There are several teams on the brink and a few that were probably pushed over the cliff due to bad performances in their conference tournaments this week.
Atlantic Sun: Belmont
Big South: UNC Asheville
CAA: Old Dominion
MAAC: St. Peter's
Missouri Valley: Indiana State
Northeast: Long Island
Ohio Valley: Morehead State
Sun Belt: Arkansas-Little Rock
West Coast: Gonzaga
Teams that helped their cause:
Colorado (21-12): The Buffaloes can breathe easier after their 87-75 win over Kansas State on Thursday. A win over Kansas tonight would all but seal the deal.
Marquette (20-14): Marquette really took one on the chin in an 81-56 loss to Louisville on Thursday. But the two wins the Warriors picked up on Tuesday and Wednesday over Providence and West Virginia were likely all they needed for a bid.
Michigan State (18-13): The Spartans absolutely had to beat Iowa on Thursday. And they did. A win against Purdue today would erase any doubts.
Memphis (23-9): Despite 22 wins during the regular season, Memphis was in trouble. Holding on to beat Southern Mississippi on Thursday could have been what the Tigers needed. Beating East Carolina today should put them at ease.
UNLV (24-7): The Rebels were probably in already, but you never know these days. Thursday’s 69-53 win over Air Force was their sixth straight.
USC (19-13): We have an interesting scenario here. The Trojans have won six of their last seven games, including Thursday night’s win over Cal. USC wasn’t even a bubble team two weeks ago.
Tennessee (19-13): The Volunteers should be back in the good graces of the tournament selection committee after beating Arkansas on Thursday. A win over Florida tonight will seal the deal for the Vols, who have wins over Villanova, Pitt, Memphis and Vanderbilt on their resume.
Potential bid stealers:
Stony Brook (15-16): Yes, our own Seawolves will steal a bid if they beat Boston University in the America East final on Saturday. In fact, so will Boston University, which despite being a second seed, wasn't close to getting an at-large bid. The Seawolves crushed top-seeded Vermont in the semifinal, 69-47. With his team at or near 100 percent physically, you have to figure Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell feels good about his team's chances.
Duquesne (18-11): Watch out bubble lurkers. The Duques had a stretch during the regular season when they were unstoppable. It was an 11-game win streak that included wins over Temple and a 20-win Dayton squad. Seeing Duquesne in the Atlantic-10 final wouldn’t be a shock.
Oregon: The Ducks crushed UCLA on Thursday night. If they pull off the miracle and win the PAC-10 Tournament, some bubble team is going to feel it on selection Sunday.
Mississippi (20-12): The Rebels are starting to catch fire, which is bad news for the bubble teams. With a third-place finish in the SEC west division standings, Mississippi was considered an afterthought. A win against Kentucky today vaults them into the SEC title game. Bubblers be ware.
San Jose State (17-14): The Spartans, who upset Idaho on Thursday night, face Utah State tonight. A win would send them to the WAC title game. The bad news: They got handled by Utah State twice this season. The good news: Beating a team three times isn’t the easiest thing to do.
New Mexico State (16-16): The Aggies also figure into the bid-stealing crew. They already have a win over tonight’s opponent in a WAC semifinal, Boise State. A win tonight would put them in the WAC final against Utah State or San Jose State. Either way, it’s a game that has toss-up written all over it.