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TBW Viewing Guide ’18: Who to root for tonight

Bench

I resisted as long as I could, but sometimes you just got to give the people what they want. And boy do they want this. 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)

Sunday, March 11th

Davidson vs Rhode Island
12:00 PM CT
CBS
Line: URI -3.0
Why?: Davidson is the last bid thief left. Marquette’s slim hopes will be cut even further if they pull off the upset.

Saturday, March 10th (3-4)

UMBC vs Vermont
11:00 AM CT
ESPN2
Line: UVM -10.0
Why?: Marginal RPI impact.
Vermont loses 65-62

Memphis vs Cincinatti
12:00 PM CT
CBS
Line: UC -16.5
Why?: No bid thieves. Memphis is the last bid thief left in the AAC.
Cincy wins 70-60

St. Joe’s vs Rhode Island
12:00 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: URI -8.5
Why?: No bid thieves.
URI wins 90-87

Davidson vs St. Bonaventure
2:30 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: Dav -3.0
Why?: No bid thieves.
Bonnies lose 82-70

Providence vs Villanova
5:30 PM CT
FOX
Line: Nova -13.5
Why?: It doesn’t matter at all, but now that Providence made it this far, might as well have them win the whole thing and turn the Q2 loss to them at home into a Q1 loss, as their RPI would jump into the top 30.
Providence loses 76-66

Marshall vs WKU
7:30 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: WKU -5.5
Why?: WKU has a small chance to make it as an at large, might as well have them win the auto-bid and keep the slim hopes alive.
WKU loses 67-66

USC vs Arizona
9:00 PM CT
FS1
Line: Zona -3.5
Why?: USC is pretty safely in, but TRank says it helps MU’s chances a tad, so I’m listening to the numbers.
Zona wins 75-61

Friday, March 9th (9-3)

SMU vs Cincinatti
11:00 AM CT
ESPN2
Line: UC -13.5
Why?: No bid thieves.
Cincy wins 61-51

VCU vs Rhode Island
11:00 AM CT
ESPN3
Line: URI -9.5
Why?: While VCU winning would help Marquette more directly via the RPI, Rhode Island is a lock to get in and MU should prefer to have them win the A10 Tourney.
URI wins 76-67

Alabama vs Auburn
12:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: Aub -5.5
Why?: Alabama helped their case a ton with a buzzer beating win over A&M, but they won’t feel safe unless they also beat Auburn.
Bama wins 81-63

Georgia vs Kentucky
2:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: UK -5.0
Why?: Georgia did its job by winning 2 games and getting back to Q2 loss status, now they can head home and prepare for the NIT.
Kentucky wins 62-49

Richmond vs St. Bonaventure
5:00 PM CT
NBCSN
Line: NA
Why?: The Bonnies are pretty safely in on most brackets, and wouldn’t fall low enough with a loss to help Marquette’s bubble situation. As with Rhode Island, no bid thieves is the name of the game.
Bonnies win 83-77

Providence vs Xavier
5:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: X -7.5
Why?: Providence can feel pretty safe after outlasting Creighton, but they still have some horrendous losses. A loss to Xavier wouldn’t hurt them much, but a win would take them off the bubble altogether.
Xavier loses 75-72

Temple vs Wichita St.
6:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: NA
Why?: No bid thieves and marginal RPI help.
Wichita wins 89-81

Miss St. vs Tennessee
6:00 PM CT
SECN
Line: NA
Why?: No bid thieves.
Tenn wins 62-59

UCLA vs Arizona
8:00 PM CT
PAC12
Line: Az -4.5
Why?: UCLA is pretty safe now, but a win over Arizona takes them compeltely off the bubble.
Zona wins 78-67

UCF vs Houston
8:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: NA
Why?: No bid thieves.
Houston wins 84-56

SDSU vs Nevada
8:00 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: Nevada -3.0
Why?: No bid thieves.
Nevada loses 90-73

Oregon vs USC
10:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: NA
Why?: USC is probably safely off the bubble now, but another win would remove all doubt. At the same time, an Oregon win would leave them one win away from the auto-bid. We’ll hesitantly go with Oregon.
Oregon loses 74-54

Thursday, March 8th (13-11)

Virginia vs Louisville
11:00 AM CT
ESPN
Line: UVA -7.0
Why?: Louisville may have punched their ticket by beating Florida State. Beating UVA would make them a lock. Virginia won both matchups against the Cards….but needed to score 5 points in 0.9 seconds to win the second one.
UVA wins 75-58

