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What March 2 results mean for Illinois, Michigan, Arizona State, Wisconsin, others in 2023 bracketology

Here’s a look at what Thursday night’s college hoops results mean to the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night was filled with plenty of impactful results when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. The second day of March provided exciting finishes with a lot to consider as we head into a loaded college hoops weekend.

For reference, we’ll use Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology on ESPN.

Key games for bracketology on March 2

Illinois 91, Michigan 87, 2OT

The game of the night ended with the Illinois Fighting Illini improving their NCAA Tournament resume against a Michigan Wolverines team squarely on the bubble. The Illini came into this matchup as a No. 8 seed, and this is unlikely to change their seed line too much as this was a much bigger game for Michigan. The Wolverines were among the “first four out” teams heading into this contest, so the could use any wins they can get at this point.

Purdue 63, Wisconsin 61

The Purdue Boilermakers are battling for a No. 1 seed, and they survived a scare against the Wisconsin Badgers on the road Thursday night. This is a bigger deal for the Badgers, which lost another close contest and entered the day in the “last four in” category. Wisconsin cannot afford a loss to the Big Ten-worst Minnesota Golden Gophers in the regular season finale Sunday heading into the conference tournament.

Bubble Watch

UCLA 79, Arizona State 61

The UCLA Bruins won their ninth consecutive game as they go for a No. 1 seed, but the Arizona State Sun Devils could’ve used another huge win as they fight for their NCAA Tournament lives. They’re coming off the miracle win over the Arizona Wildcats and entered Thursday among the “first four out” with another chance at a strong win on Saturday night when they travel to play the USC Trojans.