NCAA Tournament Bracket Scouting Daily: Maryland, Wisconsin, LSU & More

Five ranked teams play Wednesday night, including four that play true road games against unranked opponents. Tuesday night’s slate of games saw top-15 teams Michigan State and Kansas both lose in similar scenarios so there could be more upsets tonight.

Wednesday’s games include bubble teams Alabama, Nebraska, Creighton and Temple, as well as strong mid-major teams in Lipscomb, Davidson and Vermont, which could be trendy upset picks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Here’s how Wednesday’s biggest games could impact the resumes of the teams involved and the larger NCAA Tournament picture.

Note: The NCAA Tournament seed projections listed for the schools below come from Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament Bracket Scouting, which was released Monday.

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No. 24 Maryland at Nebraska, 7 p.m. ET

Maryland (17-6): No. 24 NET; 3-4 Quadrant 1, 6-2 Quadrant 2, 3-0 Quadrant 3, 5-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 5 seed

Nebraska (13-9): No. 33 NET; 2-6 Quadrant 1, 4-3 Quadrant 2, 2-0 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: First Four Out

Nebraska was the first team out in Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament projection, which was released Monday. That means the Huskers, which have lost five straight, desperately need wins, especially good ones.

They’ll have no shortage of opportunities with seven of their nine remaining regular season games falling under Quadrant 1, including Wednesday’s home game against Maryland. The Terrapins can improve to .500 in Quadrant 1 games and stay in the running for a top-four finish in the Big Ten with a win.

Creighton at No. 14 Villanova, 8 p.m. ET

Creighton (13-9): No. 58 NET; 0-7 Quadrant 1, 5-2 Quadrant 2, 4-0 Quadrant 3, 3-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: Next Four Out

Villanova (18-4): No. 18 NET; 3-2 Quadrant 1, 7-1 Quadrant 2, 4-1 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 4 seed

It’s a tall task to beat first-place Villanova on the road, but Creighton is staring at one of its three remaining Quadrant 1 opportunities in the regular season. The Bluejays are 0-7 in the top quadrant and an 0-10 record will all but seal a fate of missing the NCAA Tournament.

With Marquette’s loss to St. John’s Tuesday night, Villanova now has a two-game lead in the conference and by winning games that it should, like this one, the Wildcats are in a great position to win at least a share of the Big East – if not run away with the conference.

Villanova won 90-78 at Creighton in mid-January.

No. 19 Wisconsin at Minnesota, 9 p.m. ET

Wisconsin (16-6): No. 12 NET; 6-4 Quadrant 1, 4-2 Quadrant 2, 2-0 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 4 seed

Minnesota (16-6): No. 52 NET; 3-4 Quadrant 1, 3-1 Quadrant 2, 4-1 Quadrant 3, 6-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 8 seed

A Quadrant 1 road win at Minnesota could be enough to clinch Wisconsin’s spot in Saturday’s top-16 reveal. The Badgers are currently two games over .500 in both Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2.

Seven of Minnesota’s nine remaining regular season games fall under Quadrant 1, including three that are at home. The Gophers are a few wins from perhaps permanently staying on the right side of the bubble and a few losses from quickly finding themselves in trouble.

No. 21 LSU at Mississippi State, 9 p.m. ET

LSU (17-4): No. 19 NET; 3-2 Quadrant 1, 5-2 Quadrant 2, 5-0 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 6 seed

Mississippi State (16-5): No. 26 NET; 5-2 Quadrant 1, 4-3 Quadrant 2, 3-0 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 6 seed

LSU enters Wednesday’s road game at Mississippi State with a conference record that’s three wins better than Mississippi State, but both schools were No. 6 seeds in Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament projection.

Besides Wednesday’s game, Mississippi State’s only remaining Quadrant 1 game at home is hosting No. 5 Kentucky Saturday so the Bulldogs should hope to split those games, at the very least.

A road win for LSU allows the Tigers to tie Kentucky for second place in the SEC, one game behind first-place Tennessee. It would be their best win of the season.

No. 6 Nevada at Colorado State, 10 p.m. ET

Nevada (21-1): No. 14 NET; 0-0 Quadrant 1, 8-0 Quadrant 2, 6-1 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 4 seed

Eight of Nevada’s nine remaining regular season games will fall under Quadrant 3 or Quadrant 4 with a road game at Utah State representing the Wolf Pack’s only Quadrant 1 opportunity of the regular season.

If they run the table until Selection Sunday, they could climb up to a No. 3 seed. Almost any loss before the start of the NCAA Tournament would be viewed as a “bad loss.”

UConn at Temple, 6 p.m. ET

Temple (16-6): No. 53 NET; 1-5 Quadrant 1, 5-0 Quadrant 2, 3-1 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: Next Four Out

The Owls are currently on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble and Wednesday’s game at UConn is one of three remaining Quadrant 1 games they have in the regular season. All three are on the road and UConn’s NET ranking is the lowest of the three schools, so this is arguably the most attainable of Temple’s potential “best wins” left available.

Temple might need to win two of those three games, without adding a Quadrant 3 or Quadrant 4 loss at home against Tulsa, SMU or Tulane, in order to get on the right side of the bubble.

Clemson at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. ET

Clemson (13-8): No. 50 NET; 0-6 Quadrant 1, 3-2 Quadrant 2, 4-0 Quadrant 3, 6-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: N/A

Clemson is on pace to miss the NCAA Tournament after earning a No. 5 seed last season. The Tigers don’t have a single Quadrant 1 win and only three remaining opportunities left in the regular season.

