Before we jump into today's games, let's get caught up on a crazy weekend. Beginning with teams that were on the right side of the bubble when games began Saturday, Baylor, Saint Joseph's, SMU, Oregon, and Gonzaga all held serve over teams they should have been expected to beat. Oklahoma State went one better, all but punching their ticket with a win over Kansas. Xavier, as you may know, also knocked off a ranked team in defending the Cintas Center from Creighton's advances.
Minnesota dropped a road game against Michigan that made their hold on the bubble tenuous. Cal also lost to a respectable opponent in succumbing to Arizona State; Colorado can't say the same, as their loss to Utah slid them down the s-curve but not into immediate danger. Sunday's action saw St. John's beat DePaul to retain their momentum and Marquette get it fed to them by an irrepressible Villanova squad. Both of those teams remain just on the wrong side of the cut line right now. Florida State picked up a win to move their name into the "last four out" discussion.
Teams we listed as being presumed auto bids with chances at an at-large should they fail to win their conference tournaments included Green Bay and Harvard, who both won handily, and North Dakota State who held off Denver by ten.
Teams who needed help but also helped themselves (by winning) were Dayton (who held off a late charge to hold on against UMass), Tennessee (who destroyed Vanderbilt), Missouri, Brigham Young, and Nebraska. None of the teams in that category picked up a season-changing win, but none of them lost, either. A little farther down the s-curve, we saw West Virginia and Toledo win to remain on life support. LSU got clubbed by number one Florida, and NC State lost to Miami (FL), who is not number one. Finally, say goodbye to Richmond, as they lost to URI by 23.
Today's games include a couple of big ones. As always, bubble teams are in bold.
7:00 PM Xavier at Seton Hall FOX Sports 1
The Muskies are holding momentum after a two-win week that they desperately want to keep going into the Thursday matchup against Villanova. Seton Hall seems to be playing out the string on the year, but they are also the only team that has beaten Xavier at home this year. A loss probably wouldn't knock X down to the last four kind of discussions, but a win would solidfy their resume for Selection Sunday.
9:00 PM Kansas State at Oklahoma State ESPN
Joe Lunardi has Kansas State sitting at 32 in his s-curve and Oklahoma State at 43. A win here would be massive for either team; OK State wants to make sure they're in, and Kansas State still has a lot to play for if they want to grab a pair a favorable first-weekend matchups. A loss wouldn't damage K-State too heavily, as they were on the road against a likely tournament team, but the Cowboys have to make sure they take care of business in this one so as to not lose the momentum they have so recently acquired.
9:00 PM North Carolina State at Pittsburgh ESPNU
NC State is probably dead and buried, but Pitt is right in the thick of things, measuring out as about a nine seed right now. The Panthers would desperately like to move up, but a loss here, one at Clemson, and one in the first round of their conference tournament would have the effect off pushing them way down the bubble. It's unlikely that happens, of course, but they have to take care of business to make sure they don't tumble down the seed lines or even out of the tournament altogether.