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Bracketology 2021: Full Bracket and TV Preview for Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Today’s bracket features a new No. 1 seed, a new No. 2 seed, and neither Duke nor Michigan State. Tuesday’s schedule features plenty of games that could shake up the entire picture.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Wisconsin
Kofi Cockburn and Illinois were pushed by Wisconsin on Saturday but are on the top line today.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Given what’s on Tuesday’s schedule, I’m merging today’s TV preview with my bracket commentary. It’s after today’s full projection and rundown.

The Bracket

Stars (✴️) indicate new entrants, while arrows (⬆️ ⬇️) indicate movement up and down the seed list since Friday.

Rundown

IN (10): Bryant (NEC), Colorado State, Drake, Grand Canyon (WAC), Navy (Patriot), Nicholls State (Southland), Siena (MAAC), South Dakota State (Summit), UNCG (SoCon), Western Kentucky (C-USA)
OUT: Abilene Christian (Southland), Colgate (Patriot), Duke, Furman (SoCon), Michigan State, Monmouth (MAAC), North Texas (C-USA), South Dakota (Summit), UNCG (SoCon), UT Rio Grande Valley (WAC), Wagner (NEC)

Last Four Byes: Louisville, Seton Hall, North Carolina, Georgia Tech
Last Four IN: Xavier, VCU, Colorado State, Drake
First Four OUT: Michigan State, Duke, Utah State, Saint Louis
Next Four OUT: Stanford, Memphis, Syracuse, SMU

Bids by Conference

*: auto bid holder

One-bid conferences: 20

Big Ten (8): 1. Michigan*, 1. Illinois, 2. Ohio State, 2. Iowa, 4. Purdue, 6. Wisconsin, 9. Maryland, 10. Rutgers
ACC (7): 3. Florida State*, 5. Virginia, 6. Clemson, 7. Virginia Tech, 10. Louisville, 11. North Carolina, 11. Duke, 11. Georgia Tech
Big 12 (7): 1. Baylor*, 2. West Virginia, 3. Kansas, 4. Oklahoma State, 5. Oklahoma, 5. Texas, 5. Texas Tech
SEC (6): 2. Alabama*, 4. Arkansas, 6. Tennessee, 7. Missouri, 7. Florida, 8. LSU
Big East (5): 2. Villanova*, 4. Creighton, 9. UConn, 10. Seton Hall, 11. Xavier (First Four)
Pac-12 (4): 6. USC, 7. Colorado, 8. UCLA*, 9. Oregon
Mountain West (3): 8. San Diego State*, 10. Boise State, 12. Colorado State (First Four)
American (2): 3. Houston, 12. Wichita State*
Atlantic 10 (2): 11. St. Bonaventure*, 12. VCU (First Four)
Missouri Valley (2): 9. Loyola Chicago*, 11. Drake (First Four)
West Coast (2): 1. Gonzaga*, 8. BYU

Tuesday TV Preview

Reminders of the different NET groupings are in the table below. Note that I have not included the groupings for neutral-site games since none are scheduled.

NET Quadrants

A game falls under this quadrant For the home team when the visiting team ranks between For the visiting team when the home team ranks between
A game falls under this quadrant For the home team when the visiting team ranks between For the visiting team when the home team ranks between
1 1–30 1–75
2 31–75 76–135
3 76–160 136–240
4 161–353 241–353

All NET rankings are from the NCAA’s website and reflect games played against D1 opposition only through Monday, March 1, 2021. Records reflect all games played through the same date.

All times are Eastern. All times and broadcast information is CoVID-dependent. For a more complete schedule, including games without tournament/at-large impact, visit MattSarzSports.com’s daily schedule.

