A Big Weekend For Bubble Teams

As the NCAA basketball tournament looms on the horizon, some teams are starting to jockey for position in order to get the best possible seeds. But more importantly, some teams are just looking to get hot so they can make it into the Big Dance, and here is a look at five teams who need a win to keep their Tournament dreams alive.

West Virginia – Some have the Mountaineers in the Tournament comfortably, but they have a 7-6 record in the Big East ahead of a tough closing stretch, starting with a visit from Notre Dame, and then they have the second edition of the “Backyard Brawl” at Pittsburgh next week. Some experts don’t believe that the Big East should have as many as eight teams in the Tournament, a record they set, so the Mountaineers need to move up the standings.

Boston College – The Eagles were cruising along, but have dropped four of six and have an extremely tough trip to North Carolina this weekend. Boston College missed the NCAA basketball tournament last year, and a win in Chapel Hill may be what puts them over the top.

Michigan State – No team has been more disappointing then the Spartans, who went from the Final Four last season to a bubble team in 2011. The Spartans haven’t missed the Tournament since 1997, and they may have to run the table to get there again, starting with this weekend’s visit from Purdue.

Butler – Speaking of disappointments, the Bulldogs came within a shot of one of the biggest championship upsets in history against Duke last season, but now they may need to win the Horizon tournament to make their fifth straight appearance at the Big Dance. However, the Bulldogs have won five in a row ahead of a visit from Illinois-Chicago, and they should have seven straight wins to take some momentum into the Horizon tournament, which they have won in two of the last three years.

Washington State – The Cougars missed the Tournament in 2009 and 2010, and they sit at 7-7 in the Pac-10 as they prepare for this weekend’s visit to Arizona State. More importantly, the Cougars will travel to rival Washington on February 27th and that could hold the key to Washington State punching their Dance ticket. They’ve already beaten the Huskies once this year, and if they could claim a massive win on the road against their state rivals, they would have an excellent shot at reaching the Tournament, even without winning the Pac-10 tournament.