Highlighted Games for Saturday, Feb 21

-OKLAHOMA AT TEXAS TECH (Big Twelve).  The top of Oklahoma’s profile is really strong, but they do have some things weighing it down.  I think they could end up as high as the #3 line, but they need to avoid losses in games like this.

-PITTSBURGH AT SYRACUSE (ACC).  This still doesn’t seem like an ACC game, but it is.  Pitt is outside the bubble and has a lot of work to do, so every game has a pivotal feel to it and every conference road win they can add to their profile will help.

-GEORGIA TECH AT NORTH CAROLINA (ACC).  North Carolina is coming off a disappointing loss to Duke, but on paper it really doesn’t hurt them much.  They’re still in good shape and should be able to hold serve at home.

-SETON HALL AT SAINT JOHN’S (Big East). Seton Hall is in such a free fall that I’ll be amazed if they come out of it.  Saint John’s inside the bubble, but a long ways from feeling safe and really needs to avoid losses at home to teams that aren’t likely to make the field.

-MINNESOTA AT WISCONSIN (Big Ten).  I’m not sold on this Minnesota team at all, but some at Hoops HD are.  Having said that, I will be sold on them if they can pull off the huge upset today.

-TEXAS A&M AT SOUTH CAROLINA (SEC).  TAMU is squarely on the bubble and needs to take care of business against non-tournament teams.

-UMASS AT VCU (Atlantic Ten).  VCU had been struggling, but appears to have turned the corner and adjusted to being shorthanded.  UMass is outside the bubble, and if they want any chance at all of getting inside it then this is the kind of game they need to win.  Simple as that.

-KANSAS STATE AT BAYLOR (Big Twelve).  Baylor is in good shape and should remain that way so long as they hold serve at home.

-FLORIDA AT LSU (SEC).  I cannot believe Florida is currently under consideration on our TOURNAMENT SURVIVAL BOARD, but needless to say they are way  outside the picture and basically need to win out.  LSU has some work to do as well if they want to feel completely safe on Selection Sunday.

-IOWA STATE AT TEXAS (Big Twelve).  Iowa State has a really good profile, but if they want to really solidify themselves as a #3 seed they need to win some more games away from home.  Texas is inside the bubble and has no bad losses, but they don’t have many good wins either, so they could help themselves out with a win today as well.

-WEST VIRGINIA AT OKLAHOMA STATE (Big Twelve).  Both teams are in the rankings.  West Virginia is solid, but they’re missing big wins away from home.  This game would really improve the entire complexion of their profile if they’re able to pull it off.

-MIAMI FL AT LOUISVILLE (ACC).  Miami is right on the bubble and you never know what they’re going to do.  A win today would help the Canes out immensely.  Louisville has been struggling lately, but still has a very good shot at ending up as a protected seed so long as they win the games they’re supposed to.

-BUTLER AT XAVIER (Big East).  Xavier is coming off a much needed road win against rival Cincinnati, and Butler is coming off a hard fought road win at Creighton as well.  Butler is still shorthanded, so this is a huge game for them to prove to the committee that they can win even though they’re not at full strength.  Xavier has played pretty well at home and their profile is starting to look pretty solid.  This would certainly be another nice win to add to it.  This isn’t a long standing bitter rivalry, but there is some heat between these two teams so this should be fun.

-DAYTON AT DUQUESNE (Atlantic Ten).  Dayton is currently in really good shape, but they’ve had to sweat out some games against weaker teams, and their profile isn’t so solid that they can afford to just go into the tank.

-VILLANOVA AT MARQUETTE (Big East).  Nova is currently on our #1 line (albeit not unanimously).  Either way, they’re in really good shape and could end up as a #1 if they win out.

-LOUISIANA TECH AT OLD DOMINION (Conference USA).  I think the best that either of these teams could hope for is that they end up being considered.  I don’t see either of them getting in even if they do win out.

