A few bubble teams began their conference tournament journey Wednesday, looking to make a deep run in order to seal up an NCAA Tournament bid. A couple of them face-planted right out of the starting gate while another was able to survive and advance.
Yesterday’s bubble watch
The ACC and Big East conference tournaments provided some good news for many bubble teams as Wake Forest and Xavier both choked in their opening-round game. The Demon Deacons squandered a 10-point lead with 6 minutes to play versus lowly Boston College in an 82-77 overtime loss. The Musketeers couldn’t make a free throw to save their lives late in the second half against Butler and also fell in OT, 89-82.
Virginia Tech, conversely, was able to escape in overtime over Clemson, 76-75, thanks to a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Hokies still have work to do if they want to make the tourney, according to most bracketologists. They will face Notre Dame in what could be a de facto elimination game today.
Game to watch today
Michigan Wolverines vs. Indiana Hoosiers, Big Ten Tournament second round: There are multiple major-conference matchups today between bubble teams — Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech, Florida vs. Texas A&M — but none has more riding on it than the day’s first tip-off at the Big Ten Tournament. The Wolverines and the Hoosiers can take nothing for granted today. Michigan is in the tournament as of today, according to Bracketwag.com, but only as a No. 11 seed. Indiana is on the First Four Out line, but a triumph over Michigan would give the Hoosiers their fourth Q1 win this season.
Bubble teams per Bracketwag.com
Conference breakdown per ESPN’s Joe Lunardi
Big Ten: 9
Big East: 7
Big 12: 6
Mountain West: 4