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    Lovers of parity have been foaming at the mouth at this season’s college basketball results. At times, it seems like there are no truly good teams. There are major flaws in each of the top teams, and it will truly be anybody’s game come tournament time. The parity has extended beyond the Top 25, as the bubble features some big-name programs that we’re accustomed to seeing as top seeds in the tournament. Programs like last year’s runner-up North Carolina, the Michigan Wolverines, Texas Tech, USC, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma State have struggled this season and could be on the outside looking in. Here, we’ll look at some of the big names and their resumes as we approach the madness.

    North Carolina

    What a disaster this season has been for Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels. They came in at #1 (number one) in the preseason Top 25, and are currently a middling ACC team. They hold an 18-11 overall record and a mediocre 10-8 in-conference record. The main knock on the Tar Heels all season has been their lack of quality wins. Their win over Virginia on Saturday marked their first Quad 1 victory of the entire season. Will it be enough to propel them into the tournament? Likely not. They finish off the season against Florida State, and at home against Duke. A win against the Blue Devils would increase their chances, but they’ll likely need some magic in the ACC tournament along with some luck across the nation to sneak into the tournament this season.

    Wisconsin

    The Badgers had a front-row seat to one of the wildest regular-season Saturdays that I can remember. Simply put, Hunter Dickinson might have knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament.

    And it won’t get any easier to end the season. They finish off against Purdue, albeit at home. They should pick up a win in their final game against an abysmal Minnesota squad, but the game against Purdue might be a ‘win and get in’ type of game. It would certainly bolster their resume, but I’m not sure how the committee would react to a loss against an elite Purdue squad. Personally, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt, but that’s why I’m sitting here writing about college basketball instead of voting on the tournament teams. My formula for an automatic Wisconsin bid is this: beat Purdue, beat Minnesota, and win at least two Big Ten tournament games. Simple enough, right?

    Michigan

    Any Michigan fans out there, you’re welcome for putting Wisconsin first so you get to re-live that win twice. What a game. I still think that win keeps them on either a “First Four Out” or “Next Four Out” list, but they’re knocking at the door. They have two great opportunities to close the season out, albeit against tough opponents in Illinois and Indiana. This is a chance for Juwan Howard to make a statement in his coaching career. They’re sitting at 55 in the NCAA’s Net Rankings, which is a good sign for their tournament chances. If they can win at least one out of their last two games and make a run in the Big Ten tournament, they have a shot at moving into the “Last Four In” section. I saved this until the end so that our Michigan fans wouldn’t get mad at me, but they’re going to get waxed by Illinois and Indiana. But hey, great win against the Badgers!

    Texas Tech

    The loss against TCU was an absolute killer. The Red Raiders looked like they were heating up at the perfect time, ripping off four straight wins, two of those against ranked teams in Texas and Kansas State. They were in a great spot to make it five in a row against #24 TCU, and were favored in the game by two points. I don’t think anybody expects them to go into Lawrence tomorrow and win, but if they pulled off that win against TCU, some might have felt differently. Their tournament resume suffered mightily with that loss, and the path is looking incredibly difficult to make the big dance. Texas Tech finishes the season on the road against #3 Kansas, and at home against Oklahoma State. After their loss against TCU, they’re on the outside looking in. Simply put, they’ll have to pull off a miracle against Kansas if they want any shot at making the tournament, and even then, a deep run in the Big 12 tournament might be needed. If you’ve watched any college basketball this season, you know that the Big 12 is far and away the best conference in the nation, and any team is going to be a tough test. It’s looking like the Red Raiders are moving on to next season.

    AP Photo/Chase Seabolt
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    About Author

    Matt K

    Matt is the Social Media Manager at RYP and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He has experience managing social media accounts with agencies, small brands, and large companies. He’s a diehard New England sports fanatic, and if he’s not watching the Celtics, he can be found roaming around Boston discovering all that the city has to offer.

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