Scoreboard Watching: February 24, 2017

Bracketology Scoreboard Watching
The first conference tournament of the year is set:

In The Books

Ohio State 83, Wisconsin 73: The Buckeyes controlled the vast majority of this game, putting Wisconsin now a full game behind Purdue for first in the Big Ten with three to play.  Wisconsin is 1-3 since the committee omitted them from their Top 16 on February 11.  A top-4 seed - which would likely mean getting to open in Milwaukee - is likely a long shot at this point.
 
Georgia 60, Alabama 55: Just like that Georgia could again be flirting with the bubble conversation before too long.  The Bulldogs are 7-8 in conference with three winnable games remaining.  If they can finish the regular season at 10-8 in SEC play, they could get themselves into the conversation with a run to the Semis in the tournament.  They'd likely be in with a run to the Championship game.
 
Arizona 90, USC 77: No problem for the Wildcats at home  UCLA is next (more below)
 
Gardner Webb 71, UNC Asheville 76: The Bulldogs fall back into a tie for first with Winthrop in the Big South with just one game remaining before the tournament.
 
New Orleans 82, Stephen F. Austin 65: Easy win for the Privateers, who take a two game lead in the Southland with just three to play.

Tipping Off Tonight

Friday
Dayton at Davidson: The Flyers need to be careful not to look ahead to Wednesday's showdown with VCU.  Davidson is fully capable of stealing this one and giving VCU the inside track in the A10.
 
Saturday
Florida at Kentucky: The SEC is up for grabs as white-hot Florida travels to Rupp.  The Gators announced their comeback with a blowout over UK in Gainesville three weeks ago.  Now, they look to take the outright conference lead with just two games to play.
 
UCLA at Arizona: Arizona would take a stranglehold on the Pac-12 lead with a win, eliminating the Bruins and staying a game ahead of Oregon with only Arizona State remaining.  Meanwhile, UCLA is hoping a 2-seed is in play and needs this win to get them there.
 
Baylor at Iowa State: The first meeting in Waco was close, only a two point win for the Bears.  Can home court advantage open the door for a top-5 seed for the Cyclones?
 
Purdue at Michigan: Both teams needed late surges in their midweek games to stay ahead of Big Ten doormats Penn State and Rutgers, respectively.  A win by Michigan would pretty well put them on very, very good footing heading into the final week.  A loss and games at Northwestern and Nebraska begin to look more daunting.  This is senior night for Derrick Walton, the point guard who has powered Michigan's chances back.  It's hard to see him let the Wolverines drop this one.
 
Duke at Miami: The Blue Devils fell in thier last road contest at Syracuse.  Miami has played itself off the bubble and knows this win would likely lock them in the tournament.
 
Florida State at Clemson: The knock on the Seminoles has been a slew of poor showings on the road - most recently last Saturday at Pitt.  Clemson has never been an easy place for them to play.  This should be a good indicator on if they're ready to turn the corner.
 
West Virginia at TCU: This isn't absolute must win for the Horned Frogs, but it's damn close.
 
Marquette at Providence: Both teams are currently in the tournament after some recent wins, but they're far from finished.  A win in this game would go a long way for either team.
 
Northwestern at Indiana: The Wildcats likely need one more win to really feel good about their status heading into the BTT.
 
VCU a Rhode Island: Rhode Island is a long-shot, but they're not dead yet.  If they can deal VCU a loss here and win out heading into the A10 Tournament, they'll have a shot at an at-large bid.
 
Creighton at Villanova: 'Nova looks to bounce back from their loss to Butler on Wednesday and clinch the Big East regular season crown.
 
Sunday
Butler at Xavier: The Bulldogs jumped up to a 3-seed with their win over Villanova and a 2-seed is in sight if they can finish strong.  Xavier has lost four in a row and needs to stop the bleeding.
 
Wisconsin at Michigan State: The Spartans are still firmly in bubble territory as they look to extend their 19-year tournament streak.
 
Syracuse at Louisville: One knock left on the Orange is that they are yet to beat a tournament team on the road.  This would certainly put that one to rest if they can pull off the W.