There are more teams than ever competing for dance cards to the NCAA Tournament in 2020, and we’re here to help sort out who’s in and who’s out from the bubble.
For some help, we scoured the Internet for a Final Four of bracketologists to help us predict who will be heading to a first-and-second round city, and who’s hosting an NIT game.
The Bubble Teams
Memphis Tigers vs. Houston Cougars 12:00 p.m.
Memphis: 21-9, 10-7 AAC. NET 60, Ken Pom 60
Houston: 22-8, 12-5 AAC. NET 20, Ken Pom 13
ESPN: Memphis: Next Four Out. Houston: No. 8 seed
CBS: Memphis: Not listed. Houston: No. 8 seed
Memphis certainly hasn’t been without drama this season, and their three-straight losses to USF, Cinci, and UConn seemed to sink their chances. But they’ve won four of five since, including one at home against this same Houston team. If they can knock off the Coogs again, they’re right back in the mix here. They’re 2-5 against Q1 teams as of now, and a third win in that category would help.
Houston needs to show on the court they’re as good as the computers say they are. They’re just 2-6 against Q1 teams, and it’s hurting them. They’re likely safe, but a loss here and to open the AAC Tournament and things would get dicey.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Wichita State Shockers, 4:00 p.m.
Tulsa: 21-9, 13-4 AAC. NET 75, Ken Pom 71
Wichita State: 22-8, 10-7 AAC. NET 48, Ken Pom 41
ESPN: Tulsa: No. 12 seed (auto bid), Wichita State: 5th team out
CBS: Tulsa: No. 12 seed (auto bid), Wichita State: 2nd team out
Despite the power ratings, and you’d think was the the team that claimed at least a share of the American Athletic Conference regular season championship. Tulsa wins the league by themselves with a victory, but they’re also probably on the outside looking in if they don’t make a deep run at the AAC Tournament. And they might have to win it anyway! That’s the issue with having an out-of-conference schedule ranked in the mid-300’s.
The Shockers issue is with the committee is they’re just 2-6 in Q1 games, and this one BARELY counts as a Q1 since the cutoff for a road Q1 win is exactly 75th, where Tulsa sits presently.
The A-Sun, Big South, and Missouri Valley Championship Games
Gotta win it. No one here can get in the NCAA’s without an auto-bid.
The seeding fights
Michigan Wolverines vs. Maryland Terrapins 12:00 p.m.
Michigan: 19-11, 10-9 B1G. NET 24, Ken Pom 11
Maryland: 23-7, 13-6 B1G. NET 18, Ken Pom 14
ESPN: Michigan No. 6 seed, Maryland No. 4 seed
CBS: Michigan No. 6 seed, Maryland No. 2 seed
The Terps can claim a share of the Big Ten title with a win, and Michigan can get closer to those protected lines as well. The range on how you perceive Maryland just depends on how you read the resume: potential co-champion of the toughest conference in America, or team that’s 6-7 in Q1 games and flawless against everyone else? Reading the minds of the committee would be quite helpful here.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan State Spartans 4:30 p.m.
OSU: 21-9, 11-8 B1G. NET 15, Ken Pom 8
MSU: 21-9, 13-6 B1G. NET 7, Ken Pom 7
ESPN: OSU No. 5 seed, MSU No. 3 seed
CBS: OSU No. 5 seed, MSU No. 3 seed
A Buckeyes win here gets them a better chance to get on the top-four protected lines for the NCAA Tournament. It could also start to knock Michigan State off that same position. With a win the Spartans also pick up a share of the Big Ten regular season championship.