Today's games and their NCAA Tournament implications

It's the first weekend of March, which means it's the last weekend of the college basketball season.

Do or die!

Get pumped!

Rage!!!

Whatever you're primarily focused on this weekend, a number of big have have big implications on both seeding and setting the field of 68.

If you have questions as to just what is in play over the next two days, the following information should serve quite handy. You'll also want to check out Chris Dobbertean's Bracketology work over at the mothership.

Pittsburgh @ Connecticut (noon; ESPN)

  • If the Huskies win: They get to place a second hand on the edge of the cliff they're currenty hanging on to. Like, really, this time, too. As it stands now, the Huskies are likely headed to Dayton to participate in the First Four. We said it a dozen times in February "this is a must win game" but we mean it now.
  • If the Huskies lose: Goodnight.
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Charlotte @ Xavier (2pm)

  • If the Musketeers win: They keep hope alive of being part of the field of 68. They, like UConn, are looking at a trip to Dayton, which would feature two prominent programs that underachieved greatly this season.
  • If the Musketeers lose: They must win the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. They'd have two losses to teams with RPIs of more than 150, on top of a 3-7 record against the RPI top 50.
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Georgetown @ Marquette (2pm; ESPN3)

  • Could this possibly be a game where both teams are playing to secure a three seed in the NCAA Tournament? Both teams sit on that level of the s-curve, but the Hoyas boast a tougher SOS and are 3-2 against the RPI top 25. The Golden Eagles only have won such victory - on the road over Wisconsin - so a win today means more.
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Louisville @ Syracuse (4pm; CBS)

  • If the Cardinals win: Well, first, they breathe a sigh of relief. The Cardinals have traded a loss for a win since losing to the Orange on Valentine's Day eve. Despite returning to health, they're backing into the tournament right now, and their best Big East win is against UConn. Not only could a win today move the Cardinals into a protected NCAA Tournament four seed, they also get to build some confidence heading into the final leg of the season.
  • If the Orange win: They shrug their shoulders and get ready for the Big East tournament. The implications of today's game is minimal, as Jim Boeheim's club has already clinched a double-bye for the Big East Tournament and secured a one seed for the NCAA Tournament.
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Arkansas @ Mississippi State (5pm; ESPN3)

  • If the Razorbacks win: BAAHAHAHAH! Not only could this place the Bulldogs in "last four in" territory, it might also put Rick Stansbury in "I might lose my job" territory. Arkansas has only won once on the road this season and has nothing to play for other than being tournament killers.
  • If the Bulldogs win: Phew. MSU is a talented club. I still hold an outside shot that they could upset their way to the Sweet 16 if the match-ups are right, but that can't happen if they lose today.
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Baylor @ Iowa State (7pm; ESPN3)

  • If the Bears win: Currently, Baylor's best road victory is Kansas State. Not bad, but win in Ames today - a place where ISU is 7-1 this season against Big 12 opponents - and I think Scott Drew's club locks themselves in to an NCAA Tournament three seed, while the Cyclones slip to a double digit tournament seed.
  • If the Cyclones win: Fred Hoiberg continues to build credibility in only his second season as head coach, and his team finishes third in conference play over the Bears due to their win against Kansas earlier in the season.
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North Carolina @ Duke (7pm; ESPN)

  • If the Blue Devils win: They win the ACC regular season, improve their chances at an NCAA Tournament one seed, and eliminate the Heels from stealing that one seed from them.
  • If the Tar Heels win: They win the ACC regular season, stay in contention for an NCAA Tournament one seed (assuming they win the ACC Conference Tournament) and knock their hated rival down to a two seed.

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