It’s March 1st and the final week of the college basketball regular season!
After this Sunday it’ll be only postseason survive-and-advance play in conference tourneys and the Big Dance. The bubble’s got about 12-20 teams who have really shaky resumes right now and will be holding their breath over the next week. Some are really in do-or-die mode and have to start winning right here and right now.
Here are five teams that will likely not be able to survive a loss in their regular-season finales and the first couple of conference tournament games.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Without their wins over Virginia and Florida State this week they’d already be out of the picture, but if the Tar Heels lose either their finale with Duke or the first ACC Tournament game, that might be the end of the line for the 2022 national runner-ups.
They finish the season with Notre Dame and will need a big ACC tournament run at this point for an at-large to be possible with how poor a resume they’ve built to this point. I’m not holding my breath.
New Mexico Lobos
The Lobos really need to ride their train all the way to the Mountain West championship game, and if they get that far without an L they might as well win the auto-bid and remove all suspense.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys are in the extremely unfortunate position of having 14 losses, which means the next would be the deadly 15th. Very, very few teams have won an at-large with 15 losses, and if they are going to do it they need to win at least two more games first at the bare minimum. Any L’s before the Big 12 semis and they’re done.
I haven’t heard anyone talk about the Ducks all season and that’s not a good thing for their at-large hopes. They finish their season this week with Cal and Stanford. Lose either of those and only the auto-bid will put them in the field. Win both and maybe a Pac-12 Tournament run will be enough for the last spot. Maybe.