We are now just one day away from Selection Sunday and while many teams are basic locks for the NCAA Tournament field, the fates of others hang in the balance.
As is the case every year, you have a handful of teams that play above expectation in their respective conference tournaments and put themselves in a position to steal an at-large spot from another bubble team. Let’s take a look at some of those program who could climb into the field of 68.
Locks: Duke, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Miami
Bubble At-Large Teams: Wake Forest
Potential Bid Stealer: Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has been on a tear throughout the ACC Tournament, beating the buzzer against Clemson, knocking off Notre Dame, and throttling North Carolina on Friday to reach tonight’s ACC title game against Duke. The Hokies were squarely on the outside looking in heading into the week but may have earned themselves a spot in the field of 68 by making the league title game. If they upset the Blue Devils and earn the auto-bid, that puts a bubble team like Wake Forest in peril.
Locks: Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Rutgers, Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State
Potential Bid Stealer: Indiana
Indiana took down top-seeded Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday and their may not be a “maybe” when it comes to the Hoosiers making the big dance. They have definitively knocked Michigan out of the field and could further solidify their status if they beat Iowa in the semis this afternoon.
Locks: Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU
Potential Bid Stealer: Texas A&M
In Tampa, the surprise team has been the Aggies of Texas A&M, who took down top-seeded Auburn on Friday to make it to the SEC Tournament semifinals. TAMU was considered as one of the “Next Four Teams Out” by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi on Friday and if it gets past Arkansas today, it may very well bump someone else off the bubble.
Locks: Houston, Memphis
Potential Bid Stealer: Tulane
The three projected teams from the AAC made it to today’s semifinals as expected but so did Tulane, who triumphed over Temple on Friday. Strange things can happen on March and if the Green Wave can miraculously pull off back-to-back upsets to win the league title, that will spell trouble for SMU.