Who’s on the Bubble?
March 1st is Monday. There’s an excitement in the air. There’s madness to this month. March Madness. It is officially the time of year where teams start to cement their standings for the NCAA Tournament. There’s the beginning of new life for many teams after a very difficult year. This also means that it becomes more clear which teams are on the bubble. Plenty of time remains in the season, but it appears that the bubble is stronger compared to years past.
As of now, teams like Stanford, Richmond, and SMU are on the outside looking in along with other hopefuls. Will LSU (13-6) be considered? Or an 11-4 Xavier team? One could make a case for Maryland (13-10), Minnesota (13-9) and Indiana (12-9) from playing in the very difficult Big Ten. We need to also follow Texas Tech and Oklahoma St from the Big 12. This question about these teams really shows how strong the field must be.
These are teams that I was bullish off and on throughout the season who remain legitimate tournament threats if they find their way in or redefine their form and shooting touch. What this means is that the programs that do end up making it, I would most likely favor them this year in their early March Madness matchups.
Injuries vs Covid
Remember to follow who’s been playing recently and who hasn’t. Are these recent developments or an injury from a month ago that impacted their season way back.
What seems like an obvious tip is actually quite difficult at times, considering how many teams there are in DI basketball. It is necessary to track team injuries when filling out your bracket simply because a team can obviously be over valued and over-ranked without their best player playing much or recently returning. He might have fresh legs but lost his shooting touch. That’s box scores information that we perform but certainly pays huge dividends.
Not only this, but remember to consider if a team lost a game when they weren’t playing at full strength or were perhaps without their head coach due to COVID protocols. Additionally, considering how a team played when certain players were injured compared to where they stand come tournament time is a sharp angle to take and will provide a leg up against your pool. If their replacements did a great job, note that as their bench strength deepened.
Teams that are playing for their NCAA Tournament lives may get in; but may be drained by that Thursday start of March Madness. Any bubble team that had to win their own conference tournament to move forward most likely won’t go far after playing three grueling days to get there. For example, it Duke won the ACC tournament, they’re in but still an underachieving but popular betting team this year. Watch those teams that happened to get hot in those conference tournaments.
Let’s all get crazy ready for March Madness. We’ll be focused and refocused every day of March. Good Luck