College Basketball: Big Day for March Madness Bubble Teams

Al Dannity | Updated Mar 08, 2012

It’s win or go home in more ways than one today. For teams on the NCAA Tournament bubble, a loss today in conference tournament action could cost them a ticket to the Big Dance. Al Dannity assesses who needs to win so that they don’t stay home for the rest of the season.

Oh hi Texas The Longhorns have been just shocking this season. Rick Barnes has been able to attract lots of talent to Austin but his post-season record is laced with under-achievement. That lone Final Four appearance in 2003 seems a long time ago now. In one respect however, Barnes has been ever-dependable for NCAA Basketball betting fans. The Longhorns’ head coach hasn’t missed out on March Madness since his first year at Clemson, all the way back in 1995. Since taking over at Texas, Barnes has punched UT’s ticket to the Big Dance for 13 straight years. Tonight that record of consistency is under serious threat against the Iowa State. The Cyclones are locks to go dancing but they won’t hold back against their conference rivals. The magic run ends tonight, I like Iowa State to send Texas stumbling into the NIT.

Bad losses could sink Miami The Hurricanes hold signature victories over Duke and Florida State but only have three RPI Top 100 wins in total. That means that every bad loss looks that little bit worse on their resume with the Selection Committee. Tonight they face an absolute must-not-lose game against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets definitely won’t be dancing, barring them stealing the ACC’s automatic bid. The U simply has to get it done tonight or else they too will be battling to become the #69 best team in College Basketball betting later this month.

Stage one for Northwestern This week has already seen one school noted more for academics than athletics make a long-awaited trip to the Big Dance. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they don’t have the non-conference resume of Ivy League champions Harvard and need to get two wins in the Big Ten Tournament to be safe. No major conference school has more neutrals pulling for it than Northwestern. With zero NCAA Tournament appearances in the Wildcats’ history it’s easy to see why. Today they take on Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Win and there’s a slight chance the Wildcats might be in. They’ll need to beat Michigan tomorrow as well to be sure.

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