Xavier vs St. John’s
11:00 AM CT
FS1
Line: N/A (it will be Xavier by a significant margin)
Why?: Theoretically, St. John’s could beat Xavier, beat Creighton, and lose to Villanova in the championship which might be enough to raise their RPI above 75…which would upgrade MU’s loss to Q1 and their win to Q2. The likelihood of that happening is slim so might as well knock off a bid thief.
Xavier wins 88-60

VCU vs Dayton
11:00 AM CT
NBCSN
Line: VCU -2.0
Why?: Marginal RPI Boost.
VCU wins 77-72

Kansas State vs TCU
11:30 AM CT
ESPN2
Line: TCU -2.5
Why?: Kansas State is somewhere between a 10 and an 11 seed. A loss to to TCU won’t knock them out, but it may let Marquette pass them. The home team won both games during the regular season.
TCU loses 66-64

Alabama vs Texas A&M
12:00 PM CT
SEC Network
Line: TAMU -1.5
Why?: Alabama is as bubbly as they get. They have lost 5 in a row and will finish with 15 losses unless they win the SEC tournament. A win keeps them alive and a loss could banish them to the NIT. The two just saw each other last Saturday in Tuscaloosa, where the Aggies hung on for a 2 point win. Bama won the matchup in College Station by a whooping 22 points.
TAMU loses 71-70

Boston College vs Clemson
1:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: N/A (it will be CLEM by a significant margin)
Why?: BC might have done Marquette a favor by knocking of NC State. We didn’t think NC State was vulnerable but ESPN’s BPI now gives them only a 4% of making the tournament….which doesn’t seem right. Now that they have served their purpose, the Eagles can go ahead and lose to prevent a possible bid thief.
Clemson wins 90-82

Oklahoma State vs Kansas
1:30 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: N/A (it will be KU by a significant margin)
Why?: Oklahoma State’s victory over instate rival OU has inched them closer to the cutline but they should still be out. A win over KU would get them on the right side of the bubble. Despite their top 10 ranking, KU found itself getting swept by the Cowboys this year. Let’s hope the third time is the charm for Coach Self.
Kansas wins 82-68

Providence vs Creighton
1:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: CREI -4.0
Why?: Providence appears to be safe but you never know what the committee is thinking for sure. Their #73 ranking in KenPom is the lowest currently projected in the tournament and may be one of the lowest ever for an at large team. Plus, Creighton’s RPI is 33, if they can boost it to 30, it will give Marquette another Q1 victory.
Creighton loses 72-68

Colorado vs Arizona
2:00 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: N/A (It will be ZONA by a significant margin)
Why?: Excellent work Colorado. Thank you for your service in knocking of Arizona State. Please lose now. This is a deceptively important game for Marquette. Arizona is the only bonafide lock in the PAC 12. If they go down, it increases the chances of a bid thief, or one of the PAC 12’s three remaining bubble teams to secure the autobid.
AZ wins 83-67

UNLV vs Nevada
2:00 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: NEV -6.5
Why?: The Mountain West is now the most likely conference to produce a bid thief. Nevada is their only at large candidate so the bubble will shrink if they go down.
Nevada wins 88-60

Missouri vs Georgia
2:00 PM CT
SEC Network
Line: N/A (It will be MIZZ by a significant margin)
Why?: Marginal RPI impact…plus Georgia is close to being considered a Q2 loss for Marquette. Not sure if this win would be enough to do it, but it would be close.
Georgia wins 62-60

UCLA vs Stanford
4:30 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: N/A
Why?: UCLA is in Last Four in territory. A loss to a Stanford team that likely won’t make the NIT could seal them on the wrong side of the bubble burst.
Stanford loses 88-77

Villanova vs Marquette
6:00 PM CT
FS1
Line: N/A (It will be NOVA by a significant margin)
Why?: It was the ugliest Big East win of the season, but beating DePaul means that Marquette fans will have a reason to tune in on Selection Sunday. Beating Villanova will cement them into the tournament.
Marquette loses 94-70

Notre Dame vs Duke
6:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: N/A (It will be DUKE by a significant margin)
Why?: As much hype as the Irish are getting with Bonzie Colson back in the lineup, they are still likely out of the tournament at this point. A loss to Duke will make sure they stay there….while a win might put them ahead of a team like Marquette.
Duke wins 88-70

