Selection Sunday 2013: Squads That Will Be Major Surprises in NCAA Tournament

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2013

Mar 15, 2013; Greensboro, NC, USA; Maryland Terrapins forward Charles Mitchell (0) celebrates a teammates basket from the bench against the Duke Blue Devils during the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Maryland defeated Duke 83-74. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

It's that time of the year again, when NCAA tournament bubble teams anxiously await their fate.

Some will be granted passes to play for a national championship while others will be sent packing and gearing up for next season.

I thought we'd keep things positive with this one, highlighting three teams that have the resumes to make the field of 68 for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Shall we? 


Maryland Dances

The Terps still need a win over North Carolina to solidify an NCAA tournament appearance, but even if Maryland falls to UNC in the ACC semifinals, the Terrapins still have a chance to dance.

On their resume, the Terps have two convincing wins over powerhouse Duke—No. 1 in RPI—and a victory over the No. 28 RPI team, N.C. State.

Maryland owns an RPI of 62 and its 3-4 record against RPI top-50 squads could be worse.

I think the Terrapins have proven themselves as a legitimate team after handing the Blue Devils two losses this season.

Hopefully the committee feels the same way.


Middle Tennessee Gets In

Middle what?

After a 28-5 campaign, including 19-1 in the Sun Belt conference, Middle Tennessee was upset by Florida International in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Despite the upset, the Blue Raiders will still likely make it into the field of 68, due to their strong resume and their competitors for one of the last spots in the tournament dropping like flies.

CBS Sports' Seth Davis agrees:

Middle Tennessee sports an RPI of 29, highlighted by a three-point win over Ole Miss.

Although the Blue Raiders will probably be forced to play against one of the First Four, making the NCAA tournament for an unknown school like Middle Tennessee is an accomplishment in itself.


Oklahoma Makes the Tournament

If the committee only looks at the end of the season and the Big 12 tournament, Oklahoma doesn't have a shot. Luckily for the Sooners, their body of work throughout the entire season will play a factor in the decision.

Oklahoma closed out the season with a three-point loss to TCU and followed it up with a seven-point loss to Iowa State, but its 42nd-ranked RPI and 17th strength of schedule combined with wins over Kansas, Oklahoma State and Iowa State should be enough to make the NCAA tournament.

The signature six-point win over, then No. 5, Kansas should catch the committee's eye when it comes to deciding the Sooners' fate.

If it makes Oklahoma fans feel any better, ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Sooners making the tournament.


Be sure to download a printable NCAA bracket and watch Selection Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.


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