The wildcard race is heating up.

They're still in the hunt for that final playoff berth.

They're still very much alive.

They're still in the mix.

They're peaking at the right time.

They're capable of making a deep run in the post-season.

They're on the bubble.

They've got some good, quality wins.   (Used when a college basketball team is on the bubble for the NCAA tournament)

They're on the outside looking in.

They have to run the table.

They have to win out.

Their magic number is five.

They managed to back into the playoffs.

They've played a soft schedule.

They have to remember what got them here.

They have to treat this just like any other game.

They've been here before.

They have a lot of big game experience.

They control their own destiny.

Anything less than a championship is unacceptable.

They're going for back-to-back championships.

They're going for a three-peat.

This team has a chance to do something special.

They're not just happy to be here.

In the playoffs anything can happen.

Hopefully they can steal one on the road.

They need to get a win in their building.

They must hold serve at home.

They're in the driver's seat.

They have to do the things they've been doing all season.

A win tonight will force a decisive game seven.

It doesn't matter who they play in the next round.

They've battled back from the brink of elimination.

It's do or die.

They're behind the eight ball.

They're in a must-win situation.

They need a win to stave off elimination. (Stave off? Staving? Has any normal human being ever 'staved' anything? The only time you hear about 'staving' is in this classic sports cliche.)

This is for all the marbles.

There's no tomorrow.

If you lose, you go home.

They’re down but not out.

They've got their backs against the wall.

They've been mathematically eliminated.   (Teams are never eliminated. They are always 'mathematically eliminated', which makes the sportscaster sound like a number genius.)

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