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TBW Viewing Guide: Who to root for tonight

Jajuan bench

Photo by Anthony Giacomino/ Paint Touches

After a two year hiatus, Marquette is reprising its role as Team Bubble Watch and that is a wonderful thing. During the first two years of the Wojo era, all but the most hopeful of Marquette fans knew that the Warriors were nowhere near the bubble this time of year. In the last year with Buzz at the helm, Marquette had played itself off the bubble only to go on a tear, winning 5 of 6 to force themselves into the postseason conversation. Unfortunately, with three games left, Marquette went on a nosedive, losing all three, including two in double overtime, before eventually losing the in first round of the BET.

Marquette has laid its case in front of the committee, but after losing in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament, can only wait and watch.  With that in mind, Paint Touches will be regularly updating this viewing guide to let Marquette fans know which games you need to be paying attention to, and which teams to send prayers for and against. Just to make it easy, the team Marquette would want to win is in green. The team that is evil and must be destroyed is in red.

(Editor’s Note: RPIs cited come from WarrenNolan.com, which update daily, unlike the official NCAA RPI site. Bubble positions are taken from bracketmatrix.com)

Saturday, March 11th (9-3)

Albany at Vermont
11:00 AM CT
ESPN2
Line: UVM -9.5
Why?: Vermont is sitting at #49 in RPI. A loss would drop them from the top 50 making room for Georgia (#52).
Albany Loses 56-53

Kentucky vs Alabama
12:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: KEN: -10.5
Why?: Alabama is one of the few remaining bid thieves.
Kentucky Wins 79-74

Davidson vs Rhode Island
12:00 PM CT
CBS Sports Network
Line: URI -4
Why?: This is a tough one to call. Rhode Island is currently in the field, but if they were to win the A10, they would be immune to Dayton. Davidson is a bid thief and they could similarly push Marquette closer to Dayton. Best outcome is Davidson winning now and then losing to VCU in the final.
Davidson Loses 84-60

Michigan vs Minnesota
12:00 PM CT
CBS
Line: MICH -3.5
Why?: Straight up RPI.
Michigan Wins 84-74

Penn vs Princeton
12:30 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: PRIN -6.0
Why?: Princeton is sitting at #51 in RPI. A loss clears up room for Georgia (#52) to become top 50 is combined with a loss by Vermont.
Penn Loses 72-64

SMU vs UCF
2:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: SMU -8.5
Why?: UCF is one of the final bid thieves.
SMU Wins 70-59

Arkansas vs Vanderbilt
2:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: VAN -2.0
Why?: Alright Vanderbilt. Knock it off. We’ve been cheering for you for weeks. You can stop now. Vanderbilt’s win over Florida in OT has put them dangerously close passing Marquette on the bubble, if it hasn’t already. The committee will certainly have an interesting questioning when seeding these two. Will they factor in Marquette’s 20+ point beatdown of Vandy from almost 4 months ago?
Arkansas Wins 76-62

VCU vs Richmond
2:30 PM CT
CBS Sports Network
Line: VCU -5.5
Why?: Richmond is probably the most likely bid thief at this point. VCU winning the A10 would be the best possible outcome at this point.
VCU Wins 87-77 

Wisconsin vs Northwestern
2:30 PM CT
CBS Sports Network
Line: WIS -5
Why?: Wisconsin boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Wisconsin Wins 76-48

Cincinnati vs UConn
4:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: -10.5
Why?: UConn hosting the AAC tournament and then winning it after a .500 season would be the most UConn thing ever. Cincy needs to squash that.
Cincinnati Wins 81-71

Nevada vs Colorado State
5:00 PM CT
CBS
Line: NEV -4.0
Why?: Nevada shouldn’t be an at large team…but why risk it?
Nevada Wins 79-71

Middle Tennessee State vs Marshall
7:30 PM CT
CBS Sports Network
Line: MTSU -9.0
Why?: Still not convinced that the Blue Raiders are at large worthy. But the committee very well could be. This would eliminate any risk.
MTSU Wins 83-72

