Oklahoma and Michigan are among the teams on upset alert in the final week of the NCAA basketball regular season.
March has finally arrived and with it comes the final week of the college basketball regular season. The week’s slate of games is the last chance for bubble teams to bolster their NCAA Tournament resumes outside of making a big run in their conference tournaments.
The pressure of these games is often felt on the road team, which leads to plenty of upsets, including four teams we warned about their upset potential in this space last week. Let’s take a look at five more teams that need to be on guard in the final edition of the upset alert index for the 2020-21 season.
Oklahoma needs to be on upset alert at Oklahoma State
There were a ton of great games over the weekend but no player had a greater individual performance than Cade Cunningham did for Oklahoma State. Cunningham dropped 40 points and snagged 11 rebounds to help the Cowboys upset Oklahoma in Norman.
That loss was bad for the Sooners, who now have to face Oklahoma State again in Stillwater tonight. With Cunningham capable of going off at any moment, a second straight loss to the Cowboys is in play for Oklahoma, which would undoubtedly damage their seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
Wisconsin is on upset alert at Purdue
Not all losing skids are created equal and Wisconsin can certainly attest to that. The Badgers have dropped four of their past six games but those defeats came against Michigan, Iowa and Illinois (twice), results that are understandable since those teams are arguably three of the top eight squads in the country.
Losing can take a toll, however, making Tuesday’s trip to Mackey Arena to take on the Boilermakers a dangerous one for Wisconsin. Purdue has quietly slipped into fourth place in the Big Ten and is 9-1 at home this season, a combination that could lead to another disappointing conference loss for the Badgers.
Virginia is on upset alert against Louisville
It’s not a good sign for a team’s March Madness chances to drop three in a row in late February but that is what Virginia has done. The Cavaliers got drilled against Florida State before losing against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium and to NC State at home, with the latter two defeats coming to teams that might not make the field of 68.
Saturday’s trip to the KFC Yum! Center is dangerous for the Cavaliers since Louisville is closer to the bubble than they would like and really need to get this game to improve their tournament resume. If Virginia can’t get its offense going again this contest should turn into a low-scoring slog that they could easily lose.
Michigan is on upset alert at Michigan State
It feels like the Wolverines are regulars in this space but they have remained remarkably focused all season long. Michigan has lost once all season, an uncharacteristic no-show at Minnesota, and has taken care of business against pretty much everyone with relative ease.
This week brings a different challenge for the Wolverines, who end the regular season with consecutive games against Michigan State, which is trying to make a late tournament run of its own. Beating the same opponent twice in a row is very difficult so don’t be shocked if Michigan’s trip to East Lansing on Sunday results in a loss to a Spartans team that really needs this win to end up on the right side of the bubble.
Houston has to be careful with Memphis
One of the dangers of being an NCAA Tournament lock in a down league like the AAC is that everyone else views a shot at you as their chance to get on the bubble. That could prove to be problematic for Houston, which is already going to the dance regardless of what happens to them down the stretch.
Sunday’s trip to Memphis is very dangerous since the Tigers are a capable basketball team that lacks the signature win necessary to make the selection committee take a serious look at them. The Cougars are the AAC’s only target in that sense so don’t be shocked if Memphis gives Houston everything they can handle in an upset bid.
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