Sunday: Bracketology Implications
With just 19 games on tap, Sunday might not seem like the most exciting day of college hoops, but there are multiple games with NCAA & NIT implications.
#25 Michigan vs Illinois - Having lost 5 of 6 games, and with 4 road games remaining, Illinois is not a lock for the NCAA Tournament. A win at Michigan would also get Illini nation off of Bruce Weber's back. For now.
Purdue vs Northwestern - Both teams are 5-6 in Big Ten play, and on the NCAA Bubble. Northwestern has a better RPI, but their entire program's history working against them. Northwestern lost to Purdue at home a few weeks back, a somewhat devastating loss. A revenge win would be huge for their tourney hopes.
Seton Hall vs Pittsburgh - Considering Pittsburgh had an 8 game losing streak earlier in the season, its hard to imagine they have a shot at the Big Dance. But having won 4 of 5 with a healthy Tray Woodall, and with a favorable schedule remaining, the Panthers still have slim tourney hopes. Seton Hall is desperately in need of a win despite breaking their losing streak against Rutgers. The key for each team is approaching .500 in league play by the end of the season.
#11 Georgetown vs St. John's - Ranked 13th in the RPI, Georgetown has an outside shot of earning a #2 seed in the Big Dance.
Missouri St vs Bradley - With the MVC most likely being a 2-bid league, you figure at least a 3rd and maybe a 4th team can sneak into the NIT. Missouri St is one of the teams fighting for an NIT-bid, and a home win against lowly Bradley is a must.
Vermont vs Stony Brook - The two top teams in the America East face off. Stony Brook has a 1.5 game lead on Vermont, and although this is a one-bid league, the conference champ locks up an NIT bid.
Loyola vs Fairfield - Having knocked off Iona on Friday, Loyola surprisingly sits atop the MAAC with a 12-2 record. The Greyhounds can't let up against a solid Fairfield team that played them to the wire a month ago. The race is on to lock up the automatic NIT bid.
USC vs Stanford - Stanford is slowly fading from the Pac-12 pack. A win over doormat USC is a must to get back on track, and at least stay in the NIT hunt.
Washington vs Oregon St - The Huskies were briefly in the Pac-12 lead, but a blowout loss to Oregon dropped them a half game behind Cal. As an at-large team, Washington is squarely on the bubble, but getting swept in Oregon wouldn't look too good. The best thing that UW has going for them is Pac-12 prestige.
Shawn Siegel, CHN's resident Bracketologist, checks in throughout the week with a look at how the day's schedule impacts the NCAA Tournament & NIT fields.