Bubble Games to Watch: February 28
Of all the games played by bubble teams last night, no one came out worse than Davidson. The Wildcats lost at La Salle, a team that hasn’t hit the double digit mark in wins yet and have officially burst their bubble. Louisville is in some trouble after losing at BC. A phantom foul in overtime cost Texas at Baylor and everyone else was able to grab a win. We’ve got a mid-major heavy slate tonight, great news for those with an ESPN+ subscription.
Xavier at St. John’s 5:30pm CT FS1
The Johnnies are looking to solidify their place in the tournament while Xavier is making a late season push to get the committee’s attention. It might be too late, but the Muskies have won 4 straight highlighted by their win over Villanova. For St. John’s it’s avoiding avoidable losses. Yes, that wording was avoidable too, but it’s more fun that way. Xavier is doing anything they can to get into the bubble conversation and a win here would really start to open some eyes.
Nebraska at 9 Michigan 6pm CT ESPN
Just a week ago, it looked as though Nebraska had leveled things out and had strong games left on their schedule to make up for their late January and early February futility. Fast forward to today and the Huskers are fresh off a devastating loss to Purdue by 3 and an absolute annihilation at the hands of Penn State. There are still 3 quadrant 1 opportunities left on Nebraska’s schedule and they need all of them.
24 Wofford at Chattanooga 6pm CT ESPN+
I’ve said it a few times but Wofford is one of the more fun teams in America to watch. They are incredibly efficient offensively and hold the nation’s longest winning streak. I think they are in the field regardless, but a loss to Chattanooga is a bad look. Avoid this and win this weekend at Samford and no matter what happens, Wofford is a stone cold lock.
Furman at Samford 6:30pm CT ESPN+
The Southern Conference is one of the more entertaining this year and there are a TON of entertaining mid-majors this year. Furman, the team everyone was talking about early this season is back in the thick of things with the bubble continuing to weaken. They need some help and to win convincingly the rest of the way, but they still have a pulse.
Murray State at Morehead State 6:35pm CT ESPN+
We’d all love to see Ja Morant and Murray State in the tournament, but the truth of the matter is that the Ohio Valley is a dog fight at the top. There are four teams at the top with legitimate chances to win the conference tournament. Murray State needs to be as dominant as possible in the final few games if they want a chance at an at-large. It is slim, but like Furman above, there’s a chance.
Belmont at Tennessee-Martin 7:30pm CT ESPN+
Pretty much a carbon copy of what I said about Murray State above. The Bruins have a nice, gaudy record at 23-4 with a bad loss to Green Bay, but they do have two wins over Lipscomb and one at UCLA. Their chances are a little better than the Racers, but the difference is slight.
Minnesota at Northwestern 8pm CT ESPN 2
The Gophers have lost 6 of their last 7 including a loss at Rutgers on Sunday. After this game, they still have a pair of quadrant 1 one opportunities left but a loss here would surely doom this team. Northwestern has played much better than their record shows and this will not be an easy one. Season on the line for Minnesota.
Arizona State at Oregon 10pm CT Pac-12 Network
The Sun Devils are somehow still alive. The Pac-12 has been so bad this year and they haven’t done anything to separate themselves from the mess, in my mind. ASU closes the season with 3 road games and a loss in any one of them would end their hopes at an at-large bid.
Portland at Saint Mary’s 10pm CT
This one will get a lot of flack and I am beginning to agree but Saint Mary’s, so long as they don’t lose again, should at least be on the fringe of the conversation. They still have a home game to end the regular season against Gonzaga and that’s why they’re alive.