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Bracketology Bubble Watch: Duke, North Carolina, UConn in action on busy day for NCAA Tournament hopefuls

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at Georgia Tech, 12 p.m. (ACCN) — For the Orange, a win would be their first Quad 1 win of the season, although they do have a home win over the Hokies. That 0-fer against the top group and a sweep by Pitt is what Syracuse needs to start making up for. The Orangemen have good schedule for making a productive late run.ng up. vs. Syracuse — 12 p.m. (ACCN) — Georgia Tech has won three straight, most recently at Virginia Tech, to get on to the last spot in my current bracket. Needless to say, that is not a safe place to be. This is the first of back to back home games with fellow bubblers as the Yellow Jackets hope to keep moving up. at San Diego State, 4 p.m. (CBS Sports Network) Boise State is now in the position of needing the win more than its opponent. A loss by the Broncos would drop them to two games back in the Mountain West standings and to two games below .500 against Q1-2. That might not keep them out of the bracket, but it would likely put them third in the MWC pecking order. vs. Boise State, 4 p.m. (CBS Sports Network) — Game one of this series was won by the Aztecs in overtime on Thursday night. A sweep of the Broncos would be a big step toward safety in the bracket. vs. Michigan, 12 p.m. (Fox) — When you are as desperate for a win of any kind as Indiana is, the last thing you want to see on your schedule is Michigan. Obviously, it would be an enormous win for the Hoosiers fast-fading tournament hopes. It is getting harder and harder to find reasons for optimism for Indiana. at Davidson, 2 p.m. (ESPNU) VCU is looking to move back into a tie atop the A-10 standings at Davidson this afternoon. The Rams got some good news as they expect their leading scorer Bones Hyland to be back for this game. A win moves VCU to 9-0 vs Q2, but they do not yet have a Q1 win. at Arkansas, 2 p.m. (ESPN2) — Every time I think LSU has it figured out, they do something like lose to Georgia, which is what the Tigers did on Tuesday. This is a great chance to get off the bubble for good. There is no hotter team in the SEC than the Razorbacks. vs. Marquette, 2:30 p.m. (Fox) — The Huskies have done pretty well since the return of Jerome Bouknight to the lineup. This is an important stretch of the schedule for UConn. The Huskies have three games left against teams not in the bracket and need to win them all. Marquette has proven to be dangerous though. Don’t take my word for it though. Ask Creighton, Wisconsin and North Carolina. at Vanderbilt, 3:30 p.m. (SECN) — Mississippi has nothing left on the regular season schedule that can help them make a push into the bracket, so they just need to keep winning so they can have a chance in the SEC tournament. This is the first of two games left with Vandy. vs. California, 4 p.m. (PACN) — The Ducks already have two bad losses, which is a big reason why they are still on the bubble. That and a lack of wins over tournament quality opposition, but this game is about avoiding a third bad loss of the season. vs. Air Force, 4 p.m. — The Rams have a reasonably clean, if not spectacular, tournament resume. They split all three series with the other league contenders, but lost to St. Mary’s outside the league. A loss would be a real eyesore on their profile. vs. Florida State, 4 p.m. (ESPN) — The Tar Heels can fill a hole in their tournament resume. Their best win of the season so far was the 45-point destruction of Louisville. They have not beaten a team of this caliber. Doing so would take away some of the sting of the Marquette loss on Wednesday. vs. Creighton, 5 p.m. (Fox)Xavier got off to such a good start to the season, which included a 22-point win over Oklahoma. That win is about all that is keeping the Musketeers afloat right now. They did not come out of their COVID pause well and have lost three of their last four. They need a good showing against a Creighton team that has played down to its competition at times. vs. Louisville, 6 p.m. (ESPN)Duke has been on a roll, winning four straight, including a victory over Virginia. That has gotten the Blue Devils to 11-8, but their tournament resume is still pretty sketchy, with mediocre-to-bad losses dotting it and all of their best wins coming at home. Here is a chance for another nice home win. vs. Southern Illinois, 6 p.m. (ESPN2) — SIU gave the Ramblers some trouble early on in Friday’s game, but Loyola eventually came away with a comfortable win. This game ends the regular season for Loyola and a win guarantees at least a tie for the regular season title. vs. Oregon State, 6:30 p.m. (PACN)Stanford has lost two straight, including one at Washington State, to drop to 14-10 overall and just 5-10 vs the top two quadrants. A win against the Beavers will not improve that mark, but a loss might be the last straw in Stanford’s at-large hopes. at Bradley, 6 p.m. (ESPN) — The Bulldogs picked up a 9-point win over the Braves on Friday night and are now poised to win the MVC regular season championship. If Drake win, it is assured no worse than a tie for the title and will be the No. 1 seed in Arch Madness. at Nebraska, 7 p.m. (BTN) — For the longest time, the biggest problem with Minnesota’s tournament resume was the lack of a win away from home. Then Gabe Kalscheur got hurt and the Gophers dug themselves a hole. They have lost four in a row, most recently at home to Northwestern. They need the win not just because they are lacking a road win, but because a loss might mean they’re done. vs. UCLA, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)Colorado picked up a huge win over USC on Thursday to complete a season sweep of the Trojans. Now, the Buffaloes have a chance to knock off the conference leader for the second game in a row. This time, they are looking to avenge a loss from earlier in the season.

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