Viewer's Guide: Iowa State/Kansas, Cincy/UConn, plus bubbles
There are a handful of very intriguing contests between NCAA Tournament teams, but there is also a long list of games that will impact the bubble.
Another monster day of college basketball is set to get going. The early afternoon is filled with intriguing bubble games, teams that absolutely need to win to stay alive or have opportunities for big wins. Then the night brings on some marquee top-25 games and other matchups between NCAA Tournament teams.
Note: All times are Eastern, and the rankings are according to the AP Poll.
No. 16 Iowa State vs. No. 10 Kansas (7 p.m., ESPNU): Another test for the Joel Embiid-less Jayhawks, against a team they have faced five teams in the past two seasons. Will Iowa State break through and knock off Kansas?
Colorado vs. No. 4 Arizona (9 p.m., Pac-12 Network): Colorado sealed things up with a win over California on Thursday, and now get a chance at Arizona. The Wildcats rolled in the quarterfinals, beating Utah by 32.
No. 21 Connecticut vs. No. 13 Cincinnati (9 p.m., ESPN2): Shabazz Napier and Sean Kilpatrick were two of the best guards in the country, and will now face off for the right to (likely) face Louisville in the title game.
Massachusetts vs. George Washington (9 p.m., NBC Sports Network): Both teams are in the field of 68, but both are pushing for seeding. UMass could get a top-five seed with a title win, while GW wants out of the 8/9 game.
Baylor vs. Texas (9 p.m., ESPNU): Baylor is playing some of the best basketball in the country, going from a bubble team to a team pushing for a top-six seed in about a month. Texas opened some eyes with its domination of West Virginia on Thursday.
Stanford vs. UCLA (11:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1): After beating Arizona State, Stanford is surely in the tournament field. UCLA easily dispatched of Oregon, and want a second chance to face Arizona in the title game.
Florida State vs. No. 6 Virginia (12 p.m., ESPN): The Seminoles still have a ways to go, but a win over top-seeded Virginia would be a big resume boost.
Missouri vs. No. 1 Florida (1 p.m., ESPNU): The Tigers are in the same boat, saving their season against Texas A&M and now facing a big opportunity.
Pittsburgh vs. No. 15 North Carolina (2 p.m., ESPN2): The Panthers blew out Wake Forest and likely in OK shape. A win over UNC would lock them in.
No. 24 Ohio State vs. Nebraska (2 p.m., ESPN): Last weekend’s win over Wisconsin vaulted Nebraska into the field, beating Ohio State would keep them in for good.
Dayton vs. Saint Joseph’s (2:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network): The biggest bubble battle of the day. Both teams are in for now, but neither team is a lock.
South Carolina vs. Tennessee (3 p.m., ESPNU): Tennessee thought it would have to play Arkansas in an elimination game. Instead, it can’t afford a loss.
Minnesota vs. No. 12 Wisconsin (6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network): Minnesota is still alive after beating Penn State twice, but this is where it can make a statement.
Southern Miss vs. Louisiana Tech (6:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network): The Golden Eagles have the RPI, Louisiana Tech has a win at Oklahoma. Can either team get an at-large?
Seton Hall vs. Providence (7 p.m., FOX Sports 1): Instead of getting a marquee opportunity against Villanova, Providence simply can’t afford a loss to Seton Hall.
Xavier vs. No. 14 Creighton (9:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1): Xavier is probably in either way, but a victory over Creighton would mean zero sweating on Sunday.
Best of the rest:
AAC: Louisville absolutely slaughtered Rutgers and is hitting its stride at the right time. Up next is Houston (7 p.m., ESPN2).
ACC: T.J. Warren against Syracuse’s zone should be fun (7 p.m., ESPN); Clemson knocked off Duke earlier this season, and the Tigers get another notch (9 p.m., ESPN).
Atlantic 10: Saint Louis has the easiest A-10 quarterfinal on paper, against St. Bonaventure (12 p.m., NBC Sports Network); rivals Richmond and VCU battle on a neutral court (6:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network).
Big Ten: Michigan is squarely in the mix for a No. 1 seed if it wins the Big Ten, and can Illinois get to the bubble? (12 p.m., ESPN); Chris Collins and Northwestern upset Iowa on Thursday, and now Michigan State is up (9 p.m., Big Ten Network).
Conference-USA: We got the semifinals we wanted – all four 13-3 teams advancing. Middle Tennessee faces Tulsa (4 p.m., CBS Sports Network) and Southern Miss faces Louisiana Tech (6:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
Mountain West: No. 8 San Diego State continues pushing its seed, but UNLV has the inside players to make it tough (9 p.m., CBS Sports Network); can Boise State live up to its potential against New Mexico? (11:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
SEC: Remember, LSU nearly swept Kentucky – the Tigers get a third shot at John Calipari’s team (7 p.m., ESPN3).
Southland: Stephen F. Austin looks to continue its unbeaten run through the league against Northwestern State (6 p.m., ESPN3).
Others: Big West (semifinals), Big Sky (semifinals), MAC (semifinals), MEAC (semifinals), Southland (semifinals), Sun Belt (quarterfinals); SWAC (semifinals), WAC (semifinals)
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