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 Event, the midway level of the school basketball common season has handed. Resumes are cemented, however there’s nonetheless time for some groups outdoors the NCAA Event image to show issues round and get to the Huge Dance.

Every crew that qualifies for its convention event could have an opportunity to safe an computerized bid, and people with sturdy regular-season finishes can play their approach into the general nomination. At the moment final 12 months, Virginia Tech She was solely 10-10 (2-7 ACC) and is clearly on the flawed aspect of the bubble. However the Hokies received 9 of their final 11 common season video games, then received 4 video games in 4 days within the ACC Event to achieve the NCAA Event as a No. 11 seed.

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

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

Texas A&M is not even one in every of 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 indicate how a lot work the Aggies have to do.

They’re clearly getting in the best path. 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. Based on BartTorvik.com, the Aggies carried out like a high 10 crew 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 positioned in quadrant 4 (Wofford).

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

Here is what I belief: the facility of the Huge 12. The league ranks the Streets forward of all different conferences on each metric; It’s indeniable that this league is no 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 isn’t dancing this season. West Virginia is 1-6 within the Huge 12 and 11-8 general. Not significantly better. Oklahoma faculties are 11-9 years outdated and they’re shaking. Nonetheless, the Cowboys have the ten finest protection within the nation. They personal a win over Iowa and have extra dwelling video games than street 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 crew 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 Event. That is practically a decade of outcomes after the realignment that such sluggish begins are a loss of life knell for March Insanity’ hopes. Virginia Tech getting into the 68-team discipline could be, by fashionable requirements, unprecedented. However within the Hokies I believe.

They completed their seven-game sliding streak within the league with a win duke At dwelling, however dig a bit of deeper and the dropping streak will not be as unhealthy because it appears. One loss got here in extra 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 crew 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 Event groups. With a 2-7 ACC report and already piling up losses, Virginia Tech has little margin for error. Nonetheless, in a 12 months when the league has been traditionally weak, this crew may do wonders if it had been marginally higher shifting ahead.

The schedule is effectively arrange, and given the way in which Mike Younger’s membership has dealt with adversity, I am shopping for low whereas I can. Contemplate: Virginia Tech opened ACC play 2-7 final 12 months earlier than ending 11-9 within the common season and profitable the ACC event outright to finally 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 faculties in a convincing method. The Utes are simply 4-7 in opposition to Quads 1 and a pair of however are an ideal 10-0 in opposition to Quads 3 and 4. 5 of their final 10 video games are from Quad 1, giving them ample alternative to enhance their resume. Huge man Branden Carlson performs one of the best basketball of his profession, averaging 17 factors and seven.6 rebounds on 56.8% capturing from the ground. He additionally blocks 2.3 pictures per recreation and shoots 43.8% from past the arc on 3.2 makes an attempt per recreation, which is a superb quantity for a seven-footer.

Carlson’s edge safety is without doubt one of the causes Utah’s protection is among the many finest within the nation. Opponents shoot solely 37.4% from the ground in opposition to 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 crew will discover itself on the best aspect of the anticipated bubble very quickly. – David Cobb

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