While I was half surprised to see Syracuse lose this weekend, I wasn’t surprised at all that they proved they weren’t the best team in the nation. And while this article isn’t about rankings again, it just goes to show you can’t nor shouldn’t bet on Syracuse to go all the way. In fact, I can see them being upset in the Sweet 16 this year.
Anyway, we are on full-time bubble watch now, as Championship week plow ahead in the heart of March Madness. This is the best time of year for NCAA fans, as the anticipation and the hype often are just as exciting as the games themselves.
Starting with the Big 12, where we could see seven teams get into the tournament. Missouri showed again it can’t win the games that matter, and they’re at the bottom of that list. Mizzou will get in, but they honestly should be a bubble team the way they’ve played. Texas, as well, is looking up at a crowded powerhouse of Big 12 teams, lead by Kansas and Kansas State. As for the conference championship, could K-State be out to prove their better than last weekend’s OT loss? Definitely, but that doesn’t mean the Jayhawks are in trouble. You can bet they’ll win and secure a No. 1 tournament seed – probably THE No. 1 seed.
In the Big 10, Illinois especially is at risk of missing out. But Illini fans know that story, they hear it every year. Minnesota, too, is bubbling here. Purdue, Wisconsin, MSU and OSU are the ones getting in. Come tournament time, though, I wouldn’t bet on any of them, even Purdue. But I’d probably take my chances on Illinois losing in the first round even if they do make it in. They are an inconsistent club on both sides of the court, and have shown nothing but erratic play that lacks true leadership all year.
And how about the usually untouchable ACC? Only Georgia Tech is on the bubble here. And with an RPI of 44, they really need some help to make it in. The conference that can do no wrong is probably looking at a half dozen teams representing in the tournament, including – now don’t be shocked – Duke. Speaking of which, be careful how quickly you jump on the Duke train again this year. Everybody knows they tend to disappoint when it matters, and if you think Jon Scheyer is leading this team to the Final Four, well, I’m not in the business of betting on the live or die by 3 teams, but that’s just me.