-NEVADA AT BOISE STATE (Mountain West).  Boise is right outside the bubble, and any loss to non tournament teams would be damaging, especially at home to a team as bad as Nevada.

-TCU AT KANSAS (Big Twelve).  You don’t get many nights off in the Big Twelve, but this is about as close as it gets.  Kansas has a very strong profile and I don’t see them ending up any worse than a #2 seed.

-BRADLEY AT NORTHERN IOWA (Missouri Valley).  This is a conference game that may end up looking like a buy game.

-CLEMSON A DUKE (ACC).  Duke trailed for most of the second half against rival North Carolina, and even part of the overtime, but ended up getting a win and remaining squarely on our #1 line.  They shouldn’t have too much trouble with a Clemson team that’s been decent in league play, but not great.

-NOTRE DAME AT BOSTON COLLEGE (ACC).  Notre Dame is having a really good year and should end up as a protected seed.

-ARKANSAS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (SEC).  Arkansas is having a fantastic year, and if they finish strong, which includes racking up some wins away from home and playing well in the SEC Tournament, they could end up as a protected seed.

-RHODE ISLAND AT GEORGE MASON (Atlantic Ten).  Rhody is near the top of the Atlantic Ten standings, but doesn’t have much of profile outside of that.  They need a strong finish if they want to be strongly considered.

-GEORGE WASHINGTON AT RICHMOND (Atlantic Ten).  GW has fallen pretty far and now has a lot of work to do just to get back into the discussion.

-VIRGINIA TECH AT NC STATE (ACC).  NC State is right on the bubble, but does have some good things on their profile.  They really can’t afford to lose to weak teams at home.

-AIR FORCE AT COLORADO STATE (Mountain West, Front Range).  Colorado State is very close to the bubble with a small margin for error.  Losing at home to their conference and Front Range rivals would not only hurt their feelings, it would kill their profile.

-CALIFORNIA AT STANFORD (Pac Twelve).  I have so little confidence in Stanford that it’s ridiculous, but some here at Hoops HD still have them squarely on the bubble.  Losing to a non tournament team at home would really hurt.  It’s also a rivalry game.

-FORDHAM AT DAVIDSON (Atlantic Ten).  Davidson was our very last team in.  Losing at home to Fordham would change that, and not for the better.

-AUBURN AT KENTUCKY (SEC).  Kentucky continues to look like they’ll run the table during the regular season and end up as the overall #1 seed.

-TENNESSEE AT OLE MISS (SEC).  I continue to be impressed with how well Ole Miss has played, albeit they did have to sweat one out earlier this week against a rather weak Mississippi State team.  Still, I look for them to continue to roll and end up safely in the field.

-DEPAUL AT GEORGETOWN (Big East).  Georgetown is in good shape and should be able to hold serve at home against a sub NIT DePaul team.

-GEORGIA AT ALABAMA (SEC).  Georgia is right on the bubble and really needs this road win.  This is a very pivotal game for the Bulldogs, as a win would help and a loss would hurt.

-UCLA AT ARIZONA (Pac Twelve).  UCLA is right on the bubble right now, and although it’s much easier said than done, pulling off the upset would really boost their profile.  Arizona looks like a solid #2 seed and that’s where they should end up so long as they win the games they’re expected to win.

-CINCINNATI AT HOUSTON (American).  Cincinnati has lost three straight.  Losing this one to a very weak Houston team would really hurt them.

-GONZAGA AT SAINT MARY’S (West Coast).  I still think Gonzaga will end up with a #1 seed if they win out, but anything short of that and the best they can probably hope for is a #2.  Saint Mary’s is pretty far outside the bubble, and even if they pull off the upset they’ll still have some work to do.

-COLORADO AT OREGON STATE (Pac Twelve).  Oregon State’s chances of getting in are really slim.  They’d have to win out and win some games in the conference tournament just to get a look.  Still, they’re very much improved and have had a great year.

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