Bubble Games to Watch: February 23
Jordan Bohannon and Iowa dealt the final blow to the Hoosiers at-large chances winning in overtime last night. IU has lost 12 of their last 13 games and are now under .500 on the season. We also had Davidson in action last night. The Wildcats were able to keep their slim chances going with a win at Rhode Island. We have a jam-packed schedule for Saturday which might include some bubbles bursting.
11 Marquette at Providence 11am CT FOX
Outside of New England I might be the only believer in this Providence team. The Friars are better than their record shows and a win over Marquette could really jump start the conversation around themselves and an at-large bid.
Boston College at Clemson 11am CT ACC Network
Clemson is holding on by a thread and needs wins, doesn’t matter what level they are, at this point in the season it is all about survival. BC can be a tough team and when Ky Bowman is on, watch out. The key is contain Bowman and run good offense for Clemson. A loss would greatly damage their chances at an at-large bid.
Texas at Oklahoma 11am CT ESPNU
This one is the definition of a bubble game. Texas, by all accounts, seems fairly safely in the field while Oklahoma has got an outside shot at a bid. The problem, Kerwin Roach was just suspended indefinitely which is a huge benefit for the Sooners. If Lon Kruger’s team can knock off Texas Saturday, they will be trending closer and closer to another NCAA Tournament appearance.
Tulsa at Temple 11am CT ESPN News
Temple can only hurt their resume with a loss to Tulsa and I think it would be a catastrophic loss for the Owls. Win and remain firmly on the bubble, lose and pray a bunch of teams around you lose as well.
15 Purdue at Nebraska 1pm CT BTN
I had to put Nebraska on the bubble watch because if I’m putting Indiana there I have to put Nebraska as well. I think the Cornhuskers have a ton of work to do and a win over Purdue would be a great start. They just haven’t had it in conference play and their early season wins that looked great in December haven’t turned out that way (Seton Hall, Creighton, Clemson, Oklahoma State).
19 Iowa State at TCU 1pm CT ESPN 2
Injuries and whatnot have tried to derail TCU’s season to no avail. The Frogs still look firmly in the field and are playing for seeding against Iowa State. A win could move them out of the 8-9 game.
Ohio State at 24 Maryland 1pm CT ESPN
The Buckeyes hit a small skid recently but seem to have things back on track. Maryland is a chance for a strong Quadrant 1 win which every team would love at this time of year. A win and avoiding a loss to Northwestern in a couple weeks should lock in OSU.
West Virginia at Baylor 1pm CT ESPNU
Bob Huggins will look to play spoiler in Waco as the up-and-down Bears welcome WVU to town. Baylor is firmly in the field but this would be a very bad loss for the Bears and would most likely knock them to the 10-seed line. Avoiding the bad loss is key.
George Washington at VCU 1pm CT ESPN+
VCU is very much on the bubble and could see their entire season go down in flames if they lose to a surprisingly bad George Washington team.
Georgetown at Creighton 1:30pm CT FOX
The Hoyas just had a huge win over Villanova and can continue a run at an at-large birth. They still have a lot of work to do but they have some chances and Creighton is no slouch as I think the Jays still have the slimmest bit of life. Huge game for both teams.
Georgia at Ole Miss 2:30pm CT SEC Network
Georgia has a chance to deal a devastating blow to Ole Miss as the Rebels are firmly in the field right now. Kermit Davis has done an incredible job thus far but finishing this season without a tournament bid would have to be a colossal failure. Crunch time in Oxford.
Missouri at Florida 3pm CT ESPNU
The Gators have come on strong of late and are looking to sneak their way into the tournament as one of the final teams. A win over Missouri won’t move the needle but it will add to the confidence as Florida has won 3 straight.
Wofford at Furman 3pm CT ESPN 3
Remember that team that was undefeated and beat Loyola and Villanova on the road? That Furman team? Yeah, well they’re still pretty good (22-5) and have a chance to knock off the top team in the SoCon. Wofford is one of the best teams out there and I think are 3 wins away from guaranteeing themselves a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Utah State at Boise State 3pm CT
The Broncos have been a disappointment in the Mountain West, but the Aggies have more than made up for it. Utah State looks like a strong contender for an at-large bid and needs to keep winning to get there. A loss to Boise would end their chances.
1 Duke at Syracuse 5pm CT ESPN
There’s a lot of things surrounding this game. We still have the looming “Jim Boeheim killed a guy” story which is so sad and tragic on many levels. Then there’s the Cuse is going for the season sweep of Duke, because people might forget they won at Cameron already this season. And then add in the fact that they are expecting one of the largest crowds in Carrier Dome history and this game takes on a whole new level. A season sweep of Duke would absolutely guarantee a bid in the NCAA Tournament, regardless, I think Cuse is safe.
Northern Illinois at Toledo 5pm CT CBSSN
I don’t think Toledo has a great chance to grab a bid, but they have a chance still so they will be written about. It’s been a hell of a season so far for the Rockets and a couple games here or there and they’re probably in the field. But for now they’re on the outside looking in. NIU isn’t a good win by any means, but they did beat Buffalo and that has to mean something.
Vanderbilt at Alabama 5pm CT ESPNU
Like many teams, the Tide are looking to avoid a bad loss to Vandy. The wins they have hold up against anyone, but this team has a resume littered with questions marks. Avoid adding any more to their sheet and they’ve got a chance to dance.
Southeast Missouri State at Murray State 7pm CT ESPN+
Ja Morant needs to and should dominate a bad SEMO team if they want to keep their slim chances alive. There is a log-jam at the top of the OVC and frankly I think more than one team should make it, but I’m not on the tournament committee and they never seem to agree with me.
Seton Hall at St. John’s 7pm CT FS1
Huge game in the Big East, both teams need a win after tough losses mid-week. The Pirates have wins over Kentucky and at Maryland while the Johnnies are 3-1 against Villanova and Marquette this year. Both teams should be in but they need a couple wins each to guarantee it.
St. Mary’s at San Diego 8pm CT
The Gaels are still clinging on to their hope of grabbing an at-large bid. They took care of business the other day holding Pacific to under 40 points. Now they need to win at San Diego, who gave Gonzaga a game there recently.
San Francisco at Santa Clara 10pm CT
The final game of the night includes our guy Frankie Ferrari and the Dons from USF. They will look to avoid the bad loss that would end their season. They had a great, late comeback at BYU earlier this week and can help themselves with another win.