Reporting Matt Ryan
Selection Sunday is only nine days nine days away. While some big-name teams are fighting just to stay on the bubble in their final game before the conference tournament, others are tying to pad their resume for a high seed on the brackets. These five games of the weekend could help determine either scenario.
12pm - #5 Georgetown vs. #17 Syracuse:
Hard to believe this could be the final time these rivals play each other for the foreseeable future. Syracuse will be joining the ACC this summer, while Georgetown is going to be a part of the new Big East. The Hoyas will finish the final season of the old Big East as regular season champions with a win at the Carrier Dome, and losses from Louisville and Marquette on Saturday.
12pm – #11 Florida vs. Kentucky:
The Gators have already wrapped up their SEC regular season championship, while the Wildcats are just struggling to stay on the bubble. Kentucky has been one of the most disappointing teams in the country this season and if they lose to Florida; their only remaining chance at the Big Dance may be winning the SEC Tournament in Nashville.
1:30pm – #9 Kansas State vs. #13 Oklahoma State:
Bill Self’s streak of Big 12 regular season will reach 9 this week if Kansas beats Baylor, but their in-state rival could end that streak with a road win in Stillwater and a Jayhawk’s loss in Waco. Oklahoma State is led by freshman-point guard Marcus Smart who has emerged as a potential All-American and top-five NBA pick. He could be the catalyst for the Cowboys first trip to the Final Four in nine years.
9pm – #3 Duke vs. North Carolina:
Earlier this season the Tar Heels looked like a bubble team after dropping back-to-back games to Miami and Duke, falling to 6-5 in ACC play. North Carolina is now riding a six-game winning streak heading in to this Tobacco Road showdown against a Blue Devils looking to secure a top seed in the tournament.
4pm – #2 Indiana @ #7 Michigan
Once again the biggest game of the week is a top ten matchup from college basketball’s best conference in 2013. Indiana has already clinched a share of the Big Ten regular season crown and would claim it outright with another victory over Michigan. The Wolverines are looking to avenge their loss from earlier this season in Bloomington and would become co-champions of the Big Ten with a win over the Hoosiers.
As big as Sunday’s game is, these schools could meet each other again the following Sunday in the Big Ten Conference Championship Game.