Another big day of college basketball as we rapidly approach Selection Sunday. Here's your handy rooting guide for Friday's college basketball action. 100% Baldwin approved.
Dayton vs. Xavier (Atlantic 10 Tournament Quarterfinals, Noon, CBSC S): Xavier is the top seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament while Dayton probably needs to win it all to get in. Rooting interest: Xavier.
Miami (Fla.) vs. North Carolina (ACC Tournament Quarterfinals, Noon, ESPN2): Time for chalk to reign in the ACC Tournament, starting with the noon #9 vs. #1 matchup between Miami and UNC. The two lowest remaining seeds ACC Tournament are threats to steal the conference's auto-bid and bump BC off the bubble. Rooting interest: North Carolina.
Georgia vs. Alabama (SEC Tournament Quarterfinals, 1:00 PM, SEC Network / ESPN3.com): According to Patrick Stevens' At-large Big Board today, Georgia is ranked as the #30 best at-large team, two spots ahead of BC. Alabama is currently projected as one of the Next Four Out. Pretty sure that the winner of this game is in, but I'm rooting for the Tide here in the off chance that both these teams fall off the bubble. Rooting interest: Alabama.
Illinois vs. Michigan (Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals, 2:00 PM, ESPN): The winner of this game punches their ticket to the Dance. The loser might not survive come Selection Sunday. Of the two teams, Illinois has more distance between itself and BC, so I think the play here is to root for the Illini and hope the Wolverines bubble bursts. Rooting interest: Illinois.
Boston College vs. Clemson (ACC Tournament Quarterfinals, 2:25 PM, ESPN2): Go Eagles!
UTEP vs. Tulsa and ECU vs. Memphis (Conference USA Semifinals, 3:00 PM and 5:30 PM, CBS College Sports): The C-USA Top seed, UAB, was upset yesterday by East Carolina. The Blazers are probably on the outside looking in at this point, making Conference USA a one-bid league. The Pirates could also burst Memphis' bubble with a win today. Memphis hasn't really been Memphis since Calipari left, but I'd imagine they are still dangerous in the Tournament. Assuming BC gets in, and C-USA stays a one-bid league, why not root for the weakest teams to get in from the conference (weakening the NCAA Tournament field of 68?). Rooting interest: East Carolina.
Mississippi vs. Kentucky (SEC Tournament Quarterfinals, 3:30 PM, SEC Network / ESPN3.com): Kentucky is in. Oe Miss is out, and a possible bid thief. Rooting interest: Kentucky.
Michigan State vs. Purdue (Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals, 6:30 PM, Big Ten Network): Big, big game in the Big Ten with bubble implications. Michigan State is still hanging onto the edge of the bubble with most projecting the Spartans as one of the Last Four teams in the Tournament. A loss to Purdue might just push them off, but MSU isn't expected to win, so they could very well stay in the picture. Still, the rooting interest here is with the Boilermakers. Rooting interest: Purdue.
Colorado vs. Kansas (Big 12 Tournament Semifinals, 7:00 PM, Big 12 Network): Colorado likely punched its ticket to the Dance yesterday in a win over Kansas State in the Big 12 Quarterfinals. Still, they are one of the last few teams in the Tournament so a loss here would still be huge for the Eagles. Rooting interest: Kansas.
Maryland vs. Duke (ACC Tournament Quarterfinals, 7:00 PM, ESPN2): We are pretty much past the point where we need to still be worried about marginal boosts to our RPI and SOS with a Terps win here. See the above explanation for Miami-North Carolina. Jordan Williams is an All-ACC First Team selection for a reason, and you know the Terps are going to get up for playing the Blue Devils today. We can't have them going deep in this Tournament, because I'm pretty sure Maryland could beat the Virginia Tech / Florida State winner and advance to the finals. Rooting interest (that makes you feel dirty inside): Duke.
Penn State vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals, 8:55 PM, Big Ten Network): The Nittany Lions still have some life as a bubble team after their 61-55 win over Indiana in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State is most likely facing a must-win here against Wisconsin. BONUS: RPI boost. Rooting interest: Wisconsin.
New Mexico vs. Brigham Young (Mountain West Tournament Semifinals, 9:00 PM, CBS College Sports): The Lobos are the last remaining Mountain West bid-stealer after defeating Colorado State 67-61. BYU got a scare from TCU in the MWC Quarterfinals. With a loss here, UNM is probably NIT bound. Rooting interest: BYU.
USC vs. Arizona (Pac 10 Tournament Semifinals, 9:00 PM, FSN): The Trojans are on the "NCAA Fringe," and desperately need a win here to get back into the bubble discussion. You know the drill by now ... Rooting interest: Arizona.
Virginia Tech vs. Florida State (ACC Tournament Quarterfinals, 9:25 PM, ESPN2): Like Maryland-Duke, I'm done with hoping for marginal boosts to RPI and SOS at this stage of the game. BC is being directly compared to the Hokies. If Virginia Tech goes further in the ACC Tournament than BC, VT could very easily leapfrog BC in the bubble pecking order despite the Eagles' regular season sweep of the Hokies. Florida State is solidly in the Field of 68 at this point. Rooting interest: Florida State.
Rhode Island vs. Richmond (Atlantic 10 Tournament Quarterfinals, 9:00 PM, CBS College Sports): The Spiders are currently just a few spots ahead of BC on the bubble totem poll. Actually here, I'm tempted to root for Richmond so that URI doesn't become an A-10 bid thief, but the Rams have underachieved all year and I don't think they can get past Richmond, Temple and Xavier in three straight days. Probably not happening. RPI / SOS boost, engage. Rooting interest: Rhode Island.
Texas A&M vs. Texas (Big 12 Tournament Semifinals, 9:30 PM, Big 12 Network): Go go gadget RPI. Rooting interest: Texas A&M.
Oregon vs. Washington (Pac 10 Tournament Semifinals, 11:30 PM, FSN): The Ducks have become a bona-fide bid stealer after pounding UCLA 76-59 in the Pac 10 Tournament Quarterfinals. Oregon now needs just two wins to capture the Pac 10 Tournament Championship, a team that finished the regular season with a record of 14-16 (7-11 Pac 10). The Ducks' season needs to end tonight in the Pac 10 Semis. Rooting interest: Washington.