Teams Need Two or More Wins to Secure an NCAA Tournament Bid as the Season Closes
Call it the calm before the storm:
For the 74-or-so power conferences teams out there in College Basketball-land, this represents the final regular-season weekend before we get to all those great conference tournaments – ahh, yes, the mini-tourneys – and for countless other hoop squads out there the weekend’s league tournament tilts are the last chance to make a splash and garner the attention of the NCAA Tournament Committee folks.
With all this "bubble teams" talk, we decided to go one better and let you know a batch of teams that – we believe – need two or more wins in the next week to latch onto a “Big Dance“ invitation and whether that means a win in their final regular-season game and then at least one mini-tourney win or a minimum of two mini-tourney wins next week, the task ahead is daunting.
Somehow, some way… get two more "W’s.
And now hear this… Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are rollin’ through the early part of March with lots of College Basketball and NBA winners – get all the games March Madness plays right here at www.jimhurley.com or at our exclusive number 1-800-323-4453.
Remember the conference tournaments or so-called mini-tournies are really heating up this weekend and all next week with lots of day-time action – so don’t miss out!
COLLEGE BASKETBALL WEEKEND REPORT
Okay, here’s our Jim Sez listing of those College B-Ball teams that need at least two wins to get a likely NCAA Tournament berth (remember the NCAA Tournament begins Tuesday, March 15th in Dayton) and forgive us for being so SEC-heavy here:
LSU (18-12, 11-6, RPI 88) – You can sit there and bang the drums for this Bayou Bengals bunch and tell us they’re one of only four SEC teams with 11-or-more conference wins this year but the RPI’s lousy and that all-important "eye test" tells us Johnny Jones’ club doesn’t make the cut. True, LSU heads into Saturday’s game at Kentucky on a two-game winning streak – a so-what 9-point home win against Missouri and a 5-point home win last Saturday versus Florida – but the Tigers have split their last 10 games overall, they don’t own any significant non-league wins and even lost at Charleston. Even superstar freshman F Ben Simmons (19.7 ppg, 11.9 rpg) hasn’t always been good enough to steer the Baton Rouge team to more wins. If LSU loses in Lexington, it’ll need two wins in the SEC Tourney at Nashville next week just to have a shot to dance.
ALABAMA (17-12, 8-9, RPI 69) – The current SEC standings say the ’Bama Crimson Tide is sitting in ninth place (actually tied with Florida) and likely on the outside-looking-in at an NCAA Tournament berth but first-year boss Avery Johnson could turn some heads with a mini-winning streak these next few days. Keep in mind prior to Alabama losing three of its last four games – including the painful 62-61 loss to Arkansas the other night – the Tide did ring up five consecutive wins including important road triumphs at LSU, Florida and Miss State and that boosted the argument for an NCAA Tourney bid. Now, the Tide’s at Georgia on this first Saturday in March and so conventional wisdom says win here and snag one SEC Tournament game and you’re in or go the really hard route and win twice in the SEC Tournament. Gulp!
CREIGHTON (18-12, 9-8, RPI 102) – The way we see it, the Big East Conference has five bids locked down already with Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence and Butler all getting into the party but it’s this Bluejays bunch that enters this week’s mini-tourney at Madison Square Garden in New York City with so much on the line. Greg McDermott’s team sometimes depends too much on the three-point shot but if Creighton can heat it up from beyond the arc this weekend/this week, than watch out. Note that the regular-season finale at Xavier figures to be a bloodbath – remember the Musketeers lost 70-56 in Omaha back on Feb. 9th – and there’s been plenty of revenge talk coming from Chris Mack’s team ever since and so according to our Jim Sez calculations this Creighton team is gonna have to get to the championship game to have a shot at an NCAA Tournament bid.
If you’re looking for other power conference teams that likely need to – at least – get to their mini-tourney championship games than let us include Clemson (ACC), Washington (Pac-12), Georgia (SEC), Northwestern (Big 10) and Marquette (Big East) but, truth be known, even getting to the title tilt of their respective league tournaments still might not be enough for this handful of teams very much on the outside-looking-in at a golden invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
NOTE: Lots of complete/comprehensive College Basketball Notes in the next Jim Sez as we dig into more mini-tourney previews.
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