College Basketball Saturday Preview: Top 5 Bubble Games

February 5th, 2010

College basketball is in full momentum mode now with dozens of games each week that have major implications on the NCAA Tournament. All of the games below matter in a big way.

Florida vs Mississippi St - 1:30
-- In most bracketology projections, Florida has been left out of the field in recent weeks while MSU has been in. That could all change this weekend as the Gators host  an MSU team that has lost 3 of 4. Its conceivable that only 1 of these two teams make the dance, and that this game is a strong deciding factor.

Illinois vs #5 Michigan St - 9:00 ESPN
-- Despite subpar success in non-conference play, the Illini can still make the dance with a strong showing in Big Ten play. At 7-3, they're seemingly on their way to a strong finish.. however, look closer and they haven't beaten a .500 or better Big Ten team yet. Saturday's their big chance.

Richmond vs #17 Temple - 2:00 ESPNU
-- At 37 in the RPI, with wins over Mississippi St, Missouri, Florida, and Old Dominion.. you'd think Richmond was a tournament lock. But the A10 isnt the ACC, and dont think that the tournament committee isn't biased. With tough games remaining at Xavier, at Charlotte, and at Rhode Island, Richmond needs a win here in the worst way.

Virginia vs Wake Forest - 12:00

-- Virginia, to the surprise of many, is only a half-game out of the ACC lead.  A win here against a quality Wake Forest team would do wonders for Tony Bennett and the Cavs. After Wake, Virginia plays 4 of 5 on the road, and then faces Duke followinf that streak.. meaning, wins will be harder to come by in recent weeks. This is simply a big game all-around.

Xavier at Dayton - 12:00 ESPN2
-- Coming into the season, Dayton was the consensus pick to win the A10. But a host of teams, including 8-1 Xavier, are ahead of 4-3 Dayton at this point. This has knocked the Flyers out of the Bubble in many projections, but they're far from out of the Tourney race. Dayton has a chance to make a statement this week with games against Xavier & Charlotte.

Arizona at Washington St
Arizona St at Washington
Clemson at Virginia Tech
Old Dominion at VCU
Oklahoma St at Texas Tech
Tulsa at UTEP