Betting Predictions for March Madness Bubble Bursting Teams
One of the big debates every spring has to do with which college basketball betting teams should be in the NCAA tournament in March. While 68 teams get into the men’s bracket every March, the conference tournament champions get an automatic seed (or the regular season champ if the conference does not hold a tournament). That means that there are a lot of teams who have decent seasons that don’t end up in the Big Dance. Here we take a look at some of the teams that are on the bubble as far as getting and getting out.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 10, 2016
Teams to Take Notice of in NCAAB Betting Odds
Unlike the football season, the basketball tournament has more respect for teams from the smaller conferences. That’s why teams like Valparaiso, St. Mary’s and Monmouth could all have terrific odds of getting in if one of the Power 5 teams on the bubble falls during the last two weeks before the tournament.
How about Syracuse? During Jim Boeheim’s suspension, the team was scuffling along, but since his return, they have made some strides in the ACC, winning three in a row. Florida State is another strong bubble team from the ACC likely to make it in, knocking off Clemson, N.C. State and Boston College in the last few weeks. South Carolina could find itself out, even though they have an RPI ranking in the top 30, simply because they haven’t done much that’s impressive. They do have a win against a team in the RPI Top 50, but that was Alabama (who is 3-6 in the SEC). The next few games (at Texas A&M, at home against LSU and Kentucky, at Missouri and at home against Florida) will determine whether they are in or out.
What about those four teams who get the play-in game? Euphemistically labeled the First Four, this group could include Clemson, who has an RPI ranking of 72 (bad) but a 6-5 record against teams in the top 50 (good). Their win at Syracuse on January 5 was definitely a plus for them. Oregon State could also get in after beating Utah, giving them a 3-5 record against the RPI Top 50 and a 6-8 record against the Top 100. They haven’t lost to any teams outside the RPI Top 100.
This means that a team like LSU could find itself heading to the NIT. They are just after Clemson in terms of RPI, but they only have two wins against Top 50 team. This is ironic given that LSU sits atop the SEC with Texas A&M. However, LSU still has some chances to burnish their resume, with games against Florida and Texas A&M at home and Kentucky and South Carolina on the road. Wisconsin is another team in trouble, as they have eight games left (and three at home), but they have a ton of work to do. They get Michigan at home, but they have Purdue, Iowa, Michigan State and Maryland all on the road still on their schedules, which is a real gauntlet. Their wins at Syracuse and VCU have improved in stature lately, but the Badgers still have a ton of work to do.