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March Madness 2019: Schedule and Bracket Predictions for Bubble Teams

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 8, 2019

Clemson's Marcquise Reed (2) moves by Notre Dame's Prentiss Hubb (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
Robert Franklin/Associated Press

The teams on the bubble for the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament are running out of time to impress the selection committee.

With one regular-season game left for a handful of teams before the conference tournaments begin in earnest, the programs on the bubble have no room for error.

As it usually does this time of year, some teams' statuses change on a nightly basis based off their most recent results and the outcomes of other programs in the same position.

Because the bubble is soft this year, the squads fighting for the final at-large berths are far from perfect, but they are playing good enough basketball down the stretch to be seriously considered.

                                  

2019 NCAA Tournament Schedule

March 19-20

First Four games in Dayton, Ohio

                

March 21-22

First-round games in eight sites

                           

March 23-24

Second-round games in eight sites

                   

March 28-29

Sweet 16 games in Kansas City, Louisville, Anaheim and Washington, D.C.

                            

March 30-31

Elite Eight games in Kansas City, Louisville, Anaheim and Washington, D.C.

                         

April 6

Final Four in Minneapolis

                   

April 8

National championship game in Minneapolis

                                           

Predictions for Bubble Teams

Indiana

Indiana has recently become the most intriguing bubble team thanks to wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin.

The Hoosiers' overall record is far from stunning, but they have a collection of marquee wins that could persuade the selection committee to put them into the field of 68.

Indiana is part of the Next Four Out, according to ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi.

BLOOMINGTON, IN - MARCH 02: Romeo Langford #0 of the Indiana Hoosiers brings the ball up court during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Assembly Hall on March 2, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Although they still have work to do, the Hoosiers have had plenty go their way in recent weeks, as other bubble teams from power conferences haven't impressed much.

Going in Indiana's favor are two wins over Michigan State and victories over Wisconsin, Marquette, Louisville and Butler.

Conversely, the Hoosiers don't have any terrible losses, which makes their resume stand out despite a 16-14 record and 7-12 conference mark.

Indiana still has work to do in the Big Ten tournament to climb into the field of 68, but it will get the job done in Chicago at a tournament in which lower seeds have found success in recent years.

Prediction: Indiana sneaks into field of 68 after pair of wins at Big Ten tournament. 

                              

Clemson 

The ACC bubble teams have been fascinating to watch down the stretch of the regular season, and while others haven't helped themselves, Clemson is in good position to make the NCAA tournament.

Both Lunardi and CBSSports.com's Jerry Palm have the Tigers as one of the Last Four In teams.

Richard Shiro/Associated Press

The Tigers have picked up steam, with three wins in their past four games, and they face a crucial clash against Syracuse to close out the regular season Saturday.

In order to feel somewhat secure going into the ACC tournament, Clemson needs to knock off the Orange at home.

If that occurs, the Tigers would head into the conference tournament as either the No. 8 or No. 9 seed and land an opening matchup with fellow bubble team NC State.

The prize for a victory in the 8-9 matchup is a meeting with one of the ACC's premier teams in the following round.

A win over the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament would all but secure the Tigers' position in the field of 68, and even if they lose a close game, they might still be in good shape.

One of the problems Clemson may run into on Selection Sunday is its lack of quality wins, as its best ACC victory came against Virginia Tech, and its best nonconference wins are over South Carolina, Georgia and Lipscomb.

Prediction: Clemson gets into NCAA tournament with a win over Syracuse and one in ACC tournament.

                              

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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