With the selection show now less than a month away, some of the focus in the sports world has turned to college hoops. The selection committee revealed its top 16 teams on Saturday afternoon to get people into the college basketball spirit. The final bracket will come out Sunday, March 14th.
There are a number of matchups moving forward that will have a big impact on the bracket both for those closer to the top of the field and those that are fighting their way into consideration as bubble teams. Looking to the matchups early this week, there are a few that stand out, and fans should be paying attention on Monday and Tuesday.
No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers (15-3) vs. No. 17 Florida State Seminoles (11-3)
On Monday night, the Seminoles will host Virginia in a matchup between teams that are locked into the field of 68. It would take a major collapse for any possibility of either of these programs on the outside looking in on Selection Sunday. However, it’s a big game for seeding purposes because both teams are ranked, and beating a fellow NCAA Tournament team will impress the committee. The Cavaliers have won four in a row and 11 of their last 12 games, but Florida State comes into this one as a 1.5-point favorite at home, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Providence Friars (11-10) vs. UConn Huskies (9-5)
Providence is not a factor to be an NCAA Tournament team at this point, but the Huskies find themselves squarely on the bubble heading into Tuesday night’s game. UConn’s season has been interrupted immensely with COVID-19 postponements and cancellations, and the Huskies need to start stringing together consecutive wins, which they have struggled to do this season. UConn is just 2-4 in their last six games, though they are coming off a huge road win over the Xavier Musketeers on Saturday. UConn cannot afford to lose to Providence for the second time in a week.
No. 13 Texas Longhorns (13-5) vs. No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners (13-5)
Texas and Oklahoma are both squarely in the field and are battling for seeding position at this point. Both were among the NCAA’s top 16 teams in Saturday’s reveal with the Sooners checking in as a No. 3 seed and the Longhorns as a No. 4 seed. Neither team came into this season with that high of expectations especially Oklahoma, but a win for either side on Tuesday would be huge for their resumes as they look to continue surging up the rankings.