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Basketball

Emmet’s March Madness Bracketology

todayMarch 10, 2022 3

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Emmet’s March Madness Bracketology
By: Emmet Kenney

The NCAA Tournament is one of the greatest sporting events of the year and each season in early March the bubble talk is all we can focus on. Here are 12 bubble teams and what they will need to do to be in the field of 68.

Wyoming:

Record: 24-7 (13-5)

Quality Wins: @Washington, VS. Colorado State, VS. Boise State

Bad Losses: None

Wyoming is one of the more interesting teams to see on the bubble this time of the season because of how great they started the season. The Cowboys were 21-3 on the season and seemed like a for sure lock to make the NCAA Tournament, but dropping 4 of their last 7 games has placed themselves squarely on the bubble. The Cowboys are going to need a win in their first Mountain West Tournament against UNLV to breathe a little easier about selection Sunday. If the Cowboys fall to the Rebels they could possibly be seeing themselves on the outside looking in or the last team in the tournament. If they take care of the Rebels, I still think they would need a win against Boise State to feel really good about making the big dance.

SMU: 

Record: 22-7 (13-4)

Quality Wins: VS. Memphis 2x, VS. #6 Houston

Bad Losses: VS. Missouri, VS. Loyola Marymount,

SMU has jumped onto the bubble late in the season with a huge win against a top ten team in Houston. The Mustangs do have some quality wins, but their two bad losses could be what holds them out of the tournament. I think for SMU to make the dance, they need to win at least one game in their conference tournament and possibly two. I think one win will be enough as long as nothing crazy happens, but getting two wins and a trip to the conference tournament final could be enough for the Mustangs to go dancing.

Memphis:

Record: 19-9 (13-5)

Quality Wins: #18 Houston 2x, VS. Alabama, VS. Virginia Tech

Bad Losses: @ Georgia, @ Ole Miss, @ Tulane

Memphis started the season with some really high expectations and throughout most of the season did not live up to the hype. Now, they are one of the hottest teams in the nation, winning 10 of 11, and have played themselves back onto the bubble. It might be too little too late as the way that I see it, the Tigers are going to have to win their conference to get into the dance. It looks like that might be the only possibility for them.

Xavier:

Record: 18-13 (8-11)

Quality Wins: VS. #19 Ohio State, VS. #24 Uconn, Creighton 2x

Bad Losses: VS DePaul, VS Butler

The Musketeers are really going to be sweating out Selection Sunday as they lost in the Big East Tournament 1st round to Butler and now have no more chances to improve their resume. They were a team that had a really hot start to the season, but only winning 2 of their last 8 games could be what costs them a bid. The Musketeers’ only hope is for no bid stealers in the remaining conference tournaments, and that their quality wins outnumber the terrible finish to the season.

Michigan:

Record: 17-13 (11-9)

Quality Wins: VS. #3 Purdue, @ #23 Ohio State, @ Iowa

Bad Losses: VS. Minnesota

Michigan is another one of those teams that came into this season with some really high expectations and were unable to live up to the hype. The Wolverines were 7-7 on the season midway through January and have slowly played their way back onto the bubble. They have had a lot of opportunities to solidify themselves into the tournament, but never took advantage of their opportunities. I believe they need to win their 2nd round matchup against Indiana to be in the tournament. A loss could mean the Wolverines miss out on the big dance.

Indiana:

Record: 18-12 (9-11)

Quality Wins: VS #4 Purdue, VS. #13 Ohio State, VS. Notre Dame

Bad Losses: @ Syracuse, @ Penn State, @ Northwestern

The Hoosiers seem to be in this spot a lot in the past few years where they start the season hot and then cool down towards the end of the season. Their game against Michigan in the conference tournament is essentially an elimination game for March Madness between the two teams. Even if the Hoosiers find a way to beat Michigan, I think they will need a win against the one seed Illinois to solidify their spot in the dance.

Rutgers:

Record: 18-12 (12-8)

Quality Wins: VS. #1 Purdue, VS. #13 Michigan State, VS. #16 Ohio State, @ # 14 Wisconsin, VS. #12 Illinois

Bad Losses: @ DePaul, VS. Lafayette, @ Umass, @ Penn State, VS. Maryland, @ Minnesota, @ Northwestern

Rutgers possibly has the most intriguing resume of all the bubble teams out there. For every one of their quality wins, there is also a bad loss to go with it. This team played their way onto the bubble with a great stretch of 4 straight wins against top 20 opponents and that got them the 4 seed heading into the Big Ten Conference tournament. I think Rutgers at the moment should be safe to say they are in if nothing crazy happens, If they can get a win against Iowa who is the 5 seed they should be a lock to make the dance for the second straight year.

Wake Forest:

Record: 23-9 (13-7)

Quality Wins: VS. North Carolina, VS. Notre Dame

Bad Losses: @ Louisville, VS. Boston College

Wake Forest is one of those teams that is actually a good team, but poor scheduling could cost them a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Demon Deacons just lack quality wins that would push them over the edge into being a lock for the tournament and now a loss in the ACC Tournament against Boston College could be what keeps Wake Forest from dancing next week. They are really going to have to sweat out the rest of this week.

Virginia Tech:

Record: 20-12 (11-9)

Quality Wins: VS. Notre Dame, @ Miami

Bad Losses: VS. North Carolina State, @ Boston College

The Hokies are another team that could be on the outside looking in based on the lack of quality opponents they faced in the regular season. The Hokies are going to have to pull an upset against 2 seed Notre Dame and possibly have to make a run to the Tournament finals to get into the tournament. After a buzzer-beating win over Clemson in the 2nd round, they still have a shot to make the big dance, but a lot of work to do to get there.

Virginia:

Record: 18-12 (12-8)

Quality Wins: @ #7 Duke, VS. Providence

Bad Losses: @ James Madison, @ North Carolina State

The Cavaliers are another of those ACC teams that find themselves on the bubble and currently are on the outside looking in. I think the Cavaliers are going to have to make a run to the finals to be in the conversation on selection Sunday. A run to the finals gives them some opportunities for quality wins that could propel them into the field of 68.

Florida: 

Record: 19-12 (9-9)

Quality Wins: VS. Ohio State, VS. #2 Auburn

Bad Losses: VS. Texas Southern, VS. Maryland, @ Ole Miss

Florida is one of those teams that just could not take advantage of quality win opportunities in the regular season. After their victory against #2 Auburn, they seemed to be a lock for the NCAA Tournament, but with the bubble expanding and Florida losing to ranked Arkansas and Kentucky, the Gators now need to get some wins in their conference tournament. The SEC gives a lot of opportunities to get good wins in the conference tournament, and if Florida could get a win against Texas A&M in their 2nd round matchup and get another win against the 1 seeded Auburn Tigers, they will find themselves dancing. If they do not beat Auburn in the Quarterfinals, then they will unfortunately not be dancing this year.

Oregon:

Record: 19-13 (11-9)

Quality Wins: #13 UCLA 2x, @ #5 USC

Bad Losses: Arizona State 2x, VS. California, @ Stanford, @ Washington

The Ducks are one of the most interesting teams in the country in my opinion. They have the ability to beat the top teams in the nation with some quality wins and took #2 Arizona down to the wire, but they also have the ability to lose to bad teams. The way the Ducks finished the regular season on a 3 game losing streak, unfortunately, puts them in the position where theft is going to have to win the conference tournament to be able to participate in March Madness, and if not, a very disappointing trip to the NIT could be in store for Oregon.

 

With the conference tournaments in full swing, a lot can still happen including some bid stealers so sit back and relax as we have some amazing basketball in store for the next few days.

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