With the regular season coming to a close this weekend, the best time in sports is on the horizon. From the buzzer beaters to the upsets, NCAA March Madness brings all of the excitement and legal bracket making to the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Despite the fact most of your time at work will consist of watching teams you’ve never heard of take down ones you hear about every day, not everyone gets the opportunity to hoist the championship trophy and be serenaded with “One Shining Moment.”
You’ve got to get in before you can get it all, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at a few pre-conference tournament teams and their resumes. We’ll stick to the teams in BCS conferences, but feel free to share your thoughts on whether or not you think these teams deserve to go dancing!
Team No. 1
20-10 (10-7 conference)
1-7 vs. Top 25 teams
5-4 on the road
Strength of Schedule: 23
- When you first look at that, it looks like a solid tourney team, but the deeper you dive, the least likely they appear. It’s too bad, because Purdue and Robbie Hummel would be a nice story in the tournament – they’ve got work to do though. Their best win is a road victory at Michigan’s senior night, which is good, but the rest of their games against the Top 25 are less than favorable, including an embarrassing 25-point loss at Michigan State in January. They’re seriously teetering on the bubble right now.
Verdict: Where’s your big win, and where is Robbie Hummel’s knee?
Team No. 2
17-12 (7-10 conference)
2-5 vs. Top 25 teams
3-7 on the road
Strength of Schedule: 2
- This team looks ok, but they’re really ugly. Like, they’re flopping around right now worse than Natalie Portman nervously laughing at a really good joke. Their coach is out with a back injury, and they’ve lost 10 of their last 12 games, but Connecticut is there, kind of. They’ve played the second-toughest schedule in college hoops and they have a pair of Top 25 wins over Florida State and Harvard. That said, they’ve also dropped three of those 10 games by 15-plus points. They’re not really close right now, but you know how the Big East Tournament goes…
Verdict: A lot of really strange bubble things happen at Madison Square Garden…
Team No. 3
16-14 (8-9 conference)
4-3 vs. Top 25 teams
3-8 on the road
Strength of Schedule: 72
- This is a team that makes you wonder. Judging by their success against the Top 25, you’d think they’ve got something going for them. Then you see that they’re only 12-11 versus teams outside that, which is seriously depressing. What more can you expect from Iowa though? They’re young and on the rise, but they just aren’t there yet. That said, they’ve knocked off Wisconsin twice, including a victory at the daunting Kohl Center, and they’ve got a chance this weekend to sweep Indiana. Maybe Iowa is the team to make a run in next week’s Big Ten Tournament and get on the bubble?
Verdict: Alright David, slay Goliath a few more times and we’ll talk.
Team No. 4
19-11 (12-5 conference)
1-5 vs. Top 25 teams
5-8 on the road
Strength of Schedule: 19
- Here’s a team that makes you really think. They play in the Big East, so they’re playing against a few really good teams and a large amount of mediocre to bad teams. Their record is inflated because of that, and they’ve failed miserably versus Top 25 teams. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see why South Florida should be dancing. Their best win this year is Louisville, who’s a nice team, but is that really the best you can do? They lost by 28 to Kansas, 30 to Georgetown and by 23 to VCU.
Verdict: You’re in, but be prepared for a first-round massacre, guys.