Commentary

Prescriptions for NCAA bubble teams

Breaking down how each NCAA bubble team can reach the tournament

Originally Published: March 8, 2011
By Ian Gordon | ESPN Insider
Justin HarperMitchell LaytonGetty ImagesJustin Harper and the Richmond Spiders have some work left to do.

Now that the four months of the regular season have ended, we here at Bubble Insider turn to Championship Week for some last-minute clarity. According to Joe Lunardi's latest Bracket Math column, there are 18 major-conference teams that need at least one conference tournament win to bolster their cases for one of the 10 remaining at-large NCAA tournament spots.

We'll break down these teams into groups based on the number of games they need to win to lock down an at-large bid. One team, the Richmond Spiders, provides the most interesting case, and we'll get to that later, but every team on this list likely needs two or more conference tournament wins to ensure it will get into the Big Dance.

A variety of factors play into how many games a team must win this week, including its performance against RPI top 50, and especially top 25, opponents and its path through the conference tournament. Teams with easier roads will have to go deeper into their brackets to tip the scales in their favor because what these teams often lack is a big win.

Here are the pre-tournament résumés of the 18 teams still battling for an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament, listed in order of Lunardi's latest S-curve:


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