2012 NCAA March Madness: Top 6 Bubble Teams in Need of Final Tourney Push

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2012

March Madness is among us.

In the midst of Bracketology, there are a handful of bubble teams looking to punch a ticket into the big dance this week.

With Selection Sunday looming, conference tournaments present the biggest opportunity for a team on the fringe to make the NCAA Tournament.

Below you'll find six squads looking to make one final push in its respected conference tournament to make the field of 64. 


Xavier (19-11, 10-6)

Let's not forget that Xavier spent some time in the Top 25 earlier this season, sneaking into the Top 10 in December. 

Tu Holloway hasn't been nearly as solid as he was in the beginning of the season, and Xavier finds itself on the bubble. 

Losses to Massachusetts, Dayton, St. Louis and Hawaii will definitely count against Xavier.

They were victorious against Vanderbilt, Purdue and Cincinnati, and can make the NCAA Tournament with an Atlantic 10 Conference Championship victory. 

Xavier will play Daytona today in the Quarterfinal of the Atlantic 10 Tournament.


Texas (20-12, 9-9)

As selection Sunday approaches, the Longhorns find themselves sitting on the cusp of a tournament bid.

One thing Texas has going for itself is that there aren't any hideous losses on its resume.

Of course they lost to ranked teams like UNC, Missouri (twice), Kansas (twice) and Baylor (twice), but none of those losses were by 20 or more, and a decent amount of those games were relatively close.

Though losses to Oklahoma State and Oregon State will assuredly count against them, the Longhorns still have a chance to squeak by. 

At just 9-9 in Big 12 games, Texas needs a Big 12 Tournament trophy to solidify its chances of dancing in March.

Texas will take on No. 5 Missouri tonight in the Big 12 Semifinal.


Southern Miss (25-7, 11-5)

Southern Miss went 9-4 against top-100 RPI teams this season; that alone should impress the committee.

Losses to Denver, UAB, UTEP and Marshall will hurt Southern Miss, but they're still on the bubble to make the madness.

Southern Miss will face Marshall this afternoon in the C-USA Semifinal. They'll have an opportunity to redeem themselves after the 79-75 loss to Marshall on March 3.


Colorado State (20-10, 8-6)

Along with a 21 RPI, Colorado State sports the fourth-ranked strength of schedule in the nation.

Given its strength of schedule, losses to subpar teams like Northern Iowa, TCU and Boise State shouldn't hurt Colorado State as much as you'd think.

Colorado State will find themselves pinned against San Diego State—who just beat them on Feb. 25—in the Mountain West Semifinals tonight.


Miami (FL) (19-11, 9-7)

Miami has two impressive wins on its resume, which is probably their strongest selling point in trying to make the NCAA Tournament.

They beat No. 5 Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium and blew out No. 17 Florida State University by 16 points after losing to FSU two weeks earlier.

Two losses to fellow bubble team N.C. State will undoubtedly hurt Miami's chances of making the tournament.

They'll play FSU for the third time this season in the Quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament tonight to keep their tourney hopes alive.


North Carolina State (21-11, 9-7)

As stated above, N.C. State swept Miami this season, which will help solidify its chances of dancing in March.

N.C. State also defeated Texas, who is still in the running to make the NCAA Tournament as well.

A mid-February loss to the Duke Blue Devils in which they led by 20 points does not help N.C. State's resume. 

They did, however, have a tough schedule, playing Duke, FSU and UNC in consecutive games.

N.C. State will work towards a tournament berth tonight in the ACC Quarterfinals vs. Virginia.



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