Bracketology Bubble Watch: Why teams near the NCAA Tournament cut line should be rooting for Gonzaga

The final week of the season is upon us. Only conference tournament games remain for teams hoping to play their way into the NCAA Tournament.

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 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's one team on the bubble in action Tuesday and it could be a a potential bid-stealer by beating a lock for the NCAA Tournament and winning the conference's automatic bid.

But first here's how teams on the bubble fared Monday:

UNC Greensboro -- lost to Wofford 70-58 in Southern Conference Tournament finals: The Spartans deserved a better score than this, if not the win. Wofford finished the game on an 18-3 run to win the SoCon title. I still have UNCG in my bracket as the second to last team in the field. I am not certain that will be true Selection Sunday.

St. Mary's -- defeated San Diego 69-62 in the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals: The Gaels dispatched with the 7th-seeded Toreros setting up a West Coast Tournament title tilt with Godzilla, er, Gonzaga.

Tuesday's game involving a bubble team

vs. Gonzaga in WCC Tournament final, 9 p.m. ET -- ESPN

The Gaels, currently not in the projected bracket, are a potential bid-stealer heading into the WCC Tournament title game. Gonzaga's dominance in the WCC this season was never so pronounced as when the Zags won at Saint Mary's by 48 the first time they played. The Gaels played them tougher the second time around, falling by 14 points just ten days ago. Saint Mary's chances of an at-large bid are not great. The Gaels' best win and only Quadrant 1 win came at New Mexico State.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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