#MakeYourCase: The fans weigh in
Supporters of bubble teams tell us why their school should make the tournament
The Busy Life of an NCAA Committee Member
The bubble debate can be overwhelming. Which experts to believe? Which numbers to trust? Which category to focus on?
So this week we tried something different. We reached out to you, the frazzled fans of these nerve-racking bubble teams, to tell us why your team deserves an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
We know you refresh the page each morning to see whether Joe Lunardi's Bracketology has updated. We know you're a faithful reader of Eamonn Brennan's Bubble Watch. But we wanted to know what you thought of this whole process.
The response on Twitter was overwhelming. Hundreds of fans used the hashtag #MakeYourCase, and below you'll find just a small sampling of that response. Please note that we only included the last six teams in and the first 10 teams out of Lunardi's latest Bracket Math.
So fans of programs like Nebraska, Pitt, Stanford and Oklahoma State: Although your teams might not be mortal locks quite yet, we're confident enough at this point to leave them out of this.
As for these other schools, well, that's another story. What say you, fans? Why should they get in?
Editor's note: Click on the school name to read a full breakdown of that team's at-large profile.
Arkansas (21-10, 10-8 SEC)
The Razorbacks were rolling until an inexplicable 83-58 loss at Alabama over the weekend. If Arkansas can avoid another damaging loss Thursday against South Carolina or Auburn, it'll get a second shot at Tennessee in what would be a bubble battle royale in Atlanta.
#MakeYourCase for the Arkansas Razorbacks. 20+ wins, first team to sweep Kentucky under Calipari, and have won 8 out of their last 10 games- Connor Robertson (@CPR_Certified93) March 10, 2014
The Cougars had a chance to wrap things up by earning an automatic bid in Tuesday's WCC title game but trailed from start to finish in a 75-64 loss to Gonzaga. Now all they can do is sit and wait.
#MakeYourCase BYU should easily be dancing. They have key wins over Texas, Stanford, and gonzaga. Along with 21 SOS and 35 RPI. Go COUGS- Greyson Chamberlain (@grey2son) March 10, 2014
BYU deserves to go because they had the 3rd hardest non conference schedule in the nation #MakeYourCase- Skyelar Schulz (@skbylar) March 10, 2014
The Golden Bears lost four of their final six regular-season games but did at least finish with a crucial home win over Colorado. They'll likely face the Buffaloes again in their first Pac-12 tourney game.
The Flyers certainly closed strong. Can they keep the momentum going at the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn? If they can get past the George Mason-Fordham winner, a showdown with Saint Joe's looms. The Hawks are the only team to defeat UD since the start of February.
Dayton has to be in with four RPI Top 30 wins, a 9-5 record away from UD Arena, and winners of 9 of their last 10 #MakeYourCase- Matt Grilli (@themattgrilli) March 10, 2014
#MakeYourCase The Dayton Flyers need a spot We have big wins this year against the zags ole miss St. Louis ect Despite the bad losses- Jack Nauseef (@flyer_fan5) March 10, 2014
The up-and-down Seminoles haven't produced a ton of bubble buzz, but they do own a few top-50 victories and, with a win over Maryland at the ACC tournament, would have a shot at top-seeded Virginia. Would those two wins be enough?
Georgetown has three top-25 RPI wins but also lost to Northeastern and was swept by Seton Hall. The Hoyas likely need a Big East quarterfinal upset of Creighton (and maybe more) to keep their at-large hopes alive.
#MakeYourCase Georgetown-10th strongest schedule, quality wins over MSU, Creighton, VCU, K-State-Bad losses outweighed by consistent play- Jack Miller (@Jmills_01) March 10, 2014
Georgetown has 7 top 60 RPI wins and an SOS of 9. Also, 4 of their loses came while Jabril Trawick had a broken jaw. He's back #MakeYourCase- Luke Bilodeau (@Luke_Bilodeau) March 10, 2014
Virginia and Wisconsin know how good Green Bay is -- but will the selection committee? The Phoenix were upset in the Horizon League semifinals on their home floor and are now left at the mercy of the committee members.
UWGB! #1 in blocks. Barely lost to Wisconsin. Beat Virginia. Horizon League player of the year. Horizon League champs. #MakeYourCase- Ty Bodden † (@TABodden) March 10, 2014
Minnesota is a classic bubble case. A losing record but in a marquee conference. A midseason slump but injuries during that time. So a loss to Penn State in the Big Ten tourney opener would be devastating, but a win would give the Gophers a major opportunity against Wisconsin.
We last saw the Tigers during an uninspiring 72-45 loss at Tennessee over the weekend. According to Lunardi, that has put Mizzou in a position to likely have to upset No. 1 Florida in the SEC quarters to have an at-large shot.
#MakeYourCase Mizzou - 20+ wins, swept Ark, split Tenn, could have beat UF and UK. Plus... I'm a fan!- Michael Lehr (@cobralehr) March 10, 2014
There are certain games that just scream bubble. PC's Thursday's matchup with St. John's does the trick. The winner certainly isn't guaranteed anything, but the loser will find itself in an unenviable situation for the days following.
The Hawks don't have much to speak of out of conference, but they did win 11 games in a league that could send up to six teams to the NCAA tournament. The A-10 tourney is going to be fascinating, to say the least.
See: Providence. Thursday's game at the Garden is huge. And both teams know it.
The Golden Eagles finished in a four-way tie atop Conference USA but unfortunately got stuck with the 4-seed, which means they'll likely face home-standing UTEP in their first league tourney game.
What a strange season it has been for the Vols, who have a few nice wins (including a rout of UVa) but also some vexing losses, including a sweep at the hands of Texas A&M. Friday's likely quarterfinal against Arkansas looms large.
The record won't wow you, but five top-50 RPI wins is an impressive haul for a bubble team. A Big 12 tournament matchup with Texas is obviously a must-win to have any shot at all.
The wins over Cincinnati and Creighton obviously help, but going 3-4 down the stretch did not. The Musketeers might not want to lose to Marquette in the Big East tourney and press their luck with the committee.
#MakeYourCase XU 3rd place in 4th rated rpi league. 20 wins against Top 25 SOS. Marquee wins vs UC and CU. 7 total wins against rpi top 57.- David Hehman (@Hehmand1984) March 10, 2014
Hey, don't forget about us!
There are plenty of other fan bases that feel like their team deserves a shot, of course. Here's a sampling of those:
Clemson because they beat duke at home and almost beat Virginia, also they won 10 games in the tough ACC and deserve a spot #MakeYourCase- I love R. Sherman (@WinstonBruddas) March 10, 2014
Louisiana tech! 25-6 come on how do they not make it and a 20-10 does? That is how I look at it! #MakeYourCase- ¤ C-h-a-s-e ¤ (@ChaseAnderson09) March 10, 2014
UGA finished 2nd in the SEC. 2nd! In the SEC! That's not good enough to make the NCAAs? #MakeYourCase- Paul Anderson (@pbanderson) March 10, 2014
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