Thursday is a huge day for teams on the NCAA Tournament bubble with plenty of contests to track from early in the day through midnight. Below is a look at a few of the matchups to keep tabs on.
We’ll use Joe Lunardi’s ESPN Bracketology update from Thursday morning.
Bubble Games to watch on March 9
Rutgers vs. Michigan
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Michigan Wolverines will start Big Ten Tournament play in the second round today, and both teams are in need of a victory. Rutgers is among the “last four in” at this point with Michigan in the “next four out” category. It feels like the loser of this matchup is in trouble in what might be a do-or-die situation.
NC State vs. Clemson
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
The NC State Wolfpack and Clemson Tigers will hit the floor in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday night. NC State is among the “last four byes” in ESPN’s last Bracketology update, while Clemson is listed in the “next four out” category. The Tigers are the more desperate team in this spot, but both teams are living life on the bubble going into Thursday.
Arizona State vs. USC
Time: 11:30 p.m. ET
The final game of a crucial college basketball slate will feature a couple Pac-12 programs entering the day on the bubble. The USC Trojans are probably safe as they enter the day as a No. 10 seed in Bracketology, while the Arizona State Sun Devils are among the “first four out” programs. This feels like a must-win situation for Arizona State on Thursday night.