Non-DI WBB Bubble Watch: West Texas A&M and East Texas Baptist in danger of missing postseason

Photo courtesy ETBU Athletics

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With the NCAA Division II and Division III women’s basketball committees expected to release their- initial rankings in two weeks, it’s time to look at who currently sits on the bubble with one month remaining in the regular season. This edition also focuses on teams in danger of missing their conference tournament.

The Bubble Watch will be updated weekly until the NCAA releases the tournament bracket.

Lone Star Conference

In - UT Tyler, Lubbock Christian, Texas Woman’s

Rebecca Alvidrez surprisingly led UT Tyler to the Elite Eight last year after leading the sixth-seeded Patriots to the South Central Regional title. The Patriots run this season should be no surprise. It’s also no surprise to see LCU and TWU firmly in the tournament. However, the Lady Chaps and Pioneers have far less room for bad results.

Trending in - Texas A&M International, UTPB

TAMIU’s tournament status slipped following a tough road trip to UT Tyler and TWU last week. The Dustdevils remain on the plus side of the bubble this week but can’t afford any losses to other teams in the LSC East Division. UTPB is taking another step forward under Rae Boothe. The Falcons aren’t a team anyone wants to meet in the postseason.

Trending out - Angelo State

Inconsistency has been an issue for the Rambelles this season, with last Saturday’s 73-47 defeat at Cameron a prime example of ASU’s campaign thus far. Earlier this year, ASU lost to UAFS at home. The Belles have work to do before the LSC tournament the first week of March if they wish to calm nerves during the selection show.

Conference tournament bubble - West Texas A&M, St. Edward’s, Midwestern State

Seeing the Lady Buffs in danger of missing the postseason wasn’t on my 2024 bingo card. WT currently sits in seventh place in the LSC standings and is two games ahead of Cameron and MSU. The Hilltoppers are hanging onto eight place by half a game over the Aggies and Mustangs but have the advantage of playing in the LSC East Division. MSU is a team on the rise in Brenita Jackson’s first season. The Mustangs are 4-4 since ending a nine-game losing skid to begin the season.

American Southwest Conference

In - Mary Hardin-Baylor

One of the biggest surprises in DIII this season has been the rise of UMHB in Katie Novak’s first season. Novak inherited a program reeling from a head coaching change in the middle of the season and has led the Crusaders to a 16-1 record. UMHB is currently in a position to host the ASC tournament and the first and second rounds of the DIII tournament.

Trending in - Hardin-Simmons

The Cowgirls are trending in but are on the verge of being left out of the national tournament. HSU needs Trinity to win the SCAC to influence the committee to place the first two rounds at UMHB. If Colorado College wins the SCAC, HSU could be forced to win the ASC tournament for a spot in the DIII tournament.

Conference tournament bubble - East Texas Baptist, Concordia

One of the three teams listed above will likely miss the conference tournament. While it’s surprising to see ETBU on the bubble, they will likely be in the ASC tournament and hold a two-game lead over Concordia in the win column, with another showdown between these two programs set for Saturday afternoon.

Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference

Trending out - Trinity

Please allow me to explain. Trinity is likely to enter the SCAC tournament as the top seed, but that doesn’t guarantee a spot in the national tournament. Trinity needs to win the conference tournament and secure the automatic bid. If Trinity falters in the SCAC tournament, they are likely to be left out of the DIII tournament due to a weak strength of schedule.

Conference tournament bubble - Schreiner, Dallas, Austin College, Southwestern, St. Thomas

The Kangaroos sit in sixth place in the SCAC standings and are only one game ahead of eighth place UST. Southwestern has lost two consecutive games to fall one-half game behind the ‘Roos ahead of a challenging weekend at home against Texas Lutheran and Colorado College. Schreiner’s four straight wins have them in a solid position for the conference tournament, while UDallas has a challenging final stretch and is only one game ahead of Austin College.

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