It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
When we turn our calendars to March, our focus shifts to arguably the most anticipated sporting event of all. That’s right, the most anticipated. More looked forward to than the Super Bowl, World Series, you name it. March Madness is one of a kind.
On March 12, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee will pick the seedings for the 68-team bracket. They’ll select which fringe teams make the cut and which will go home without the chance to be 2017’s Cinderella story.
Obviously, there are a few locks from the Big 10 and ACC that don’t really have to worry much about Selection Sunday. There’s also Northwestern, which likely punched its ticket to the big dance with their ridiculous buzzer-beater win. We won’t be discussing those fortunate schools. Instead, we’ll go over a few of the bubble teams. As it stands right now, which teams are facing uncertainty?
It definitely feels strange having the Shockers on the bubble list. Almost as strange as the seemingly ageless Ron Baker and Fred van Fleet not being on the roster this time around. Wichita needs to finish the regular season strong, but right this moment they should be somewhat comfortable with their chances. USA TODAY and SB Nation both have them as one of the last four teams to squeak their way in the tourney.
Beating VCU at home was huge. Unfortunately, losing to two sub-100 teams remains tough to bounce back from. The Rams might need to get a huge win in the conference tourney to have a shot.
Beating Louisville might’ve sealed the deal for the Demon Deacons. Like Wichita, they’re a consensus pick to make it into the tournament. A bad loss between now and Selection Sunday would make things interesting, but as of now consider them one of the more promising bubble teams.
It obviously depends on how other bubble teams fare in the next few games, but Kansas State has probably blown their chance. The Wildcats lost five of their last six games and eight of their last 10. They beat TCU on Wednesday, but at this point that seems like too little too late.
The Musketeers seemed like a lock not too long ago, but they’ve dropped six in a row and now appear to be in some trouble. Losing Edmond Sumner to a season-ending knee injury has proven to be a major issue and the selection committee undoubtedly will take Xavier’s poor play without him into consideration. If they don’t end this skid ASAP, they’ll be at serious risk to miss the cut.
The Orange are great at home, but a completely different team away from the Carrier Dome. That’s not the best look for a team with at-large hopes. Syracuse has 13 losses on the season. Fourteen losses is the most the selection committee has allowed into the tournament for at-large teams. Fortunately for them, they’ll host Georgia Tech in a must-win game on Saturday.