Betting the bubble: Four teams fighting for field of 68

Feb 15, 2013 |
UCLA is watching its tournament hopes slip away with bad losses.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
UCLA is watching its tournament hopes slip away with bad losses.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
The NCAA tournament bubble is growing more and more each week, with teams trying to make a case for the final field of 68.

There is just under a month left in the regular season for most programs, putting the crunch on those whose resumes may not be up to snuff. That pressure can sometimes give teams added betting value as Selection Sunday draws near.

Here are four bubble teams bettors should keep an eye on down the stretch:

Boise State Broncos (16-8 SU, 10-10 ATS)

Key wins: Creighton, UNLV, Wyoming (twice)

The Broncos are a testament to just how deep the Mountain West Conference is. Experts are projecting five MWC teams to make the NCAA, given there are no upsets in the mid-major tournaments. Boise State needs another win over a conference power to lock down a spot, with upcoming games versus Colorado State, and San Diego State.

North Carolina Tar Heels (17-8 SU, 14-9 ATS)

Key wins: UNLV

Strength of schedule alone won’t be enough for UNC if it doesn’t start winning key ACC games. The Tar Heels have played plenty of good teams but failed to pick up a resume booster in both non-conference and conference play. North Carolina must win upcoming tilts with N.C. State, Maryland and Duke – and hope the Terrapins stumble – to make the cut.

Mississippi Rebels (19-6 SU, 11-9 ATS)

Key wins: Missouri

No team benefits more from Nerlens Noel’s season-ending injury than Ole Miss. The Rebels are running neck-and-neck with Kentucky, which already has a win over them this season. Mississippi’s lone feather in its cap is a win over Missouri and the remaining schedule isn’t built to impress. Ole Miss will have to win out and win out big in those seven games to remove all doubts.

UCLA Bruins (19-7 SU, 10-15 ATS)

Key wins: Arizona, Missouri

The Bruins seemed locked into a tourney ticket earlier in Pac-12 play, but three bad losses in their last five games have made UCLA very bubbly. The crazy thing is, the Bruins have enough talent to make some noise in March. They just need to get the job done during the upcoming sked, which has UCLA on the road in three of those five games.
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