Last night wasn't full of bubble surprises, but there were some interesting results. Perhaps most notably, Murray State and Belmont both won, setting up and OVC championship game that might well see both competitors in the NCAA tournament when that time rolls around. More on that below.
Meanwhile, Toledo and VCU beat overmatched opponents that would have torpedoed their resumes, and Minnesota lost a big chance for a good win against Maryland. Here's what's on tap for today:
Villanova at Seton Hall, 12pm, FOX
Huge week for Seton Hall, and they've already picked up a big win against Marquette by closing the game on an 18-0 run. Now they have a chance to add another big resume win and be sitting pretty come Selection Sunday.
Syracuse at Clemson, 12pm, CBS
Talk about a great pair of games to open the day. Syracuse is in good shape, but Clemson is really on the edge of the bubble. They finally closed a game in the mid-week fixture, but their metrics outpace their resume thanks to a litany of close losses. Dropping this one would be a gut punch heading into conference tournament time.
Butler at Providence, 12pm, Fox Sports
Butler probably needs the auto bid, but we'll throw this one in for giggles. Plus, who doesn't love Big East action?
TCU at Texas, 12pm, ESPN2
Texas is on slightly firmer footing than their evangelical counterparts, but both of these teams desperately need to stockpile wins. TCU has the better record, but Texas has the better wins. Neither of them is really in position to drop another game and still feel good. This will be desperation time on both sides.
VMI at Wofford, 12pm, ESPN+
Wofford has 3 Q1 wins and an unblemished record in quadrants 2-4. Could they grab an at-large if they don't get the auto bid? They won't be keen to find out. They haven't lost since before Christmas, and three more wins sees them safely through to the conference tournament title. If they lose, though, they're a possible bid pirate.
NC State at Boston College, 2pm, ESPN3
The Wolfpack are just 2-8 in Q1 and have 2 Q3 losses. They're already at 20 wins and figure to have some good shots in the ACC tournament, but dropping this one and then washing out early would be cutting it mighty fine for them. A win here is paramount to their feeling comfortable on Selection Sunday.
Florida at UK, 2pm, CBS
First of all, the joke's on me if the previous CBS game is done in time for this one to tip. Second, Florida has just 17 wins overall and is 3-10 in Q1. They're right there on the bubble, probably in the 11 seed range right now. Grabbing this one would be huge for their resume. If they lose, they've got a lot of work to do in the SEC tournament.
Georgetown at Marquette, 2:30pm, FOX
Can the Hoyas play their way back into the conversation? A road trip to suddenly faltering Marquette gives them a great chance to do that. FOX recognizes that a 2-hour timeslot isn't enough for a modern NCAA game and has planned accordingly.
Arizona State at Arizona, 4pm, CBS
ASU is 20-9 overall, but their home losses against Princeton and Washington State are two of the worst you can find in the bubble conversation. At Arizona is a solid Q2 game, but they can't be adding more Ls if they want to be taken seriously in 8 days.
Holy crap there's a lot of good basketball on today.
UCF at Temple, 4pm, ESPN2
Temple only has 2 Q1 wins and hasn't beaten anyone decent since Houston on January 9. Their 22-8 record is pretty thin, but nabbing a win against UCF would give them something of value to point to in the last two months.
St. John's at Xavier, 5pm, FOX
You already know.
Alabama at Arkansas, 6pm, SEC Network
The Bracket Matrix has Alabama as the very last team in right now. This game is a shot to shore up a resume that could sure use it. If they lose, they drop into the morass of high-major teams with 16 to 18 wins and 14 losses. Not a great place to be.
Dayton at Duquesne, 7pm, ESPN+
Dayton is lingering somewhere adrift of the bubble. Losing this one would sink them for good.
DePaul at Creighton, 8pm, FS1
The Jays could use some good news after having to suspend one of their assistants for his part in a recruiting scandal. Beating DePaul might be enough to get them back on the right side of the bubble, depending on what else happens today. The fact that they're still scrapping at 17-13 shows just how cluttered the bubble is right now.
Murray State v. Belmont, 8pm, ESPN2
Whoo boy. The winner here is in and gets to rest easy for a week. The loser will have to listen to a week's worth of the old argument about whether it's better to have a gaudy record against weak competition or slug it out but have more losses to show for it. Either of these teams has a case as a mid-major at large, though Belmont's is better. The loser of this game will be an interesting litmus test for the committee.
Mercer v. Furman, 8:30pm, ESPN+
Furman has a decent resume and a lot of wins. If they make the final and lose to Wofford, maybe they're worth a look as an at-large. Dropping this one completely submerges their at-large hopes.
Tulsa at Memphis, 9:30pm, ESPNU
Memphis is off the bubble right now, but a strong run over the next week could give them a case for an at-large. Losing to Tulsa at home, however, would put that to bed. Penny Hardaway can't afford to drop this one.