Texas vs Texas Tech
6:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: N/A
Why?: Texas escaped lowly Iowa State by four points in the first round. They likely have done enough to make the Big Dance but beating the Red Raiders would seal it. A loss keeps Shaka Smart nervous on Selection Sunday.
Texas Tech wins 73-69

Temple vs Tulane
6:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: TEM -5.5
Why?: Temple is likely DOA without winning the AAC autobid but let’s make sure. The basketball equivalent of a double tap.
Tulane loses 82-77

Mississippi State vs LSU
6:00 PM CT
SEC Network
Line: MSST -1.5
Why?: Both teams are equally bubblicious at this point. LSU winning has the added benefit of helping Marquette’s RPI.
LSU loses 80-77

Southern Miss vs Middle Tennessee State
6:00 PM CT
N/A
Line: N/A (It will be MTSU by a significant margin)
Why?: I’m not convinced that the Blue Raiders are at large worthy but the safer course of action is having them win the CUSA tournament to prevent possible bid larceny.
MTSU loses 71-68

Baylor vs West Virginia
8:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: WVU -4.5
Why?:  Baylor is currently the last team in the tournament on Bracket Matrix. Win and they are not secure but alive, lose and their season is likely over. The Mountaineers got the better of the Bears in both of their matchups this season.
WV wins 78-65

USC vs Oregon State
8:00 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: N/A (It will be USC by a significant margin)
Why?:  Well done Beavers! Oregon State has ended the hopes and dreams of the now NIT bound Washington Huskies. They can maybe do the same for the Trojans, who despite finishing second in a P6 conference, finds themselves hanging around the Last Four In. USC won both of their regular season bouts handily.
OSU loses 61-48

New Mexico State vs Chicago State
8:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: NMST -25.0
Why?:  Marginal RPI Bump….and no that’s not a typo. New Mexico State is actually favored by 25. Seems low right?
CSU loses 97-70

Boise State vs Utah State
8:00 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: N/A (It will be BSU by a few points)
Why?:  Boise State is a long shot to earn an at large, but they could theoretically do it by losing to Nevada in the championship game. A loss here would end all hope.
Utah St. wins 78-65

Butler vs Seton Hall
8:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: BUT -1.0
Why?:  The home victory against Seton Hall is dangerously close to falling out of Q1 status. Plus, if Marquette makes it past Villanova, I do not want to see the Bulldogs sitting there waiting for them. The Pirates managed to beat the Bulldogs in the last game of the regular season despite missing starters Desi Rodriguez and Ish Sanogo due to injury. Rodriguez is probable for the game and Sanogo is a game time decision.
Hall loses 75-74

Utah vs Oregon
10:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: Ore -2.0
Why?:  Not staying up to see the results of the Cougar vs Duck matchup, but either way, Marquette fans will be cheering against Utah. The Utes are a long shot to make the tournament. Beating either Oregon or Washington State will not move Utah into the field but it will keep them alive.
Oregon wins 68-66

Wednesday, March 7th (5-6)

Florida State vs Louisville
11:00 AM CT
ESPN
Line: FSU -1.0
Why?: No matter where you look, you will find Louisville projected either in Dayton or in the First Four Out. A loss here likely cements their position on the wrong side of the cutline. The Noles and the Cardinals split the season series with the road team taking home a 4 point victory in both matchups.
FSU loses 82-74

NC State vs Boston College
1:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: NCST -3.0
Why?: Others might disagree on picking NC State for this one, but as a 9 seed in the Bracket Matrix, they can pretty much be considered a lock at this point. Might as well cheer for them to eliminate a potential bid thief in Boston College.
NCSt loses 91-87

Colorado vs Arizona State
2:00 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: ASU -6.5
Why?: Experts penciled the Sun Devils in as a lock as early as December when they reached #3 in the AP poll. Since then, they have done everything in their power to push themselves towards the brink. A loss to the CBI (or worse) bound Buffaloes might be enough to finally push them over the edge. The two teams split the season series with each team winning at home.
Colorado wins 97-85

