With over 300 NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs, there are games on every day. Top 25 rankings help determine marquee matchups and nationally televised matchups. Postseason play is so inclusive that every game counts and every team is chasing success in March. This article will discuss the opportunities for teams to boost or hurt their resumes as March Madness nears.
MUST WIN GAMES
These teams already have a fine resume and risk tacking a bad loss on their resume or are a bad loss from falling out of at-large contention.
Teams that Should Win
Winthrop (vs Longwood)
Byrant (@ St. Francis PA)
Liberty (@ Stetson)
South Dakota State (@ Omaha)
WINNER GETS A BOOST
These matchups have two mid-level contenders facing off for bubble separation. Games with two fringe teams are crucial in determining who gets a higher seed or qualifies for the NCAA tournament.
Cleveland State @ Wright State
A battle of 8-3 Horizon League teams rarely makes any waves but the first of back to back games between these two teams should go a long way for postseason status. The visiting Vikings have the current edge in conference standing but Wright State poses a bigger threat on the season. Raiders redshirt senior Loudon Love leads the conference in field goal percentage and is second in rebounding. A win over Wright State would help get Cleveland State off of a potential 15 or 16 seed line come March. Wright State has a shot to win out in the regular season and work up to a 12 or 13 if they can win both games.
Games in this section are expected to go the favorite’s way but realistically could be very competitive. If the underdog pulls off a win it is a huge boost for their resume. Whoever loses doesn’t add a bad loss to their resume.
Wisconsin @ Rutgers
The Badgers haven’t dropped out of the AP Top 15 all season enduring losses to mediocre teams like Marquette and Maryland. Conversely, the Scarlet Knights have flirted with the Top 25 with a marquee win over Illinois. Since that key victory, Rutgers has lost 4 of 5 and needs to add another top-notch win or two to elevate off of the bubble. One of the perks of playing in the Big Ten is the opportunity for quality victories. Wisconsin boasts the best scoring defense in the Big Ten but is susceptible to the deep ball. Rutgers is the second best 3-point shooting team in conference play and will need to be in the zone to bolster their resume.
Featured Image courtesy of Adam Ruff / Icon Sportswire
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