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UW MBB Rooting Guide: Monday 3/4 - Wednesday 3/6

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Find out which games to turn on and who to root for during this last week of the regular season to see the Huskies have the best finish possible.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Stanford Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

All the Huskies had to do was avoid stepping on the giant turd directly in front of them in the middle of the sidewalk on Thursday but instead they just trudged right into the loss at Cal. It wasn’t easy but at least UW escaped with the road split by winning at Stanford and while they’re clearly in a worse position that they were to start last week, they aren’t in “clenched buttocks diamond producing mode” either.

Last week we were rooting against all of the teams in the 5-8 range with the hopes that a big run to end the year would result in a #6 seed or better. Unfortunately, the focus becomes trying to see if we can fight our way back into a #7 seed and go against one of the #2 seeds that is struggling with injuries for a trip to the Sweet 16.

All the Huskies need to do this week is avoid something that hasn’t happened since a year ago yesterday: lose at home. We’ll worry about the rest.

Reminder: when I cite where teams are in relation to one another on the S-curve I’m using bracketmatrix.com. It’s not perfect but it’s the best view of what the entire bracketology community thinks in aggregate. And I’m splitting up the weekly rooting guide into 2 parts to keep the length down and since a lot can change between now and Saturday.

Monday Games

Virginia (76%) at Syracuse- 4pm PT, ESPN

Joe Lunardi had these two teams facing off in his Friday bracketology with the Orange as an 8-seed and the Huskies 9th. Although the Huskies moved up a seed line for him with their win at Stanford but they’re currently next to one another on the S-curve. If Syracuse pulls off this upset then they stay ahead of UW no matter what so the Dawgs should be rooting against Coach Hopkins’ mentor in this game. Sorry Jim, nothing personal.

Texas at Texas Tech (77%)- 6pm PT, ESPN

The Longhorns managed to fend off a 3-game losing streak by blowing out Iowa State on Saturday. They’re behind the Huskies in most brackets but add a Q1 road win onto the resume? No need to test it. Go Red Raiders.

Tuesday Games

Purdue at Minnesota (33%)- 5pm PT, Big 10 Network

This is definitely both the least important and the least obvious choice among the Tuesday night games. Minnesota is currently 56th in the NET and if they get into the top-50 it would qualify as a Q1 loss rather than Q2 to make the Husky resume look marginally better. There’s a chance that Minnesota could pass Washington if the Huskies lose at least 2 more games the rest of the way but I think the risk is worth hoping that they climb into a Q1 game.

Kansas (52%) at Oklahoma- 6pm PT, ESPN2

Most brackets have Oklahoma as a 9-seed but if they are able to win both here and at Kansas State in their regular season finale that will be enough to leapfrog the Huskies even if UW keeps winning. We’re definitely rooting for all 3 Big-12 favorites from here on out.

Kentucky (66%) at Ole Miss- 6pm PT, ESPN

There’s a wide opinion on the Rebels as they’re going anywhere between an 8-seed and 11-seed on brackets at the moment. But average it together and they’re only 2 spots behind the Huskies. If they are able to get a home win over Kentucky that’s better than anything the Dawgs have on their resume and would vault them over UW.

Auburn at Alabama (39%)- 6pm PT, ESPNU

Yes, the Huskies played Auburn and so having them finish better helps their strength of schedule. But that’s a minimal boost and it’s much more relevant to try to have the Tigers drop below the Huskies. They’re currently 4 spots ahead of Washington on the S-curve which could easily be made up by a few UW wins and one or more Auburn losses. Alabama is on the bubble but they can’t pass the Huskies unless we completely collapse.

Wednesday Games

LSU (44%) at Florida- 4pm PT, ESPN2

Florida lost at home to Georgia on Saturday which knocked them back a seed line or two and so they aren’t quite as imminent a threat anymore. They’re now 10 spots behind Washington on the S-curve but if they sweep LSU and Kentucky this week it adds 2 huge wins and they could easily jump up 3 seeds with a big finish to the season.

Georgetown at DePaul (54%)- 5:30pm PT, FS1

This one may be less obvious since Georgetown is a fringe bubble team at best. But the Hoyas are #72 in the NET and are only a few places ahead of #75 Colorado. Washington really wants the Buffs to remain in the top-75 since it turns their pair of wins from Q2/Q3 to Q1/Q2 if they do. If Colorado sweeps the L.A schools at home this week then they probably don’t need any help to stay where they are but it’d be nice if some of the schools in the 69-74 range lost. Other teams to root against: Xavier, Davidson, Arkansas, and Dayton.

Ohio State at Northwestern (46%)- 6pm PT, Big 10 Network

The Buckeyes are 6 spots behind the Huskies after getting murdered at Purdue on Saturday by 35 points. Losing this game at Northwestern makes it almost impossible for them to leapfrog Washington even if they close out the regular season with a home win over Wisconsin.

Oregon State at Washington (77%)- 7pm PT, Pac-12 Networks

Duh.

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