Vanderbilt vs Georgia
6:00 PM CT
SEC Network
Line: UGA -2.0
Why?: Marginal RPI impact….plus the Bulldogs are awful close to the border of a Q2 loss rather than a Q3 loss. A win over Vanderbilt won’t do it, but add a win over Mizzou after that and that might do the trick. Marquette’s resume would look a lot prettier with DePaul debacle as the lone bad loss. Vanderbilt won the lone game the two SEC foes played, a double digit victory in Nashville.
Georgia wins 78-62

Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma
6:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: OU -1.0
Why?: As popular as the “Oklahoma is collapsing and won’t make the tourney” narrative is…their 6 Q1 wins and 0 Q3/Q4 losses make them a lock to dance. Oklahoma State however has climbed into a lot of brackets first and next four out thanks to their huge win over the Jayhawks on Saturday. A first round loss to their hated rival would ensure that they don’t climb any higher. The two split the season series with the Sooners destroying the Pokes at home and Ok State winning an OT thriller in Stillwater.
OU loses 71-60

St. John’s vs Georgetown
6:00 PM CT
FS1
Line: SJU -4.5
Why?: We had to turn to RPI Wizard on this one. They tell us that if Georgetown were to beat the Fighting Mullins and then lose to Xavier in the next round, their RPI would rise just enough to elevate Marquette’s road win in DC to Q2 status. Now, RPI Wizard is not 100% accurate but the possibility of turning a Q3 win into a Q2 win is huge at this point of the year. Conversely, Saint John’s would need to win three in a row in order to get a similar bump. Georgetown swept the season series though the Red Storm may get a boost if Shamorie Ponds returns to action. He reportedly practiced on Monday.
GU loses 88-77

Notre Dame vs Virginia Tech
6:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: ND -1.5
Why?: Love him or hate him, Marquette fans should be pulling hard for former Coach Buzz Williams. Notre Dame is in Next Four Out territory at the moment but the return of All American Bonzie Colson from injury could propel them into the Big Dance. The Irish lost the lone matchup at home without Colson’s services.
VT loses 71-65

Syracuse vs North Carolina
8:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: N/A (It will be UNC by a significant amount)
Why?: Syracuse is as bubbly as you can get. Today’s victory over Wake Forest kept them alive but did nothing to push them into the tournament. Beating the Tar Heels on the other hand…that would do the trick. The two only played once with the Orange keeping it close but falling at home to UNC.
UNC wins 78-59

Washington vs Oregon State
8:00 PM CT
PAC 12 Network
Line: ORST -2.5
Why?: If you haven’t heard, all Marquette fans are now huge Beaver fans (giggity). Oregon State has the potential to knock off not just one but two bubble teams. The winner of this matchup faces USC in the second round. So not only could Oregon State knock off a bubble team by winning, they prevent a lose-lose situation for Marquette where one bubble team will get a quality win no matter what in the second round. Washington is in first four out/next four out territory but are truly not a good team. They have a KenPom rating of 98 which would be the lowest ever for an at large team. The pundits have picked up on this which is why the 15-15 Beavers are favored to win. The two split the season series, the home team winning by 1 possession each time.
OSU wins 69-66

Texas vs Iowa State
8:00 PM CT
ESPNU
Line: TU -5.5
Why?: Texas is generally considered one of the “safest” teams that could still fall out of the bubble. A loss to to the one B12 team not either in the tournament or on the bubble could likely change that. It shouldn’t push the Longhorns out, but it gives room for other teams like Marquette to pass them. The Cyclones lost both regular season matchups, though they did force OT in Ames.
ISU loses 68-64

DePaul vs Marquette
8:30 PM CT
FS1
Line: MU -6.0
Why?: In the simplest terms this is a win or go home game. If Marquette wins then there will be a reason to watch on Selection Sunday. If they lose, they are NIT bound. Marquette is significantly favored and there seems to be little chance that they will look past the Blue Demons after dropping the game in Allstate Arena not even two weeks ago.
MU wins 72-69

Tuesday, March 6th (2-2)

Pitt vs Notre Dame
1:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: ND -17.0
Why?: This would be a miracle result, as Pitt only led in two 2nd halves all ACC and won zero times. Highly improbable, but would be a tremendous result.
Pitt loses 67-64

Wake Forest vs Syracuse
6:00 PM CT
ESPU
Line: Syr -4.5
Why?: Wake already beat Syracuse at home and played them close on the road, so this isn’t quite the longshot that Pitt is, but will have the same effect of basically taking the Orange out of contention for any good wins and locking them into their current spot in the First Four out at best.
Wake Forest loses 73-64