Chronological Schedule

Tuesday, 03/02/2021

Tip Time (ET) Host/ Visitor Quads Matchup Outlet
Tip Time (ET) Host/ Visitor Quads Matchup Outlet
5 p.m. 1/1 3. Baylor at 13. West Virginia ESPN
6:30 p.m. 1/2 18. Arkansas at 112. South Carolina SECN
7 p.m. 1/1 5. Illinois at 2. Michigan ESPN
7 p.m. 2/1 69. Auburn at 7. Alabama ESPN2
7 p.m. 2/2 50. Xavier at 96. Georgetown FS1
7 p.m. 1/3 27. Texas at 227. Iowa State ESPN+ ($)
7 p.m. 3/1 115. TCU at 15. Texas Tech ESPN+ ($)
7 p.m. 4/1 202. Fresno State at 34. Boise State CBSSN
7 p.m. No. 10 Purdue Fort Wayne at No. 1 Cleveland State (Horizon quarterfinals) ESPN+ ($)
7 p.m. No. 5 Detroit Mercy at No. 4 Northern Kentucky (Horizon quarterfinals) ESPN+ ($)
7 p.m. No. 8 Milwaukee at No. 2 Wright State (Horizon quarterfinals) ESPN+ ($)
7:30 p.m. No. 6 Youngstown State at No. 3 Oakland (Horizon quarterfinals) ESPN+ ($)
8 p.m. 2/1 58. Duke at 41. Georgia Tech ACCN
8 p.m. 2/2 57. Indiana at 77. Michigan State B1G Network
8:30 p.m. 3/1 118. Vanderbilt at 29. LSU SECN
9 p.m. 1/1 24. Wisconsin at 22. Purdue ESPN2
9 p.m. 2/1 65. Kentucky at 60. Ole Miss ESPN
9 p.m. 2/3 59. Memphis at 193. South Florida ESPNU

Quad 1 For Both Teams (1/1: 3 Games)

Top 30 at Top 75

3. Baylor (18-1, 10-1 Big 12) at 13. West Virginia (17-6, 10-4), 5 p.m. (ESPN)
5. Illinois (18-6, 14-4 Big Ten) at 2. Michigan (18-1, 13-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
24. Wisconsin (16-9, 10-8 Big Ten) at 22. Purdue (16-8, 11-6), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

Things don’t get much bigger than the unusual early Super Tuesday ESPN lined up for the final week of the regular season—at least when it comes to the first two games of the tripleheader. First, Baylor, now the third No. 1 seed, looks to get back on track following a sluggish home win over Iowa State and loss at Kansas in their first two games back from a CoVID pause. Unfortunately, Morgantown isn’t the place to expect to grab a huge win, particularly with host West Virginia playing well enough to ascend to today’s two line.

In the Big Ten, a pair of No. 1’s square off in Ann Arbor, where the new No. 2 team overall, Michigan, hosts No. 4 Illinois. The Fighting Illini jumped Ohio State following the Buckeyes’ Sunday loss to Iowa. Illinois still has both the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes chasing them, with both sitting on the two line today. Over on ESPN2 in the 9 Eastern hour, Purdue, now a four seed, hosts a Wisconsin squad that’s seen its fortunes tumble thanks to an inconsistent run. The Badgers last won consecutive games on January 15th and 20th.

With all of these Big Ten and Big 12 makeup games this week, there’s still a lot to play for before tournament play next week.

Quad 2 For Host/Quad 1 For Visitor (2/1: 3 Games)

31–75 at Top 75

69. Auburn (12-13, 6-10 SEC) at 7. Alabama (19-6, 14-2), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
58. Duke (11-9, 9-7 ACC) at 41. Georgia Tech (13-8, 9-6), 8 p.m. (ACCN)
65. Kentucky (8-14, 7-8 SEC) at 60. Ole Miss (13-10, 8-8), 9 p.m. (ESPN)

The biggest game of this trio is in Atlanta, where Duke visits Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils dropped out of this projection after losing to Louisville in overtime on Saturday, and they’ll need to win both tonight and on Saturday in Chapel Hill to feel somewhat good about their chances heading to the ACC Tournament. As for the Yellow Jackets, they grabbed a big win over Syracuse on Saturday to slide up the seed list a bit.

The first of the two SEC games in this group is the most interesting, as Alabama is still fighting for a No. 1 seed, while Kentucky needs to win the SEC Tournament to even qualify and it’s looking like it’s going to be the same story for Ole Miss.