Previous Results

 Friday, March 10th (12-6)

East Carolina vs SMU
11:00 AM CT
ESPN2
Line: N/A
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in ECU.
SMU Wins 81-77

Michigan vs Purdue
11:00 AM CT
ESPN
Line: PUR -3.0
Why?: Michigan is only 4 spots ahead of Marquette at the moment, but they won’t be dropping below them any time soon. Best bet is to root for the slight RPI bump from Big Blue.
Michigan Wins 74-70 in OT

Davidson vs Dayton
11:00 PM CT
NBCSN
Line: Dayton -5.5
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in Davidson.
Dayton Loses 73-67

Middle Tennessee State vs UT El Paso
11:30 AM CT
CBSSN
Line: NA
Why?: Its unclear if the Blue Raiders have done enough to earn an at large seed. Best option is to hope for chalk and hope they lock up the C-USA autobid.
Middle Tennessee State Wins 82-56

Georgia vs Kentucky
12:00 PM CT
SECN
Line: UK -10.0
Why?: A win over UK would vault Georgia past a few teams and put them right at the cusp of the play-in game, if not in it. However, it would still not get them close to Marquette’s location. A win would also solidify Georgia’s position in the top-50 of the RPI, where they currently sit at No. 50. There is a huge difference between being 51 and 50 in the way that particular win is represented to the committee, so rooting for Georgia is the way to go.
Georgia Loses 71-60

St. Bonaventure vs Rhode Island
1:30 PM CT
NBCSN
Line: NA
Why?: Rhode Island is currently the last team in the field. A win over the Bonnies wouldn’t exactly vault them past Marquette, but a run to the A-10 title might.
St. Bonaventure Loses 74-63

Alabama vs South Carolina
2:00 PM CT
SECN
Line: NA
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in Alabama.
South Carolina Loses 64-53

George Mason vs VCU
5:00 PM CT
NBCSN
Line: NA
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in George Mason.
VCU Wins 71-60

Indiana vs Wisconsin
5:30 PM CT
BTN
Line: NA
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief/bubble team in Indiana and boosts Marquette’s RPI a tad.
Wisconsin Wins 70-60

Seton Hall vs Villanova
5:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: NA
Why?: Hall will probably jump Marquette, but as of 9:45am, they were still one spot behind in the bracket matrix.
Villanova Wins 55-53

Tulsa vs Cincinnati
6:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: NA
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in Tulsa.
Cincinnati Wins 80-61

TCU vs Iowa State
6:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: NA
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief/bubble team in TCU.
Iowa State Wins 84-63

Howard vs Morgan State
7:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line:
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Howard Loses 68-53

UConn vs Houston
8:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: NA
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief/bubble team in Houston and also would guarantee they could not finish in the top 50 of the RPI, where they currently sit at 51. (Although UConn losing wouldn’t be terrible, as they are playing the AAC Tournament in Hartford and stranger things have happened.)
UConn Wins 74-65

Cal vs Oregon
8:00 PM CT
PAC12
Line: NA
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief/bubble team in Cal.
Oregon Wins 73-65

Kansas State vs West Virginia
8:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: NA
Why?: Kansas State’s big win has moved them close to being the last team in, so still not a threat to MU, but another big win over a top tier opponent would solidify their place in the Tourney and move them up the seed list.
West Virginia Wins 51-50

Xavier vs Creighton
8:00 PM CT
FS1
Line: NA
Why?: Xavier’s win over Butler was probably enough to make them a lock in the field, but they still show up behind Marquette on most brackets. A win here might change that.
Creighton Wins 75-72

Fresno State vs Nevada
9:00 PM CT
CBS Sports Network
Line: NA
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI. (Although you can make the case that Nevada is a fringe bubble team so Fresno winning would guarantee a bid thief. I don’t think Nevada has a resume better than Marquette, though, so sticking with the RPI bump.)
Fresno State Loses 83-72

Thursday, March 9th (16-7)

