NCAA Basketball March Madness

15 College Basketball Teams That Are On NCAA Tournament Bubble

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College Basketball Teams On the Bubble

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Making the NCAA tournament is what college basketball is all about. The tournament field of 68 may be massive, but many teams are still left out every year. Although the tournament itself is what makes March one of the best months for all of those sports fans out there, teams fighting to punch their ticket is easily one of the most exciting things about the season. With that said, we will be looking at 15 college basketball teams that are on the NCAA tourney bubble.

There is a lot more than 15 teams on the bubble as of right now and that list will continue to shrink as the season gets closer and closer to March.

The good thing about the 15 teams on the bubble is that they all have plenty of time to get off of that bubble and into the dance. At the same time, they could play their way out of the bubble conversation and into the NIT.

Regardless, none of these teams are guaranteed to make the tournament. That can be said about every single basketball program in college hoops. Even Arizona, who is still undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country.

The Wildcats could lose the rest of their games. That is not going to happen, but still.

As the regular season comes closer and closer to an end, we will have a much better idea on which teams will actually make the Big Dance. Until then, these 15 teams and many others can only hope that they play well enough down the stretch to earn a bid to the greatest tournament in sports.

Well, see which programs are on the bubble.

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Missouri Tigers

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Record: 15-4, 3-3 SEC

As you can see, the Missouri Tigers have a great record, but that conference record is weighing them down some. It doesn’t help that the Tigers have lost to Georgia and Vanderbilt.

However, they did beat UCLA when it was ranked No. 18.

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Georgetown Hoyas

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Record: 11-7, 3-4 Big East

The Hoyas have beaten VCU and Kansas State--both teams should make the dance--but their recent three-game losing streak hurts their resume. It doesn’t help that Georgetown will play Creighton, Villanova and Michigan State in back-to-back-to-back games. Unless if they can win those three contests, of course.

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Providence Friars

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Record: 15-5, 5-2 Big East

If the season ended today, Providence would be in the tournament. Let’s just put it this way. The Friars are on a five-game winning streak and those five victories have come against Georgetown, St. John’s, Creighton, Butler and Xavier.

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Boise State Broncos

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Record: 14-6, 4-3 MWC

Boise State was supposed to challenge for a MWC title, but it has a lot of work to do if it even wants to make the tournament. Beating New Mexico or San Diego State or both would be a great start.

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Indiana Hoosiers

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Record: 12-7, 2-4 Big Ten

There are so many teams that are better than Indiana this season in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers still have plenty of chances to get some quality wins, but they are currently on a two-game skid and are ninth in the conference standings.

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Arizona State Sun Devils

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Record: 15-5, 4-3 Pac-12

Arizona may be the best team in the Pac-12, but this conference is going to get a lot of teams into the dance and Arizona State very well could be one of them.

The Sun Devils have beaten the likes of UNLV, Marquette, Utah and Colorado.

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Dayton Flyers

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Record: 13-7, 1-4 A 10

It is very disappointing that Dayton has gotten off to such a bad start in Atlantic 10 play. The Flyers beat Gonzaga, Georgia Tech, California and Ole Miss in their non-conference schedule and are currently one of the worst teams in the conference--record wise.

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Stanford Cardinal

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Record: 12-6, 3-3 Pac-12

The good news for Stanford is the fact that it is 2-0 against ranked opponents. The bad news is that it is seventh in the Pac-12 standings. That could change in a heartbeat with a couple of wins in a row.

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BYU Cougars

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Record: 13-9, 5-4 WCC

The NCAA tournament would be so much better if Tyler Haws (23.6 PPG) was in it and his team, of course.

Haws and the rest of the Cougars have the talent to upset anyone in college hoops, but they already have nine losses and play in the WCC.

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Arkansas Razorbacks

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Record: 13-6, 2-4 SEC

The Arkansas Razorbacks have a huge win over the Kentucky Wildcats. This isn’t the overrated Wildcats who lost in the first round of the NIT last season either. This is the Wildcats who are good enough to win a national title. You could say that they are pretty talented as well.

Arkansas also took Florida to overtime--lost by two. Translation: the Razorbacks can compete with anyone, which includes the big boys in college basketball.

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Tennessee Volunteers

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Record: 12-7, 3-3 SEC

The SEC is a very competitive conference, which means the teams in it are going to beat up on each other. Unless if we are talking about Florida. The Big Ten always gets a pass for beating up on each other, even when a ranked opponent goes down to an unranked opponent, so the SEC should get a pass as well.

What I am trying to say is that teams like Tennessee should get into the dance and the SEC as a whole should get five or so teams in as well. I doubt the second part of that sentence happens, though.

By the way, the Volunteers have beaten Xavier, Wake Forest, Virginia, LSU and Arkansas.

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Baylor Bears

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Record: 13-6, 1-5 Big 12

Yes, Baylor is a bubble team. The Bears were one of the best teams in the country before conference play started, but as you can see by their conference record, they have struggled as of late.

The Big 12 is tough. Really tough. Still, Baylor is getting beat up and it does not deserve to be in the dance if it cannot even finish in the top half of the conference standings. That is saying a lot since it has beaten Colorado, Dayton and Kentucky on the year.

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Illinois Fighting Illini

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Record: 13-7, 2-5 Big Ten

The Big Ten is going to feature many teams in the tournament. I am not sure if Illinois deserves to be one of them. The Fighting Illini have plenty of time to better that conference record, but 2-5 is not going to get the job done.

May I remind you that those five losses have come in the last five games.

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Purdue Boilermakers

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Record: 13-7, 3-4 Big Ten

Wait. A Purdue basketball team not featuring Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore is capable of making the NCAA tournament? Yes. Yes, it is.

The Boilermakers have made the dance 26 times according to They have also made the Final Four twice.

This basketball program may have had an off-year last season, but it has the talent to get back on track this season, which is exactly what Purdue has been doing.

There are going to be many Big Ten teams battling it out for a tournament bid and you better believe the Boilermakers are one of them.

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North Carolina Tar Heels

tar heels
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Record: 11-7, 1-4 ACC

We should not be mentioning North Carolina and bubble in the same sentence. It has beaten Louisville, Michigan State and Kentucky. Those were the top three teams in the preseason poll.

However, the Tar Heels have lost to Belmont, UAB and five other teams. They are getting beaten up in the ACC and they still have to play Duke (twice), Notre Dame (twice), Florida State, Pittsburgh and we will just stop there.

North Carolina still may have the three best wins out of anyone, but its many losses are the problem here.