Betting the bubble: Four teams fighting for field of 68
The final week of the regular season for the major conferences presents many bubble teams with a last chance to dance, needing convincing wins to inject their tournament hopes with life.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, which means college basketball bettors can find added value with these bubble teams against the spread. Here are four teams hoping to slide into the field of 68 at the last second.
Kentucky Wildcats (20-9 SU, 10-16 ATS)
Key wins: Missouri
It’s crazy to think the defending national champs might not make the tournament cut. But here we are in the final week of the schedule and Kentucky is teetering on a Selection Sunday snub. The Wildcats had a three-game winning run snapped at Arkansas, which makes this week’s games at Georgia and at home to Florida must-win situations.
Villanova Wildcats (18-12 SU, 17-9-1 ATS)
Key wins: Marquette, Syracuse, Louisville
We had the Wildcats on this list last week, heading into an important matchup with Pittsburgh. Villanova came up short in overtime and now Wednesday’s home game versus No. 5 Georgetown may be all that stands between the Wildcats and a spot in the NCAA. At least they get the Hoyas at home, where they’ve scored their biggest conference wins this season.
Maryland Terrapins (20-9 SU, 10-11-1 ATS)
Key wins: Duke, NC State
The Terrapins have two huge games this week. Maryland has a chance to set back UNC’s tournament hopes at home Wednesday then can jump over Virginia in the selection pecking order if they can knock off the Cavaliers in Charlottesville this weekend. Even if it wins both games, Maryland may still have its bubble burst on Selection Sunday.
Iowa State Cyclones (19-10 SU, 12-12-0 ATS)
Key wins: Kansas State, Oklahoma
The Cyclones could be the odd men out in the Big 12 after losing at Oklahoma last weekend. Iowa State’s last chance to impress comes versus No. 14 Oklahoma State at home Wednesday. It lost by two the last time it took on the Cowboys. The Cyclones finish the schedule at West Virginia – a game that can do nothing but damage ISU’s resume if it comes out flat.