Northwestern NCAA Tournament Bubble Rooting Interests: 3/5/2012

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.

Very quiet tonight: only two games with bubble implications. The calm before the storm, if you will.

Va. Commonwealth Rams vs. Drexel Dragons (+2.5), 6 central, ESPN

Team to root for: Virginia Commonwealth

CAA championship, and it should be a great game. Both of these teams have been playing great basketball for two months after slow starts (Drexel has won 19 in a row and 25 of 26 after a 2-4 start, and VCU has won 24 of 27 after a 3-3 start) and are good enough to deserve a tournament spot (Drexel is 41st in KenPom and VCU is 46th). However, deserve got nothing to do with it. When you're a mid-major in a weaker conference and you take some bad losses early, it does serious damage to your NCAA hopes, and Drexel may never recover from losses to Norfolk State and Delaware. Same for VCU's loss to Georgia Tech in the Charleston Classic all the way back in November.

Both of these teams are on the bubble right now and the general consensus is that VCU's resume is slightly better than Drexel's, as VCU has a 12.4 average seed on Bracket Matrix compared to a 13.1 average for Drexel. So NU fans are better off rooting for VCU to claim the auto-bid.

Western Illinois Leathernecks vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (-8), 6 central, no TV

Team to root for: Oral Roberts

Summit league semifinals. Oral Roberts has almost no chance at an at-large should they lose here but stranger things have happened, so root for them to win this tournament and get the auto-bid.

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