Northwestern NCAA Tournament Bubble Rooting Interests: 2/25/2011

With Northwestern sitting squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble, it's time for a new daily feature, in which I take a look at every game relevant to Northwestern's NCAA chances and tell you whom you should be rooting for.

Before I get to the really long list of bubble games today, let's take a moment to thank Buzz Williams and #10 Marquette for winning at West Virginia last night. It was the ideal situation for a bubble team like West Virginia: a chance to beat a top 10 team at home, and said top 10 team had suspended three starters for the game. But Marquette rallied in the second half to win by one and Buzz Williams was quite excited after the game:

Infinite cocktails to you, Mr. Williams, for possibly bursting West Virginia's bubble and dancing on their grave.

Iowa St. Cyclones at Kansas St. Wildcats, 12:30 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: ?

Both teams are on the right side of the bubble for now, so I have no idea whom to root for. The good news is that one of them has to lose.

LSU Tigers at Mississippi Rebels, 12:45 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Mississippi

Yes, Northwestern beat LSU earlier this year, but LSU is currently on the wrong side of the bubble so it would be a bad thing if they were to play their way into contention.

UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats, 1 central, no TV

Team to root for: UCLA

Arizona is done with a loss.

N.C. State Wolfpack at Clemson Tigers, 1:30 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Clemson

N.C. State is hanging on by a thread, a loss here and they're just about done.

Memphis Tigers at Marshall Thundering Herd, 3 central, no TV

Team to root for: Marshall

Memphis is probably in but if they lose a couple more games it could get interesting.

Drexel Dragons at Old Dominion Monarchs, 3 central, no TV

Team to root for: Old Dominion

Drexel has a gaudy record, but no good wins, so they'd likely have to win out to the conference championship game to get an at-large bid.

Texas Longhorns at Texas Tech Red Raiders, 3 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Texas Tech

Texas is right on the bubble, and if they suffer a loss to a terrible team like Texas Tech, it's curtains.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Seton Hall Pirates, 4 central, ESPNU

Team to root for: Seton Hall

After Seton Hall's big win over Georgetown, I'm now rooting for Seton Hall to close out the season strong and boost NU's win over them, Seton Hall is likely in anyways.

Purdue Boilermakers at Michigan Wolverines, 5 central, BTN

Team to root for: Michigan

It's the swept Northwestern Invitational! Root for Purdue to keep losing and fall off the bubble I guess.

Portland Pilots at BYU Cougars, 5 central, no TV

Team to root for: Portland

BYU can't afford a loss to a non-NCAA team like Portland.

Mississippi St. Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide, 5 central, ESPN

Team to root for: Alabama

These are both bubble teams but Mississippi State is closer to the cut line, so Roll Tide.

UMass Minutemen at Dayton Flyers, 5 central, no TV

Team to root for: UMass

Dayton is squarely on the bubble and has to defend their home court in this one.

George Mason Patriots at Va. Commonwealth Rams, 5 central, ESPN2

Team to root for: George Mason

George Mason is essentially done after losing to Northeastern earlier this week, so hopefully they can take out VCU.

Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, 5 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Western Kentucky

Hilltoppers, yo! Very quietly, MTSU has had a great season and could get an at-large bid if they don't win the Sun Belt tournament.

Penn Quakers at Harvard Crimson, 6 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Harvard

Because the Ivy League doesn't have a conference tournament, NU doesn't have to worry about a clearly inferior team pulling an upset to steal the auto bid, but there could exist a scenario where Harvard doesn't win the regular season title and still gets a bid, so just to be safe, root for Harvard.

Temple Owls at St. Joseph's Hawks, 6 central, no TV

Team to root for: Temple

Saint Joe's needs a win here.

Washington Huskies at Washington St. Cougars, 7 central, FSN

Team to root for: Washington St.

Hit the bong in moral support for all the burnouts on Wazzou, as a win here would hurt Washington's at large chances.

UTEP Miners at Central Florida Knights, 7 central, no TV

Team to root for: UTEP

Apparently Central Florida is a bubble team; this escaped my notice until today.

Rice Owls at Southern Miss. Golden Eagles, 7 central, no TV

Team to root for: Rice

Southern Miss has a great RPI but they can't afford to keep suffering bad losses.

Richmond Spiders at Xavier Musketeers, 7 central, ESPN2

Team to root for: Richmond

Xavier is done if they lose to a bad team like Richmond.

Syracuse Orange at Connecticut Huskies, 8 central, ESPN

Team to root for: Syracuse

UConn is in if they win tonight.

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at Southern Utah Thunderbirds, 8:30 central, no TV

Team to root for: Southern Utah

I had to look up the nicknames of both teams here, which doesn't happen often. Anyways, Oral Roberts could get an at-large if they don't win the Summit League tournament, but not if they lose more regular season games to teams like Southern Utah.

Colorado St. Rams at San Diego St. Aztecs, 9 central, The Mountain

Team to root for: San Diego St.

I'm spent.

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