Bubble teams in danger of bursting too early

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,Brian McNally

It's bubble season for college basketball teams. As the calendar flips to March, resumes are eyed with a harder edge and who's in and who's out of the NCAA Tournament can change with just one bad result.

Check out Villanova, which lost to Columbia by 18 points earlier this season before solidifying its chances with wins over No. 12 Syracuse, No. 22 Marquette and Connecticut. But then the Wildcats were tripped up by Seton Hall on the road Monday night. Just like that, all of their hard work was in jeopardy. The Wildcats probably should have checked their schedule. They finish at No. 23 Pitt and at home against No. 7 Georgetown.

Another prime example is Arizona State, a bubble team which won a big road game at Colorado on Feb. 16. Hooray! It needed one thanks to a suspect non-conference schedule. But then came a disastrous loss at home to Washington on Saturday. With only road games left at USC, UCLA and No. 11 Arizona -- the latter two almost certainly tournament teams -- it may be curtains for the Sun Devils.

- Brian McNally

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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