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UW MBB Rooting Guide: Thursday 3/7 - Sunday 3/10

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Figure out which games are essential to watch over the final weekend of the college basketball regular season

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

It was incredibly nerve-wracking but the Huskies got it done in overtime on Wednesday night to keep alive the hopes of an undefeated home season. They also got a lot of help from around the country. Florida, Ohio State, Iowa State, Baylor, and North Carolina State all lost which gives Washington some extra padding should they drop another game before the end of the season. All told, the non-UW teams in my rooting guide for Monday-Wednesday went 7-2 plus a couple of ones I didn’t include because they seemed too hopeful also went Washington’s way (such as 3-13 Oklahoma State winning at 10-6 Baylor).

The Huskies need to take care of business but so far they’ve gotten a lot of breaks around them. A win vs. Oregon on Saturday clinches an NCAA berth for all intents and purposes. But there’s still the chance to move up to at least a #7 seed and the Huskies need to go out there and seize the opportunity.

Thursday Games

Cincinnati (39%) at Central Florida- 4pm PT, ESPN2

We start out with a tough one. Who you prefer in this one really depends on how you think the Huskies finish out the season. Pretty much the only chance Washington has of catching Cincinnati is if they lose out (this game plus home game vs. top-15 Houston) while the Huskies beat Oregon and win the Pac-12 tournament. Meanwhile Central Florida has this game plus a road game at bubble team Temple to close out the season. If they win out they almost certainly vault the Huskies. I’m going the conservative route and waving the white flag on the dream of passing Cincy so go Bearcats.

Iowa at Wisconsin (78%)- 4pm PT, ESPN

Iowa has lost 3 of 4 with the only win in that span coming at home in OT over Indiana. They were a 5 or 6-seed 2 weeks ago but are now in freefall and we’d like to keep it that way. If they can’t win this one or make a big run in the NCAA tournament then the Huskies likely keep ahead of them.

UCLA at Colorado (68%)- 6pm PT, ESPN2

Colorado is currently 75th in the NET rankings. We need them to stay in the top-75 for resume purposes so we want as decisive a Colorado win as possible. Blow them out, Buffaloes.

Saturday Games

Take a deep breath, there are a lot of them. I expect you to do nothing but sit on the couch this Saturday until it’s time to head to Hec-Ed for senior night.

Tennessee (54%) at Auburn- 9am PT, ESPN

Auburn winning might help our resume by 0.001% but given that they’re either even or a seed line ahead of Washington right now I’d much prefer they just lose so we can have a chance to pass them.

Villanova at Seton Hall (45%)- 9am PT, FOX

It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine the Huskies pass Villanova but I’ve seen brackets where they’re a #7 seed and if they drop this one and lose in the first round of the Big East tournament then it opens up the chance.

Syracuse at Clemson (66%)- 9am PT, No national TV

Clemson is one of the last teams in the field while Syracuse is an 8 or 9 seed. The odds are a lot higher that we have to worry about Cuse leaping us than Clemson.

Florida at Kentucky (81%)- 11am PT, CBS

An inopportune 2-game losing streak including a 1-point OT loss against LSU on Wednesday knocked Florida back a seed line or two below Washington. But a road win at Kentucky solves a lot of problems and denying them this win eliminates the chances they sneak past the Dawgs barring a shocking SEC tournament title.

Baylor at Kansas (74%)- 11am PT, ESPN

The Bears suffered a crushing home loss to Oklahoma State on Wednesday night which keeps them off Washington’s tail for now. But a road win in Phog Allen repairs that damage and makes them a legitimate threat to vault Washington.

Texas Tech (54%) at Iowa State- 11am PT, ESPNews

Iowa State looked like a possible 4 seed before dropping 4 of their last 5. If they lose this one and then drop the first game of the Big-12 tournament to have lost 6 of 7 there’s a very real chance that they fall below the Huskies.

Ole Miss at Missouri (50%)- 12:30pm PT, SEC Network

Missouri isn’t even a bubble team. Ole Miss is a seed line behind the Huskies. Go Mizzou.

Louisville at Virginia (90%)- 1pm PT, ESPN

Losing 5 of 7 has dropped Louisville from a 4 seed to a 7 seed in most brackets. It’d be a colossal upset for them to win at Virginia when Duke is the only team to best Tony Bennett this season so let’s keep the status quo going and continue the Cardinals’ collapse.

UCF at Temple (46%)- 1pm PT, ESPN2

Similar to Clemson vs. Syracuse above this is a bubble team playing against a team near Washington in the bracket and I’d much rather take my chances of Temple somehow vaulting over us by winning the American tournament than UCF getting a Q1 road win.

Arizona State (44%) at Arizona- 1pm PT, CBS

I can see arguments on both sides of this one. A loss by Arizona likely knocks them to the 10-seed in the Pac-12 tournament unless Stanford loses to Cal. I kind of want to play Arizona in the 1st round of the Pac-12 tournament since they are an abysmal zone team. But I think it’s better to go ahead and preserve the Sun Devils as a top-75 team in the NET and give the conference a shot at getting a 2nd at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

USC at Colorado (66%)- 2pm PT, Pac-12 Network

As listed in the Thursday section, we are rooting for Colorado to maintain their status as a top-75 team in the NET.

Oregon at Washington (69%)- 7pm PT, ESPN

The most obvious and the most important.

Sunday Games

It feels a little anti-climactic to include Sunday games after that massive Saturday slate. But if the Huskies win on Saturday night and you’re caught up in tournament fever, here’s what you should be tuning in for.

Iowa at Nebraska (60%)- 11am PT, Big 10 Network

Let’s continue the Iowa collapse.

Wisconsin (56%) at Ohio State- 1:30pm PT, CBS

Pretty sure Ohio State’s loss to Northwestern on Wednesday night was sufficient to kill their hopes of being ranked above Washington but let’s make sure they’re good and dead.

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