Quad 1 For Host/Quad 2 For Visitor (1/2: 1 Game)

Top 30 at 76–135

18. Arkansas (19-5, 11-4 SEC) at 112. South Carolina (6-12, 4-10), 6:30 p.m. (SECN)

Arkansas has lost just one of its last 10 games, at Oklahoma State in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on January 30th. Both the Razorbacks and Cowboys, who completed a Bedlam sweep on Monday night, now sit on seed line No. 4.

Quad 2 For Both Teams (2/2: 2 Games)

31–75 at 76–135

50. Xavier (13-5, 6-5 Big East) at 96. Georgetown (8-11, 6-8), 7 p.m. (FS1)
57. Indiana (12-12, 7-10 Big Ten) at 77. Michigan State (13-10, 7-10), 8 p.m. (B1G Network)

There’s some serious bubble action in the Big East and Big Ten, as Xavier must avoid picking up a questionable loss at Georgetown, while Michigan State can complete a season sweep of Indiana. The Hoosiers have slid way down the bubble pecking order after three straight losses, while the Spartans slipped out of the field following Sunday’s 73-55 loss at Maryland.

Quad 1 For Host/Quad 3 For Visitor (1/3: 1 Game)

Top 30 at 136–240

27. Texas (14-7, 8-6 Big 12) at 227. Iowa State (2-18, 0-15), 7 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))

Texas is one of three Big 12 teams on seed line No. 5, alongside Texas Tech and Oklahoma. The Longhorns will drop a line or two if they become Iowa State’s first conference victim tonight.

Quad 3 For Host/Quad 1 For Visitor (3/1: 2 Games)

76–160 at Top 75

115. TCU (12-10, 5-8 Big 12) at 15. Texas Tech (15-8, 7-7), 7 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))
118. Vanderbilt (7-13, 3-11 SEC) at 29. LSU (14-8, 9-6), 8:30 p.m. (SECN)

Similarly, Texas Tech could drop a bit with a loss, though the Red Raiders do get TCU in Lubbock. LSU, meanwhile, will look to end its two-game skid back at home against Vanderbilt.

Quad 2 For Host/Quad 3 For Visitor (2/3: 1 Game)

31–75 at 136–240

59. Memphis (14-6, 10-3 American) at 193. South Florida (8-10, 4-8), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

Like American rival SMU, Memphis is hanging around the bubble, though the Tigers have won five straight since splitting a home-and-home with the paused Mustangs. Penny Hardaway’s club must take care of business tonight in Tampa, as they visit league-leading Houston on Sunday to close the regular season.

Quad 4 For Host/Quad 1 For Visitor (4/1: 1 Game)

161–353 at Top 75

202. Fresno State (10-10, 8-10 MW) at 34. Boise State (18-6, 14-5), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)

While the Broncos were swept by San Diego State, they remain in the field, thanks to road wins at BYU and bracket newcomer Colorado State and a sweep of Utah State. A home loss to the Bulldogs might just knock them out of the field, especially with both Duke and Michigan State in action tonight.

Horizon League Quarterfinals

ESPN+ ($) will stream all four games.

Game 5: No. 10 Purdue Fort Wayne (8-14, 6-14) at No. 1 Cleveland State (16-7, 16-4), 7 p.m.
The Vikings won the season series 3-1 (with two home games each).
Game 6: No. 5 Detroit Mercy (12-9, 10-6) at No. 4 Northern Kentucky (13-10, 11-7), 7 p.m.
The pair did not meet during the regular season.
Game 8: No. 8 Milwaukee (9-11, 7-10) at No. 2 Wright State (18-5, 16-4), 7 p.m.
The Raiders won the season series 2-0 (both at home).
Game 7: No. 6 Youngstown State (15-11, 9-11) at No. 3 Oakland (10-17, 10-10), 7:30 p.m.
The Golden Grizzlies won the season series 2-0 (both at home).

Tonight’s four winners move on to Indianapolis for Monday night’s semifinals. Notice the impact of CoVID scheduling for a conference that typically plays a double round-robin regular season.