Michigan vs Illinois
11:00 AM CT
Big 10 Network
Line: MICH -4.5
Why?: This game is a double whammy for Marquette. A Michigan win bolsters Marquette’s RPI and an Illinois loss eliminates them from the bubble.
Michigan Wins 75-55

North Carolina vs Miami (FL)
11:00 AM CT
ESPN
Line: UNC -8.0
Why?: With Marquette safely in the tournament, they can start to look ahead to seeding. Miami sits on the 8/9 line in most brackets. A loss would leave the door open for Marquette to pass the Canes.
UNC Wins 78-53

Villanova vs St. John’s
11:00 AM CT
Fox Sports 1
Line: NOVA -20.0
Why?: This is a tough one to call. Marquette would play the winner of this game. St. John’s is much easier to beat but they are a bigger risk as well. If Marquette were to lose to St. John’s, it could tank their RPI and would open the door for St. John’s to become a bid thief. Villanova is the safer option. A loss to them wouldn’t hurt Marquette (actually raises their RPI) and eliminates a potential bid thief.
Villanova Wins 108-67

Iowa State vs Oklahoma State
11:30 AM CT
ESPN2
Line: IAST -10.0
Why?: Oklahoma State is currently on the 7 seed line. To have a shot at catching them, Marquette needs them to lose early.
ISU Wins 92-83

Middle Tennessee State vs UT San Antonio
11:30 AM CT
Regional TV
Line: MTSU -16.0
Why?: Its unclear if the Blue Raiders have done enough to earn an at large seed. Best option is to pray for chalk and hope they lock up the C-USA autobid.
MTSU Wins 86-70

Georgia vs Tennessee
12:00 PM CT
SEC Network
Line: UGA -1.5
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI. It could also be enough to turn Georgia into a top 50 road win.
Georgia Wins 59-57

Penn State vs Michigan State
1:25 PM CT
Big 10 Network
Line: N/A
Why?: Michigan State has a similar resume to Marquette and is right around that 10 seed line. A loss puts them behind Marquette. It also kicks them out of the top 50 RPI leaving room for Providence (52), Georgia (53), and Marquette (55) to move into the top 50.
PSU Loses 78-51

Kansas vs TCU
1:30 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: N/A
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in TCU.
Kansas Loses 85-82

Oregon vs Arizona State
2:00 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: ORE -10.0
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in Arizona State.
Oregon Wins 80-57

Fresno State vs New Mexico
4:30 PM CT
CBS Sports Network
Line: FRES -2.0
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Fresno Wins 64-60

Utah vs California
4:30 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: N/A
Why?: No team has dropped faster down the S-Curve than the Golden Bears. Barely surviving Oregon State, the worst high major in the country, in the first round did little to stop their freefall. A loss to the Utes would eliminate them from the bubble. Utah clobbered Cal by 30 only a few games ago.
Utah Loses 78-75

Howard vs Morgan State
5:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: MORG -1.5
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Howard Wins 68-65

Houston Baptist vs Sam Houston State
5:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: N/A
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
HBU Loses 63-59

Indiana vs Iowa
5:30 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: IND -1.5
Why?: Indiana can only make it by winning the whole tournament. Iowa is in the First/Next Four Out range and could concievably play themselves in but lose in the final.
Indiana Wins 95-73

Florida State vs Virginia Tech
6:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: N/A
Why?: With Marquette safely in the tournament, they can start to look ahead to seeding. VT sits on the 8/9 line in most brackets. A loss would leave the door open for Marquette to pass their former head coach.
FSU Wins 74-68

West Virginia vs Texas
6:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line:
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in Texas.
WVU Wins 63-53

Vanderbilt vs Texas A&M
6:00 PM CT
SEC Network
Line: VANDY -4.0
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in Texas A&M and boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Vandy Wins 66-41

Butler vs Xavier
7:00 PM CT
FS1
Line: N/A
Why?: Xavier’s two wins against Depaul was likely enough to keep them from sliding off the bubble. A good old fashioned butt kicking from Butler will keep them from passing Marquette.
Butler Loses 62-57

