Wednesday, March 12, 2008

W2W4: Survival Day

Here are three big games for Bubble teams today that will determine who will still have a shot at making the NCAA Tournament and who will be crying home to their respective mothers.

1) Syracuse (19-12, 9-9 Big East) vs. Villanova (19-11, 9-9 Big East)
TV: ESPN (11 a.m. CT)

Neither team can lose this game and still expect to get in the Dance. Syracuse (RPI of 45) and Villanova (RPI of 56) are two desperate squads that are going to be fun to watch playing each other with their tournament lives at stake. A win here wouldn't be enough on its own to get either team in the Big Dance though. But it would keep them breathing.

2) Dayton (20-9, 8-8 A-10) vs. Saint Louis (16-14, 7-9 A-10)
(11 a.m. CT)

Dayton got off to an amazing start but stumbled in conference play before winning its last three and giving itself a shot to still get in the tournament. has Dayton as "looking bad" in that regard, but the Flyers' RPI is 33 and they have several solid wins, including a road win over Louisville and a trouncing of Pittsburgh. If they beat Saint Louis, something they've done twice this season, the Flyers get a shot at No. 10 Xavier to really help their chances. If they lose to the Billikens, which is a really weird nickname, then yikes.

3) Arizona (18-13, 8-10 Pac-10) vs. Oregon State (6-24, 0-18 Pac-10)
10:30 p.m. CT

I know, I know, how could this be even considered as a good game? Oregon State is the freak-child of the Pac-10, this year's best conference. How could Arizona lose to this bunch of misfits? The scary thing for Arizona is that there is almost nothing to gain from beating a team with an RPI of 264 except going to the next round. The Beavers have nothing to lose, so I'm intrigued by the possibilities. If all goes to plan for the Wildcats, they play No. 11 Stanford next. A win over the Cardinal and Arizona's tournament streak, currently at 23 years, lives.

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