We're in the final week of the regular season, and only Kentucky and Arkansas are firmly in the "lock" category for the NCAA Tournament. Four other teams are in precarious enough position that a bad loss or two could put them in danger of heading to the NIT.
So, here's a guide to this week's schedule using the most recent Bracket Matrix, which at time of writing was last updated at 7:06 p.m. on March 2. Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M fans, this post is for you.
Team names in bold are currently projected to be in the tournament; team names in italics are currently projected to be out but are still bubble teams. Teams not in the running for the tournament will not have any styling.
Today is Tuesday, but some teams already played this week on Sunday and Monday. I know. Weird, right? Anyway, here are the important results.
Wake Forest 69, Pittsburgh 66, Sunday: The Panthers barely even count as a bubble team after this bad loss.
Oregon 73, Stanford 70, Sunday: The Ducks are barely in, so they got a boost by pushing the Cardinal further down.
Texas 61, Baylor 59, OT, Monday: Beating projected 3-seed Baylor will definitely give the Longhorns a boost, but by how much, I can't say yet. The Bracket Matrix hasn't updated since this game went final.
Tuesday, March 3
NC State at Clemson: The Wolfpack is in similar standing to Ole Miss and Texas A&M—not really on the bubble, but not comfortable either. A Tiger win would be a nice way to knock one of the Rebels' and Aggies' competitors down a notch.
Wednesday, March 4
Cincinnati at Tulsa: Cincy is one spot down from NC State, while Tulsa is the last team in the Field of 68. Since Tulsa is more likely to lose on Saturday, I guess root for the Golden Hurricane here. Best to get both teams a loss, I suspect.
Purdue at Michigan State: The Boilers are barely holding on, while the Spartans are a projected 8-seed. Pull for MSU here.
Boise State at San Jose State: Root for SJSU here, of course, but the team is 0-16 in league play. It won't win, but a win would do considerable damage to the Broncos.
Oregon at Oregon State: The Beavers aren't very good, but they're an amazing 15-1 at home this year. They've even beaten Arizona and UCLA there. It's not a stretch to think the Corvallis magic prevails in this one.
Nebraska at Illinois: The Illini have already lost to Nebrasketball this year (53-43 in Lincoln), so another loss here isn't impossible.
USC at UCLA: The Bruins won't lose this game to the dreadful Trojans, but they also won't gain anything in this, their final regular season game.
Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh: One more loss for Pitt here would probably eliminate it for good.
Thursday, March 5
Temple at East Carolina: The Owls aren't in by much, but they also didn't have much trouble with ECU at home last month. Maybe playing on the road will help them lose?
VCU at Davidson: Along with post-Baylor win Texas, Davison is the team closest to jumping into the tournament field. Beating projected 7-seed VCU would give them a boost, so hope it doesn't happen here.
Stanford at Arizona State: The Cardinal really can't afford to lose this one. It probably won't lose it despite being on the road, given that it won the first matchup between the teams by 19.
Saturday, March 7
Purdue at Illinois: This is another tough call, like picking between Tulsa and Cincy earlier in the week. It's probably best for the Illini to win this one so as to bring down Purdue, but it could ultimately be trading one team for another. We'll have to see how the midweek games go.
UConn at Temple: There is no such ambiguity here. Go Huskies.
Fresno State at Boise State: Fresno managed to win the first round in this series at home, but it'll be tougher to pull this one off. Still, there is hope.
Syracuse at NC State: With the Orange self-imposing a postseason ban, they're the obvious pick.
Davidson at Duquesne: Don't hold your breath, with Davidson having won the first game between these two 95-69.
Kansas State at Texas: The Wildcats winning this one would take a little away from the Horns' win over Baylor.
Stanford at Arizona: This is the kind of signature win that would be a game changer for Stanford's chances, so pull for the Wildcats hard.
Pittsburgh at Florida State: If Miami can't knock out Pitt, maybe FSU can.
Sunday, March 8
Tulsa at SMU: The Ponies are a lock by now, so a Tulsa win would be big here. Go SMU.
Memphis at Cincinnati: Maybe the Tigers can borrow Z-Bo to help, although Memphis won the first one 63-50.