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Bracketology 2015: March Madness bubble teams update

2015 March Madness Bubble Teams PreviewDate: Sunday, February 15th 2015

THE season is winding down and bubble teams are running out of time to improve their resume and earn an at-large bid into the NCAA basketball tournament.

We’re going to take a look at the teams that are currently on the bubble looking in or out.

The regular season is almost over for some teams while others still have a handful of games left before conference tournaments begin in several weeks.

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LSU still has six tough SEC games on the schedule and they can’t afford to drop many games at this point. Two weeks ago they had a tough two game losing streak against Mississippi State and Auburn – two SEC teams that won’t be playing in the big dance.

The Tigers are 2-1 since with the loss coming against Kentucky and they have to build on that momentum. LSU will go as far as their two sophomore forwards – Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin — will take them.

Mickey is averaging a double-double (17.1 PPG & 10.8 RPG), which leads the team in both categories. Martin is second on the team in points (15.9 PPG) and rebounds (8.9 RPG). This team is young and won’t be a huge threat, but I expect them to earn a bid.

Colorado State is a middling team averaging 72.8 PPG (58th) and 37.5 RPG (44th). The Rams rank 108th in FG% (44.7%) and that isn’t going to get it done. The only reason CSU is on the bubble is because they started the season on fire (14-0) and have a great RPI.

The Rams have a win over Boise State and San Diego State, but it’s some of the losses that raise an eyebrow. CSU have lost twice to Wyoming and once to New Mexico. This team is in the tournament now, but there are five games left on the schedule.

CSU can’t afford a losing streak to end the season if they expect to earn a bid. Senior J.J. Avila needs to put this team on his back and win out. Avila leads the team in points (16.0 PPG) and rebounds (7.6 RPG).

Illinois sure aren’t pretty on the court, but they’ve shown why you never count a team out in NCAA hoops. They have a respectable RPI, however – the numbers don’t look good on paper. They rank outside of the top 100 in most statistical categories.

The only thing they’re mediocre at is scoring (71.7 PPG – 76th). From the beginning of December until the end of January this team went 8-8 and were basically out of it. This month the Fighting Illini are 3-1 and the loss was against #5 Wisconsin, which is ok.

There are five games left on the schedule and a couple of them are against other bubble teams. Illinois are 7th place in the Big Ten and they’re right on the bubble. Most of the bracketology analysts have the Fighting Illini pegged as a “last four in” team.

Don’t look now, but the Bruins have improved their resume a lot. UCLA are projected to be a last four in team this year, but they still have five games left on the schedule. The rest of the Pac-12 schedule isn’t easy, but UCLA is playing better than they have all season.

I love the fact that this team has so much depth and doesn’t rely on one player to do everything like some of these bubble teams in the mix. Norman Powell leads the team with 16.0 PPG, but the four other starters are all averaging double digits in points as well.

At one point UCLA lost five games in a row, but the schedule was brutal at that point. They beat #11 Utah at the end of January and since then the Bruins are 4-1 including a win yesterday against Oregon. I expect UCLA to fight hard and earn a tournament bid.

The Big East is tough this season and St. John’s are a team I believe should get into March Madness. They lost to #22 Butler to start this month, but they’ve since won three conference games in a row and are in good shape with six games left.

St. John’s are a team that’s right on the bubble and will need to perform well down the stretch to earn a bid. They play Georgetown twice – if they can win both of those games and move ahead of the Hoyas in the Big East they’ll definitely get in.

The Red Storm run six players consistently with other players getting minutes sporadically. D’Angelo Harrison is the leader in points (19.1 PPG) plus he averages 5.8 RPG, 1.9 APG and 1.2 SPG. Sir’Dominic Pointer leads the team with 7.4 RPG.

Keep an eye out for our conference tournament previews and March Madness picks over the next few weeks. Things are heating up in college basketball and the excitement will continue to build until a national champion has been crowned.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting. Follow Scott on Twitter


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