Basketball Bubble Over

Basketball Bubble Over

A bubble over in basketball is when a team is on the cusp of making or missing a basketball tournament or playoffs. Several teams will be referred to as “on the bubble” nearing the end of the regular season.

NCAA Bubble Teams

In the NCAA, bubble teams are those which have a shot at making the March Madness tournament, but may not qualify. For these teams, it’s important to perform well in their conference playoffs to jump up in the rankings or even win the championship for an automatic bid.

If a bubble team does make the playoffs, they will likely be a lower seed and have a very difficult first round matchup.

NBA Bubble Teams

In the NBA, a bubble team is one which may or may not qualify for the playoffs. Teams may spend the entire season on the bubble, with hopes of bubbling over in the last week of the season.

If a team does qualify, they will likely be a 6, 7, or 8 seed. These are the three lowest seeds, so they will have tough opening round matchups. Many bubble teams will miss the playoffs, ending up as a 9, 10, or 11 seed.

NCAA Automatic Bids

In the NCAA, many teams earn automatic bids by winning their conference championship. This can affect whether or not bubble teams make the tournament. If a team who wasn’t going to make the tournament earns an automatic bid, it could push a bubble team out of the tournament. Specifically, it would hurt the bubble teams in the same conference who are missing out on the automatic bid.