College basketball today: Bubble teams Nebraska and Penn State face off in Big Ten tournament warm-up
Here is what you need to know about Sunday's college basketball schedule:
Game of the day
Penn State at Nebraska, 5:15 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network: The loser must win multiple games in the Big Ten tournament to have a chance to get a bid, and may have to get to the final at the very least. The winner has a real chance. Nebraska gets the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament and a double bye with a win, pushing Michigan to the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tournament. Penn State had a disappointing loss to Michigan at home and desperately needs to get a road win to help offset that loss. Mike Watkins is out with a knee injury for the Nittany Lions, putting even more pressure on Josh Reaves, Lamar Stevens and Tony Carr need to deliver.
Michigan State at Wisconsin, 1 p.m. ET, CBS: Michigan State can win the Big Ten title outright and earn the conference tournament top seed with a win in Madison. A loss means Ohio State wins the tiebreaker and the Buckeyes would be the top seed. But don’t dismiss the gritty Badgers. Wisconsin knocked off Purdue at home and then crashed Northwestern’s senior night and beat the Wildcats. The depleted Badgers aren’t going to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 20 years unless they win the Big Ten tournament. So this is Wisconsin’s NCAA game. Beat Michigan State and the season can end on a high note, regardless of what happens next week in Madison Square Garden. The Badgers aren’t as talented, not as quick, or as sound defensively. But they have proven they have the heart and effort to pull off an upset.
The fringe bubble team
Tulsa at Cincinnati, 12 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network: The Golden Hurricane didn’t make my bubble breakdown this week. But a win over Cincinnati could put Tulsa on the list. The Golden Hurricane have won five in a row and jumped up to 10-5 in the American to sit in fourth place. The Bearcats need this win to keep Wichita State a game behind in the chase for the American title. This could end up being a tougher out for Cincinnati than previously projected.
Pay attention to…
UCLA at Colorado, 4 p.m. ET, ESPNU: The Bruins are trying to avoid a Mountain sweep after losing at Utah. UCLA should be fine and positioned well to make the NCAA tournament, but could use some late-season momentum before next week’s game against USC to end the regular season. Colorado has been a tough out all season in Boulder. The Buffs could certainly be a pest in the final week.
Tomorrow! Let’s send our seniors off the right way! pic.twitter.com/RN6C2heIyj— Colorado Basketball (@CUBuffsMBB) February 25, 2018
Minnesota at Purdue, 4 p.m. ET, FS1: Vincent Edwards is scheduled to play after sitting out the last two games with an ankle injury. There was no rush to play Edwards with the Boilermakers focused on the NCAA tournament. But Edwards didn’t want to miss his senior day. Still, let’s see how healthy he is and what he’s able to accomplish before assessing Purdue’s chances in New York next week. This is also a celebration of a ridiculously good senior crew at Purdue. Vincent Edwards, Isaac Haas, Dakota Mathias and P.J. Thompson will go down as one of the most important classes to play in West Lafayette.