Bubble Games to Watch: March 9
Conference tournaments are really getting going now, we saw top seeded Campbell go down in the Big South. The bubble has been splitting pretty evenly and we’ve got a few playing today that can seal their fate in one way or the other. Our first ticket is punched today as Murray State and Belmont play for the Ohio Valley Title.
23 Villanova at Seton Hall 11am CT FOX
Some big implications in this game, Villanova can win the Big East outright, again, and Seton Hall can seal a bid with an upset. It’s senior day in Newark but expect the junior Myles Powell to star in this game. He has had back-to-back 30 point games and took over the game late against Marquette.
Syracuse at Clemson 11am CT
Clemson needs another win, they’re in a good place because the teams around them are losing but at some point you have to land a decent win. This would be one of them. They have given away a bunch of opportunities (1-9 in quad 1 games) especially at home.
Butler at Providence 11am CT
Butler still needs a lot of help to get into the tournament, but it all starts at Providence. If they can get the win at Providence, they will be alive still for an at-large bid, but it will still take some losses ahead of them and a decent run in the Big East tournament.
TCU at Texas 11am CT ESPN 2
Both teams really need a win. Texas has been quickly playing themselves out of the field and TCU isn’t far behind them. I think that Texas is better off than TCU right now, they have some good wins and less questionable losses. The Frogs are in danger of falling to 6-12 in the Big 12, tough scene.
Florida at 6 Kentucky 1pm CT CBS
A golden opportunity for Florida slipped away at home against LSU earlier this week. The Gators had the ball with a chance to win and couldn’t get a shot off. Now they head to Rupp in desperate need of a win. The win would lock them in for a tournament bid and a loss would give them some work to do in the SEC tournament.
NC State at Boston College 1pm CT ACC Network
The Wolfpack are in trouble. They’ve lost 3 of their last 5 including a home loss to Georgia Tech. They really need the win against BC and to win at least one game in the ACC tournament to feel comfortable, anything less and they will be sweating it out on St. Patrick’s Day.
Georgetown at 16 Marquette 1:30pm CT FOX
The Golden Eagles have lost their last three and need a win to have a chance to share the Big East title. Georgetown needs a win to get to the right side of the bubble and this is the game that would put that blowout loss to DePaul in the rear-view mirror.
Louisville at 2 Virginia 3pm CT ESPN
Virginia has been playing very well of late and hit a program record 18 3’s against Syracuse. Louisville could use a win, they’re still pretty safely in the field, but a win would clearly lock them in. The Cardinals have stopped the skid since the devastating Duke loss, which is the silver lining.
25 UCF at Temple 3pm CT ESPN 2
The Knights have won 4 straight including wins over Houston and Cincinnati, the two best wins a team can have in the AAC. That’s great news for Temple. The Owls need a quality win and this would absolutely be it. Outside of a loss to Memphis, Temple has played well. Shizz Alston has been great and needs another big game to get his team to the tourney.
Arizona State at Arizona 3pm CT
The Sun Devils are just on the outside looking in. They need a lot to happen but the first thing they need is a win over rival Arizona. The Pac 12 is just so bad that the most they can hope for is to win their games and have team ahead of them lose.
St. John’s at Xavier 4pm CT FOX
The Johnnies need to stop the bleeding, the Musketeers need to keep winning to work their way into the field. This is a must-win for both teams and we will only have one winner. Can Shamorie Ponds will his team to stay in the NCAA Tourney or will Naji Marshall and company get another big win.
Oklahoma at 18 Kansas State 5pm CT ESPN 2
Oklahoma had a massive win for multiple reasons. First, they ended the Kansas reign of terror, second, they picked up a quadrant 1 win that they needed. The Sooners are in good shape and can pick up a seed line with another win.
Alabama at Arkansas 5pm CT SEC Network
This game can really only hurt Alabama. A loss would really hurt as Arkansas just isn’t there this year. They have some talent like Daniel Gafford but they haven’t played that well. Alabama needs to keep pace with the rest of the bubble.
DePaul at Creighton 7pm CT FS1
The Demons are hot right now. They’ve scored 92 and 101 points in the past two games and Max Strus has been excellent. Creighton has the unenviable task of slowing down the DePaul offense. The Jays are playing really well right now with 4 straight wins including one over DePaul. They still need a little help to find their way into the tournament.