Pregame Shootaround: Three more NCAA Tournament bids decided while the Big Ten, AAC finish up regular season
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 6 Wisconsin at No. 23 Ohio State, 4:30 p.m.
This will be Wisconsin’s final test before the regular season comes to an end, and it should be a good one. For starters, D’Angelo Russell is one of the few players that is good enough to take over a game against anyone, even one of the best teams in the country. The Badgers aren’t great defensively and can, at times, struggle with dynamic lead guards. Ohio State is also much smaller than Wisconsin, and while that should give them an advantage in the paint, it will make it tough to guard the Buckeyes.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
1. Arch Madness concludes today and the Missouri Valley Conference will be sending an official representative to the Big Dance. While it isn’t the Wichita State/Northern Iowa rubber match that America might have wanted after Illinois State toppled the Shockers, don’t sleep on Dan Muller’s Redbirds. Every bubble team in America will be rooting for the Panthers today so that Illinois State doesn’t steal their bid. Although Northern Iowa swept the Redbirds in the regular season, one of those games was decided by a point.
2. The conclusion to the insane Big South Conference Tournament is today and the conference will send either Winthrop or Coastal Carolina to the NCAA Tournament. The Chanticleers as the No. 3 seed and enter having won six of seven, but Winthrop beat them in their only matchup this season on their home floor.
3. The third and final conference tournament championship game goes down in the Atlantic Sun as No. 1 seed North Florida hosts USC Upstate. Although the Ospreys have won 15 of their last 17 games, both of those losses came to the Spartans, who swept them in the regular season. Can USC Upstate beat the Atlantic Sun’s best regular-season team for a third time to make the NCAA Tournament?
4. Busy day for semifinal action in conference tournaments as well as the America East, CAA, MAAC and Southern conferences all will set their tournament championships by the end of the day. Both CAA contests will be on NBCSN as Hofstra battles William & Mary at 2:30 p.m. and Northeastern battles UNC-Wilmington at 5:00 p.m.
5. If you’re still clamoring for regular-season drama, the American has you covered. The conference’s regular-season crown gets decided on Sunday as Tulsa travels to No. 22 SMU. This one is definitely bigger for the Golden Hurricane, since a potential road win here would really help their at-large chances.
OTHER GAMES TO WATCH
- Memphis at Cincinnati, 12:00 p.m.
- Penn State at Minnesota, 1:00 p.m.
- No. 10 Maryland at Nebraska, 7:30 p.m.