Bubble Watch: Predicting the Last 5 Teams to Make the Cut for the 2014 NCAA Tournament
Bubble Watch: Predicting the Last 5 Teams to Make the Cut
It is almost that time of the year again. That time of year for buzzer-beaters, Cinderella teams and bracket-busting upsets. It's that time of the year where people spend more time at work filling out brackets and sneaking peeks at the games than doing their actual work. That time of the year that you save your best sick day excuses for. That’s right—it is almost time for the madness to begin.
Why do we love March Madness so much? Why do our wives who don’t watch a single game all season get out their pen and paper and fill out their brackets every March? Why is it that more vasectomies are scheduled for the Wednesday before the tournament begins than any other day of the year? The answers to all of those questions is simple—it's about the unpredictability of the tournament and it's about bragging rights.
The NCAA tournament is the most unpredictable event in all of sports. We have no idea whether the No. 12 seed will upset the No. 5 seed. We cannot predict if this will be a year in which a double-digit seed might make that magical run to the Final Four the way George Mason did 2006. We do not know whether there is a team not on anybody’s radar that will come in and produce one of the greatest tournament games in history. We watch to see which unknown, small-school star will have his breakout moment the way Stephen Curry did with Davidson in the 2009 tournament.
While it is so unpredictable, there is still the belief that we can predict more wins than our buddies or that we will predict enough right outcomes to win our office pool. We want to be the smartest, or in some cases, the luckiest one in our group. However, before we can fill out the brackets, we must first know what teams will be playing.
At this point in the season, many teams have already secured their spot in the tournament. But there are still some teams on the bubble fighting to get into the dance. Some fans do not pay much attention to those teams that just sneak into the tournament, but you should. In 2011, VCU was one of the last teams to make the tournament and they made a run all the way to the Final Four.
Who could be this year’s team to sneak in and make a run? Here are my predictions for the last five teams that will make the tournament. Pay attention because one of them could be this year’s Cinderella.
5. St. John's Red Storm
St. John's is currently 18-9, but they are “hot” as of late. They have won nine of their last 10. They have four games remaining in the regular season and then the Big East Tournament. I believe they will win at least three more games which should be enough to get them in.
4. Georgetown Hoyas
Georgetown has not had the kind of year they are used to. They are currently 15-11, but they do have two big non-conference wins against VCU and Kansas State. Georgetown has four regular season games remaining and then the Big East Tournament. They will probably need to win three or four more games in order to make the dance, but I believe they will get it done.
3. BYU Cougars
BYU is currently 19-10 and they have won six of their last seven. They have a non-conference win over Texas and a couple of close losses to Oregon and Iowa State. They will need to win a couple of more games, but I am confident they will get those wins and will land in the tournament.
2. West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia is a team that most people do not believe will make the tournament, and they have not looked like a tournament team up to this point. They are currently 15-11, but I have a feeling they are going to be able to win at least three of their final five games and maybe get another win in the Big 12 Tournament. If they can do that, I believe they will be one of the very last teams to get in.
1. Dayton Flyers
Dayton is another team that looks like a bit of a long shot to make the tournament. They are currently sitting with an 18-8 record. The reason I believe Dayton can get in is that they have won five in a row. If they can carry that momentum through a few more games, they could be the last team to punch their ticket into the dance.