Wednesday marks the start of the Big Conference Tournaments, but with so many byes and double byes out there, most of the bubble teams won’t be taking the court until Thursday. However, there are a few games to keep an eye on Wednesday as a few bubble teams look to avoid early exits.
Mick Cronin's Bearcats are in right now, but don't want to drop out of the Big East Tournament early.
Here’s your Wednesday viewing guide to Championship Week.
Cincinnati vs Providence - Big East 2nd Round - 11:00 AM - ESPN
Cincinnati has one of those profiles that irks me about the Big East. They have an inflated SOS because of their Big East schedule, but other than Marquette at home they didn’t beat any of the top tier teams. But, as happens every year, they’re going to get their chance in the Big East Tournament. They’ll have to beat Providence first, but then Cincy will be trying to make some magic happen the rest of the week. As it stands right now, the Bearcats are probably in, but if they drop out of the Big East Tournament early it will be a stressful week.
Arizona State vs Stanford - Pac 12 First Round - 2:00 PM - Pac 12 Network
After losing four straight games, the Sun Devils probably have to win this tournament to get in, but that’s not the case for Cardinal. They’re just 18-13 on the season though, and they’re going to need more than just one win to feel safe this weekend. If they can win this one and knock off UCLA on Thursday, then the Cardinal could start knocking on the door of being in.
Oregon State vs Colorado - Pac 12 First Round - 4:30 PM - Pac 12 Network
Colorado is on the right side of the bubble right now, but probably doesn’t want to risk losing early in the Pac 12 Tournament. As long as they handle Oregon State, Colorado should be in. A loss could make things interesting on Sunday depending on what happens around the country.
St. John’s vs Villanova - Big East 2nd Round - 6:00 PM - ESPN2
‘Nova doesn’t necessarily look like a tournament team to the casual observer with their overall record of 18-12, but their resume is bolstered by their Big East Schedule and their 10-8 conference record. Jay Wright’s team has a strength of schedule of 22, and if they get by St. John’s there just aren’t that many teams that will be able to pass them to keep them out of the tournament. The have bigger wins than most anyone else on the bubble.
Boise State vs San Diego State - Mountain West Quarterfinal - 11:00 PM - CBSS
If you only get to watch one game today, make it this one. There’s a fairly good chance that both of these teams end up in the field, but winning this game will all but guarantee a place in the dance. Both teams have RPIs in the 30’s, and both have good wins in and out of the conference. Even with both teams probably in, this could go down as the best game of the day, so make sure wherever you head for lunch has TVs.