Stony Brook vs Vermont
6:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: UVM -12.0
Why?: Marginal RPI impact.
Vermont wins 50-71

BYU vs Gonzaga
8:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: Zags -8.5
Why?: This is probably the biggest game of the night for MU purposes. Gonzaga is a lock and Saint Mary’s is probably in better shape than Marquette from a bubble perspective, so a BYU win would be a legitimate bid thief and and take away one of the limited spots that Marquette is trying to fill. Huge, huge implications.
Gonzaga wins 74-54

Monday, March 5th (2-1)

Northern Illinois vs Kent State
6:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: Kent -6.5
Why?: Marginal RPI Impact.
Kent Wins 61-59

Gonzaga vs San Francisco
8:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: Zags -12.5
Why?: Gonzaga is a lock no matter what, so need to minimize the bid-thief possibilities.
Zags Wins 88-60

BYU vs Saint Mary’s
10:30 PM CT
ESPN
Line: Zags -5.5
Why?: This one is tough. Saint Mary’s is safely in as a 10-seed in Bracket Matrix and a loss would only drop their bid likelihood by 12% to 74% according to TRank, which is still pretty safely in. And that would leave BYU one more upset away from stealing a bid. Then again, the Gaels might get penalized for lack of Q1/2 victories at a 3-2 combined record. So I’m going to say root for BYU, but there’s “correct” answer.
Zags Wins 85-72

Sunday, March 4th (2-1)

Cincinnati vs Wichita State
11:00 AM CT
CBS
Line: WSU -1.5
Why?: RPI basically, but TRank’s rooting guide also says this is the most impactful game of the day to Marquette’s numbers.
Cincy Wins 62-61

Illinois State vs Loyola
1:05 PM CT
CBS
Line: LU -6.5
Why?: The Ramblers would not be a slam dunk to get an at-large, but better safe than sorry.
Loyola Wins 65-49

Temple vs Tulsa
2:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: Tulsa -2.0
Why?: Temple is fairly far out of the picture at this moment, 7 spots behind Marquette, but a loss to Tulsa would make it auto-bid or bust.
Tulsa Wins 76-58

Saturday, March 3rd (9-8)

Marquette vs Creighton
1:30 PM CT
FOX
Line: MU -2.5
Why?: If Marquette loses, you really don’t have to read much further.
MU Wins 85-81

West Virginia vs Texas
11:00 AM CT
ESPN
Line: WVU -5.0
Why?: Texas is currently the last team in the field on BracketMatrix. A loss denies Shaka and co. a marquee win and keeps them within striking distance.
UT Wins 88-79

St. John’s vs Providence
11:00 AM CT
FS1
Line: PU -5.0
Why?: Providence is one of the last 4 teams in the field on BM. They may still have more marquee wins than Marquette if it came to a head to head, but this also leaves open the door to Marquette finishing 5th with a win and a Seton Hall loss.
PC Wins 61-57

Miss. St. vs LSU
12:00 PM CT
SECN
Line: LSU -2.5
Why?: Both teams are on the bubble so it’s a bit of a lose lose, but LSU is a bit further out and also give MU the marginal RPI bump.
LSU Wins 78-57

Clemson vs Syracuse
1:00 PM CT
ACCNE
Line: SU -1.5
Why?: Syracuse has been on a downtrend and is currently one spot behind MU on BM. A loss will keep them from adding a Q1 resume builder.
Cuse Wins 55-52

Alabama vs Texas A&M
1:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: TAMU -6.5
Why?: Another team closing the season poorly and leaving the door open for a bubble bid. TRank has Bama 3 spots behind MU while Bracket Matrix still has them 9 spots ahead. Easy call.
TAMU Wins 68-66

Baylor vs Kansas St.
1:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: KSU -1.5
Why?: This is another win/win or lose/lose. Both teams are pretty squarely on the bubble and have a similar resume, but TRank has Baylor as more likely to get a bid (71% vs 41%), so we’ll go with Baylor.
KSU Wins 77-67

VCU vs Fordham
1:00 PM CT
Line: VCU -4.5
Why?: Marginal RPI Impact.
VCU Wins 83-58

