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. This is the final edition of the Resume Change Opportunities series. Now that it is March, check out previews of every conference tournament here.
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
Arkansas (@ South Carolina)
Alabama (vs Auburn)
Texas (@ Iowa State)
Texas Tech (vs TCU)
Boise State (vs Fresno State)
LSU (vs Vanderbilt)
Teams that Need a Win but Could Lose
Xavier (@ Georgetown)
The Musketeers closed out February with a much-needed win after slipping to bubble talks. They beat ranked Creighton at home to put them on an inside track to an at-large seat. Unfortunately, Xavier doesn’t have a ton of road experience this season with only a 2-3 record. They travel to the nation’s capital to square off with a very beatable Hoyas squad. This is the first meeting between the two teams and one that Xavier cannot afford to drop.
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.
Baylor @ West Virginia
Illinois @ Michigan
Wisconsin @ Purdue
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.
Indiana @ Michigan State
This is the matchup that spurred an impactful Spartans winning streak. After downing Indiana at Assembly Hall, Michigan State went on to beat Illinois and Ohio State in back-to-back games to reposition themselves as at-large contenders. Things took a turn after that as the Spartans got beat bad by Maryland to finish the calendar month. Now, a rematch with Indiana gives both bubble teams an opportunity. The Hoosiers have gone 0-2 since their first meeting with the Spartans. Give a slight edge to the home team in a matchup that isn’t far from a coin flip.
Duke @ Georgia Tech
Not unlike Michigan State, Duke went on a tear in the middle of February. Consecutive wins over North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Virginia, and Syracuse vaulted the Blue Devils back into the bubble. An overtime loss to Louisville on Saturday wasn’t enough to knock them down too far. Now they draw a Yellow Jackets that was consistently hanging around for most of the season. Actually, Georgia Tech is on their own active four-game winning streak with victories over Pittsburgh, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse. Just as the Big Ten matchup above, a win means temporary inclusion in projected brackets.
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 goduke.com
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