Rutgers vs Northwestern
7:30 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: N/A
Why?: Drops Northwestern between Marquette and the bubble.
Rutgers Loses 83-61

Baylor vs Kansas State
8:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: BAY -5.5
Why?: Kansas State looks like the 2nd team out of the tournament at the moment. A loss would eliminate any chance of them playing themselves in.
Butler Loses 70-64

Arizona vs Colorado
8:00 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line:
Why?: Eliminates a potential bid thief in Colorado.
Arizona Wins 92-78

Creighton vs Providence
8:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: CREI -2.5
Why?: Providence and Marquette have nearly equal resumes. A loss keeps Providence from passing Marquette.
Crieghton Wins 70-58

UCLA vs USC
10:30 PM CT
ESPN
Line: N/A
Why?: USC sitting somewhere in the Last Four Byes/Last Four In range. They almost met disaster last night, barely escaping a godawful Washington squad. A loss to UCLA doesn’t hurt, but it keeps them from rising above Marquette.
UCLA Wins 76-74

Previous Results

 Wednesday, March 8th (4-5)

Miami vs Syracuse
11:00 AM CT
ESPN
Line: Miami -1.5
Why?: Syracuse is in the Last 4 In basically everywhere. While a loss to Miami wouldn’t exactly be a bad loss, it would take away the opportunity to notch a high quality win, which they lack away from the Carrier Dome, and pretty much seal Marquette’s place in front of the Orange in any scenario. 

Miami wins 62-57

Duke vs Clemson
1:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: Duke -7.0
Why?: Clemson is still squarely on the outside looking in, but a deep ACC run might add some intrigue on Selection Sunday.

Duke wins 79-72

Oregon State vs Cal
4:30 PM CT
PAC12
Line: Cal -15.0
Why?: Cal lost 4 of its last 5 games, including losses to Stanford and Colorado, they are still receiving some bracket love and will have an opportunity to really improve their standing with a deep Pac-12 run.

Oregon State loses 67-62

Georgetown vs St. John’s
6 PM CT
FS1
Line: Hoyas -1.0
Why?: This is sneakily one of the most important games of the night for Marquette (and the Big East as a whole). A loss drops Georgetown out of the top 100, removing a top-100 win and adding a 2nd top-100 loss. The only way St. John’s could sneak into the top-100 of the RPI is by winning the Big East Tournament, a highly improbably occurrence. Hoyas are the way to go.

Georgetown loses 74-73

Oklahoma vs TCU
6:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: TCU -2.0
Why?: TCU is pretty far from the bubble, but still close enough to not be entirely ruled out if they make the Big 12 final.

Oklahoma loses 82-63

Wake Forest vs Virginia Tech
6:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: Wake -2.0
Why?: Wake is currently in all 135 brackets, but still behind Marquette. At this point, a Wake loss might not knock them out of the Tourney, but will provide some cushion in the case of a large number of bid thieves.

Virginia Tech wins 99-90

Pitt vs Virginia
8:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: Virginia -10.0
Why?: Straight RPI, homey.

Pitt loses 75-63

DePaul vs Xavier
8:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: Xav -10.5
Why?: While it is true that MU is in direct competition with Xavier for a bid, having Xavier lose to DePaul would further the narrative that Marquette’s wins over them shouldn’t be counted as good wins. Beating DePaul won’t change the committee’s mind one way or the other, but losing to them definitely might. 

