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.
* – indicates second game in back-to-back series already covered in previous day.
MUST WIN GAMES
These teams already have a fine resume and risk taking a bad loss on their resume or are a bad loss from falling out of at-large contention.
Teams that Should Win
Winthrop (@ High Point)*
Teams that Need a Win but Could Lose
Saint Louis (@ Dayton)
Thursday’s games were bad news for Saint Louis. Wins from Wichita State, Stanford, and Oregon keep the bubble vast. This game would fit in the “should win” category if not for the results of the initial matchup between the Billikens and Flyers. Dayton won the first meeting 76-71 in near wire-to-wire fashion. SLU had just come off a month-long COVID-related leave. Since dropping a game to La Salle to kick off February, the Bills have won four straight including three by double digits. Whether the need to stay bubble-relevant or the pure momentum of recent basketball motivates Saint Louis, this game is highly winnable.
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.
For High Tournament Seeding
Matchups between Top 25 teams won’t typically help resolve the bubble. For viewing interest, these matchups are more marquee while the others are for teams with high hopes and less security.
No Games to Report.
For Low Tournament Seeding and Tournament Qualification
Unlike the “Teams that Need a Win but Could Lose” above, a loss here isn’t quite as damning. These results will most fall into NET rankings Q1 or Q2 wins and losses benefitting the winner in a meaningful way.
Utah State @ Boise State*
Normally a replayed matchup in such a short span wouldn’t get a blurb, but with so few relevant games here’s some thoughts on the impact in Boise. The contenders from the Mountain West are (in order of at-large likelihood) San Diego State, Boise State, Utah State, and Colorado State. If the Aggies lose again to the Broncos, that should lock in Boise State as the second best MWC team in spite of two losses to Nevada. If the Aggies win, they leapfrog Boise State pending a two-game series between the Aztecs and Broncos. The only way chaos truly ensues is if none of the four teams listed here win the conference tournament.
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 broncosports.com
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