The NCAA Tournament bubble undoubtedly carries a negative connotation because it implies a team is narrowly in the projected field of 68, or narrowly out of it, most often because it has not accumulated a resume deemed wholly worthy of March Madness inclusion. Factually, this is true.

As that thought process carries over into the NCAA Tournament, the implication is that a bubble team making the field surely isn't dangerous enough to do damage once in it. Because remember: these are some of the very last teams in the final field. 

Oh, but you're reading my work right now, so I know for a fact you're smarter than that! So I'll level with ya: The bubble is not a sentence to irrelevancy. Syracuse in 2018 is one example to prove this. The Orange played in a First Four game, and advanced to the First Round as an 11 seed before winning again … and again. They fell in the Sweet 16 to Duke, but not before making their mark as one of the most dangerous bubble teams in recent memory.

Tennessee in 2014 was another. The Vols were also a First Four team before advancing to the main bracket and rattling off wins over UMass and Mercer. No. 14 seed Mercer defeating 3 seed Duke in the first round propped the Vols up there, sure, but it's March -- crazy things can happen. Sometimes all you need is a big break (or Duke tripping over its own shoes). 

With that in mind, I urge you, my friends, not to write off bubble teams. Sure, they aren't qualified, bonafide title contenders. But they are certified havoc-wreakers of the worst kind that can destroy your bracket if you look past them. 

In that spirit, here are five teams who closely fit that profile this year and who are plenty capable of replicating similar runs.

1. VCU Rams

Jerry Palm's Bracketology: Last four in

The Rams split the regular-season series with A-10 winning St. Bonaventure. So we know they can hang with tourney teams. (They also face off Sunday for the A-10 title.) But even outside league play they have been plenty good, with wins over Memphis and Utah Stateon the resume and close losses to West Virginia and Penn State. That's reason enough to become a believer. But if it's not, then Nah'Shon Hyland, the team's leading scorer, should be. He goes by "Bones" Hyland. And "Bones" is a walking bucket and legitimate NBA draft prospect who can hoop.

2. Drake Bulldogs

Jerry Palm's Bracketology: Last four in

There are only a handful of true wildcard teams heading into Selection Sunday, and I'd categorize Drake among them. Could be NIT-bound or in the tourney and neither outcome would surprise me. But don't let that thinking fool you -- Drake has the goods. They were 19-1 before leading scorer ShanQuan Hemphill went down with injury and hobbled them down the stretch. But Hemphill is expected back soon, and just in time perhaps for the Bulldogs to slip on the Cinderella slipper and make a real run. The selection committee would do right to include this Drake team in the field considering the circumstances. At full strength, this is one of the best and most complete teams in the sport.