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
San Diego State (@ Air Force)
Western Kentucky (@ Middle Tennessee)
Teams that Need a Win but Could Lose
Loyola Chicago (@ Bradley)
Small Sunday slate means more opportunity to watch mid-major action. Even though Drake has been out of action for a while, they still hold the top spot of the Missouri Valley standings. Right behind them lies Loyola Chicago who has been a strong team with losses only to Wisconsin, Richmond, and Indiana State. The Ramblers need this win to keep at-large hopes alive in the event that Drake continues to roll and/or wins the conference title. This could be a season where the MVC gets two bids but that requires Loyola Chicago to have a dominant regular season and lose to Drake in the conference tournament finals.
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.
Rutgers @ Indiana
The Scarlet Knights have lost five straight games and are clinging to low tournament team status thanks to the power of the Big Ten. After opening January with four ranked opponents, Rutgers closes out with Indiana, Michigan State, and Northwestern. They probably need to win two of those three to come away net positive heading into a tough slate in early February. The Hoosiers are also on the inside looking out for March. They now have a coveted marquee win after winning in Iowa City 81-69 on Thursday. That win alone greatly boosts their resume and prospects going forward. This clash features a strong early season team trending down and another team rising fast. Expect the hot home team to keep riding the heat.
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.
No Games to Report.
Featured Image courtesy of loyolaramblers.com
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