Craig's NCAA March Madness Bubble Watch

ctsports picksAnalyst IFebruary 25, 2009

There is nothing worse for a College Basketball coach than missing out on March Madness. Several big name programs have found themselves on the bubble of being home come March Madness.

With fewer than four games left for many teams, they still have opportunities to get themselves in. A late season winning streak could help any of the teams on the bubble prove their worth to the selection committee.

Today we will look at the bubble teams by conference.

Also check out related articles by Craig: Big 12 NCAA tourney preview and predictions and Pac-10 tourney preview and predictions!

There are 65 open slots in the NCAA tournament, 20 of which are automatic bids given out by conferences. The big six BCS schools have most likely locked up another 26 bids. Six other teams have locked up their bid: Memphis, Gonzaga, Xavier, Utah, Dayton, and Butler. That leaves 13 open spots for at large teams that are currently on the bubble.

Thirteen sounds like a ton of openings. But once you consider that some conferences have upsets in the conference tournaments, that number gets cut down even more. This means the number of spots that 25 or so bubble teams are fighting for is really only about 10 openings.

Below are Craig's Bubble teams broken down by conference.

ACC: Miami, Maryland, and Virginia Tech

Big East: Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and Providence

Big Ten: Penn State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin

Big 12: Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Kansas State

Pac-10: USC

SEC: Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina

Mountain West: UNLV and BYU

All other Conferences: UAB, Creighton, Saint Mary's, and Davidson

Even though the end of season is near for all teams, these teams above that are on the bubble can't afford a letdown. The difference in most of these teams is so close this year that the selection committee will definitely will be putting added weight on how teams finish their last 10 games. None of these teams can win the National Championship, but most of these teams could get hot and be this year's Cinderella team.

Check back next week, as Craig will update his bubble watch next Wednesday!

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