We’ve got three more days of college basketball to take place before the brackets are revealed on Sunday night. Teams will battle for better NCAA Tournament seeding throughout the weekend, while others need to improve their resume to just secure a spot in the big dance.
Below is a look at Thursday’s results and what it means for the bracket. We’ll use Joe Lunardi’s latest ESPN Bracketology projections as the guide.
Key games for bracketology on March 9
Texas 61, Oklahoma State 47
The Texas Longhorns haven’t seen much of a difference since they fired head coach Chris Beard as they advanced to the Big 12 semifinals. They’re currently slotted in as a No. 2 seed in the bracket, but this game was certainly more important for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. They entered the day squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble, and they’re among the “first four out” and will need to sweat it out on Selection Sunday.
Kansas 78, West Virginia 61
The Kansas Jayhawks played their first game without Bill Self, who will miss the Big 12 Tournament after undergoing a medical procedure. The Jayhawks are likely to be a No. 1 seed when the bracket is revealed. On the other side, the West Virginia Mountaineers are still likely headed to the NCAA Tournament, but a win would’ve likely locked up a spot.
Rutgers 62, Michigan 50
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights would’ve been in serious danger with a loss, but the Michigan Wolverines simply could not afford a defeat in this matchup. While Rutgers moves on as a “last four in” team, Michigan is slotted among he “next four out” category. Juwan Howard’s bunch needs a miracle, while the Scarlet Knights have a chance to make a statement against the Purdue Boilermakers in Friday’s Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal round contest.