March Madness is about to be upon us, and there will be a bunch of teams who are narrowly able to find their way into the tournament. There will also be other teams who believe that they should have gotten in but find themselves ultimately left out. These teams are known as bubble teams. Every team has a chance to make the NCAA Tournament by winning their conference tournament. Those who don’t win it will have to be selected via the committee. This creates some drama around Selection Sunday as the official brackets are announced.
The first bubble team, a fan favorite, is the Memphis Tigers. Memphis is led by their head coach, former Memphis and NBA star Anfernee Hardaway. So far as the Memphis coach, Hardaway has done a great job recruiting top talent like James Wiseman and Emoni Bates, but that hasn’t translated into much success yet. Memphis is currently third in the American Athletic Conference behind Houston and SMU. This team is getting hot at the right time though. They beat Wichita State by 24 points recently and have won nine of their last 10 games. Their last regular season game will be against No. 14 Houston. If they win that, they will almost certainly be in the tournament, but if they don’t, they still have a good chance of being selected.
Virginia Commonwealth is also finding themselves on the bubble. They will likely need to win their final game of the season to push their winning streak to nine games in order to be selected, but they will also need some losses from other bubble teams to have a shot. VCU has been a Cinderella team in the tournament before, and they could do it again this season. It will be a tough conference tournament for them to take down to get an automatic bid though. At this point it seems unlikely they get selected unless a lot goes right for them at the end of the year.
The Florida Gators will play in their most meaningful matchup of the year in the season finale game. Essentially, if they beat No. 5 Kentucky at home on Saturday they should be a lock to be selected to the tournament. If they don’t, it will be a toss up whether they make it in or not. On their resume this season they have a big win over Auburn who was No. 2 at the time, but a win over Kentucky here would arguably be even bigger. Florida’s fate will likely rely on the committee’s selection if they don’t beat Kentucky as the SEC Tournament will prove to be a tough one to come out on top of.