Comedy Central and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of comedy partners. The Purdue Boilermakers have battled through several close calls recently, but they remain cemented on the No. 1 line in our latest projection of the ucf bitcoin bowl tickets men’s NCAA tournament.
If you are among the throngs of sports fans who wait until after the Super Bowl to start paying attention to college basketball, welcome to a world where things are considerably different than usual. Annual powerhouses like Duke, Michigan State, Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky entered the season among the favorites to win the national championship, but not one of them is in great shape for a No. Instead, well-rounded, defensive-minded, veteran teams like Purdue, Virginia and Villanova have separated from the pack and become the teams to beat. At the opposite end of the bracket spectrum, this season’s bubble picture is much uglier than it has been previously. Normally, there are a handful of deserving teams left out. This time, though, it was hard to justify why the last three teams belong in the tournament. As always, we will take a look at the last five teams to make the field, the first five out and a few others on the horizon.
Then we will defend the rankings of the No. 1 seeds, followed by a summary of the field broken up by conference. The defense of LSU as a projected tournament team begins by pointing out just how ugly things have gotten on the bubble recently. In the previous projection, the last three teams in were South Carolina, Marquette and Kansas State, and the first three teams out were Virginia Tech, SMU and Western Kentucky. Apologies to those teams for that curse, but since then, they went a combined 2-9 with wins over UTEP and Boston College. Throw in Syracuse’s multiple losses to drop out of the field, and the standard for being one of the top 36 at-large teams in the country has been lowered considerably. Thus, let’s welcome the nine-loss Tigers.
Will Wade’s bunch also had a neutral-court win over Michigan and a home win over Houston. Not one of those wins is fantastic, but the collection is solid and arguably does enough to counterbalance the losses to Stephen F. Remember, the bar for sneaking into the field has been lowered. If you find that hard to believe, just wait until we get to the First 5 Out slide. Temple has several dreadful losses: George Washington, La Salle, Memphis and Tulane. Temple also has three extremely impressive wins: neutral-court games against Clemson and Auburn and a home game against Wichita State. Yes, 10 losses is a lot, but the Owls played one of the toughest schedules in the country, and Vanderbilt got in as a No.
9 seed with 15 losses in the same scenario last year. A 6-2 record the rest of the way should be more than enough for Temple. Boise State was the top beneficiary of the aforementioned carnage. The Broncos were previously our fourth team out, but they climbed back into the projected field after nothing more than an overtime win at home against UNLV. Because the Broncos don’t have a single Group 1 victory, though, they are at the mercy of what the major conference teams on the bubble are able to do during the next several weeks. USC blew a double-digit lead against UCLA, snapping a six-game winning streak with a loss to a team not in the projected field.