Xavier wins 75-64

Washington vs USC
10:30 PM CT
PAC12
Line: USC -12.0
Why?: A loss to dreadful Washinton would calcify USC behind Marquette and would drop them perilously close to the top 50 RPI cutoff, hurting Cal’s chances in the process.
Washington loses 78-73

Tuesday, March 7th (1-3)

NC State vs Clemson
11:00 AM CT
ESPN2
Line: CLEM -6.0
Why?: There is no way Clemson should get a bid. But they are still appearing on at least 1 bracket. An early departure would kill any hope.
NC State Loses 75-61

Boston College vs Wake Forest
1:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: WAKE -13.0
Why?: Wake Forest went from Next Four Out to Last Four Byes after winning some big games down the stretch. A loss to cellar dweller Boston College would keep them on the very edge of the bubble.
BC Loses 92-78

St Francis (PA) vs Mount St. Mary’s
6:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: MSM -5.0
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI. Plus, it would put the Red Flash in the tournament. Record against the field is not the most important metric for the committee, but it would give Marquette another W in that column.
St. Francis loses 71-61

Pittsburgh vs Georgia Tech
6:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: PITT -1.0
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI. Also, Georgia Tech doesn’t appear on any brackets, but a lot of bracketologists, including Lunardi, have them in the First or Next Four Out. A loss would shut them out for good.
Pitt Wins 61-59

Monday, March 6th (3-1)

Howard vs Coppin State
6:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: HOW -3.0
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.

Howard Wins 79-73

Charleston vs UNC Wilmington
6:00 PM CT
No TV
Line: N/A
Why?: UNC Wilmington is a fringe bubble team at best, but winning the CAA tournament would kill any chance of a bid thief.

UNC Wilmington Wins 78-69

Santa Clara vs Gonzaga
8:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: Gonzaga -10
Why?: Wins by Gonzaga and St. Mary’s would eliminate the possibility of a bid thief coming out of the WCC.
Gonzaga Wins 77-68

IUPUI at Omaha
8:30 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: N/A
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI. 

Omaha Wins 90-62

BYU vs Saint Mary’s
10:30 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: SMC -7.5
Why?: Wins by Gonzaga and St. Mary’s would eliminate the possibility of a bid thief coming out of the WCC.
Saint Mary’s Wins 81-50

Sunday, March 5th (3-1)

Wichita State vs Illinois State
1:00 PM CT 
CBS
Line: Wichita -7.0
Why?: Illinois State is still the last team into the tournament right now. It’s not a given than either will make it into the field, as they both lack RPI Top-50 victories, but the consensus is the Shockers are a lock. As such, the MVC auto-bid would be best served in their hands, for Marquette bubble purposes.

Wichita State Wins 71-51

Siena vs Monmouth
3:30 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: Monmouth -11.0
Why?: Monmouth is a fringe bubble team, but it would be in Marquette’s best interest for them to win the MAAC Tourney outright and prevent a bid thief.

Siena Wins 89-85

Minnesota at Wisconsin
5:00 PM CT
BTN
Line: Wisconsin -6.5
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Wisconsin Wins 66-49

Michigan at Nebraska
7:00 PM CT
Big 10 Network
Line: Michigan -4.5
Why?: A Michigan win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Michigan Wins 93-57

Saturday, March 4th (13-14)

Illinois at Rutgers
11:00 AM CT
ESPNU
Line: ILL -3.5
Why?: Illinois is one of the Last Four In per Bracket Matrix. A loss to lowly Rutgers may be put an irreparable dent in their resume.
Rutgers Wins 62-59

Pittsburgh at Virginia
11:00 AM CT
ACC Network
Line: UVA -11.5
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Pitt Loses 67-42

Wagner vs St. Francis (PA)
11:00 AM CT
No TV
Line: Wagner -5.0
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
St. Francis Wins 71-70

Providence at St. John’s
11:00 AM CT
FS2
Line: PROV -1
Why?: Providence and Marquette are neck and neck on the bubble. A loss to St. John’s would give them 4 sub 100 losses. It would also open up the possibility of a 3 seed in the BET for MU.
St. John’s Loses 86-75

UNC-Wilmington vs Delaware 
11:00 AM CT
No TV
Line
: N/A

Why?:  While unlikely to steal an at large, the safest option is cheering for UNC-W to get the CAA auto-bid.
UNC-Wilmington Wins 91-82

Texas Tech at Kansas State
12:00 PM CT
ESPNN
Line: KSU -3.5
Why?: K-State is somewhere between First and Next Four Out. A loss to Texas Tech would kill any possibility of them passing Marquette.
Texas Tech Loses 61-48

