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NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Pitt, WVU In; Penn State, Duquesne Likely Out

Here's a rundown of what local teams must do to make the NCAA Tournament. Pitt and West Virginia appear to have their tickets punched for March Madness, while Penn State and Duquesne appear to be staying home.

Pitt, obviously, is in; the only question is whether the Panthers get a No. 1 seed. West Virginia is almost certainly in, too - the Mountaineers have had an uneven run through the Big East, but that's certainly no disqualification given how tough the conference is, and they have wins over UConn, Purdue and Georgetown. SB Nation's most recent bracket had them as a No. 6 seed, and that was before they upset UConn on Wednesday.

Penn State probably needs to win the Big Ten tournament, which begins March 10, to get in. The Nittany Lions were probably on the wrong side of the bubble when the week began, and getting blown out by Ohio State didn't help them. Their only remaining game is against Minnesota, but the Golden Gophers have lost eight of their last nine, so it's hard to see a win getting Penn State much of anywhere. As SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean points out, the Nittany Lions don't even fare that well in comparison to another bubble team in their own conference, the Michigan Wolverines, who swept Penn State this season and picked up road wins not only in State College but also at Michigan State and Minnesota. Stranger things have happened, but the Nittany Lions are probably out without a conference tournament win.

As for Duquesne, well, there certainly was some hope there when the Dukes were in the midst of an 11-game winning streak a month ago, but now they've lost five of their last six, including some pretty bad losses against Saint Louis and St. Bonaventure. The relatively low quality of the competition they've faced will certainly keep them out unless they can win the A-10 tournament, which begins March 8.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.