bears are another on the bubble team, but only one of the two has a chance of enjoying March Madness.

Baylor — They’re done. Maybe. The Bears need to have a strong run in the Big 12 conference tournament to get to the Big Dance.  It isn’t likely that seven teams from the Big 12 will be chosen this year, which means the Bears would have to perform better than the Cornhuskers in the Big 12 championship tournament.

Princeton — Still waiting. Beating Penn tonight will help the Tigers’ case with the selection committee. Not helping Princeton was its loss to Brown on February 19 which put them in this position: tying Harvard for the Ivy League title.  If the Tigers win tonight, they’ll play Harvard this weekend in a one-game playoff for the Ivy League’s automatic bid. The loser may not get an invite.


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