NCAA teams living week-to-week
by Patrick Stevens, Special for USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to the final week of USA TODAY Sports’ annual Bubble Tracker breakdown.
Less than a week remains before Selection Sunday, a scramble to determine the 68-team NCAA tournament field.
A few things bear repeated mention: No team exists in a vacuum, and the tournament selection committee is going to take 37 at-large teams no matter what. There is value in knowing the strengths and weaknesses of borderline tournament teams, and that’s what the daily Bubble Tracker is for.
Team Resumes (W-L/RPI; Plus/Minus; AT-L Board; Next game):
Plus: Beat Duke, won at Wisconsin; 8-3 vs. T100
Minus: Seven 100+losses, No. 304 NC SOS
At-large ranking: 39
Next game: vs. N.C. State or Virginia Tech in ACC quarterfinals (March 15)
Analysis: The Cavaliers are going to confound right up until the end. The record against the top 100 is fabulous. The bad losses don’t look any better. The poor non-conference schedule is partially a function of a Preseason NIT loss to Delaware that cost the Hoos a chance to play Pittsburgh and Kansas State rather than Lamar and North Texas. There’s no telling how they can really make themselves safe, though the possibility of beating N.C. State and Miami in the ACC tournament would surely help. With such a quirky profile, there isn’t much precedent to draw from, either. (March 10)
Plus: Beat Duke and N.C. State
Minus: No. 302 NC SOS, 4-8 on road/neutral
At-large ranking: 48
Next game: vs. Wake Forest in ACC tournament first round (March 14)
Analysis: This is an NIT-worthy resume, plain and simple. The Terrapins didn’t do enough … [For more on Bubble Tracker: Teams living week-to-week with Big Dance hopes, click here.]