Bubble Watch: 5 Reasons Why Stanford Basketball Will Make NCAA Tournament
5 Reasons the Stanford Cardinal Will Make the Tournament
You have squandered all your chances and now you have to hope the chips fall your way is a popular sentiment for bubble teams this late in the season as the stress will continue to build for several teams up until Selection Sunday.
As bubble teams frantically try to stay in the conversation, the chances of picking up a win that will save the season are few and far between at this point as we are in the final week of the regular season heading toward championship week. For bubble teams, conference tournaments bring about a bittersweet feeling as they have a chance to further their tournament case, but must also hope that no bids are stolen in major conference tournaments. Bubble teams must prove their worth to the selection committee by not faltering down the stretch, but the teams must also have lady luck on their side as the chaos begins to ensue in the coming weeks.
Two conferences have become one with the bubble in the last month, but who will be left out in the cold when the bubble pops? The SEC and PAC-12 both have virtually half of their respective conference on the bubble, and as conference tournaments roll around, the teams in these conferences will start knocking each other out of tournament contention.
The Stanford Cardinal currently sit near the top of the bubble conversation with an overall record of 18-10, but in order for Stanford to remain a tournament team, the Trees will need to rebound from a two-game skid and gain some momentum going into the PAC-12 tournament. Stanford's remaining two regular season games come against fellow PAC-12 bubble teams who will also look to state their case to the selection committee, making these games crucial for all teams involved.
Stanford currently holds one of the coveted spots in the big dance and has a chance to put a stranglehold on the tournament bid in the coming week.
Let's take a look at the five reasons the Stanford Cardinal will make the big dance.
Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.
Resume Building Wins
One of Stanford's strongest selling points is the fact that the Cardinal have three victories against the top 25 and four wins against the RPI top 50. Stanford has one win against a top-10 opponent when the team beat the Connecticut Huskies back in December. Stanford's wins against quality opponents will prove to be vital to its tournament case and should ultimately land the Cardinal in the bracket.
Only One Bad Loss
While Stanford possesses several good wins, the team has only suffered one truly bad loss. The loss came on the road in conference play to the Oregon State Beavers, who are 15-13 this season.
Strength of Schedule
With a record of 18-10, Stanford's strength of schedule should put the team over the top in the bubble conversation. Stanford's strength of schedule is 18 which ranks above most bubble teams and far above several championship contenders. Strength of schedule is the deciding factor that will ultimately get the Cardinal into the dance as the committee cannot logically let a team this high in the index be left out with a solid record.
Stanford's RPI rating of 41 sits middle of the pack among bubble teams, but is higher than several tournament locks which is interesting. The team's RPI rating keeps the Cardinal in the thick of the bubble discussion while other factors will elevate the team to tournament status.
Stanford's depth is on par with some of the best teams in the country as the teams has four players that average double figures scoring with playmakers at every position on the floor. Chasson Randle is the team's general on the floor while also leading the team in scoring at 18.5 PPG. Josh Huestis headlines the Cardinal front averaging 11.6 PPG and 8.5 RPG.