It’s the final week of regular season basketball for most conferences across America, and we’ll be bringing you updates each day on how the March Madness field is starting to take shape. Teams are fighting for a spot in the field, and their remaining games will move numerous teams off the bubble for good or bad.
Each day we’ll take a look at who’s in with a win, who’s out with a loss, and all the in-between machinations of the 2021 NCAA Tournament bubble. We’ve added spreads and some bracket analysis for the biggest games of the day.
Indiana vs. Michigan State (-3.5), 8:00 p.m. Big Ten Network
Don’t shake this game before opening, as with all this carbonation it cannot get any more bubbly. Winner might just play themselves into the First Four, and the loser will need a miracle run in the conference tournament. Michigan State (13-10, 7-10 B1G, KenPom 63, NET 77) needs a Tom Izzo-like March, and good luck to those betting against him. How many times have the Spartans done this before? If it’s to be another march to... March... it likely begins here.
The Hoosiers are 3-9 in Quad 1 games, which makes being 12-12 and 7-10 in the Big Ten a bit more acceptable. A 37 KenPom sounds good, though a 57 NET doesn’t.
Bets: 75% of the action and 80% of the tickets are on Michigan State at DraftKings Sportsbook as of 5:00 p.m.
Duke vs. Georgia Tech (-1.5), 8:00 p.m. ACC Network
It’s played in the US, so let’s call this a very fresh sparkling wine instead of champagne bubbly. ESPN, Bleacher Report, BracketWag and plenty more bracketologists have Duke, a private school in Durham, North Carolina you might have heard of, out of the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils (11-9, 9-7 ACC, 36 KenPom, 58 NET) need this one, because Saturday on the road at North Carolina won’t get easier.
Georgia Tech (13-8, 9-6 ACC, 30 KenPom, 41 NET) is in most places, but could concede the high ground with a loss. They’re just 2-6 vs. Quad 1, and a brutal 3-2 vs. Quad 3.
Bets: 52% of the action but just 30% of the tickets are on Georgia Tech at DraftKings Sportsbook as of 5:00 p.m.
Fresno State vs. Boise State (-13.5), 7:00 p.m. CBS Sports Network
Boise (18-6, 14-5 MWC, 52 KenPom, 34 NET) looks pretty safe according to most projections, and will likely avoid the First Four as well. But that could all change if they fall in their regular season finale on Senior Night. Fresno is 8-10 in the Mountain West and has shown flashes of confidence at points this season.
Xavier (-2.5) vs. Georgetown, 7:00 p.m. FS1
The Musketeers (13-5, 6-5 Big East, 55 KenPom) have a lot of work to do, but losing to Quad 2 Georgetown on the road might be the end of it. X is 6-5 against Quad 1+2 this season, and even with a win will need at least two more at MSG to be considered most likely.