The last week of the regular season is upon us! Buckle up for a wild week of game action.
In the last regular season installment of the college viewing guide, B5Q gives you a breakdown of the top games to watch from March 5 to March 8 as conference tournament titles are up for grabs.
**Please note that team records are reflective as of Thursday morning 3/5/20**
Thursday, March 5
Illinois stands a half game outside of tied for first place in the Big Ten. A huge road contest with Ohio State though looms large as they hope to claim a share of the conference title. The Buckeyes have been much improved, can they knock off the Fighting Illini?
Bubble battle! A pair of American Athletic Conference squads looking to gain some traction for the NCAA Tournament square off in what should be a good game. Wichita State is currently projected as a team barely in the tournament, while Memphis is just out. Their fates could very well flip if the Tigers are able to win this one.
Friday, March 6
Take the night off from college basketball. Enjoy your local bar, or maybe a movie. Because Saturday will be a much better slate of games.
Saturday, March 7
In the season finale for Wisconsin, the Badgers are positioned with a chance to claim a share of their first Big Ten title since the 2014-2015 season. Indiana is currently projected to make the tournament, and will be seeking revenge for the first time these two teams met.
Other morning games of note:
- No. 14 Villanova Wildcats at Georgetown Hoyas at 11 a.m. CST on FOX
- No. 17 Auburn Tigers at Tennessee Volunteers at 11 a.m. CST on ESPN2
Kentucky has locked up another SEC crown, but this a big bounce-back opportunity for the Wildcats. A recent loss to Tennessee left a bad taste in their mouths, can Florida make it two straight losses, or will Kentucky rebound nicely?
Kansas has a slight half game lead over Baylor for the Big-12, but this is their biggest game remaining on the schedule. Texas Tech has been pesky this season, and is coming off a cinderella run in the NCAA Tournament last year. The Red Raiders have a chance to really bolster their tournament hopes and seeding if they secure a huge home win.
After Seton Hall recently fell, this game is even more important Saturday afternoon. Creighton is now a game behind Seton Hall for first place in the Big East, and can clinch a share of the conference title if they can take down the Pirates. On a busy afternoon, this game packs the most punch.
The last big test. If Louisville is able to take down Virginia on the road, they will at least take home a share of the ACC regular season title. Tony Bennett has the Cavaliers playing good basketball lately though, so it won’t be easy. This is a really great game on Saturday afternoon.
Other afternoon games of note:
- No. 4 Baylor Bears at West Virginia Mountaineers at 12 p.m. CST on ESPN+
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Purdue Boilermakers 1 p.m. CST on BTN
- UCLA Bruins at USC Trojans at 2:15 p.m. CST on CBS
- Penn State Nittany Lions at Northwestern Wildcats at 3 p.m. CST on BTN
While this game is fairly lackluster this season with North Carolina out of the tournament picture, it is still one of the bigger rivalries in college hoops. Duke is vying to improve their seeding for the Big Dance, a win over North Carolina won’t do a whole lot to move the needle, but a loss would be monumental.
Another strong game in the Big East, Butler and Xavier tip-off in what appears to be the best game of the night. Each squad is hovering around .500, and are in a dogfight for the fifth seed in the conference tournament.
Other primetime games of note:
- Mountain West Championship Final at 4:30 p.m. CST on CBS
- Stanford Cardinal at Oregon Ducks at 10 p.m. CST on FS1
Greg Gard on what a Big Ten title would mean... pic.twitter.com/u2kP2E75CC— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) March 5, 2020
Sunday, March 8
Michigan has the opportunity to really help the Badgers come Sunday. The Wolverines have been much improved of late, and are a surefire tournament team after a strong finish to the season. A huge win over Maryland would only help their cause, but would also send ripples through the upper tier of the Big Ten standings.
No. 19 Ohio State Buckeyes (20-9) at No. 16 Michigan State (21-9) at 3:30 p.m. CST on CBS
The Badgers are huge Buckeye fans over the next week. Ohio State has a home game against Illinois earlier in the week, and will also travel to Michigan State with a chance to knock the Spartans off. This is a another crucial game in the Big Ten conference race.
No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes (20-10) at No. 23 Illinois Fighting Illini (20-9) at 6 p.m. CST on BTN
The third huge B1G game of the day, is another big game for Badger fans to monitor. This game is the final chance for Illinois to potentially lose before conference seeding is determined. It is hard to root for Iowa, but away we go.
Other Sunday games to watch: