NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch Teams and Bracketology Predictions

By David Hayes
Nebraska v Indiana
Nebraska v Indiana / Andy Lyons
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

It's finally that time of the college basketball year again. A handful of teams are looking at their calendars and realizing they may only have two or three games left to make a case for the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

With a finite amount of berths up for grabs in the Twilight Zone between Top-25 teams and conference champions, here are the The Duel staff's projections for where each of these 12 teams will land on Selection Sunday, March 17.

2019 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch – Last Updated: March 10, 2019

Teams on the Bubble (Last Four In)

  1. Ole Miss (20-11)
  2. TCU (19-12)
  3. Minnesota (19-12)
  4. Temple (23-8)

Ole Miss lost three in a row before winning its last regular season game against Missouri on the road, and the Rebels' ticket should be as good as punched if they can win at least two games in the SEC Tournament.

Temple is the newest team to make our cut for the last four teams to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. The Owls jumped from our Last Four Out group on March 6 after defeating No. 25 UCF, 67-62, and closing out the regular season as winners of 6-of-7 and three straight.

First Four Out

  1. St. John's (20-11)
  2. Arizona State (21-9)
  3. Texas (16-15)
  4. Alabama (17-13)

Texas is one team that's hard to imagine getting in ahead of any of our four bubble teams, especially TCU. TCU had already pocketed a 65-61 win over the Longhorns earlier this season, and the Horned Frogs beat Texas, 69-56, on March 9 to sweep the Longhorns on the regular season.

St. John's already has 20 wins, but the Red Storm lost 4-of-5 and three straight games to end the regular season. St. John's résumé is also noticeably light in a down year for the Big East. The Red Storm have two Top-25 wins (Villanova, Marquette), but they need to make some serious noise in the Big East Tournament to secure a bid.

Last Four Out

  1. Indiana (17-14)
  2. St. Mary's (20-11)
  3. Belmont (26-5)
  4. Furman (25-6)

Indiana finished the year strong with four straight victories that included a season sweep over No. 9 Michigan State and win over No. 21 Wisconsin. However, the Hoosiers' 4-12 start to conference play likely dug too deep a hole to climb out of without winning a minimum of three Big Ten Tournament games as No. 9 seed.

Last year's St. Mary's team went an astounding 30-6 on the season, which included a win over Gonzaga, but the Gaels still didn't make the NCAA Tournament. Unless St. Mary's can win out and knock off No. 1 Gonzaga in this year's WCC Tournament, it looks like recent history is going to repeat itself in 2019.

After Murray State's star Ja Morant and his 36 points led the Racers to an OVC Tournament Final win over Belmont, the Bruins have likely blown their chance of going to the Big Dance. The tournament loss gave Murray State a 2-1 series lead over Belmont on the year as well.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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