If they win their six remaining Quadrant 2 games, including Wednesday’s road game at Georgia Tech, they’d have a 9-2 Quadrant 2 record entering the ACC Tournament, which would likely be the strongest part of their resume.

Texas A&M at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. ET

Ole Miss (14-7): No. 39 NET; 3-7 Quadrant 1, 2-0 Quadrant 2, 2-0 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 10 seed

Ole Miss needs to stop the bleeding before it falls on the wrong side of the projected NCAA Tournament bubble. The Rebels have lost four in a row and five of their last six games, so at this point, they just need a win regardless of the quality of the competition.

Hosting Texas A&M presents the chance for Ole Miss to potentially start a winning streak, while a defeat could put them squarely on the bubble. Ole Miss can’t afford a home loss against Texas A&M, Missouri or Georgia this month.

Rhode Island at Davidson, 7 p.m. ET

Davidson (16-5): No. 61 NET; 0-2 Quadrant 1, 4-1 Quadrant 2, 4-2 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 12 seed

Davidson is the projected winner of the A-10’s auto-bid in Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament Bracket Scouting and the Wildcats will likely have to win the A-10 Tournament because their resume is probably on the fence of being worthy of an at-large bid at this point in the season.

Wednesday’s game against Rhode Island marks Davidson’s final Quadrant 2 opportunity of the regular season. If the Wildcats can win and navigate their nine remaining games that will fall under Quadrant 3 or Quadrant 4, they’ll be in solid position for an at-large bid.

Lipscomb at North Florida, 7 p.m. ET

Lipscomb (18-4): No. 32 NET; 2-3 Quadrant 1, 2-1 Quadrant 2, 1-0 Quadrant 3, 11-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 12 seed

Lipscomb could potentially earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament even if the Bisons don’t win the A-Sun’s auto-bid. They’re currently 9-0 in conference play and they beat second-place Liberty by 20 points on the road last week, so Lipscomb is definitely the favorite to win the conference tournament, but a combined 4-4 mark in Quadrant 1 and Quadrant 2 games is also encouraging for its at-large hopes.

A trip to North Florida is one of its two Quadrant 3 games left in the regular season.

Maine at Vermont, 7 p.m. ET

Vermont (17-5): No. 74 NET; 0-3 Quadrant 1, 1-0 Quadrant 2, 7-0 Quadrant 3, 8-2 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 13 seed

Despite being in the America East Conference, Vermont is playing like a lower-level power conference team. The Catamounts are ranked No. 67 on kenpom.com before Wednesday’s games, which means they’re within five spots in the rankings of Arizona, Seton Hall, Penn State, Northwestern, Illinois and Oregon State.

Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament projection has Vermont as a No. 13 seed, which means they could be a real threat to win a game in the first round.

However, with two Quadrant 4 losses and just one win in Quadrant 1 or Quadrant 2, Vermont doesn’t have a resume worthy of an at-large bid, which means its best hope is to win the America East regular season title to earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament and win the auto-bid.

McNeese at Sam Houston State, 7:30 p.m. ET

Sam Houston State (14-8): No. 172 NET

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 16 seed

Sam Houston State is undefeated in Southland Conference play with a two-game lead over Abilene Christian. The Bearkats are currently projected to be a No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Baylor at Texas, 8 p.m. ET

Baylor (15-6): No. 31 NET; 4-3 Quadrant 1, 5-1 Quadrant 2, 1-0 Quadrant 3, 5-2 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 8 seed

Texas (12-10): No. 41 NET; 4-5 Quadrant 1, 2-3 Quadrant 2, 2-2 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 10 seed

Baylor and Texas are separated by just two seed lines in Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament Bracket Scouting, which puts the Bears at a No. 8 seed and the Longhorns at a No. 10 seed. But the gap feels significantly larger as Baylor has won six in a row and sits in second place in the Big 12, while Texas has lost six of its last eight games and sits in sixth place.

Wednesday’s game will either push the two schools even farther apart or support their similar seed projections. This is one of Baylor’s six remaining Quadrant 1 games in the regular season so the Bears will have the chance to continue to offset their two Quadrant 4 losses.

Georgia at Alabama, 9 p.m. ET

Alabama (13-8): No. 45 NET; 3-5 Quadrant 1, 5-1 Quadrant 2, 2-2 Quadrant 3, 3-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 11 seed

Alabama earned a No. 11 seed in Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament Bracket Scouting, which means the Crimson Tide are only a loss or two from finding themselves projected on the wrong side of the bubble. Wednesday’s home game against Georgia is one Alabama can’t afford to lose because it’s one of just two remaining Quadrant 3 games left in the regular season.

The Crimson Tide have a 2-2 record in Quadrant 3, which isn’t great for a team with at-large hopes, and a home loss to Georgia or Vanderbilt would add another bad defeat.

Oklahoma State at TCU, 9 p.m. ET

TCU (15-6): No. 37 NET; 1-5 Quadrant 1, 4-1 Quadrant 2, 5-0 Quadrant 3, 5-0 Quadrant 4

Stadium’s NCAA Tournament Projection: No. 9 seed

A home loss to Oklahoma State is the kind of loss that could potentially keep TCU out of the NCAA Tournament. The Horned Frogs are a No. 9 seed in Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament Bracket Scouting and Wednesday’s game is their last remaining Quadrant 3 game in the regular season. A loss would be their first in Quadrant 3 or Quadrant 4.

TCU’s other nine remaining regular season games fall in Quadrant 1 or Quadrant 2 so if the Horned Frogs can go at least 5-5 down the stretch, they’ll keep their at-large hopes alive. One of the biggest keys, however, is avoiding a Quadrant 3 loss to Oklahoma State.

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