Commentary

Clemson's path to an at-large bid

The Tigers and other bubble squads can earn bid-making wins this week

Originally Published: March 1, 2011
By Ian Gordon | ESPN Insider
StittJoshua S. Kelly/US PresswireIf Demontez Stitt and the Tigers can beat Duke this week, they could earn an at-large bid.

After three long years of living on the bubble, Seth Greenberg should finally be able to relax this Selection Sunday. With a home win over the Duke Blue Devils (RPI No. 5) on Saturday night, Greenberg's Virginia Tech Hokies (19-8, 9-5 ACC, No. 54) finally brought home the kind of signature victory that moves teams from the wrong side of the bubble into the final bracket. In fact, the win against Duke was the Hokies' first RPI top-10 win since they had beaten the then-No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels in 2007 -- the last season in which Virginia Tech made the tourney.

Earlier last week, Buzz Williams and his Marquette Golden Eagles (18-11, 9-7 Big East, RPI No. 51) must have breathed a similar sigh of relief. After dropping its previous two games against top-25 Big East foes, Marquette earned its fourth marquee win of the season when it used some last-second heroics to steal a win from the Connecticut Huskies in Hartford on Thursday night. The W bolstered the Golden Eagles' résumé, and it has given the Big East a legitimate shot at sending 11 teams to the Big Dance.

The wins by Virginia Tech and Marquette got us to thinking: What other bubble teams have top-25 games in the final week of the regular season?


To read about the teams that have chances to earn major points with the selection committee with big wins in the final week of the season, you must be an ESPN Insider.