3 NCAA Bubble Teams That Won’t Make It
At Northbet, you will get a lot of discussion at this time of year about the NCAA tournament and which teams will make it. If you’re going to talk about the teams that will make it, you also have to address the subject of which teams won’t.
1 – Utah
The Utes have a chance to play their way into the field, but the thing to note with Utah is that it just doesn’t play well on the road. The Utes have not yet been able to win a big game – a game that any college basketball expert would recognize as a significant achievement – away from Salt Lake City. If Utah can win this week at California and Stanford, it would suddenly have a very good chance of making the NCAA tournament. Yet, history – long-term and recent – indicates that Utah won’t even win one of those two games. That would surely knock the Utes off the bubble and into the NIT. This team has a lot to prove, and it will be motivated, but that’s hardly a guarantee that it will perform as well as it hopes to. This team just isn’t sharp if it’s not playing in its own gymnasium.
2 – Florida State
The Seminoles will get their big chance to play their way into the tournament this weekend, when they host Syracuse, a team that is viewed as a No. 2 seed by most, and as a top seed by some of the people who are projecting brackets right now. Beating a team of Syracuse’s stature would definitely send Florida State shooting upward on the bubble. That’s the kind of victory that, if secured, would make a world of difference for the Seminoles.
The problem is simple: Florida State will have a very tough time winning that game. The Seminoles are not a great perimeter shooting team. Their offense comes and goes, making them vulnerable against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. Florida State does not have the size, depth or muscle the Orange have. Syracuse can pound Florida State on the boards and get a lot of putbacks on offense. The Orange can win this game in many kinds of ways, whereas Florida State pretty much has to shoot for a very high percentage or get to the foul line. Those scenarios are not probable, and what’s more is that Syracuse has recently lost three games to Boston College, Duke, and Virginia. Is Syracuse really going to lose another game in the ACC? The Orange will probably figure things out, and if they do, Florida State will probably need to win the ACC Tournament in order to reach March Madness.
3 – Missouri
The Tigers are still on the bubble – they’re competing for one of the final spots in the tournament – but they’re terrible on the road, much as Utah is. If Missouri loses at Tennessee this weekend, it’s very hard to see how the Tigers can make their way into the tournament as a bubble team. Missouri will indeed lose at Tennessee unless it can show something new.