Bradley vs Loyola
2:35 PM CT
CBSSN
Line: LU -6.0
Why?: As much as seeing the fighting Wardles make a run at the MVC auto-bid would be cool, making sure Loyola gets that dance card is probably the safer rout, even if they aren’t too  big a threat of being an at-large selection.
Loyola Wins 62-54

Notre Dame vs Virginia
3:00 PM CT
ACCNE
Line: UVA -9.5
Why?: Virginia already pulled one out against fellow-bubbler Louisville. Putting one last nail of the Notre Dame coffin, 7 spots behind MU currently, but with the injured player missed a long stretch, card, would be even better.
UVA Wins 62-57

Oregon vs Washington
3:30 PM CT
Line: Ore -1.5
Why?: I don’t get how, and neither does TRank, but BM has Washington as the first team out. A loss to Oregon, while not a bad loss per se, would keep the Huskies from adding another Q2 W.
Ore Wins 72-66

Purdue vs Penn St.
4:00 PM CT
CBS
Line: NA
Why?: I don’t get how, and neither does TRank, but BM has Washington as the first team out. A loss to Oregon, while not a bad loss per se, would keep the Huskies from adding another Q2 W.
KSU Wins 78-70

Georgia vs Tennessee
5:00 PM CT
SECN
Line: Tenn -9.5
Why?: Georgia is pretty far out at this point, and another loss would keep them as a Q3 loss rather than a Q2 loss. Need at least one more win from the Bulldogs.
Tenn Wins 66-61

Louisville vs NC State
5:00 PM CT
ESPN
Line: NCST-3.0
Why?: Louisville nearly locked up a bid earlier in the week, but blew a 4 point lead with 0.9 seconds left against No. 1 Virginia. A loss would put them squarely back on the bubble though, with their odds dropping to 52% on TRank.
NCSt Wins 76-69

Colorado vs Utah
6:00 PM CT
Line: Utah -9.0
Why?: The Utes are 3 spots behind MU on Bracket Matrix. A home loss to Utah would be a big hit to their resume.
Utah Wins 64-54

Butler vs Seton Hall
7:00 PM CT
FS1
Line: Hall -1.5
Why?: A Hall loss and MU win would let Marquette avoid the 7-10 game in the Big East Tournament.
Hall Wins 77-70

UCLA vs USC
9:15 PM CT
ESPN
Line: USC -5.5
Why?: USC is pretty safely in at the moment, a 10 seed, while UCLA is currently the 2nd team out, 2 spots ahead of Marquette.
UCLA Wins 83-72

Friday, March 2nd (4-3)

Wisconsin vs Michigan St.
11:00 AM CT
BTN
Line: MSU -10.5
Why?: It improves Marquette’s RPI marginally, but increases the odds for a bid thief, so it’s a win/win or lose/lose either way.
MSU Wins 63-60

N. Iowa vs Loyola (Chi)
12:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: Loyola -5.5
Why?: Loyola isn’t in serious contention for an at-large, but TRank’s rooting guide says this is the most impactful game of the day from a numbers perspective.
Loyola Wins 54-50

Michigan vs Nebraska
1:25 PM CT
BTN
Line: UM -4.5
Why?: This is probably the biggest game of the day for Marquette. Nebraska has an ok resume and is 4 spots ahead of MU on the BracketMatrix S-Curve, but is in dire need of Q1 wins. A loss here for Nebraska won’t eliminate them from bubble talk, but keeps them within striking distance at worst.
Michigan Wins 77-58

Penn St. vs Ohio St.
5:30 PM CT
BTN
Line: OSU -2.5
Why?: This is another big one. PSU is 4 spots behind MU in BM and much further back in TRank, but they swept OSU this season and were seconds from taking down Purdue on the road. A loss here guarantees they won’t get an at large and also takes away a potential bid thief.
Penn St. Wins 69-68

Ball St. vs Northern Illinois
7:00 PM CT
ESPN3
Line: N/A
Why?: Marginal RPI impact.
NIU Wins 66-65

Rutgers vs Purdue
7:55 PM CT
BTN
Line: PU -16
Why?: RPI bump and bid thief elimination.
Purdue Wins 82-75

Iowa St. vs Oklahoma
8:00 PM CT
ESPN2
Line: OU -10
Why?: Oklahoma is pretty safe at this moment as a 9 seed with plenty of Q1 wins, but they have dropped 7 of their last 8. Losing here and in the first round of the B12 tournament will put them very close to the bubble.
Oklahoma Wins 81-60

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