"I Know the Game Like I'm Reffing It"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Eye on the Tourney: Tonight's Games That Matter

We are at that point in the season where a whole bunch of games matter each night, as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned. However, their levels of significance vary greatly. There are bubble teams, fringe bubble teams and teams lucky or good enough to be playing strictly for seeding purposes.

Here are tonight's games that matter and why:


Florida (12-13, 5-7) vs. Vanderbilt (13-11, 4-7) 7PM, Gainesville, FL, SECN
Believe it or not, the Gators still have a shot at dancing, thanks mostly to their 8th ranked SOS. They can't afford to lose this one.

Davidson (16-6, 8-4) at George Washington (17-8, 7-5) 7PM, Washington, DC
Davidson is hanging on by a thread, as well, while GW seems to have fallen off the cliff. Still, a must-win game for Davidson's hopes.

Miami (16-9, 6-6) vs. Virginia Tech (10-15, 2-10) 7PM, Coral Gables, FL, ESPN3
Miami can't afford anymore bad losses and a home loss to the Hokies would more than fit that description.

UCLA (16-10, 8-5) at Arizona State (13-12, 5-7) 9PM, Tempe, AZ, ESPN2
UCLA is still in my last four in so they need to continue winning, especially against subpar competition.

Colorado State (20-5, 8-5) at Fresno State (10-13, 7-5) 10PM, Fresno, CA, ESPN3
The Rams are in that 11 seed range, so a loss at Fresno would not be ideal.

Boise State (16-7, 8-4) at UNLV (13-11, 5-7) 11PM, Las Vegas, NV, CBSS
The Broncos are coming off a bad loss at Fresno, themselves, so a loss to the Rebels tonight could easily bump them out of the NCAA field, for now.


UMass (15-9, 9-3) at Rhode Island (16-6, 9-3) 7PM, Kingston, RI
Both these teams are fringe, RI more so, but the Minutemen can keep their slim hopes alive with a win.

Tulsa (17-6, 10-2) vs. ECU (9-14, 4-8) 7PM, Tulsa, OK, ESPNU
Tulsa's record looks way, way better than their resume and a loss to ECU might just kill off the last of their supporters.

Minnesota (15-10, 5-8) vs. Northwestern (11-14, 2-10) 9PM, Minneapolis, MN, BTN
The Gophers jumped back on life support with three straight wins before losing at Indiana. They can't afford to become Northwestern's second straight upset victim.

Oregon (17-8, 8-5) vs Colorado (12-12, 5-7) 11PM, Eugene, OR, ESPNU
While some believe the Ducks are in the field, I still think they have a decent amount of work to do. They can start by taking care of business tonight versus the struggling Buffs.


Xavier (16-10, 7-7) at Cincinnati (17-8, 8-5) 7PM, Cincinnati, OH, ESPN2
Currently, I have Xavier as an 8 seed and Cincinnati a 9, so obviously these two can improve their prospects slightly with a win.

Northern Iowa (24-2, 13-1) at Loyola Chicago (14-10, 6-8) 8PM, Chicago, IL, ESPN3
The Panthers are currently 6 seed-ish, they could go up if they keep winning, but could fall with a bad loss.

Arkansas (20-5, 9-3) vs. Missouri (6-18, 1-11) 9PM, Fayetteville, AR, SECN
The Razorbacks are currently in the 5/6 seed range, but could easily drop a seed line with a loss to the putrid Tigers.

Providence (18-8, 8-5) at DePaul (12-14, 6-7) 9PM, Rosemont, IL, CBSS
Providence, too, is in that 5/6 range, and though DePaul isn't all that bad, many would give the side-eye to the Friars if they lost this one.


Wisconsin (23-2, 11-1) at Penn State (15-11, 3-10) 7PM, University Park, PA, BTN
The way the Badgers have handled the rest of the Big Ten, we might not need to worry about this one, but a shocking loss would definitely jeopardize their 1 seed hopes.

Louisville (20-5, 8-4) at Syracuse (16-9, 7-5) 7PM, Syracuse, NY, ESPN
The Cardinals are a not-so-stable 3 seed at the moment. A loss at the Cuse could continue their mini downward trend, despite the team-imposed absence of Chris Jones.

North Carolina (18-7, 8-4) at Duke (22-3, 9-3) 9PM, Durham, NC, ESPN
As usual, this classic has top seed implications. The two can likely only help themselves, barring a blowout.

Iowa State (18-6, 8-4) at Oklahoma State (16-8, 7-6) 9PM, Stillwater, OK, ESPNU
The Cyclones are in the 3/4 seed range and can likely solidify a 3 by continuing to win games such as these. Ok State is currently looking like a 5 seed and can move slightly up with a win, but won't be hurt by a loss.

Twitter: @Blacketologist

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