Georgia at Arkansas
1:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: ARK -7.0
Why?: Arkansas is virtually a lock at this point but a loss at home would open the door a little bit and help Marquette with seeding. The win would also turn Georgia into a top 50 road win for Marquette.
Georgia Loses 85-67

Florida at Vanderbilt
1:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: Vandy -4.0
Why?: This is a bit of a win-win scenario for Marquette. Florida winning would squash any hope of Vanderbilt passing Marquette on the bubble. Not only that, but Vandy would likely remain a top 50 win. However, Marquette’s dismantling of Vandy in the first game of the season likely means that even with a Marquette loss and Vandy win, Marquette would still get a bid over the Commodores. Thus, the RPI boost from Vandy winning is more valuable.
Vandy Wins 73-71

Michigan State at Maryland
1:00 PM CT
Big 10 Network
Line: Maryland -4.5
Why?: Michigan State is likely a lock but a loss could help Marquette with seeding.
Maryland Wins 63-60

California at Colorado
1:00 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: COLO -2.0
Why?: California might have killed it’s NCAA hopes by allowing an average Utah squad to blow them away to the tune of 30 points. A loss to a Colorado team with is below .500 in conference would likely seal their fate.
Colorado Wins 54-46

George Mason at VCU
1:00 PM CT
Regional TV
Line: VCU -11.5
Why?: VCU is almost assuredly a lock for the tournament. However, they are only 5 spots above Marquette at the moment. A loss to an awful George Mason squad might be enough to drop them below Marquette….even with a loss to Creighton!
George Mason Loses 72-60

Xavier at Depaul
1:00 PM CT
Regional TV
Line
: Xavier -7.0

Why?: This one was actually a tougher call than you might expect. A loss would drop Xavier dangerously close to the top 50 RPI mark. Marquette’s resume can’t afford to lose two top 50 wins. However, one loss should only drop them to about 43 while also putting more room between Marquette and the bubble. Marquette would then need X to regroup and beat Depaul in the BET.
DePaul Loses 79-65

Seton Hall at Butler
1:30 PM CT
FOX
Line: BUT -8.5
Why?: Marquette and Seton Hall are neck and neck on the bubble. A loss prevents Seton Hall from passing Marquette.
Butler Loses 70-64

TCU at Oklahoma

2:00 PM CT
ESPNN
Line: OKLA -3.0
Why?: TCU is likely dead in the water, but a loss to last place Oklahoma would officially put a bullet in them.
Oklahoma Wins 73-68

Southern Illinois vs Illinois State
2:30 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: N/A
Why?: Illinois State is the last team into the tournament right now. This is the last chance for them to lose a game that could knock them onto the wrong side of the bubble.
SIU Loses 63-50

Georgia Tech at Syracuse
3:00 PM CT
ACC Network
Line: CUSE -9.0
Why?: Both teams are on the bubble but Syracuse is a lot more likely to steal a bid from Marquette than the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech Loses 90-61 

Wake Forest at Virginia Tech
3:30 PM CT
ACC Network
Line: VT -2.0
Why?: Wake’s big win against Louisville gave them newfound life on the bubble. A road win over the Fighting Buzzes would equalize their resume with Marquette’s if the Golden Eagles were to lose.
Virginia Tech Loses 89-84

Davidson at Rhode Island
5:00 PM CT
Regional TV
Line: URI -8.0
Why?: Rhode Island has been fighting for their postseason lives since the first edition of the bubble watch. They are still considered to be on the outside looking in. A loss to a sub-par Davidson squad would kill their tournament hopes.
Davidson Loses 73-70

Florida Atlantic at Middle Tennesse State
5:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: MTSU -16.0
Why?: Of all the lower mid-majors, Middle Tennessee State is the most likely to steal an at large bid if they were to fall in their conference tournament. Florida Atlantic is a heavy underdog but the Blue Raiders needed to overcome a 19 point deficit in order to beat an equally bad FIU team in their last game.
FAU Loses 93-59

