It wasn’t a great night for bubble teams on Tuesday night. Oklahoma, Florida, Indiana and Wake Forest all lost close heartbreakers in the final seconds. Nevertheless, another night of NCAA basketball brings us another night of NCAA teams fighting for seeding on the tournament bubble. What are the big games on Wednesday’s slate?
Rutgers is one of the country’s biggest enigmas
Rutgers has home wins over Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State on the season. The Scarlet Knights went on the road and beaten Wisconsin. On the surface, that’s enough of a resume to get into the tournament from a conference like the Big Ten.
However, Rutgers has some inexplainable losses to teams like UMass and Lafayette. Losses to teams like DePaul and Minnesota are not great. For that reason, the Scarlet Knights still have a lot of work to do to secure a bid come March. Thankfully for them, they’ll have the opportunities to get those wins.
Ron Harper Jr. and Rutgers need to pile up big wins if they want to crack the NCAA tournament. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
It begins on Wednesday night. Rutgers is a 3.5-point home underdog against Illinois. Illinois is ranked 12th in the nation, but Rutgers has beaten plenty of great teams on their home court. If they can do it again on Wednesday, it’ll go a long way.
Other power conference big games
It’s a big night in the ACC. Duke will be making the tournament, but outside of the Blue Devils, I wouldn’t feel confident putting anyone else in the “lock” category.
North Carolina, Notre Dame and Miami are amongst the teams that still have some work to due to solidify their resumes. All three teams are favorites on Wednesday night and wins are important to keep them on the right track:
In the Big East, we have an intriguing game between UConn and Seton Hall. Seton Hall is a 5.5-point road underdog. UConn seems to be pretty solidly locked in with many projecting it as a No. 6 seed come March, However, Seton Hall will need to get some results in order to get in. Seton Hall went 9-1 in non-conference play with wins over Michigan, Texas and Rutgers. However, it’s just 6-7 in Big East play.
In the SEC, Mississippi State finds itself on the bubble after losing five of its last six in conference play. Mississippi State’s biggest win on the season was probably against Alabama earlier in the season. The Bulldogs look to repeat that feat on Wednesday as 6.5-point underdogs in Tuscaloosa. They are a team in desperate need of some marquee wins.
Other bubble teams in action
Outside of the major conferences, there are five other teams currently projected near the bubble that find themselves in action on Wednesday.
SMU is a 4.5-point favorite on the road against Temple.
Saint Louis is a 13.5-point favorite at home against La Salle.
St. Bonaventure is an 11.5-point favorite against UMass.
Boise State heads on the road, where it’s a 10.5-point favorite against Air Force.
Loyola Chicago is a 9.5-point road favorite against Valparaiso.