Dribble Handoff: Teams who can finish strong play their way to the 2023 NCAA Tournament

With lower than seven weeks left till Sunday scheduled for the 2023 NCAA Match, the midway level of the school basketball common season has handed. Resumes are cemented, however there’s nonetheless time for some groups exterior the NCAA Match image to show issues round and get to the Large Dance.

Every group that qualifies for its convention event could have an opportunity to safe an automated bid, and people with sturdy regular-season finishes can play their approach into the general nomination. Presently final yr, Virginia Tech She was solely 10-10 (2-7 ACC) and is clearly on the improper aspect of the bubble. However the Hokies gained 9 of their final 11 common season video games, then gained 4 video games in 4 days within the ACC Match to achieve the NCAA Match as a No. 11 seed.

Because it occurs, the Hokies discover themselves in an analogous place this season of needing an enormous end to make the 68-team ballpark. Loads of different high-ambitious pre-season groups are discovering themselves firmly on the improper aspect of the bubble as February approaches.

On this week’s version of Dribble Handoff, our writers choose the groups which might be presently out of CBS Sports activities Brackets science Projected NCAA Match pitcher Jerry Palm who they consider will play on the Large Dance.

Texas A&M is not even one in all them Jerry Palm first 4 out, which is kind of comprehensible. I did not write that to spotlight a perceived error a lot as to point out how a lot work the Aggies have to do.

They’re clearly stepping into the proper course. After a 6-5 begin that noticed a number of troubling losses, Texas A&M has gone 7-1 in its previous eight video games with the one loss in Kentucky. In line with BartTorvik.com, the Aggies carried out like a high 10 group in that eight-game stretch. So they’re now 3-4 within the first two quarters, with one further loss falling in quarter 3 (Murray State) and one other situated in quadrant 4 (Wofford).

This isn’t cool. Nonetheless, eight of Texas A&M’s final 12 common season video games will likely be Quadruple 1 contests based mostly on present NET rankings. If the Aggies proceed their high-profile play from latest weeks, they need to win sufficient of these Quad-1 video games to make their first NCAA Match beneath Buzz Williams. – Gary Parish

This is what I belief: the facility of the Large 12. The league ranks the Streets forward of all different conferences on each metric; It’s indeniable that this league is #1. There’s a hole between the highest six (choose your order) from IowaAnd TexasAnd Kansas StateAnd KansasAnd TCU And Baylor. Any of those groups can win the league, and the opposite 4 are one or two ranges decrease.

Nonetheless, I see one of many OklahomaOklahoma State West Virginia And Texas Tech He’ll discover a complete profile. TTU remains to be winless within the league; It is not dancing this season. West Virginia is 1-6 within the Large 12 and 11-8 total. Not a lot better. Oklahoma colleges are 11-9 years previous and they’re shaking. Nonetheless, the Cowboys have the ten finest protection within the nation. They personal a win over Iowa and have extra residence video games than highway video games remaining. Quadruple 1 wins exist. Even whether it is hardly, even when it means going to Dayton For the primary 4, I will experience with Pokes. Matt Norlander

Virginia Tech

No group beneath the ACC’s present 1-7 configuration has ever began league play and gone on to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Match. That is almost a decade of outcomes after the realignment that such gradual begins are a demise knell for March Insanity’ hopes. Virginia Tech coming into the 68-team area could be, by trendy requirements, unprecedented. However within the Hokies I believe.

They completed their seven-game sliding streak within the league with a win duke At residence, however dig a bit deeper and the dropping streak will not be as unhealthy because it appears. One loss got here in additional time, three had been by one possession, and one loss was by one level, all of which had been by 10 factors or much less.

This group is about to show round. It is forty ninth in NET, forty sixth in KenPom, and forty sixth in BartTorvikā€”in the identical neighborhood because the anticipated NCAA Match groups. With a 2-7 ACC document and already piling up losses, Virginia Tech has little margin for error. Nonetheless, in a yr when the league has been traditionally weak, this group might do wonders if it had been marginally higher shifting ahead.

The schedule is nicely arrange, and given the way in which Mike Younger’s membership has dealt with adversity, I am shopping for low whereas I can. Take into account: Virginia Tech opened ACC play 2-7 final yr earlier than ending 11-9 within the common season and successful the ACC event outright to ultimately earn an 11 seed. Do not write off this program too quickly. – Kyle Boone

On 14-7 (7-3 Pac-12), Utah pulled into form after a sweep of Washington colleges in a convincing method. The Utes are simply 4-7 towards Quads 1 and a pair of however are an ideal 10-0 towards Quads 3 and 4. 5 of their final 10 video games are from Quad 1, giving them ample alternative to enhance their resume. Large man Branden Carlson performs the very best basketball of his profession, averaging 17 factors and seven.6 rebounds on 56.8% taking pictures from the ground. He additionally blocks 2.3 photographs per recreation and shoots 43.8% from past the arc on 3.2 makes an attempt per recreation, which is a wonderful quantity for a seven-footer.

Carlson’s edge safety is among the causes Utah’s protection is among the many finest within the nation. Opponents shoot solely 37.4% from the ground towards Utes and solely 28% from behind the arc. Each manufacturers are within the high 10 nationally, and Utah has enemies solely 62.3 factors per recreation, which is twenty eighth within the nation.

The Utah offense is not elite, however the Utes hit higher than 50% from the ground on their blast. Washington state Washington final week. If these performances mark the turning level of the offense, this group will discover itself on the proper aspect of the anticipated bubble very quickly. – David Cobb

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