Missouri State at Wichita State
5:00 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: N/A
Why?: Even though they are considered “on the bubble” there is no way 21st ranked Wichita State is not getting into the tournament. Pray for chalk and hope the MVC is a 1 bid league.
Wichita Wins 78-63

Washington at USC
5:30 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: USC -16
Why?: USC is currently 1 spot behind Marquette on the bubble. A loss to a terrible Husky squad would send them careening towards the NIT.
USC Wins 74-58

UNLV at Fresno State
6:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: FRES -11.5
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Fresno Wins 78-52

Colorado State at Nevada
7:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: NEV -6.5
Why?: Nevada is unlikely to steal an at large if they fall in the MWC tournament, but another loss could be some insurance.
CSU Loses 85-72

Abilene Christian at Houston Baptist
7:00 PM CT
No TV
Line: N/A
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
HBU Wins 81-72

UT-Arlington at UL-Lafayette
7:15 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: UTA -1.5
Why?: UTA is an intriguing low major due to its absurdly high RPI (37) and quality road win at St. Mary’s (RPI 17). Three losses to sub 150 opponents is probably too much to overcome but another sub 100 loss couldn’t hurt.
Lafayette Wins 83-81

IUPUI at North Dakota State
8:30 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: NDSU -3.5
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
IUPUI Wins 76-57

Pacific at Gonzaga
9:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: N/A
Why?: WCC is one of the more likely leagues to produce a bid stealer with only two at large teams. Gonzaga and St. Mary’s should be at the top of every Marquette fans “to cheer for” list.
Pacific Loses 82-50

Friday, March 3rd (2-2)

Evansville vs Illinois State
12:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: ISU -10.5
Why?: Illinois State is currently the last team in, and a loss to a mediocre Evansville team would nearly secure a fall from there. With Wichita State being the higher seed in bracketmatrix at the moment, Marquette would rather have the Shockers take the title.
Evansville Loses 80-69

Citadel vs Western Carolina
4:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: Citadel -1.5
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
W. Carolina loses 78-72

Niagra vs Monmouth
6:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: Monmouth -13.5
Why?: Monmouth is a fringe bubble team, but it would be in Marquette’s best interest for them to win the MAAC Tourney outright and prevent a bid thief.
Niagra loses 84-59

Bradley vs Wichita State
6:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: Wichita State -21.5
Why?: Wichita State winning the MVC Tourney and preventing a bid thief is what you should be rooting for all weekend.
Wichita Wins 82-56

Thursday, March 2nd (3-3)

Houston at Cincinnati
6:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: Cincinnati -8.5
Why?: This is Houston’s last chance to boost its resume before the AAC tournament. Without this win they don’t have much chance to make the field and no chance to pass Marquette.
Cincinnati Wins 66-47

Florida International at Middle Tennessee State 
6:30 PM CT
ESPN3
Line
: MTSU -18.0

Why?:  If any of the low major teams earn an at large bid, it would be Middle Tennessee State. They aren’t going to lose to lowly FIU but it would end any hope for them if they did.
FIU Loses 70-67

Howard at Delaware State
6:30 PM CT
No TV
Line: N/A
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI
Howard Loses 66-56

Iowa at Wisconsin

8:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: Wisconsin -12.5
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Wisconsin Loses 59-57

High Point at Gardner-Webb
8:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: Gardner-Webb -3.0
Why?: With three common opponents as Marquette, Gardner-Webb affects Marquette’s RPI more than one might expect.
Gardner Wins 91-55

California at Utah
10:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line:  Utah -1.5
Why?: California is teetering on the edge of the bubble. The slightest push could send them to the NIT. Losing at Utah isn’t a bad loss but it might enough to keep them home.
Utah Wins 74-44

Wednesday, March 1st (4-8)

