We have a new feature starting this week here at ScoresandStats.com where we start to take a closer look at who will make the field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament. We will delve into most major conferences and look into what teams need to keep winning not only this week but in the future if they want an invite to the Big Dance.
Betting Look at the ACC Bubble - Several Teams In Tourney and Several With Work To Do
If you look at Intertops odds to win the college basketball national championship, Duke is a resounding favorite (+185) and Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, N.C. State and Florida State all have odds of less of +7500 or less to cut down the nets.
Also on the list of teams are Syracuse, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Clemson and we will hone in on those four teams and talk about a couple others.
The Orange's defense is as good as ever in allowing points in the low 60's, but Jim Boeheim does not have enough shooters, which limits their chances against the better teams in the league who can score. Having just played Duke on Monday, the 'Cuse has to win and likely cover at home against Pittsburgh (1/19) and Miami (1/24) before playing three straight ACC away outings.
Louisville helped themselves tremendously by pounding North Carolina (1/12) at Chapel Hill. They will have a good shot at winning their next three home games (B.C., N.C. State, and Pitt), but cannot slip up at Georgia Tech (1/19).
Notre Dame and Clemson at this time do not send off a vibe of a tournament team. This is the youngest Fighting Irish team in years and in the next few weeks will face four Top 20 ACC teams plus play at Georgia Tech. Hard to like their chances of winning and covering many spreads. Clemson is like Syracuse offensively, they can have extended periods without making shots. The Tigers started ACC play 0-3 SU and ATS and do not have one notable victory. Time is already running out on Clemson.
The Yellow Jackets can up their status after beating Syracuse, by knocking off (@) Clemson (1/16), Louisville (1/19) and Notre Dame (1/22) to give them a four-game winning streak. Beating the oddsmakers spreads only makes it more convincing.
Pittsburgh has exceeded all expectations to this point and that is shown with an 11-4 ATS record. If the Panthers could somehow go 2-2 at Syracuse, at Louis., Duke and FSU, the schedule is easier for a few weeks after that and they could make a case for voters.
Betting Look at the ACC Bubble - Can The American Secure a 4th Team For the Tourney?
Houston, Central Florida and Cincinnati look like locks to make the NCAA Tournament.
Temple could be that fourth team if you look at their 13-3 record. But a deeper dive shows they might be just more clutch than good with a scoring differential of only +4.8. Beating Houston helped, but they will need to do that at H-Town (1/31) and win home games versus Cincy (1/27) and UCF (3/9) and keep winning otherwise.
Unless SMU, Memphis or South Florida are in the Top 3 in the final AAC standings and finish at least second in the conference tournament, their path off the bubble seems blocked with no impressive wins outside of league play.