Bracket Brief: The first of many late nights
Yesterday I outlined the teams that are locks, almost locks and bubble teams. This deep in the season most teams have only three or four regular season games left and for the bubble teams every game now carries significance.
While going through the list a second time one thing is clear: there are quite a few bubble teams out west. It should make for some good TV viewing during the WCC, Mountain West and Pac-12 conference tournaments. It should also make for plenty of late nights for hoop junkies and the selection committee.
So it's fitting that tonight features a four pack of games with plenty at stake. It starts at 9:15 with the San Diego State-New Mexico game on the CBS Sports Network. The Aztecs appear to be in decent shape but they end the season with Air Force and Boise State, two teams on the far reaches of the bubble and desperate for a quality win. Then at 10 pm on ESPN2 is a Pac-12 matchup featuring Colorado-Stanford and on ESPNU St. Mary's plays Pepperdine. Finally at 10:30 pm UCLA hosts Arizona State on the Pac-12 Network. St. Mary's, Colorado, Stanford and Arizona State could all use a win tonight. So brew up some K-Cups or put some energy drinks on ice because this will be a late night in Bubble City.
A few other noteworthy matchups tonight...
Georgetown has an open path to the Big East regular season title but a loss to Connecticut tonight will drop the Hoyas into a tie with Marquette.
With Memphis losing last night Akron owns the nation's longest active winning streak. The 18 game streak will be tested by Ohio.
If you assume that Indiana, Duke and Gonzaga are solid #1 seeds then who is the fourth #1? Both Michigan and Miami can strengthen their case with wins over Penn State and Virginia Tech respectively.
The western region of the country isn't the only place where bubble teams play tonight. Charlotte, Maryland, Kentucky, Baylor and Iowa all play tonight along with one other team out west: Boise State.