Auburn at Georgia
5:30 PM CT
SEC Network
Line: Georgia -5.0
Why?: This is one of those win-win/lose-lose games for Marquette. Georgia is sitting in Next Four Out territory and seems to be surging at the right time. However, Marquette’s win in Athens is an important part of their resume. A win for Georgia would boost their RPI to 51 per RPI Wizard, just outside of top 50 territory. I think the RPI boost, and the potential of another top 50 road win on the resume, outweighs the slim chance that Georgia will plays its way into the tourney.
Georgia Wins 79-78

Arkansas at Florida
6:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line
: Florida -11.0

Why?: Arkansas is very close to lock territory but is not quite there yet. A loss at Florida won’t set them back, but it will delay their lock status. Then if they lose at home to Georgia this weekend….they are suddenly a lot more bubbly.
Florida Wins 78-65

Michigan at Northwestern
6:00 PM CT
Big 10 Network
Line: Northwestern -1
Why?: This game is a triple threat for Marquette. First, Northwestern is currently sitting at number 50 in RPI. A loss would make room for Marquette opponents Georgia (54th) and Providence (55th). Second, as one of Marquette’s opponents, a Michigan win boosts our RPI. Most importantly, the previously solid Wildcats are only 4 spots ahead of Marquette on the bubble. As feel good as Northwestern making the tournament would be, all Marquette fans should be cheering hard for the Wolverines.
Northwestern Wins 67-65


Rhode Island at St. Joseph’s

6:00 PM CT
No TV
Line: Rhode Island -8.5
Why?: Rhode Island is literally the first team out of the tournament right now. A loss to A10 cellar dweller St. Joe’s would be devastating to their at large hopes.
Rhode Island Wins 68-49

Bryant at St. Francis (PA)
6:00 PM CT
No TV
Line: St. Francis (PA) -3.0
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
St. Francis Wins 100-78

NC State at Clemson
7:00 PM CT
ACC Network
Line: Clemson -8.5
Why?: At 14-14, Clemson is pretty much dead in the water. A loss to NC State would be the equivalent of a double tap.
Clemson Wins 78-74

Texas A&M-CC at Houston Baptist
7:00 PM CT
No TV
Line: N/A
Why?: A win boosts Marquette’s RPI.
Houston Baptist Wins 94-80

Michigan State at Illinois
8:00 PM CT 8:00 PM CT
Big 10 Network
Line: Illinois -1.5
Why?: This was a tough game to call. On one hand, Michigan State is only 6 spots ahead of Marquette on the bubble. On the other hand, Illinois has surged from nowhere near the bubble, all the way to the First Four Out. In the end, it is more important to stop the teams behind Marquette then pass the teams in front of them. Plus a home loss would be more devastating to Illinois than a road loss would be to Michigan State.
Illinois Wins 73-70

Louisville at Wake Forest
8:00 PM CT
ACC Network
Line: Louisville -3.5
ESPN3
Line: Gardner-Webb -3.0
Why?: Wake Forest currently sits as the second team out of the tournament. A win over top 10 Louisville would certainly launch them into the field.
Wake Forest Wins 88-81

Kansas State at TCU
8:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: TCU -2.5
Why?: Kansas State and TCU only sit two spots apart on the bubble, with both being out of the tournament at this point. Kansas State is a little bit closer as the third team out. Plus, a home win for TCU won’t boost them that much so they will still likely be on the wrong side of the bubble. A win for Kansas State might be enough to get them to Dayton.
Kansas State Wins 75-74 

Washington State at USC
9:00 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: USC -12
Why?: USC sits a measly three spots ahead of Marquette on the bubble. A loss at home to the toothless Cougars of Washington State would send them hurling towards the edge of the field.
USC Wins 87-64 

Nevada at San Jose State
9:00 PM CT
No TV
Line: Nevada -6.5
Why?: Nevada is currently the favorite to get the Mountain West’s auto-bid. If they were to fall in the MWC tournament, it would be highly unlikely that they could earn an at large bid. However, a handful of brackets do list them as a 10 or 11 seed, meaning there are a few out there who think they are at large worthy. Might as well pull for the Spartans and remove all chance of it.
Nevada Wins 82-67

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Categories: General News, Home

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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