The coming week in the world of sports will involve some college basketball games of note, as the sport moves under six weeks until Selection Sunday, which is March 16th.
NCAA Basketball: Missouri Tigers @ Ole Miss Rebels (Saturday)
This is a game in which the two teams are very much on the bubble and need to get a win of appreciable quality. The thing to realize about the Southeastern Conference – and this is little different from last season – is that there aren’t many chances for good wins. The SEC has Florida, Kentucky, and not much else. Whenever two of the league’s bubble teams meet, losing is not much of an option. Ole Miss will get chances to beat Kentucky and Florida later in the season, so in many ways, the Rebels know that even if they lose here, they can still get season-making wins later on. Missouri doesn’t have that opportunity. The Tigers really need to win here.
NCAA Basketball: Florida State Seminoles @ Maryland Terrapins (Saturday)
This is another game in which both teams are very much on the bubble. Neither Florida State nor Maryland has done a whole lot within its own conference. Both teams have been much less than inspiring. Florida State has a win over Virginia Commonwealth to point to, but not too much else. Both teams have to get on a four-game winning streak at this point in the season to feel good about their chances of making the field of 68. This is the kind of game in which losing will carry a considerable cost.
NBA Basketball: Golden State Warriors @ Phoenix Suns (Saturday)
This is a very attractive NBA game. Not many people expected this game to be a big one before the season began, but it has become a big game because the Suns are for real. Phoenix swept the two-game season series from the Indiana Pacers last Thursday in Indianapolis, showing the rest of the NBA that the Suns are as tough as their first 45 games suggested they were. This team isn’t going away, and Golden State will therefore have its work cut out for it against the Western Conference’s biggest surprise other than Portland.