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5 Weeks Till Madness: Madness at IUPUI


Image: IUPUI Athletics


While we're just over a month away from the start of the NCAA Tournament, the gauntlet that is February College Basketball makes it feel as far away as ever. Here are some of the biggest headlines you may have missed over the past week, as well as my picks for the top weekday bubble games to checkout.


IUPUI holds some VERY late tryouts

In a pretty unprecedented move, IUPUI, a member of the Horizon League, announced on Twitter yesterday that they would be holding open tryouts to fill some open roster spots late in the season. In a very vague Tweet posted on the team's official page, no reason as to why they needed players was given, leaving many to try and figure out if this was an injury problem, a Covid problem, or something else entirely. The announcement of Azariah Seay entering the transfer portal makes this situation even stranger. Currently ranked dead last in KenPom, with a 2-19 record, the Panthers are nowhere near the March Madness conversation. Regardless, this is a developing story that you'll only see every few years. Who knows? Maybe they'll have some sort of Disney movie run with these new walk-ons. But then again, probably not.


Stony Brook is officially banned from the America East postseason

Another strange story circulating around college ball circles, the America East announced last week that due to Stony Brook's future move to the CAA, all Stony Brook teams would be barred from competing in conference championships in all sports. For the men's and women's basketball teams, this means that an at large bid is their only way of reaching the NCAA Tournaments. For the men's team, who currently sit at 4-4 in conference play, either path was probably a reach this season. However, the women's team currently sits at 10-1 in conference play, good enough to be the current top seed. Overall, if this decision is upheld, and Stony Brook misses the Women's National Championship, we'd see an entire team of student athletes miss a huge opportunity over petty conference politics.


Bubble games you should watch this week


Tuesday

6 PM-UNC at Clemson-Despite their recent loss to Duke, four wins in UNC's last five games have propelled them into the Last Four In. Could wins against Clemson and FSU this week cement their spot in the Tourney?


7 PM-Saint Louis at La Salle-In the ever volatile Atlantic 10, Saint Louis has emerged as the strongest challenger to Davidson's dominance so far this season.


Wednesday

6:30 PM-Georgia at Florida-The classic SEC rivalry hits the hardwood as Florida looks to lock in a spot in the tournament. Could Georgia grab a rare win after almost taking down Auburn?

9 PM-Louisville at Notre Dame-Paul Atkinson will look to put on yet another solid performance against the Cardinals to help push the Irish into the tourney conversation.


Thursday

7 PM-Southern Miss at UAB-It feels like UAB has been floating around the bubble all season now. Let's hope they get a win here so they can finally get some stability in their tournament chances.

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