It's never too early to think about the NCAA Tournament, especially because both of the key local teams are probably on the bubble at this point. Most notably, Georgetown is there after a rough stretch that includes home losses to West Virginia and Pittsburgh, as well as road losses to Notre Dame and St. John's.
SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean released his first "Bubble Watch" of the season, and Georgetown was one of the prominent teams listed as one that had work left to do to have a chance to make the NCAA Tournament.
Georgetown is in real trouble now after they dropped their third straight Big East game, at home against Pitt on Wednesday, and looked terrible doing it. The Hoyas' three-point shooting, a hallmark in the early season, has all but dried up, which is creating issues against teams who can shoot the three-ball effectively. From a resume standpoint, the early Big East schedule has kept Georgetown's strength of schedule high, but the wins aren't there. (For example, they've gone from 2-1 against the top 50 to 2-5. John Thompson III's scheduling philosophy also means there aren't the RPI killers on the slate this team used to be known for. The Hoyas' record should improve with a pair of games against the New Jersey schools this week, but the gauntlet starts again right after that.
If the season ended today, Georgetown would surely make it due to their RPI (7) and their strength of schedule (best in the nation), but they eventually are going to need wins. Based on the way they are playing, those wins may be tough to come by.
Maryland, meanwhile, is also listed as one of the teams that has more work to do. Dobbertean writes that Saturday's game against Villanova is a big one for the Terps.
Like Virginia Tech, the Terrapins are cheering hard for Penn State. That's because Maryland sits at 0-5 against the Top 50, and 2-0 against teams ranked between 51-100, including the Nittany Lions. In fact, the Terps are 10-0 against teams outside the Top 50, with six wins outside the top 200. Saturday's game at Villanova is an opportunity Gary Williams' team really needs to take advantage of.