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Bracketology: Remaining Teams That Can Steal Bids

By TheFeed  Published: 7th March 2012

While
bubble teams were able to
breathe easier when Murray St and Creighton won close conference titles, the
coast is not entirely clear.

Here’s a brief look at the remaining teams most likely to “steal” bids from the
bubble hopefuls**.

ACC

With UNC
and Duke lurking, its hard to imagine a spoiler coming from the ACC, but you
never know..


Clemson (16-14,
8-8, RPI #138)

The ACC
might be down this year, but .500 in that league still counts for something. The
Tigers would need to beat VT in the opening round and then steal one from Duke.
Clemson only lost to Duke by 7 at Cameron.

 


Maryland
(16-14, 6-10, RPI
#110)

The Terps
have an easy opening game against Wake Forest, and they’d they have to beat UNC
in the quarterfinals.

 



Atlantic 10
While Temple and St Louis
are locks, there is a ton of parity in the A10. All of these teams deserve more
respect than they get nationally and are extremely dangerous in the A10
tournament.


Dayton (20-11, 9-7, #73)

Dayton
cruised past GW in the opening round and now faces Xavier. While Xavier is more
likely to get an at-large bid, both teams have similar resumes. The loser of
that game will be eliminated from at-large contention.

La Salle (210-11, 9-7,
#79)

La Salle
beat a tough Richmond squad in the opening round and now faces Saint Louis. La
Salle struggled against the Billikens earlier in the year, but does have a
geographical advantage playing in Atlantic City.

St Bonaventure (17-11,
10-6, #95)

A
dangerous squad, St Bonaventure faces bubble team Saint Joseph’s Wednesday
afternoon. The Bonnies have already beaten Saint Joe’s and with Andrew Nicholson
leading the way, no one wants to face them.

UMASS (21-10, 9-7, #87)

UMASS
topped Duquesne Tuesday night, which sets up an afternoon game with #1 seed
Temple. UMASS took Temple to OT a few weeks, so they’re far from scared.

Big East

UCONN
showed that its not impossible to run through the Big East Tournament from a
Tuesday start.


Pittsburgh (17-15, 5-13,
#98)

Perhaps
there is a little bit of magic left from this preseason top 25 team that
struggled mightily.

Big Ten
These 3 teams have had
their moments during the season, and would need to go on epic runs to win the
league.



Illinois (17-14,
6-12, #82)

As bad as
Illinois has been, how many teams have beaten the likes of Michigan St, Ohio St,
and Gonzaga. The Illini would need Brandon Paul to go off for 40 every game in
Indy..

Iowa (16-15, 8-10, #131)

Iowa has
been surprisingly competitive this year, and has beaten Wisconsin twice along
with beating Michigan and Indiana. They face Illinois in round one, the winner
could have great momentum going forward.

Minnesota (18-13, 6-12,
#81)

Once
considered a potential tourney team, Minnesota’s season went south in a hurry.
They face bubble team Northwestern in round one and could seriously hurt the
Wildcats at-large hopes.


Conference USA

While the
RPI suggests Memphis and Southern Miss are by far the class of this league,
these teams certainly have to be feared. If not for the tournament being in
Memphis, the odds of one of these teams stealing a bid would be even bigger.


UCF (21-9, 10-6, #64)

With an
opening round by, the Knights would face the winner of UAB or Tulane in round
two. UCF is a close loss or two away from being firmly in the NCAA Tournament
field. With the exception of one bad showing at Memphis, UCF has been
competitive in every CUSA game.

Marshall (18-12, 9-7, #66)

Like UCF,
Marshall is a dangerous squad that could be looking at the NCAA’s with a little
more luck. As it is, they have a very favorable spot in the bracket, opening
against SMU and then potentially facing Tulsa in the quarterfinals.

 


Tulsa (17-13, 10-6, #112)

Most
wouldn’t have guessed that Tulsa would earn the #3 seed in the CUSA Tournament.

 


UTEP
(14-16, 7-9, #158)

A real
darkhorse as a #8 seed, UTEP has beaten Memphis and Southern Miss this year, so
you never what could happen if they got hot.
 


MWC
The MWC is a small league, so you only have to win 3 games to earn the title.

 


Wyoming (20-10, 6-8, #80)

The
Cowboys face UNLV in the opening round, and have already beaten the Rebels.
While they’ve struggled away from home, they can’t be written off.


TCU (17-13, 7-7, #101)

TCU can
ruin Colorado St’s bubble hopes in the opening round. The two split their season
series, and the game should be close.

Pac-12
The Pac-12 is a complete mess. Cal and Washington can’t be considered locks and
a ton of teams could potentially win the league title.

 


Arizona (21-10, 12-6, 
#77)

Arizona
awaits the winner of UCLA/USC after getting a first round bye.

Colorado (19-11, 11-7,
#83)

The #6
seed opens with lowly Utah. The Buffs aren’t that much worse than anyone else in
the league.

Stanford (20-10, 10-8,
#97)

The only
team in the league to beat a Top 50 opponent in non-conference play, Stanford
has been playing better after slumping a few weeks back.

UCLA (18-13, 11-7, #118)

With the
tournament in Los Angeles, and a favorable bracket, you certainly can’t write
off the Bruins.

SEC

Outside
of Kentucky, the SEC is much more even than you might think. Teams like Florida
and Vanderbilt are overrated, and 2nd seed Tennessee is not that great away from
home. Kentucky might lose focus, and then the league is up for grabs.


Arkansas (18-13, 6-10,
#100)

If the
Hogs can get by LSU, they’d face Kentucky in the quarterfinals. If they could
somehow beat UK..

LSU (17-13,
7-9, #89)

The same
exact situation as Arkansas.

 

 


**I’ll define the bubble as including
the following teams:

BYU


California

Colorado
St

Drexel

Miami

NC State


Northwestern

Ole Miss

Oregon

Saint
Joseph’s

Seton
Hall

South
Florida

Tennessee

Texas

UCONN


Washington

Xavier

 


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