March Madness Bubble Watch: Feb. 19
With February coming to close, teams are fighting for the chance to create their own storybook runs in the journey to New Orleans.
What is interesting about this year is the fact that the bubble teams are some familiar faces in this tournament. Teams like Loyola-Chicago didn’t know what they didn’t know, but recent champions Virginia Cavaliers and the coveted North Carolina Tarheels have rich winning backgrounds.
Syracuse Orange (16-9)
After coming off a strong win against Boston College, the Orange need a couple of wins in their final games against, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Duke.
With the short amount of room for mistakes that the Orange have, they will have to rely on the long-ball of Buddy Boeheim to close gaps. His brother, Jimmy, with his rebounding ability makes them one of the best one-two sibling punches in basketball.
North Carolina Tar Heels (19-8)
The Tar Heels are frequent visitors of the tournament, but will they receive an invitation this year to the big dance? Their overall schedule rates No. 26 and even though they only have eight losses, they are 0-7 against their toughest competition.
Junior Armando Bacot can extend possessions and games with his offensive rebound ability. Bacot is a type of player that can get the ball to bounce North Carolina’s way in those games against the best.
Creighton Bluejays (17-8)
The Bluejays have a good opportunity to add to their resume in the remaining games as they face both No. 8 Providence and No. 24 UConn.
The Bluejays lock in when it comes to keeping their season alive as they shot 41.4% from beyond the arc against the Hoyas in their past game, 10% better than their season average. Creighton is a tough out, which makes it a perfect team to make the bubble.
Florida Gators (17-10)
All year these Gators have hung tough against SEC opponents but haven’t figured them out. This wasn’t the case against the No. 2 ranked Auburn Tigers as Tyree Appleby dropped 20 points in the second half to propel Florida to the victory.
The Gators are a sneaky pick to make the bubble due to their defensive abilities. Allowing 64.1 points a game prevents games from getting out of hand against high powered offenses.
Virginia Cavaliers (16-10)
With a recent win over the Duke Blue Devils, this team earned a new hope in making the tournament. Head coach Tony Bennett has experience in this tournament and another big win is certainly possible for this club, even if it must be against those same Blue Devils on Wednesday.
Reece Beekman has 54 steals on the year getting extra possessions for the Cavaliers, Virginia will need to continue that to be able to steal a spot in the tournament.
Matthew Gelhard is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.
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