Six NCAA Bubble Teams That Are In Trouble

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell during the second half with Miami at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

The bubble has been shaky for a while. A bunch of teams are on it, and barely any of them actually deserve a spot in the field. However, a lot of teams on the bubble have started to pick up good wins. But others have been losing a lot. Here are bubble teams that are in trouble right now.

Other than this bubble trouble, you can take a look at the darkhorses here.

Six NCAA Bubble Teams That Are In Trouble

Clemson Tigers

Clemson is in a lot of trouble right now. Yes, they lead the ACC by half a game with a 10-3 conference record. But their tournament resume is not good. Their metrics are some of the worst of all the teams on the bubble. Their out-of-conference strength of schedule is 339th. That is out of 363 teams. The worst part about that is that they lost two of those games. Quad-4 losses against South Carolina and Loyola Chicago, as well as a quad-3 conference loss to Boston College that came last week, are absolute killers.

Wisconsin Badgers

Things were going pretty well for the Badgers until a month ago. They were ranked #14 in the AP Poll and were 11-2 overall. But then things fell apart. Since January 7th, Wisconsin is 2-7, and their NET ranking has tanked, falling 26 spots. The good news is that all seven of those losses came to tournament teams. The bad news is that those two wins came against bubble teams that are currently on the outside looking in. Their metrics have dropped significantly. Thankfully they have four quad-1 and three quad-2 wins already to their name and being in the Big Ten, they have plenty of opportunities to pick up more of them.

Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State has lost four of its last five games, with the only win being a quad-4 game against lowly Oregon State. They do have a good win over Creighton from back in December, though that was during the stretch that the Bluejays were playing really poorly while missing star center Ryan Kalkbrenner. Their metrics are bad, and they have a really bad quad-4 loss to Texas Southern. Their last three games of the season are on the road against tournament teams, so they have an opportunity.

Penn State Nittany Lions

The Big Ten is, as always, a gauntlet. You have to be really good to survive there. Penn State has been solid this season but have not played very well recently. Their stats aren’t very good across the board. Their out-of-conference strength of schedule is 278, and they only have one true road win. All of that has them on the wrong side of the bubble right now. But they do have Jalen Pickett, who has been one of the best players in the country so far this season. With no bad losses and six remaining quad-1 games, they have the chance.

Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky is an interesting one. They have been incredibly underwhelming all season long. Part of it has been due to injuries, but also because they have not played well most of the time. They have played better, though, as of late, winning six of their last seven games after suffering a terrible quad-4 loss at home against South Carolina. Their metrics are good. But, there is a problem. They only have one win against a tournament team. Granted, that win is at Tennessee, which is easily the best win that any bubble team has. But they need more than just that.

North Carolina Tar Heels

It may be hard to believe, but UNC is in real danger of coming from preseason number one to the NIT. Currently, they only have two wins against tournament teams. One of those wins was way back during the first week of the season. With how weak the ACC has been this season, a team of their caliber should have played a lot better than they have been. Tuesday’s loss against Wake Forest, a game in which they trailed by as many as 26, was their third straight loss. Five quad-1 opportunities remain for them to finally pick up some more good wins.