Thursday's bubble tracker

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Bored after a few slow days? You won’t be tomorrow.

In golf, Saturday is moving day. For NCAA tournament purposes, tomorrow is moving day.

There are relevant games in 10 conferences, some more relevant than others. But for about 13 hours straight, something meaningful will happen.

Here’s a rundown of all that is worth tracking:

* Minnesota vs. Northwestern, noon: A Golden Gophers victory solidifies a team in the field and pretty much KOs the Wildcats. Minnesota becomes a little questionable with a loss.

* Miami vs. Virginia Tech, noon: A classic play-out game. The loser can start selling NIT tickets; the winner still needs a win against North Carolina.

* Xavier vs. Saint Louis, noon: The Musketeers are one of two Atlantic 10 teams that are solidly in the field. It is best for the rest of the bubble if they keep winning.

* Providence vs. Louisville, noon: The Friars gained nothing from beating DePaul. They would gain quite a bit by toppling the Cardinals.

* Baylor vs. Kansas, 12:30: The Bears aren’t much of a factor, but you’d have to pay attention if they can upend Kansas.

* Kentucky vs. Mississippi, 1: The Wildcats are done if they can’t beat another mediocre SEC team.

* Michigan vs. Iowa, 2:30: The Wolverines are much like Minnesota, solidly in the field but with a matchup that could change that. Michigan really can’t lose to the Hawkeyes.

* Kansas State vs. Texas, 3:K-State, with its poor nonconference schedule strength, will be done with a loss to the Longhorns.

* Arizona vs. Arizona State, 3: Arizona might be able to withstand a loss. It can’t withstand looking bad.

* Penn State vs. Indiana, 5: A team that loses to Iowa and Indiana to finish the regular season doesn’t deserve an invite. The Nittany Lions don’t want to be that team.

* Utah State vs. Fresno State, 5:30: The Aggies’ record is gaudy, so they warrant a mention. But given their lack of wins, they don’t warrant a huge mention.

* San Diego State at UNLV, 5:30: Really a fascinating game. The Aztecs swept the regular season series, while the Rebels have some sweet wins. The loser, though, will be in some trouble.

* Maryland vs. N.C. State, 7: The Terps need a victory (and probably two). But they might be able to make a case with just one more win. Might be – not probably.

* Tulane at Memphis, 7: A Memphis loss costs the at-large field a spot.

* Richmond/St. Bonaventure at Dayton, 9: The Flyers are in much the same position as Xavier – likely in, and a favorite of midpack power conference teams. Those teams want an all-Ohio A-10 final.

* Southern Cal vs. California, 9: The Trojans are pretty much done with a loss.

* Florida vs. Arkansas, 9:45: And so are the Gators.

* New Mexico vs. Wyoming, 11:30: And so are the Lobos.

Patrick Stevens

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