Every week, CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm takes a look at what three teams need to do to make the NCAA Tournament. The Confidence Builder is brought to you by Quicken Loans.
|The Wildcats are off to a good start in the rugged Big 12, having won four in a row prior to Monday night's loss at home to Kansas. That start includes home wins over Oklahoma and TCU. Kansas State played a very poor non-conference schedule, which requires a pretty strong resume to overcome. Fortunately for KSU, being in the Big 12 gives them every opportunity to pick up the kind of wins they need to do that. The Wildcats still have four road games left against other NCAA Tournament contenders. If they can split those and win their home games, they can feel very comfortable entering the conference tournament in March.
|Not much was expected of the Huskies this season, but they sent notice that they are a team to be reckoned with when they beat Kansas in Kansas City, Missouri back in December. Since then, Washington has added a road win over USC, a team the Huskies could be competing with for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They have a big weekend ahead with the two Arizona schools visiting. A split there, taking care of business at home otherwise, and avoiding a bad loss even on the road should give Washington something it did not have last season with No. 1 NBA Draft pick Markelle Fultz – a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
|The Hilltoppers are competing with Middle Tennessee State at the top of Conference USA, but if either of those teams needs at at-large berth, WKU is best positioned for that. That is due in no small part to a win over potential No. 1 seed Purdue in the Battle 4 Atlantis in November. Few bubble teams have a win that good on their tournament resume. They also beat a healthy SMU in that tournament. It is important now for them to avoid picking up any more bad losses, but if they can do that, the Hilltoppers can make a good case for themselves as an at-large team in the NCAA Tournament.