For certain teams, there will be no sense of relief until they hear their name called on Selection Sunday.
With only two days remaining until the NCAA tournament bracket is revealed, it’s now or never for several teams. For an unfortunate bunch, they can only wait and pray for the best.
Resumes will be scrutinized, and dreams will be realized or broken. That’s the allure that comes with Selection Sunday.
Here are three particular teams that will be sweating.
Florida State (19-13, 9-9 ACC)
Although the chances of an upset were bleak, the Seminoles needed a win over Virginia on Friday to help secure a berth into the NCAA tournament.
Unfortunately, the team will need to look elsewhere for help. With only three players who scored more than five points, Florida State was no match for the Cavaliers, falling 64-51.
It was a result that left CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein not too optimistic about the Seminoles’ NCAA tournament hopes:
Florida State looks like an NIT team after today's loss to Virginia. Noles needed a few wins in Greensboro to punch NCAA ticket.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 14, 2014
Still, the team boasts victories over then-No. 10 VCU and then-No. 22 UMass. Florida State also had close losses against Michigan (82-80 in OT) and Florida (67-66).
However, all four of those results came in the first two months of the season.
The Seminoles certainly have the talent to compete in the NCAA tournament. But sometimes, it comes down to, “What have you done for me lately?"
California (19-13, 10-8 Pac-12)
After racing out to a 14-4 start, the Bears had their sights set on an invite to the Big Dance.
However, a 5-9 finish has them on the verge of being on the outside looking in.
Now, Cal will be left to sit and hope that its resume stands up well. After all, earning 19 wins—including a home win over Arizona and victories on the road at Stanford and Oregon—while playing a schedule that ranks No. 25 in terms of strength is no easy task.
Then again, the Bears didn’t really help themselves by losing 10 contests against top-50 opponents. There’s even an embarrassing loss against USC in there.
Given the fast start, it’s a pity Cal couldn’t keep its high level of play up.
Nebraska (19-11, 11-7 Big Ten)
Unlike Cal, the Cornhuskers have used a late-season surge to get themselves into consideration for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998.
Following a disastrous midseason five-game losing streak, Nebraska has since turned it around. The team has now won 10 of its last 12 games, including victories over top-10 opponents in Michigan State and Wisconsin.
But sophomore swingman Shavon Shields doesn’t want the success to stop there.
“We have to keep it going and not let our heads get big and just stay modest and keep humble,” he said, via ESPN. “Keep our underdog thing going.”
And if the Cornhuskers can keep it going with a win or two in the Big Ten tournament, that might be all the team needs to punch its ticket. The team currently boasts an RPI ranking of 41 and a strength of schedule rank of 26.
It just goes to show you that sometimes, late is better than never.
Unless otherwise noted, all stats, rankings and RIP/SOS information are courtesy of ESPN.com.