With about a month to go before the start of the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament, there is already plenty of speculation about which teams will sneak into the tourney with the final few invites to March Madness. Here’s a look at five squads that are right on the edge heading into the final few weeks of the regular season:
While the Hokies have an impressive record, the squad doesn’t have too many marquee victories due to a weak non-conference slate. Virginia Tech has opened February with three straight victories and covers. The club will get play four of its final seven regular season games at home where the squad is perfect this year. A road win at Duke or Georgia Tech down the stretch could put the team over the hump.
A February 13th matchup at Virginia Tech could be the deciding contest for this squad. The Cavaliers (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS in last six games) lost an earlier battle at home against the Hokies. Also, a pair of losses to Wake Forest could doom the Cavs on Selection Sunday. The remaining slate is quite difficult. Five of the eight remaining contests are on the road. Two contests against Maryland could be vital to the squad’s NCAA hopes.
After being one of the elite squads in college hoops a year ago, the Cards have slipped in the 2009-10 campaign. Louisville had dropped four straight road outings until Sunday’s impressive win in Syracuse. Still, the Cardinals are just 4-5 (3-6 ATS) in its last nine games. The Cardinals will play four of its final seven regular season games away from home. Two of those road games will be against NCAA bubble squads Connecticut and Marquette.
After dropping its first four road contests in Big East play, the Bearcats were able to break through with a big win at Connecticut on Valentine Day’s weekend. Heading into the final three weeks of the regular season, Cincinnati (4-5 SU, 2-7 ATS in last nine games) has little margin for error. The club will face three difficult road battles with visits to South Florida, West Virginia and Georgetown on tap. The Bearcats also must face Marquette and Villanova at home.
The Irish rolled to an 11-2 record in non-conference action but the team is in the middle of the pack in the deep Big East. With standout forward Luke Harangody (24.1 ppg.) leading the way, the Irish could find its way into the tournament as long as his leg injury is not too serious. Notre Dame (3-5 SU, 2-6 ATS in last seven games) has lost four straight road outings. The Irish still must travel to Louisville, Georgetown and Marquette before the Big East tournament ensues.
The Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City could decide the NCAA fate for plenty of teams in the conference. While there are five schools in the conference that are basically a lock to get into the tournament, there are no less than six Big East squads that are on the NCAA bubble.