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BUBBLE MATH

March 05, 2012
March 05, 2012

Table of Contents
March 5, 2012

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
THE MARLINS
NFL DRAFT 2012
  • The combine kicked off two months of massive intrigue at football's most important position. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn—quarterbacks stand front and center as the draft and free agency seasons begin

PRO BASKETBALL
PRO HOCKEY
SPECIAL REPORT
  • AFTER THREE STRAIGHT TRIPS TO THE FINAL FOUR, BEN HOWLAND'S BRUINS UNEXPECTEDLY BEGAN TO STRUGGLE. FORMER PLAYERS AND STAFF MEMBERS TELL A CAUTIONARY TALE OF HOW DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS AND MISTAKES IN JUDGMENT CAN SABOTAGE EVEN A STORIED PROGRAM

Departments

BUBBLE MATH

With less than two weeks until Selection Sunday these eight teams—four perennial tournament squads and four upstarts hoping to crash the party—have some work left to do

NCAA MARCH MADNESS

This is an article from the March 5, 2012 issue

USUAL SUSPECTS

Texas(18--11)

BAD LOSSES: Oregon State (neutral)

QUALITY WINS: vs. Temple, vs. Iowa State, vs. Kansas State

REMAINING GAMES: vs. Oklahoma, at Kansas

Upsetting the Jayhawks or making a deep Big 12 tourney run would give a big boost to this talented team that has made 12 consecutive trips to the NCAAs.

BYU(24--7)

BAD LOSSES: at Utah State, vs. Loyola Marymount

QUALITY WINS: vs. Gonzaga

REMAINING GAMES: WCC tournament

Few of their wins really stand out, but a good showing in the WCC tournament could put the Cougars, who are 11--4 in road or neutral-site games, on track for their sixth straight NCAA tournament bid.

West Virginia(17--12)

BAD LOSSES: vs. Kent State, at St. John's

QUALITY WINS: at Kansas State, vs. Georgetown, vs. Cincinnati

REMAINING GAMES: vs. DePaul, at South Florida

Forward Kevin Jones is among the nation's best players, but five close losses could relegate the Mountaineers to the NIT for the first time in Bob Huggins's five-year tenure in Morgantown.

Xavier(18--10)

BAD LOSSES: at Hawaii

QUALITY WINS: at Vanderbilt, vs. Purdue, vs. Cincinnati

REMAINING GAMES: at Saint Louis, vs. Charlotte

Losing five of six games after their now infamous on-court brawl with Cincinnati on Dec. 10 could keep the Musketeers on the outside for just the fourth time in the last 15 years.

DANCE CRASHERS

South Florida(18--11)

BAD LOSSES: Penn State (neutral), at Auburn

QUALITY WINS: vs. Seton Hall, vs. Cincinnati

REMAINING GAMES: at Louisville, vs. West Virginia

Winning at least 11 games in the Big East is impressive. The Bulls, who last made the Big Dance in 1992, could play their way in with a good showing in the league tourney.

Saint Louis(22--6)

BAD LOSSES: at Loyola Marymount, at Rhode Island

QUALITY WINS: at Xavier

REMAINING GAMES: vs. Xavier, vs. Duquesne

The ploddingly efficient, defense-first Billikens seemed a lock for their first bid of the five-year Rick Majerus era, but now a strong A-10 tournament showing is a must.

Middle Tennessee State(25--5)

BAD LOSSES: at UAB, vs. Western Kentucky

QUALITY WINS: Mississippi (neutral court), vs. Belmont

REMAINING GAMES: Sun Belt tournament

A middle-rung mid-major without any marquee victories, the Sun Belt regular-season champs might also have to win the conference tournament to earn their first NCAA tournament bid since 1989.

Northwestern(17--11)

BAD LOSSES: at Minnesota

QUALITY WINS: vs. Seton Hall, vs. Michigan State

REMAINING GAMES: vs. Ohio State, at Iowa

Playing in the nation's toughest conference has hurt the Wildcats, but a few wins in the Big Ten tournament could seal their first invitation to the NCAAs.

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NINE PHOTOS