2016 NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Last 4 In, First 4 Out

Several teams across the country are fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives during the last few days of the college basketball season,. Those themselves are squarely on the bubble and searching for big wins in their conference tournaments. At the same time, other teams who are already eliminated from their conference tournaments are holding their breath as their postseason hopes lie in the hands of the selection committee.

This could change as the conference tournaments continue, as bubble teams can earn a spot with a strong effort, or fall out because of a poor effort. Plus, another team could surprisingly win its conference tournament and steal a spot. With that in mind, here are the last four teams in the tournament, and the first four teams out. 


UConn Huskies

The Huskies play the next team on this list, the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first round of the conference tournament. The winner should be in, while the loser will remain squarely on the bubble. UConn is just 6-10 this season, but wins over Texas and Michigan will help their chances. 

Cincinnati Bearcats
The Bearcats picked up a critical win over SMU in the season finale. That was the type of high-quality win the Bearcats lacked this season. While UC isn't a lock yet, a win over UConn would be huge for their NCAA Tournament chances. 

Wichita State Shockers
The Shockers put themselves in a tough place because of a loss to Northern Iowa in the MVC tourney. That means no automatic bid for the Shockers and several bad losses could put them on the outside looking in. A win over Utah helps and the committee might give them a break because Fred VanVleet missed time this season. Wichita State needs to hope for no upsets in the conference tournaments this year.  

Monmouth Hawks
The Hawks are 27-7 this season, but a loss to Iona means they won't be getting the automatic bid. The sheer volume of wins is impressive and they are among the better mid-majors this season. However, the have three losses to teams outside the top 200 in RPI and that will hurt their chances. 


Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Tulsa has some solid wins on their resume, including a win over SMU. However, they've also lost some bad games Tulsa has two losses to teams outside the Top 100 in RPI. The Golden Hurricane is squarely on the bubble at the moment. A win over Memphis Friday is a must, but Tulsa might need another win to solidify a spot. Tulsa is just barely out for now. 

Syracuse Orange
Syracuse's hot start to the season was drastically cooled once they hit conference play, and they've finished with a 19-13 overall record this season. They do have conference wins over Duke (on the road) and Notre Dame, but also have a terrible loss to St. John's on their resume. The Orange's loss to Pittsburgh will likely result in the Syracuse just missing out, especially if a few tournament upsest occur. 

Michigan Wolverines
A win over Iowa would have been huge for the Wolverines, but they came up short. Michigan is just 3-11 against the Top 100 RPI teams and that will hurt them. As a No. 8 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, the Wolverines will need to make a bit of a run. Beating Indiana in the Quarterfinals might be enough to get Michigan into the Big Dance. 

Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State was a trendy pick to be a tournament team out of the Pac-12 behind the play of Gary Payton II, but they simply aren't a NCAA Tournament team. At 19-11, the Beavers had a .500 record in conference play (9-9) and do not have a notable win from their non-conference schedule. They still find themselves firmly on the bubble thanks to wins over USC, Oregon, and Utah, but that simply won't be enough to outweigh the negatives on their resume. A win over Cal Thursday could help their chances. 

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