March Madness 2023: Last chances arrive for bubble teams

March Madness.PNG
B10 Ohio St Michigan St Basketball
B10 Ohio St Michigan St Basketball
B10 Ohio St Michigan St Basketball
Posted at 6:55 PM, Mar 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-10 18:55:10-05

The men's college basketball season is racing toward NCAA Tournament time. Conference tournaments this week will be capped by Selection Sunday on Sunday, March 12. Sweet 16 weekend will see games in New York City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Missouri, and Louisville, Kentucky. The Final Four is in Houston. The semifinals are on April 1, with the championship game on April 3.

March Madness is coming up fast. Here is what to know along with some key games to watch and who's on the bubble ahead of Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament:


All eyes will be on the conference tournaments this week:

— The ACC Tournament is March 7-11 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

— The Big 12 Tournament is March 8-11 in Kansas City, Missouri.

— The Big Ten Tournament is March 8-12 in Chicago.

— The Big East Tournament is March 8-11 in New York.

— The Pac-12 Tournament is March 8-11 in Las Vegas.

— The SEC Tournament is March 8-12 in Nashville, Tennessee.


Selection Sunday is March 12, when bracket matchups will be set for the First Four and first- and second-round games that stretch from Florida to California.

Sweet 16 weekend will see games in New York City (East Region), Las Vegas (West), Kansas City, Missouri (Midwest), and Louisville, Kentucky (South).

Where is the Final Four? In Houston, on April 1, with the championship game on April 3.

Basketball aficionados, take note: The women's NCAA Tournament will hold its Final Four in Dallas, a four-hour drive from Houston.


Who's going to win the national championship? With the regular season over, the betting favorites as of this week to reach the Final Four are Houston, Alabama, Kansas and Purdue, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. That matches the top teams in the NCAA's initial seed watch. UCLA is in the mix near the top in the AP Top 25, too.


These teams are already going dancing after landing their league's automatic bid: Kennesaw State (26-8, Atlantic Sun), UNC Asheville (27-7, Big South), Fairleigh Dickinson (19-14, Northeast), Drake (27-7, Missouri Valley), Furman (27-7, Southern), Louisiana-Lafayette (26-7, Sun Belt), Southeast Missouri State (19-16, Ohio Valley), Gonzaga (28-5, West Coast), College of Charleston (31-3, Colonial Athletic Association), Oral Roberts (30-4, Summit League), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (23-10, Southland), Montana State (25-9, Big Sky), Northern Kentucky (22-12, Horizon League) and Colgate (26-8, Patriot League).


West Virginia (19-14): The metrics and strength of the Big 12 work in the Mountaineers' favor. Their sleepy 78-61 loss to Kansas in the conference quarterfinals, when Bob Huggins was left to bemoan their lack of effort, does not. They may have gotten some help when fellow bubble buddy Oklahoma State was trounced by Texas.

North Carolina (20-13): Simply put, the Tar Heels probably needed to beat No. 13 Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals and couldn't get it done. They are just 8-7 over their last 15 games in a conference that was not particularly strong this season.

Rutgers (19-14): The Scarlet Knights had a chance to make Sunday a lot less stressful but lost to fifth-ranked Purdue 70-65 in a tightly contested Big Ten quarterfinal. How will the committee weigh Rutgers' early season success against the fact that it lost seven of its last 10 games?

Nevada (22-10): Oh, how Steve Alford's bunch has fallen the past two weeks. The Wolf Pack lost to Wyoming, UNLV and then in overtime to San Jose State in the Mountain West quarterfinals. Those three defeats could hurt come Sunday.


Florida Atlantic (30-3) vs. UAB (25-8), Conference USA championship, Saturday, 8:30 p.m. Eastern (CBSSN). Every team riding the NCAA Tournament bubble will be rooting for the Owls, who could slip into the dance as an at-large team if they lose to the Blazers in the finals. They would much rather FAU take the automatic berth and free up another spot for them.

Ohio State (16-18) vs. No. 5 Purdue (27-5), Saturday, 1 p.m. Eastern (CBS). The Buckeyes have been the biggest surprise of any conference tournament, but every team on the bubble will be pulling for the Boilermakers to knock them out. With two more wins, Ohio State would be swiping another bid from a potential at-large team.


AP March Madness coverage: and bracket: and and