NCAA Tournament Betting: Last Four Teams In

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, February 17, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Selection Sunday is now one month away, and while who is in or out of the NCAA Tournament is still a very liquid situation, here are our last four teams in as of February 17th.

Selection Sunday for the 2014 NCAA Tournament is on March 16th, and a lot can still happen between now and then in regards to who is going to the Big Dance and who is more likely NIT bound. Of course that does not stop us from making an educated guess on our NCAA Basketball picks to make the NCAA Tournament.

More specifically, we are attempting to predict who the last four teams in shall be. Before moving on to our selections, keep in mind that conference winners get automatic bids to the Big Dance, and if there is are some upsets in the conference tournaments where teams that won those tournaments would not have made the NCAA Tournament otherwise and teams that lost in those tournament are worthy of NCAA bids, it would take away some bids from other at-large bubble teams.

Thus, one conference tournament upset could knock out the last of our last four teams in and two upsets could cut these bids in half!

Situations like that often make it difficult on the NCAA Basketball odds to predict the last few at-large teams that will be selected by the Selection Committee with any accuracy, especially now with a month to go until all the conference tournaments have been concluded. But again, predicting the field would not be as much fun without some of these challengers involved!

So with all of this in mind, here are our predictions as of February 17th for the last four teams selected for the NCAA Tournament field.

Last Four In
Missouri Tigers: The common theme for the first two teams of our last four in is that everything may come down to how many teams the committee wants to select from the SEC, which might be the weakest of all the major conferences from top to bottom despite having two virtual locks to make the tournament in Florida and Kentucky. With that said, Missouri has faced a good schedule ranked 57th in the country in SOS thanks to some nice non-conference wins over UCLA and West Virginia at home and vs. NC State on the road, and the Tigers are ranked an excellent 15th in the country in offensive efficiency. Missouri currently sits at 18-7, but we do not foresee the Tigers losing more than two more regular season games, which would put them at 22-9 entering the SEC Tournament.

Tennessee Volunteers: If the committee wants to select a fourth SEC team, the Volunteers get our nod despite their current 15-10 record. Yes, that means that Tennessee probably cannot afford more than one more loss to merit consideration, but we honestly feel the Volunteers have the ability to win all six of their remaining regular season games, which would put them in a different light at 21-10 with some great momentum. You see, the Volunteers have faced an excellent schedule ranked 22nd in SOS and yet nine of their 10 losses have been by single-digits. Besides one blowout loss at Florida, which oh by the way happens to be the second ranked team in the country as of today, the next worst loss for the Vols this season was by nine points to third ranked and 27-0 Wichita State! Tennessee is 16th in the country in offensive efficiency despite that tough slate, as well as a very respectable 58th in defensive efficiency.

St. John’s Red Storm: Things looked bleak for the Red Storm when they began Big East play at 0-5, but they have now won eight of their last nine games overall and seven of their last eight conference games to improved to 7-6 in what according to the Pomeroy Ratings is the third toughest conference in the country, a streak that has included a statement win over Creighton. St. John’s is now 17-9 and should get to 20 wins, and a win in the Big East Tournament could be all the Red Storm need to punch their ticket to the Big Dance, considering that they rank 26th in the country in defensive efficiency and lead the tough Big East in that department, and they have tackled a schedule ranked 46th in the land overall in SOS.

St. Joseph’s Hawks: This would literally be the last team into the NCAA Tournament, which also means that it would be the first team knocked out if there was an upset in a conference tournament. This could be the best team that long-time coach Phil Martelli has had at St. Joseph’s since the glory days of Jameer Nelson as this team is 17-7 with a 20-win season easily within reach. The Hawks are now 13-3 since a nondescript 4-4 beginning to the season although losses to Creighton, Villanova and LSU do not look too bad now, but the one single game that has the Hawks as our last team in was a huge triumph over VCU last week. Remember that the Atlantic 10 is the highest ranked mid-major conference in the country, and that win over a shoe-in from the conference in VCU may give St. Joseph’s the slight edge over some other bubble teams competing for this last spot.

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