Monday night, there was only one game of any Bubble Watch importance. Utah State moved ever closer to claiming the WAC regular season title by blasting Fresno State, 76-39, in Logan. The Aggies can claim sole possession of the crown by grabbing a home win against New Mexico State Saturday.
Tuesday will be a bit busier as two of my First Four Out and one of my On The Fringe teams are in action. A few other teams who are in my Monday projection, but in need of key late season wins, are playing as well.
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First Four Out
Villanova at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2): The Bearcats continue their quest for a late quality win as they face a Wildcat team that will surely be angry after Saturday's loss at Syracuse. Cincinnati is 3-6 in their last nine and must win tonight and at Georgetown on Saturday to reach .500 in the Big East.
Minnesota at Michigan, 7 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network): The Golden Gophers picked up a key win at Illinois Saturday, but need to win both of their games this week (Iowa on Sunday is the other) to finish above .500 in the Big Ten. However, given the quality of Minnesota's conference wins so far (Penn State twice, Indiana, Iowa and Northwestern with losses against Indiana, Michigan (at The Barn) and Northwestern), 10 may not be enough.
On The Fringe
South Florida at DePaul, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU): Much like the Bearcats, the Bulls need to win twice this week to finish at 9-9 in the conference. But Marquette and Syracuse can tell Stan Heath how tough the trip to Rosemont can be.
Other Matchups Of Importance
UTEP at Marshall, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN): With a win in Huntington, the Miners will sew up the Conference USA regular season crown for themselves, before Saturday's finale against UAB.
Vanderbilt at Florida, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN): After Saturday's loss at Georgia (and with a game at Kentucky coming up on Sunday afternoon), this is an absolute must-win for the Gators. The good news for Florida is that the Commodores typically struggle in Gainesville.
Illinois at Ohio State, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN): If the Fighting Illini had beaten Minnesota Saturday, they would be in better shape than they are right now. A visit to Columbus to take on Evan Turner and the surging Buckeyes isn't quite what Illinois needs at the moment.
Louisville at Marquette, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU): The winner of this one should basically lock up a bid, especially after big weekend road wins (UConn for the Cardinals and Seton Hall for the Golden Eagles), while the loser will still have a bit to do.