March Madness 2014: Bubble Teams That Will Be Left on the Outside Looking in

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIMarch 16, 2014

Arkansas' Rashad Madden passes the ball during the first half an NCAA college basketball game against Auburn in Fayetteville, Ark., Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
Gareth Patterson/Associated Press

Bubble teams can often be the most exciting teams of the NCAA tournament, but unfortunately, some teams end up getting their bubbles popped.

Not every bubble team can make the Big Dance. Some will be relegated to the NIT tournament against far lesser competition. NCAA tourney bubble teams generally have decent success in the NIT tournament as a result.

Regardless, there are multiple teams that will be disappointed after Selection Sunday. They won't have the opportunity to punch their tickets for the Big Dance. The following three teams will fall into that category.


Southern Mississippi

Feb 22, 2014; Hattiesburg, MS, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles guard/forward Matt Bingaya (2) celebrates with fans after a win against the UTEP Miners at Reed Green Coliseum. Southern Miss won, 77-68. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles had a shot at making the NCAA tournament if they had beaten Louisiana Tech on Friday and made it to the Conference USA Championship game.

To be honest, they really didn't even have to win the championship game if they had made it. Getting there would have been impressive enough. But, after losing 88-70 to Louisiana Tech, the Golden Eagles really don't have a chance.

Their 27-6 record (13-3 in Conference USA) is impressive and indicative of the type of season they had. The Golden Eagles are a good offensive team that likes to distribute the ball and get high-percentage shots.

Unfortunately, their schedule didn't do them any favors. It was an extraordinarily easy schedule when compared to the bigger teams in the country, and their lone game against a ranked opponent (Louisville) resulted in a loss.

Southern Miss. doesn't have enough of a resume to go dancing. It's hard to deny a team that had such a good season, but the schedule wasn't very strong. In the end, that can dictate a whole lot.



Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press

The Big Ten tournament quarterfinals are something that the Minnesota Golden Gophers are going to want to forget.

They ran into the Wisconsin Badgers in the quarters and simply could not compete at a level high enough to even share the court with the No. 12 team in the country. They lost 83-57 in the game, essentially eliminating themselves from consideration for the final 68 teams.

Junior guard DeAndre Mathieu hopes the selection committee will look past the rout in the quarterfinals. Via Marcus R. Fuller of"I hope they just don't look at this one game. We have some bad losses, but we beat some really good teams."

The team did beat Ohio State and Wisconsin during the regular season, but they also lost to Syracuse, Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan and twice to Wisconsin—not to mention losses to Northwestern, Purdue and Illinois.

Minnesota should be NIT-bound after Selection Sunday.



Steve Helber/Associated Press

The Arkansas Razorbacks were 21-11 (10-8 SEC) this season, and that type of regular-season record would generally earn a team consideration for the NCAA tourney. The key word there being "generally."

The Razorbacks do not deserve a tournament berth. Sure, they beat the University of Kentucky twice, but losses to Georgia, Alabama and Missouri (twice) will prove to be crippling.

They had a shot, though. If they proved themselves in the SEC tournament, the Razorbacks would be going dancing. Instead, they were largely disappointing. Scottie Bordelon of The Arkansas Traveler breaks down that disappointment:

As Rashad Madden’s potential game-winning half-court heave bounded off the rim as the final buzzer sounded, Arkansas’ NCAA Tournament bubble burst and its Southeastern Conference Tournament losing skid reached seven games, falling 71-69 to the 13-seed Gamecocks.

Arkansas will now look to make noise in the NIT tournament.