Sunday, April 14, 2024

March Madness Bubble Watch: Big Night for Michigan State with Rivalry Play, Chance to Approach ‘Lockdown’ Status

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Here’s a key truth about those teams that ended up in the March Madness bubble: Sooner or later, they’ll tell you if they really want to play in the NCAA tournament.

This happened in 2019, when Ohio State faced Indiana in a Big Ten Tournament second round match that bracket analysts identified as a match in which the winner would have a good chance of winning. ‘to be included in the field and the loser would almost certainly be absent.

AFTER: March Madness Predictions: SN’s Last Field of 68

The Buckeyes entered this showdown with an 18-13 record and started at 19-13. They did it. IU did not.

So what should we do with the statement released Wednesday night by the Stanford Cardinal?

Given the difficult mission of visiting the Southern California Trojans, Stanford scored 17 points in the first half, shot 25 percent from the field, returned the ball 16 times and fell behind, at one point. in the second half, 34 points. The Cardinal’s fourth straight loss, 79-42, brought them down to 14-12 this season.

All of these recent losses have come without star big man Oscar da Silva, but this level of performance is hard to justify by the absence of a single player.

This is something to consider as the “bubble” games continue through conference tournaments over the next eight or nine days. Who really wants to be? It’s not that simple, but it covers a lot of ground in the discussion.

Here’s a look at today’s shortlist of these games:

NCAA Bubble Games To Watch Thursday

Richmond vs. Duquesne, Atlantic Championship Round 2 Round 10, 11 a.m., NBCSN. Do we still list Richmond (12-7, # 62 NET) as a bubble team? It’s hard to see the Spiders reach the NCAA tournament without the A-10’s automatic offer, but tournament support offers the opportunity, in theory, to bring down regular-season champion St. Bonaventure in the quarters and Saint Louis in a bubble. the semi-finals. So it’s not over until it’s over.

Michigan State at Michigan, 7 p.m., ESPN. The Spartans (14-10, No.71) pushed their way through the bubble with wins over Illinois and Ohio State, and they would be in a pretty safe position if they had won at Maryland on Sunday. Now, with two games against rival Wolverines to close the season, they will have to go their separate ways to feel safe. It’s a mountainous task, considering the Wolverines have only lost twice this season. But that’s better than no luck at all. If MSU were to win, it would hold five Quad 1 victories – including three against teams on the first two starting lines projected by Sporting News – and nine against the first two quadrants. It’s weird for a team to be so close to locking in an offer and, at the same time, so close to completely missing the pitch. But it is an unusual season.

Wyoming at the state of Utah, 9:30 a.m., FS1. Utah State (15-7, No.47) hasn’t played since the end of a Nevada sweep streak on Sunday, but the Aggies are having a hell of a week. Stanford, Seton Hall, another candidate from Mountain West, Boise State, have all played their way out of support and on the selection committee’s waiting list ever since. Someone has to take their place, although it won’t be the Aggies if they don’t run their business against the 12-9 Cowboys.


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