Hoops Championship Week: Friday Open Thread

You gotta go, Mr. Cavalier. - USA TODAY Sports

More hoops.

As was the case yesterday, Iowa doesn't tip off until much later today -- 8pm CT. But there's still a lot of other games going on before then and much of it is relevant to Iowa's bubble aspirations. Obviously, the most important thing for Iowa to do is win their own game -- without a victory over Michigan State today Iowa has zero chance of making the NCAA Tournament. But other games matter a bit, too.

2013_big_ten_tournament_bracket_friday_medium
(click to embiggen)

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT GAMES
11:00 am CT: Indiana vs. Illinois (ESPN)
1:00 pm CT: Michigan vs. Wisconsin (ESPN)
5:30 pm CT: Nebraska vs. Ohio State (BTN)

Impact on Iowa? Nothing, other than the Nebraska-Ohio State game providing Iowa's next opponent in the Big Ten Tournament if they can get by Michigan State tonight. All of these teams are already comfortably in the NCAA Tournament field, save Nebraska, who ain't getting in without winning the entire BTT.

BIG 12 TOURNAMENT GAMES
6:30 pm CT: Iowa St vs. Kansas (ESPNU)
9:00 pm CT: Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State (ESPNU)

Impact on Iowa? Nil. All of these teams are safely in the field of 68.

SEC TOURNAMENT GAMES
12:00 pm CT: LSU vs. Florida (ESPNU)
2:00 pm CT: Tennessee vs. Alabama (ESPNU)
6:30pm CT: Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt (ESPN3)
9:00pm CT: Ole Miss vs. Missouri (ESPN3)

Impact on Iowa? The SEC has several teams competing with Iowa for those last few tournament spots, so there are some definite rooting interests in several of these games.

LSU-Florida: doesn't really matter unless LSU can run the table at the SEC Tournament and steal a spot from a bubble team that way... so go Gators.

Tennessee-Alabama: a tricky game because both teams are in the bubble discussion. Tennessee is the safer of the two, so the further they advance in the SEC Tournament the more likely it becomes that they'll be able to earn an at-large bid. On the other hand, a Bama win would give them new life on the bubble and open up the possibility of them also putting together a run and earning an at-large bid. (They're definitely on the outside now, but if they beat Tennessee and Florida and made it to the SEC Tournament final? I dunno.) I suppose I'd rather see Alabama get definitively eliminated from contention, since a Tennessee loss here probably doesn't conclusively kick them out of the field of 68.

Kentucky-Vanderbilt: This one is easy -- go Commodores! A loss to a bad Vandy team would certainly hurt Kentucky's bubble hopes.

Ole Miss-Missouri: GO TIGERS. Ole Miss is another direct bubble competitor and needs to lose ASAP.

PAC 12 TOURNAMENT GAMES
8:00 pm CT: Arizona vs. UCLA (Pac 12 Network)
10:30 pm CT: Utah vs. Oregon (ESPN)

Impact on Iowa? Not much, since Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon seem to be pretty firmly in the field of 68. Getting rid of that upstart Utah team would probably be good, though.

ACC TOURNAMENT GAMES
11:00 am CT: Boston College vs. Miami (ESPN2)
1:00 pm CT: NC State vs. Virginia (ESPN2)
6:00 pm CT: Maryland vs. Duke (ESPN2)
8:00 pm CT: Florida State vs. North Carolina (ESPN2)

Impact on Iowa? The first and last games of the day don't really matter to Iowa, but the middle games most certainly do, thanks to the presence of two fellow bubble teams in Virginia and Maryland. We very much want them to lose today, so GO WOLFPACK and (ugh ugh ugh) GO DUKE.

OTHER CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT GAMES OF NOTE
1:30 pm CT: Butler vs. La Salle (Atlantic 10 Tournament)
3:00 pm CT: Southern Miss vs. UTEP (C-USA Tournament; CBS Sports)
8:00 pm CT: Temple vs. UMass (Atlantic 10 Tournament)

Impact on Iowa? Temple seems to be a pretty safe bet to make the field, but it wouldn't hurt to see them lose. La Salle and Southern Miss are both right on the bubble with Iowa, so they need to lose. Go Butler and go UTEP.

Full TV schedule available here.

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