As we approach March, each regular season game suddenly seems all that much more important. Monday brought some excitement in the ACC and Big 12 as we continue to see impressive parity in the sport this season. Let’s take a look at how Monday evening’s results will affect seeding projections in bracketology this upcoming week.
Key games for bracketology
Miami 80, UNC 72
The Hurricanes entered Chapel Hill as an underdog, and, despite their higher AP ranking and better record, were actually ranked lower than UNC in the NCAA NET rankings. A road game in the Dean Dome is no walk in the park, but Miami took control of the game from the three-point line and won the rebounding battle to edge out the Heels. Miami was projected to be a five-seed at both CBS and ESPN, and this decisive win over a higher-ranked team may end up pushing them up a seed in the next bracketology reports. Look for Miami to be around No. 4 or No. 5 after this game. UNC, who are struggling to get those Quad 1 wins, was part of the last four in for Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi, and may find themselves outside of the bubble in upcoming projections as the first four out.
Texas Tech 74, Texas 67
Wow. Texas Tech has struggled so much in conference play, but when they get a ranked opponent on their own court, the Red Raiders are in their element. Getting just their third conference win, they knocked off a Texas seed that has shown up as a 1- or 2-seed option in the major bracket projections. Will Texas move down? They may — this is their third loss in their last six games, although their strength of schedule is very high. Perhaps they drop off from a No. 1 to a No. 2 seed, but I wouldn’t expect them to move to a No. 3 just because of this game. .
Charleston 99, Northeastern 63
Charleston, everyone’s favorite underdog for the first half of the season, has fallen out of the public eye somewhat after three losses. They handily beat Northeastern on Monday, and while a win over the worst team in their conference isn’t exactly surprising, Charleston has been sitting just outside the bubble in Lunardi’s next four out and at a 12-seed at CBS. This win is just one more in the right column to get them into the tournament.