Saturday Bubble Watch For Boston College's NCAA Tournament Hopes

Huge weekend in college hoops. Just like last weekend, BC still largely controls its own NCAA Tournament destiny. Beat Wake Forest on Sunday and Thursday and play well in the ACC Quarterfinals and BC is probably in.

That said, it never hurts to get some other help from teams on the bubble. While we have to wait another day for BC's regular season finale, here's a run down of Saturday's college basketball action and who you should be rooting for in each game.

 

Virginia Tech at Clemson (Noon, ESPN2): You could probably go either way here. Both teams are very much on the NCAA Tournament bubble. This seems to be to be an NCAA Tournament eliminator. For BC though, a Hokies win makes our regular season sweep of the Hokies look that much better, and damages Clemson's NCAA Tournament hopes. A Hokies win would also set up BC-VT round 3 if the Eagles hold serve on Sunday. Rooting interest: Virginia Tech.

Duquesne at Richmond (Noon): A loss by Richmond here would be really damaging to the Spiders NCAA Tournament hopes. Richmond, 23-7 (12-3 Atlantic 10), are currently projected as one of the final four teams in the Tournament. A home loss to 18-10 Duquesne in the regular season finale would ensure that the Spiders would have to go deep into the A-10 Tournament -- or win it all -- to get back onto the right side of the bubble. Rooting interest: Duquesne.  

Indiana at Illinois (Noon, Big Ten Network): The fact that the Illini are solidly in the NCAA Tournament with a 18-12 (8-9 Big Ten) record bothers me. Other than early season wins over UNC and Wisconsin, the Illini have done next to nothing since the New Year -- just 7-9 in 2011. The loss to the Illinois-Chicago Flames is worse than BC's loss to Yale. Illinois does benefit from strong RPI and SOS numbers (RPI 39, SOS 13) that are eerily similar to BC's (RPI 40, SOS 18). A loss here would drop Illinois to 8-10 in the Big Ten and give the Selection Committee some serious doubts about the Illini's resume. Bonus: A Hoosier win boosts our resume numbers. Rooting interest: Indiana. 

Georgia at Alabama (1:30 PM, ESPN3.com): Not sure what to make of this game, either. Georgia is currently in. Alabama is on the outside looking in. If you assume that only one of these teams is going to make the NCAAs, then the play here is the Bulldogs, which keeps 'Bama on the outside looking in. Rooting interest: Georgia.

Michigan State at Michigan (2 PM, CBS): Another matchup that is too close to call? Michigan State, at 17-12 (9-8 Big Ten), is currently projected to be a 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines? One of the last four in. Root for whomever you think won't go as far in the Big Ten Tournament. Me? I'll be rooting for the Spartans, figuring one of these two teams will make the Dance. If Michigan State wins, that might be enough to keep Michigan out. But like I said, this is more like a pick'em. Rooting interest: Michigan State.

Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (4 PM, ESPN3.com): Go Sooners! Rooting interest: Oklahoma.

Marquette at Seton Hall (6 PM, ESPN3.com): The Golden Eagles currently project as a 10 seed. The Hall (12-17, 6-11) is one of the few Big East teams NOT being considered for the NCAA Tournament. The Hall is coming off a big upset victory over No. 15 St. John's. A loss by Marquette could leave them as an #11 seed in the Big East Tournament, possibly opposite a dangerous #14 seed in Providence. 11 Big East teams in the Dance?! Pffft. Rooting interest: The Hall.

Nebraska at Colorado (9 PM): Both these teams just need to go away. Of the two though, Colorado probably has a little more life as a bubble team. Rooting interest: Nebraska.

Colorado State at No. 9 San Diego State (10 PM): The Rams are on the outside looking in. The Aztecs are very much in the field of 68. Rooting Interest: San Diego State.

 

In addition to bubble teams, you are all fans of the following mid-major programs this weekend -- Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Coastal Carolina (Big South), George Mason (CAA), Butler (Horizon), Fairfield (MAAC), Missouri State (Missouri Valley), Murray State (Ohio Valley) and Gonzaga (WCC).

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