For the remainder of the regular season, Blogging the Bracket's TV previews for the two busiest college basketball days of the week, Wednesday and Saturday, will be presented by Bud Light's "March to the Championship" game. (Details below the jump.)
It's the final Wednesday in February, which means the stakes are getting higher for both NCAA Tournament selection and seeding. So, it only makes sense that this evening's TV schedule is overloaded with games of bracket and bubble import. Those fighting for bids in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Mountain West, and SEC will be the busiest, and there's even a rare marquee late February non-conference game for those of you who are tired of incessant conference play.
After the jump, I have quick thoughts on nine notable games for the evening and a list of some other key viewing choices.
Early Evening (ET)
Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan Wolverines, Big Ten Network (6:30 p.m. ET)
This game is the first of three big ones for the Wolverines, and a victory over a Badger team that's a lock would be a tremendous bit of confidence heading into games against Minnesota and Michigan State, a pair of teams that sit firmly on the bubble ahead of Michigan. Keep in mind that the Badgers aren't quite the same on the road as they are at the Kohl Center (2-3 in Big Ten road games with the wins coming at Northwestern and Iowa [in OT]).
KenPom.com projection: Badgers 62-57, 54 poss.
Temple Owls at Duke Blue Devils, ESPN (7 p.m. ET)
In this week's Bracketology, I mentioned Duke's lack of wins over teams in the field as being a big reason why they weren't a top seed. The Blue Devils can change that with a home win over an Owl team that's risen to Lock status.
KenPom.com projection: Blue Devils 77-63, 70 poss.
Colorado St. Rams at BYU Cougars, The Mtn. (8 p.m. ET)
The Rams played the Cougars tough in Fort Collins, but still fell by nine, after a high-octane (and efficient) 71-possession contest. An upset win in Provo would do wonders for Colorado State's case, while damaging BYU's case for a 1 or 2 seed just before Saturday's highly-anticipated game at San Diego State.
KenPom.com projection: Cougars 85-68, 72 poss.
Auburn Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide, SEC Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (8 p.m. ET)
The Crimson Tide have already sewn up the top seed in the SEC West, but can claim the crown outright with a home win over their archrivals. However, the two big games for Bama will come in March, when they host East leader Florida and visit Georgia.
KenPom.com projection: Tide 71-52, 64 poss.
Other Viewing Options
DePaul Blue Demons at St. John's Red Storm, Big East Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (7 p.m. ET)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Providence Friars, Big East Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (7 p.m. ET)
Oklahoma Sooners at Texas A&M Aggies, FS Houston/FS Southwest/ESPN3/Full Court (7:30 p.m. ET)
Colorado Buffaloes at Texas Tech Red Raiders, TT Sports Network/ESPN3/Full Court (7:30 p.m. ET)
Kentucky Wildcats at Arkansas Razorbacks, SEC Network Regional/ESPN3/Full Court (8 p.m. ET)
Late Evening ET
Baylor Bears at Missouri Tigers, ESPN (9 p.m. ET)
This is the Bears' final game against a North opponent for the regular season, something they'll be thankful for after racking up a 1-4 record against the division so far (with the only win coming at home to Nebraska). It's also the first of four against quality competition that could make or break their at-large chances. On the other side of the court, the Tigers will be looking to break out of a mini-funk, as they struggled to beat two of the Big 12's worst, Iowa State and Texas Tech, last week.
KenPom.com projection: Tigers 80-70, 71 poss.
Kansas St. Wildcats at Nebraska Cornhuskers, ESPNU (9 p.m. ET)
The Cornhuskers begin their four-game all-Big 12 North closing stretch with the opportunity to avenge February 2nd's 16-point defeat in Manhattan and boost their at-large hopes. They have to be careful to avoid a letdown after Saturday's potentially season-altering win over Texas. Meanwhile, the Wildcats have slowly crept up the S-curve by winning two in a row and five of seven.
KenPom.com projection: Cornhuskers 65-62, 65 poss.
UNLV Runnin' Rebels at New Mexico Lobos, CBS College Sports (9 p.m. ET)
The Lobos have fallen off the bubble after dropping three straight, with the last defeat coming at the Pit to Utah. The Rebels will hope to start New Mexico on a rare home losing streak and solidify their own position in the field. Keep in mind that UNLV only won by a single point at the Thomas & Mack Center back on January 22nd.
KenPom.com projection: Lobos 67-66, 67 poss.
Cincinnati Bearcats at Georgetown Hoyas, Big East Network/ESPN3/Full Court (9 p.m. ET)
Curiously, the Hoyas play a home-and-home with Cincinnati in their final three regular season games, with Saturday's game against archrival Syracuse in between. (I would have used a sandwich reference here, but the Bearcats are the bread in this case, and who names a sandwich after the bread?) Cincy will be hoping that Georgetown is looking ahead to that matchup with the resurgent Orange, so they can steal a big road win.
KenPom.com projection: Hoyas 68-62, 63 poss.
Florida St. Seminoles at Maryland Terrapins, ACC Network Regional or ESPN3/Full Court (9 p.m. ET)
It's yet another chance for the Terps to win a game against a top 50 opponent who may not be one with a loss. (FSU is No. 49 per BBState right now.) The Seminoles will hope to start a little better than they did on Saturday against Wake Forest, even though they ended up picking up an easy win in their first full game without Chris Singleton.
KenPom.com projection: Terps 72-65, 74 poss.
Other Viewing Options
Purdue at Indiana, Big Ten Network (8:30 p.m. ET)
North Carolina at N.C. State, ACC Network Regional or ESPN3/Full Court (9 p.m. ET)
Please share your thoughts about today's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.
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