The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

March 10, 2014

Pick Six: A half-dozen to watch on the bubble

The big bubble winner over the weekend: Nebraska. When the NCAA selection committee draws up the brackets next Sunday, it's hard to imagine the Cornhuskers will be on the outside looking in.

Led by 26 points each from Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway, Nebraska defeated ninth-ranked Wisconsin on Sunday in what may have been the most important regular-season game in the program's history.

Tim Miles' team has won 10 of 12 and finished in fourth place in the Big Ten, the second-strongest conference in the country. The Huskers (19-11, 11-7) look like a good bet to make their first appearance in March Madness since 1998.

Here's a Pick Six of other bubble teams, how they did over the weekend and what they need to accomplish in the upcoming conference tournaments.

PITTSBURGH (23-8, 11-7 ACC) — The soft nonconference schedule, the lack of quality wins, the handful of last-second, heartbreaking losses — all that was working very much against the Panthers. Then, they made up five points in the span of 4 seconds on the road against a tough, Clemson team, and went on to win in overtime. Yes, the Panthers and their late-season fades get old, but 23 is an impressive number, and suddenly this arrow is, well, at least not pointing straight down anymore.

OREGON (22-8, 10-8 Pac-12) — A bubble team no longer, not after winning seven straight and capping that with a victory over No. 3 Arizona on Saturday. This was a team that started the season 13-0, but was 3-8 in the Pac-12 at one point. The committee loves teams that are playing well come March. The Ducks, and whatever neon uniforms they decide to bring with them to the Dance, will only be worrying about where, not if, come next Sunday.

ARKANSAS (21-10, 10-8 SEC) — Yes, there were lots of good things going on here. Winners of eight of nine, including a stretch in which the Hogs backed up a win against Kentucky at Rupp Arena with impressive home victories against Georgia and Mississippi. Then came that 25-point loss at Alabama. Now, Arkansas, a near-lock 10 days ago, needs to perform — as in, win one, maybe two, games at the SEC tournament — to solidify its status.

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