Northwestern NCAA Tournament Bubble Rooting Interests: 3/3/2012

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.

This could all be irrelevant in a few hours.

Pittsburgh Panthers at Connecticut Huskies (-5.5), 11 AM central, ESPN

Team to root for: Pittsburgh

UConn is on the bubble and desperately needs this one.

West Virginia Mountaineers at South Florida Bulls (-1.5), 11 AM central, ESPN3

Team to root for: West Virginia?

Both these teams are just inside the bubble the right now. Good news is someone has to lose, bad news is someone has to win. According to Bracket Projects' matrix, West Virginia is in slightly better position right now, so root for them.

George Washington Colonials at Dayton Flyers (-9), 11 AM central, no TV

Team to root for: George Washington

Dayton is probably done after losing to Richmond the other night but might as well make sure.

UNC-Wilmington Seahawks vs. Drexel Dragons (-12.5), 11 AM central, ESPN3

Team to root for: UNC-Wilmington

CAA quarterfinals. Drexel is unlikely to get an at-large bid if they don't win this tournament and they certainly won't get one with a terrible loss to UNC-Wilmington.

Washington Huskies at UCLA Bruins (-5), 1 central, CBS

Team to root for: UCLA

Washington is in first place in the Pac-12, but their NCAA position is very much in doubt thanks to a grand total of 3 RPI top 100 wins the entire season (seriously).

Cincinnati Bearcats at Villanova Wildcats (+1.5), 1 central, ESPN

Team to root for: Villanova

Cincinnati needs this one.

Southern Miss. Golden Eagles at Marshall Thundering Herd (-2.5), 1 central, no TV

Team to root for: Marshall

Southern Miss can probably afford a loss here, but two in a row and it could get interesting.

Charlotte 49ers at Xavier Musketeers (-10.5), 1 central, no TV

Team to root for: Xavier

Must win for Xavier

Drudge-siren_medium Tennessee St. Tigers vs. Murray St. Racers (-7), 1 central, ESPN2 Drudge-siren_medium

Team to root for: Murray State

Ohio Valley title game. Murray State loses, there's one fewer at-large spot.

Boston College Eagles at Miami Hurricanes (-15), 1:30 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Boston College

This would be a miraculous upset, but could happen.

Drudge-siren_medium Illinois St. Redbirds vs. Wichita St. Shockers (-12), 1:35 central, ESPN3 Drudge-siren_medium

Team to root for: Wichita State

We covered this yesterday, either Creighton or Wichita State has to win the Valley auto bid.

Colorado St. Rams at Air Force Falcons (+2.5), 3 central, no TV

Team to root for: Air Force

A loss for the Rams would cancel out their marquee win against UNLV.

Arkansas Razorbacks at Mississippi St. Bulldogs (-9.5), 4 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Arkansas

MSU needs this game.

Drudge-siren_medium Evansville Aces vs. Creighton Bluejays (-6), 4:05 central, ESPN3 Drudge-siren_medium

Team to root for: Creighton

See the Wichita State section.

Seton Hall Pirates at DePaul Blue Demons (+5), 5 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Seton Hall, I guess

We've been over this before. Which is better, NU maintains a quality win or Seton Hall falls below NU on the cut line? Seton Hall needs to win this to maintain a top 50 RPI so I think we're better off rooting for them to win, although it's debatable.

Utah Utes at Oregon Ducks (-17), 5 central, no TV

Team to root for: Utah

Oregon would be done if Utah were to somehow pull off the upset.

Northeastern Huskies vs. Va. Commonwealth Rams (-12.5), 5 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Northeastern

CAA quarterfinals. VCU probably needs to win this tournament to get in, they won't get in if they lose here to Northeastern.

Harvard Crimson at Cornell Big Red (+7.5), 6 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Harvard

Harvard is still in the driver's seat for the auto-bid out of the Ivy but they need a win here.

IPFW Mastodons vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (-12.5), 6 central, no TV

Team to root for: IPFW

Summit league quarterfinals. Oral Roberts almost certainly needs to win this tournament to get in, and they definitely can't afford an early loss to a 11-18 team.

a city they call Long Beach St. 49ers at Cal St.-Fullerton Titans (+5), 6:05 central, no TV

Team to root for: Fullerton

LBSU would probably have to win out their conference tournament final for an at-large bid, a loss here and they're in auto-bid or bust mode.

Drudge-siren_mediumSan Francisco Dons vs. Saint Mary's Gaels (-7.5), 8 central, ESPN2 Drudge-siren_medium

Team to root for: St. Mary's

WCC semifinals. Either St. Mary's or Gonzaga needs to win this or there's one fewer at-large spot.

Drudge-siren_medium BYU Cougars vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs (-1.5), 10 central, ESPN2 Drudge-siren_medium

Team to root for: Gonzaga

See above. It's even more important for Gonzaga to win here because BYU is right on the bubble, so a win probably gets them in even if they lose the title game.

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