Rahul Sharma (Editor)

On the Bubble

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To be considered "on the bubble", you must be waiting to find out if a player or team has made the final spots in a tournament or on any given sports team roster. On the bubble is most commonly associated with the Men's college basketball or Women's college basketball for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. When you are considered to be on the bubble in the NBA or NFL it means you are being considered for one of the last few positions on the roster. For those NCAA tournament the teams that are on the bubble, their names are usually released by ESPN College Basketball; with the list being updated every few days. The table that ESPN releases consists of eight teams with four of them being in the First Four in and the Last four teams out of the tournament. Many College Basketball teams pay very close attention to the Bubble in late February and early March right before the NCAA tournament begins.


NCAA Men's and Women's Division I Basketball Championship

On the bubble is most popular when talking about the Men's and Women's end of the season tournament. When it comes down to Selection Sunday at the end of the season there are about five to six teams that are on the bubble of getting in the tournament each and every season. When a team is on the bubble, and they do get into the tournament they are most commonly placed as the 11th seed and will often play another team that was on the bubble in the first game of the tournament as a Play-in game. If a team that is considered to be on the bubble they are almost always one of the top seeds in the National Invitation Tournament which consists of all the teams that just weren't quite good enough to be in the NCAA Tournament.

How to be On the Bubble

To be considered on the bubble there are quite a few different things that have to play out during the season. First of all, you must have to have a record that is respectable. What the Selection Committee looks at when deciding between the five or six bubble teams each year is Strength of schedule, top 50 wins, and top 100 wins. What hurts the bubble teams that are trying to get into the tournament is a bad loss to a team that is below 150. Each and every year there is at least one or two bubble teams that don't make it into the NCAA tournament that were expected to by college basketball analyst. During the tournament it is very rare to see Bubble teams make a deep run in the tournament, but there have been a few Cinderella teams.

Recent Notable Bubble Teams

Almost every season there is two or three really big Upset 's, with at least one of them coming from a team that was considered to be on the Bubble. Listed below are many of the teams that were listed on the bubble, but made a run in the NCAA Tournament.

  • Syracuse (2016 NCAA Tournament) Made the 2016 Final Four (college basketball)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (2011 NCAA Tournament) Made the 2011 Final Four
  • Butler University (2010 NCAA Tournament) Made the 2010 Final Four
  • Butler University (2011 NCAA Tournament) Made the 2011 Final Four
  • Many bubble teams have done some damage in the tournament, but haven't quite been able to win the National Championship yet.

    On the Roster Bubble

    To be on the roster bubble deals with rosters from numerous sports such as: Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League. Each of these leagues have a certain number of players that are allowed on the roster, which means there are always a few players that don't make the cut. From the three sports listed above, the one sport that is talked about the most for being difficult to make the roster is Major League Baseball.

    MLB Roster Bubble

    Major League Baseball has by far the largest number of people that are considered to be on the roster bubble. Each baseball roster can have a maximum of twenty-five players being distributed to nine different positions. There is such a large number of players on the bubble for MLB, because there are so many players on each baseball team. The majority of players on the bubble are in the minor leagues. Coaches use Spring training to figure out which twenty five players will make the roster; players that are on the bubble that will start the season in the Minor League Baseball in hopes of making the MLB team in the future.

    NFL Roster Bubble

    The National Football League has a few players that are considered to be on the bubble, but not as many as other professional sports. The reason for this is because each NFL roster consists of fifty-three players, which makes the coaches decision often fairly easy. For the few players that are on the bubble of making the roster if they don't make will oftentimes be on the Practice squad or if they are talented enough will even be picked up by a different NFL team. During the NFL Training Camp you don't here much about players that are on the bubble because there are very few players to be considered on the bubble.

    NBA Roster Bubble

    The National Basketball Association has by far the fewest amount of people that are considered to be on the bubble; this is because each team only has thirteen players on the roster. Most players that are on the roster bubble will make the NBA team because there are so few players that are actually in the league. The last few men that make the team typically don't get any playing time unless the game is out of hand. If a player that is on the bubble, and does to make the team they will most times be sent down to the D-League in hopes of one day being called up to the Professional level.

    NHL Roster Bubble

    The National Hockey League has anywhere from zero to three or four players that are considered to be on the roster bubble in the fall training camp every year. One NHL roster consists of twenty players that are eighteen skaters and two goaltenders. If players that are considered to be on the bubble before the season starts and don't make the team they will start out in the American Hockey League which is similar to the Minor leagues in baseball. Hockey has a little bit bigger of a roster compared to other professional sports which makes it hard to have so many players on the bubble.


    On the Bubble Wikipedia

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