The final week of the season is upon us. Only the conference tournaments remain for teams hoping to play their way onto the bracket.
For some teams, that conference tournament is the only way into the field. For teams on the bubble, the tournament presents one final chance to solidify that resume and get an at-large bid.
It should be noted that conference tournament games are no more important to the members of thr selection committee than any other game. They do not care how deep a team goes into its tournament, unless it wins it, of course. They care about which teams it played, who it beat, and who ultimately beat them. In most cases, conference tournaments are neutral court games, which gives teams a chance to pick up quality wins away from home as well.
There was a "double-bubble" game on Sunday with UNC Greensboro defeating Furman 66-62 in the Southern Conference semifinals.
The Spartans came through with the win in the Southern Conference Tournament semifinal and can pop its own bubble with a win over Wofford in the final on Monday night. That does not look promising, as UNCG lost the previous two games by a combined 59 points.
Furman's resume is now complete. The Paladins are hoping a win at Villanova is enough to stick in the bracket.
Here's the latest updates on other bubble teams in action Sunday:
Ohio State -- lost to Wisconsin 73-67 in overtime: At least the Buckeyes were competitive this time. They have been playing without suspended star player Kaleb Wesson and have looked very bad in their first two outings without him. This time, they took the Badgers to overtime before falling short. It is not yet know if Wesson will return for the crucial Big Ten Tournament opener with Indiana.
Indiana -- defeated Rutgers 89-73: Indiana extended its winning streak to four and raised its overall record to 17-14 in pursuit of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Historically speaking, IU will need to get to four games above .500 to get into the field. At a minimum, that would mean beating equally desperate Ohio State, followed by a third win over Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament.
Lipscomb -- lost to Liberty 74-68 in the finals of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament: The Bisons inability to beat Liberty at home this season may keep them out of the NCAA Tournament. Liberty will get the automatic bid from the Atlantic Sun. Lipscomb won at TCU in the regular season, but a strength of schedule ranking around 200 might not go over well with the committee.
vs. Wofford in the Southern Conference Tournament Championship Game, 7 p.m. -- ESPN
The Southern Conference Tournament title and automatic bid is on the line. Wofford is in the NCAA Tournament regardless. The Spartans may have a chance to get in with a loss as well, but UNCG is pretty close to the cut line now.
vs. San Diego in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals, 11:30 p.m. -- ESPN2
The Gaels are hoping to keep their slim NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a win over the No. 7 seed Toreros in the West Coast Conference Tournament. They are also hoping to buck the current trend in the WCC Tournament of lower seeded teams winning. San Diego crushed No. 6 seed Santa Clara and No. 3 BYU to get here.