It's last call for teams on the bubble as major conference tournaments kick into high gear across the country on Wednesday. Five teams in action are hoping to advance to the portion of their conference tournament bracket where they can earn games that would help their respective NCAA Tournament cases. Failing to advance will make for a nervous Selection Sunday, at best.
One bubble team not yet in action is Rutgers, which plays on Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament. There were anonymous-sourced reports circulating among the Scarlet Knights fan sites that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee was going to take into consideration the fact that the Big Ten ruled the shot that defeated Rutgers at Ohio State on Dec. 8 should not have counted. Those reports also claimed that such a note would appear on Rutgers' team sheet.
On the surface, that sounded ridiculous. Why would the NCAA Selection Committee go down the endless rabbit hole of "considering" officiating mistakes? If that's the case, Duke would like to have couple of words. Not to mention the fact that not all officiating errors that impact games happen at the end of those games. They would need a five-week meeting to create the bracket, not a five-day meeting.
Also, while the committee has reports on every team detailing all kinds of possible extenuating circumstances for each of those teams, none of those reports actually appear on the team sheet itself; that would make them more like team pamphlets.
I think someone was yanking the chain of these reporters, especially since getting a sourced answer to that is not too difficult.
I contacted the NCAA and asked Media Coordinator David Worlock if the report about Rutgers was true. I received a two-word answer in response: "Not true."
NCAA Tournament locks
Locks based on résumé: 27 | Bids secured: 10 | At-large spots remaining: 31
On the cutline
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Check out all the teams on Palm's Bubble Watch, the field of the 68 and the entire bracket on the Bracketology hub
Bubble teams in action Wednesday
|vs. Ohio State, 6:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Badgers and their weird tournament resume look to survive and advance today in the Big Ten Tournament. Wisconsin will need more than a win here to have a good chance to make the NCAA Tournament, though. The Buckeyes are more talented than their record would indicate, so this is a dangerous opponent for the Badgers.|
|vs. Boston College, 7 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The best thing you can say about North Carolina's tournament resume is that they have no bad losses. A loss today, however, and you can no longer say that. You would also no longer say the Tar Heels have any shot of making the NCAA Tournament field.|
|vs. Texas Tech, 7 p.m. | ESPNU, fuboTV (Try for free) -- West Virginia split the season series with the Red Raiders road-and-road. The Mountaineers may be able to get into the NCAA Tournament, even with a loss, but they would need help in other places. A win would give them a shot at top-seed Kansas.|
|vs. Oklahoma, 9:30 p.m. | ESPNU, fuboTV (Try for free) -- The Cowboys need this win, at a minimum, and maybe more. Oklahoma State is just 17-14 on the season and two games below .500 against the top three quadrants. What also separates them from West Virginia, for example, is that they have a Quad 3 loss.|
|vs. Oregon State, 11:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network, fuboTV (Try for free) -- Arizona State is looking to get another shot at USC, which would be next for the Sun Devils if they beat the Beavers. They have wins over Arizona and Creighton, which are good, and a victory over fellow bubbler Michigan. There are just too many losses to teams that are not going to the tournament, especially the Quad 4 loss to Texas Southern.|
All references to NCAA Tournament selection records and trends refer only to tournaments going back to 1994 with the exception of 2021. Due to shortened schedules and a relatively small number of nonconference games in 2021, those rankings were not reliable enough to be considered.