Yahoo Sports college basketball reporter Krysten Peek shares three teams that need to make a run during their conference tournaments to earn their spot on Selection Sunday.
KRYSTEN PEEK: March is here. And there are few teams that need to perform well, in order to punch a ticket to the big dance. Number one, Houston is rolling, and haven't lost a game since late January. And both Alabama and Kansas closed out the season as regular season champions. Here are three teams that have work to do and keep tabs on during the conference tournament.
First up is North Carolina. The big question is, will the pre-season number one ranked team even get to the tournament? They returned four starters from last year's team that made a championship run, and haven't been able to find any kind of rhythm this year. If the Tar Heels can string together a set of wins in the ACC tournament, last year's runner up could barely just make it into the action, with a tough uphill battle ahead.
Next is Tennessee. The Vols suffered a huge loss in a recent win over Arkansas, when sophomore point guard, Zakai Zeigler, left the game and sustained a season-ending ACL injury. Ziegler led the SEC in assist, averaging over five per game, and was the floor general for this Tennessee team. Rick Barnes' squad is still a top seed in the conference. But how they project in the NCAA tournament will depend a lot on their performance on the court without their star point guard.
And finally, out West in the Pac-12, a bubble team that has had ups and downs this season-- Arizona State. A second-half collapse against number four, UCLA, doesn't help the Sun Devils. But they do have some solid wins this season, recently beating number seven, Arizona, and are currently tied for fourth in the conference. A nice little run in the Pac-12 tournament should help their case. But with a weaker conference this year, they'll need to do some damage before Bobby Hurley's team is a lock.
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