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Basketball Betting: Mid-Major Bubble Watch

NCAAB March Madness

When the calendar flips from February to March, the talk surrounding “Bubble” teams for the NCAA basketball tournament picks up. Most of the at-large bids will come from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences.

The West Coast Conference and Mountain West Conference will have more than one team as part of the March Madness bracket regardless of what happens in the conference tournament.

Basketball betting: Mid-Major Bubble Watch
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

WCC power Gonzaga could be the No. 1 overall seed while Saint Mary’s and San Francisco both have four Quad 1 wins and are 19th and 27th in the NCAA NET rankings. In the Mountain West, San Diego State, Colorado State and Boise State are 26th, 28th and 29th in the NET rankings. San Diego State has played 11 Quad 1 games than Arizona, Duke and UCLA although the Aztecs come in as a No. 9 seed in the most recent bracketology posted on the CBS Sports site.

When it comes to March Madness predictions, Houston out of the American Athletic Conference and Murray State from the Ohio Valley Conference figure to earn spots in the tournament even if the Cougars and Racers stumble in the conference tournament. Murray State (-200) is the heavy favorite in the odds to win the OVC title.

Here are some teams that are on the bubble and could use as many wins between now and Selection Sunday with some info for those who bet online,

North Texas Mean Green

  • NCAA NET ranking: 37
  • Record: 22-4 (15-1 Conference USA)
  • Quad 1 record: 1-1
  • Quad 2 record: 4-2
  • Up next: at UTSA on Thursday, 8 p.m.

North Texas has lost just once in conference play this season and is the heavy favorite to win the Conference USA tournament. Things could get interesting if somebody else is cutting down the nets at the end of the tournament. Thursday’s game against Texas-San Antonio won’t help the Mean Green and a victory against a 16-12 UTEP team won’t provide much of a bump but every win at this time of the season can’t be discounted.

North Texas has been favored according to the college basketball spreads in six of its last seven games.

Davidson Wildcats

  • NCAA NET ranking: 43
  • Record: 25-4 (15-2 Atlantic 10)
  • Quad 1 record: 2-1
  • Quad 2 record: 3-3
  • Up next: at Dayton, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. USA

Davidson has a one-game lead in the Atlantic 10 heading into the final game of the regular season. The Dayton game will be key as the Flyers are 13-4 in conference play. Davidson does own a win at Alabama but not much stands out in the Wildcats’ non-conference schedule.

Davidson is listed at +25000 in the March Madness odds.

Wyoming Cowboys

  • NCAA NET ranking: 47
  • Record: 23-7 (12-5 Mountain West)
  • Quad 1 record: 4-4
  • Quad 2 record: 5-1

Up next: vs. Fresno State, Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET

Wyoming is listed as a No. 10 seed in the CBS Sports bracket, which puts the Cowboys right on the line of needing to win the conference tournament or perhaps receiving an at-large bid if they don’t win the Mountain West conference title. Wyoming is 1-2 against Pac-12 teams including a win over Washington although that victory looked better a month ago than it does now. Wins over Boise State and Colorado State will help.

Virginia Commonwealth Rams

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, March 5, 2:00 p.m. ET CBS
  • NCAA NET ranking: 48
  • Record: 21-7 (14-3 Atlantic 10)
  • Quad 1 record: 2-2
  • Quad 2 record: 4-4
  • Up next: at Saint Louis, Saturday, March 5, 4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2

The good news is that the Rams do own wins against teams from Power-5 conferences. The bad news is that victories over Syracuse and Vanderbilt might not help that much since the Orange and Commodores. A win over Saint Louis in the regular-season finale would add to VCU’s resume. It will be interesting to see how much love the NCAA Selection Committee shows the Atlantic 10 because there are some A10 teams that deserve consideration for at-large bids.

Brigham Young Cougars

  • NCAA NET ranking: 53
  • Record: 19-9
  • Quad 1 record: 4-5
  • Quad 2 record: 3-3
  • Up next: West Coast Conference tournament

As the No. 5 seed in the WCC tournament, a potential matchup with Gonzaga could await if the Cougars advance to the semifinals. Naturally, a win over the No. 1 team would provide a major boost to BYU’s resume. On the other hand, the fifth-place team in the WCC will likely have a hard time getting a bid outside of taking down Gonzaga or by securing a spot in the bracket by winning the conference tournament.

The Las Vegas odds list BYU (+3300) with the fifth-best odds to win the WCC tournament.

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