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Iowa Basketball Daily Rooting Interests: Tuesday March 3

After coming up empty on Monday, there are plenty of opportunities for help on Tuesday evening.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Maryland
Can Rutgers take down Maryland or will the Terps block Iowa’s hopes at a Big Ten title?
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With the NCAA Tournament quickly approaching, the Iowa Hawkeyes are in the enviable position of not worrying about the bubble. Instead, Iowa is firmly on the right side of the bubble and simply playing for seeding at this point. As the days tick off of the calendar, we’ll be providing daily updates on games around the country which impact Iowa’s seeding for the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament with some guidance on who to root for and against.

Monday night was a light one and unfortunately, not a fruitful one for Iowa fans. We were pulling for NC State over Duke and Texas Tech over Baylor. After leading through the first few minutes of the second half at Duke, NC State ultimately was blown out. Texas Tech, on the other hand, took #4 Baylor to OT. They too fell short, however. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. The NET cares not.

Tonight is Super Tuesday in the political world and while our “no politics” policy remains intact, the name fits for Iowa rooting interests as well. There are plenty of tangentially important games today, as well as some really important ones. That includes a pair of Big Ten games Hawkeye fans need to go just right to keep hopes of a Big Ten title alive another day.

Oh, and the Hawkeyes play tonight.

Matchup: #9 Maryland (23-6) at Rutgers (18-11)
Tip Time: 6pm CT
Rooting For: Rutgers

As outlined earlier today, any scenario for Iowa to win the Big Ten regular season title involves Maryland losing both of their remaining games.

Matchup: #16 Michigan State (20-9) at #20 Penn State (21-8)
Tip Time: 6pm CT
Rooting For: Penn State

As with Maryland, Iowa needs Michigan State to lose both their final games to have a shot at the regular season title. This one has the added benefit of MSU sitting one seed line ahead of Iowa per Bracket Matrix.

Matchup: Syracuse (16-13) at Boston College (13-16)
Tip Time: 6pm CT
Rooting For: Syracuse

Syracuse is dangerously close to dropping from a Q1 win to Q2. A road win here would help Iowa’s resume.

Matchup: Cincinnati (18-10) at South Florida (13-16)
Tip Time: 6pm CT
Rooting For: Cincinnati

As with Syracuse, Cincinnati is right on the boarder of Q1 and Q2. Unfortunately, they’re already on the wrong side of that. Iowa needs the Bearcats to get a couple more wins and jump back into Q1.

Matchup: Davidson (15-13) at Richmond (22-7)
Tip Time: 6pm CT
Rooting For: Davidson

This one is out there a bit, but Richmond is right on the fringe of Q1 and Q2. Auburn has few borderline wins or losses like that. Richmond is one. A loss here would take a Q1 win away from Auburn, who is one seed line in front of Iowa.

Matchup: Marquette (18-10) at DePaul (14-15)
Tip Time: 7pm CT
Rooting For: DePaul

Iowa fans have been rooting for DePaul in vain ever since their early season loss to them. There’s little chance the Blue Demons jump out of Q3, but a win here would get them closer. It would have the added benefit of being a bad loss for Marquette, who projects two seed lines below Iowa.

Matchup: Tennessee (18-11) at #6 Kentucky (25-3)
Tip Time: 8pm CT
Rooting For: Tennessee

It’s pretty unlikely that Kentucky will fall below Iowa on the seed lines (they project as a 3 seed currently), but it’s still possible, particularly if the Hawkeyes can win their final two regular season games and nab one or two in the BTT. Go Vols.

Matchup: West Virginia (19-10) at Iowa State (12-17)
Tip Time: 8pm CT
Rooting For: Mutual Destruction

Iowa State isn’t climbing out of Q2. But what if they did? West Virginia, like Marquette, projects on the 7 line. We’d really like to see them lose here, but who wants to root for ISU at this point? Nobody. Not even Cyclone fans.

That’s it for Tuesday, March 3rd. Check back tomorrow for updated results and rooting interests for Wednesday.