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
Houston (vs Cincinnati)
Drake (vs Evansville)
Iowa (vs Penn State)
Wisconsin (@ Northwestern)
Xavier (vs Butler)
Teams that Need a Win but Could Lose
St. Bonaventure (vs Davidson)
The Wildcats have very slyly moved into a fine position in both the conference standings at college basketball as a whole. They are tied for the best win percentage in the Atlantic 10 and end the regular season with two games against the Bonnies and one against VCU. If they win out and perform well in the conference tournament, there is a super slim possibility of picking up an at-large spot. More realistically, Davidson is out and the Bonnies are the ones who need to survive the bubble. St. Bonaventure is 6-0 at home this season and is also in the mix for a high conference tournament seed. With two games against Davidson as well as dates with George Washington and Dayton, St. Bonaventure should be in March Madness if they win out.
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.
Michigan @ Ohio State
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.
Maryland @ Rutgers
It’s been over two months since these two squared off. Rutgers won 74-60 in College Park as part of a 6-0 start to the season. Lately, both teams have struggled against top opponents while beating teams like Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern. Now Rutgers can nearly eliminate the Terps from at-large contention with a win. Maryland faces three of the four worst teams in the conference to end the regular season. The Scarlet Knights have an edge in each of the major stat categories averaging more points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game. Even with Maryland knowing they have few lives left, expect Rutgers to take care of business.
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 scarletknights.com
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