Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Teams who must win one or more games in their conference tournament to make March Madness.

Champ Week is here and many bubble teams find themselves in must-win scenarios.

Texas A&M v Arkansas
Texas A&M v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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New Mexico Lobos

New Mexico looked well on their way to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014 until the Lobos dropped a heartbreaking Q4 loss to Air Force while following that up with missed Q1 opportunities against Boise State and Utah State, both on the road. If the tournament started today, the Lobos would be in a 50/50, toss-up-type situation. Strong predictive metrics but a weaker non-conference strength of schedule and lack of Q1 wins puts them right on the cut line. The Lobos will take on Air Force in the first round of the MWC Tournament with a matchup against Boise State on the line. To feel somewhat comfortable for a shot as an at-large, the Lobos will need those two wins. Anything short of that and it will be tight. Very tight.

Pittsburgh Panthers

It felt as if the road loss to Clemson in late February was the nail-in-the-coffin to Pittsburgh’s at-large hopes, but rattling off three-straight wins to close the regular season keeps the Panthers still in the discussion. As the fourth seed in the ACC Tournament, the Panthers will get a double-bye and will need to string together a conference tournament run because their NET non-conference strength of schedule, rated 342, ultimately hurts them. All hope isn’t lost but the Panthers will need some good fortunes in the ACC Tournament.