Bubble teams watch mid-major women’s tournaments, hoping against upsets and potential loss of bids

FILE - Princeton head coach Carla Berube reacts on the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Nov. 17, 2023, in Los Angeles. Princeton is the top seed and has a legitimate chance to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team if they don't win the conference crown. The Tigers have a net rating of 33. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun, File)

FILE – Princeton head coach Carla Berube reacts on the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Nov. 17, 2023, in Los Angeles. Princeton is the top seed and has a legitimate chance to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team if they don’t win the conference crown. The Tigers have a net rating of 33. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun, File)

With most of the major conference tournaments finished, there are some anxious teams waiting to see if their names will be called for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday when the field is announced.

The selection committee has a tough job in determining those final few teams that have a slim margin separating them. Many of the bubble teams that include Vanderbilt, Arizona, Mississippi State, Penn State and Washington State will be paying close attention mid-major tournaments that could snatch those precious bids.

They received some help Monday night with Georgetown falling to UConn in the Big East final. The Hoyas had a remarkable run to the championship game, but never really challenged the No. 10 Huskies, who won their 22nd Big East Tournament title.

IVY LEAGUE

Princeton is the top seed and has a legitimate chance to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team if they don’t win the conference crown. The Tigers have a NET ranking of 33. Columbia had a strong season but would probably need to win the tournament, which the Lions are hosting, to get their first-ever NCAA bid. The Ivy League has had an at-large bid before when Princeton received one in 2016.

HORIZON LEAGUE

Cleveland State is the top seed and faced Green Bay for the title Tuesday night. The Phoenix have been to the NCAA Tournament many times and have non-conference wins over Creighton and Washington State. Green Bay piled up 26 wins going into the title game. The Vikings had 29, but don’t have many against top opponents and have a much lower NET ranking.

METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

No. 25 Fairfield earned its first-ever ranking AP Top 25 last week and became the eighth team to run through conference play undefeated. The Stags have a 26-game winning streak and their lone loss came to Vanderbilt, which is on the NCAA bubble. If Fairfield makes it to the final of the league tournament Saturday and loses they might still have a shot at an at-large bid.

SOUTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Jackson State is having a historic season, earning its first vote in the Top 25 and going 18-0 in conference play. The Tigers were 23-6 on the season with the losses coming against Kansas State, Oregon State, Mississippi State, Miami, Texas and UCF. The Tigers didn’t play a home game from the middle of November until early January. They would have to win the conference tournament to make the NCAAs, but it would be something to see them rewarded for having a great season with that challenging non-conference schedule.

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