The College basketball regular season will wrap up this weekend and with that, comes tons of March Madness implications. For a bunch of bubble teams, they have a chance this weekend to earn a huge win that could push them on the right side of the bubble. Today’s preview will focus on the bubble teams and what they need to do to secure their spot in March Madness and then tomorrow’s preview will give you the Games of the Day. First, lets discuss Joe Lunardi’s updated Bracketology to get a picture of where we stand heading into Saturday. As of Friday morning, Joe Lunardi’s last four teams in are BYU, Purdue, Indiana, and Temple. Other teams on the bubble that he has in the field are Xavier, LSU, Boise State, and Davidson, although all four of those teams are much more solid in terms of making the tournament. And then there are the first four to eight teams that miss the field. Those are, Texas, UCLA, Illinois, Pittsburgh, Miami, Stanford, and Old Dominion. All of these teams have the potential to make the field still with a quality win over the weekend or in their conference tournaments.
Last Teams in: What they must do this weekend to stay in:
- Indiana – The Hoosiers have a huge chance to solidify there spot in the tournament with a home win over projected 7 seed Michigan State. This is a noon start at Indiana and Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon must step up and win this game, in what is likely a “win and your in” type of game for the Hoosiers
- Purdue/Illinois – In the ultimate Bubble Watch game, current last four in Purdue will have a home contest vs. current last four out Illinois in a game where the winner likely gets in the field and the loser likely stays out and will have to do damage in the Big Ten Tournament. When these two teams met earlier in the year at Illinois, the Fighting Illini won 66-57.
- Temple – Temple has a chance to solidify there spot in the field with a home win vs. surging Connecticut. Temple is currently amongst the second to last four teams in and a loss to UConn would put them in a tenuous spot. Temple won at UConn and New Years Eve, 57-53 in Overtime, and sweeping UConn would likely be enough to solidify their spot in the field.
- Davidson – Davidson solidified its spot in the field with three straight wins over Rhode Island, George Washington, and VCU as long as they don’t lose to awful Duquesne on the road this weekend. If they drop this game, all the hard work they have done to earn a spot will have gone to waste as they will have to win the A10 tournament to make it with a loss in this game
Teams Currently Not in the Field – What they must do
- Miami/Pittsburgh – Both Miami and Pittsburgh play ACC bottom feeders this weekend and if they have any shot of making the field, they must take care of business vs. Virginia Tech and Florida State respectively. While winning these games will not be enough to push them into the field, losing these games would certainly knock them out of contention
- Texas – Like Miami and Pittsburgh, Texas is not playing a game that can push them into the field, but a home loss to Kansas State would certainly push them out of contention. If they win this game and then put together a win or two in the Big 12 Tournament, they will likely have done enough to push themselves into the field
- Stanford – Stanford has the biggest opportunity of the weekend, with a road game vs. #5 Arizona. A win in this game and they are going to be in the field, almost for sure. However, they are taking on an Arizona team with a 37 game home winning streak and this is a very daunting task. If they pull it off, they will be dancing and Chasson Randle will be able to make some noise in March, trust me on that.
- Old Dominion – ODU is a very talented team that has a lot of work to do to make the tournament and that starts with taking care of Western Kentucky at home this weekend. If they can do that and make the C-USA final they will likely have a good shot at making the field as an At-Large.