Last night a few hopefuls, most notably Pitt, UNLV, and LSU, took pretty big hits to their tournament hopes last night, while Michigan State, UC, and Oregon were able to take vital steps forward in ensuring that their fan bases would not have to sudden;y become well versed on the NIT. Still, time marches inexorably forward and today serves up a fresh new batch of teams hoping to take big steps, or at least avoid total collapses, in the intensifying quest for tournament spots.
Temple @ East Carolina - 7 PM
Temple is currently in on 65 of 95 brackets, coming in at an average seed of 10.65. The AAC is likely going to be a multi-bid conference, but how many teams is anyone's guess. East Carolina is resume poison with their 222 RPI ranking, but they did spring a surprise on UC this year in 50-46 win and a similar victory against Temple would devastate the Owls hopes for at-large consideration.
Marshall @ Old Dominion - 8 PM
Old Dominion clings on to hope on 20 brackets thanks to their 41 RPI and signature win over VCU. The Monarchs have not lost at home all season and dropping one to the 295 RPI sporting Thundering Herd would bring a swift end to their challenge.
Southern Miss @ Louisiana Tech - 8 PM
CUSA currently has two teams vying for inclusion in the field of 68, but is likely a one bid league when Selection Sunday comes around. Louisiana Tech is leading the way in conference play, but does not have the quality wins that Old Dominion does, so they need to keep any bad losses off their resume to get a second look from the committee if they fall in the conference tournament. Southern Miss is a bad loss.
VCU @ Davidson- 9 PM
Davidson has rolled off 8 straight, beat Dayton, and has an RPI rank of 44. VCU is ranked 17 in RPI, is 5-5 in their last 10, and only beat Davidson at home by 6 before Briante Weber's injury. Needless to say, chance for the Wildcats to move up from the 59 brackets they currently appear on do not come much better than this.
Stanford @ Arizona State- 11 PM
Stanford is still in the mix on 8 brackets online, but hope is fading for the Cardinal. They haven't beaten a team as good as Arizona State's 93 RPI since... Arizona State on January 25th. Since then they have fallen to 3 top 50 opponents, two of which were one possession games, and picked up an ugly loss at Colorado. The case for Stanford is getting weaker, but a loss here and it becomes non existent.