March 3, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins forward Travis Wear (24) and guard Lazeric Jones (11) defends a shot by Washington Huskies guard Tony Wroten (14) in the first half of the game at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
The bubble is a scary place to be.
A group of very nervous NCAA Tournament bubble teams anxiously awaits the Selection Sunday announcements for which teams are in and which teams are out. All this drama is set to begin on CBS's Selection Sunday show at 3 p.m.
There are a bevy of bubble teams - Northwestern, Drexel, South Florida, Xavier, Marshall, Miami, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Seton Hall, and Texas - to name a few. In the Pac-12, Cal, at 24-9 and an RPI of 36, have a great chance of sneaking in along with Pac-12 Tournament winning Colorado to represent their conference in the Dance. The Buffaloes neighbors, Colorado State, also have a good chance of making it in off the bubble, with quality wins against UNLV and New Mexico this year, a 20-11 record, and an RPI of 27.
One of the more intriguing bubble teams this year, though, are the Washington Huskies. As Pac-12 regular season champions, it's noteworthy that in the modern era, no winner of the 'big six' conferences has missed the NCAAs. That could happen this year.
As recently as Saturday morning, some analysts had the Huskies likely going to the dance. Joe Lunardi of ESPN had them as a No. 12 seed playing in the play-in game. Later on Saturday, he bumped them out of the tourney all together.
SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean had the Huskies as one of his 'last four teams' out on Saturday morning. This morning, it got worse, with Dobbertean dropping the Huskies even further to his 'next four out' list. That's how this weekend has gone, largely, for Husky hoops fans.
Want an explanation on how a major conference winner, with 14 conference wins, could miss the big dance? Eamon Brennen of ESPN had this to say about the Huskies' hopes to reach the NCAAs on Saturday morning in his Bubble Watch column:
It's official: Washington fans have absolutely no right to complain about the Huskies' "lack of respect" in regard to their at-large NCAA tournament chances. When you have this resume -- when your best nonconference win is UC Santa Barbara and your best league win (and the only top-70 victory) is at home against Oregon -- you simply cannot afford to end the Pac-12 tournament the way the Huskies ended theirs. Thursday's second-round loss to Oregon State may well spell "NIT" for the Huskies. They have the regular-season conference title going for them and ... that's pretty much it. They're 0-5 against the RPI top 50, 4-8 against the top 100, 6-8 away from their own building, with an RPI near 70. Nothing about this resume screams NCAA tournament team. They'll stay on the page for now, but it really isn't looking good. Considering all the NBA talent on this roster, the current state of affairs has to be considered a massive disappointment.
The Dawgs got themselves into this position by losing their final two games of the season, against UCLA in their finale, then to Oregon State in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament. Despite winning the Pac-12 title outright in the regular season, the Huskies' unimpressive RPI this year could spell their doom.
The bubble is a scary place to be. Stay tuned...
Selection Sunday kicks off at 3 p.m. on CBS as the NCAA Tournament bracket is revealed to the world. Check back with our Selection Sunday StoryStream throughout the day, and the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, for the latest updates. Make sure you check back to SB Nation's Printable Bracket StoryStream to start making your picks.