The Longhorns got smacked around by Texas Tech the last time out and they’ll need to beat TCU in their finale on Saturday or make a strong run in the Big 12 conference championship to have a real shot to get into the NCAA Tournament. Right now, I don’t see it happening, even though I really like Shaka Smart.
TCU has lost three straight against West Virginia, Texas Tech and K-State heading into Saturday’s regular season finale against Texas. I like the Horned frogs to get into the Big Dance by somehow managing to reach the 20-win mark before Selection Sunday.
Consecutive losses against Georgia and LSU have the Gators on the bubble heading into their regular season finale against Kentucky on Saturday. The Gators have also suffered a pair of losses against Tennessee. They also lost to the Wildcats by 11 in their earlier regular season meeting. Unless the Gators make a strong showing in the SEC tournament, I think they’ll get left on the outside looking in. Again.
Unlike schools like Ohio State, the dominant football program of Alabama is not translating well to the hardwood. The Crimson Tide are in deep danger of not making the tournament seeing as how they’ve dropped two straight and five of their last eight games heading into their regular season closer against Arkansas. They also lost to the hogs the last time they met. Basically, Alabama just doesn’t have enough wins over quality opponents this season for anyone to justify them getting into March Madness. And that includes a convincing win against Arkansas tomorrow.
Seton Hall (17-12)
The Pirates dropped three straight. But then they beat Big East-leading Marquette 73-64 on Wednesday night. Wins over Kentucky and Georgetown should be enough to get Seton Hall into the tourney as a No. 14 or 15 seed. I think their pedigree of tournament success will also play a factor like it does for so many bubble teams.
The Orange have gone a modest 5-5 over their last 10 games and they have drama surrounding the vehicular accident that Jim Boeheim was involved in. But despite Syracuse suffering a trio of recent losses against Virginia, North Carolina and Duke (those aren’t slouches), the Orange have also recorded quality wins against Louisville, Duke, Clemson and Notre Dame among others. I like Syracuse to get into March Madness. And they also have a surprising knack for going deep (or at least into the sweet 16) once they get in. They’ve proven they can beat anyone in the country and deserve a shot.
Chase Knox is a college basketball analyst for Wannamakeabet.com