NORTHERN KENTUCKY (Horizon) Last Four Byes: Minnesota, St. John’s, TCU, Florida Last Four IN: Texas, Temple, Indiana, Ohio State First Four OUT: NC State, Belmont, Creighton, Clemson Next Four OUT: Lipscomb, Oregon, Alabama, Furman Bids by Conference: 9 Big Ten, 8 Big 12, 7 ACC, 7 SEC, 4 American, 4 Big East, 2 Mountain West, 2 Pac-12, 2 West Coast, 23 one-bid conferences From noon ET all the way to midnight on the West Coast, Thursday’s slate offers plenty of opportunities for teams to boost their seeding or play their way into or out of the field entirely.
Late afternoon drama Bubble watchers will need to stay glued to their screens as the afternoon progresses as both the Mountain West and Pac-12‘s top seeds take the floor for the first time — the Nevada Wolf Pack take on the Boise State Broncos (3 p.m., CBSSN) while the Washington Huskies meet the USC Trojans (3 p.m., Pac-12 Network).
In Kansas City, TCU can earn itself some breathing room by knocking off Big 12 top seed Kansas State (3 p.m., ESPN2), while the Virginia Tech Hokies and Florida State Seminoles meet for the second time in 10 days with places among the protected seed group on the line (3 p.m., ESPN/Raycom).
In the Big 12, West Virginia will look to play spoiler against a Texas Tech Red Raider squad (ESPN2) pushing for a two or three seed nationally, while the ACC’s first evening quarterfinal between Louisville and North Carolina (ESPN/Raycom) is an intriguing rubber match — particularly with UNC in the thick of the No. 1 seed race.
For starters, the first games of the Mountain West and Pac-12’s evening doubleheaders feature even more potential cut line drama, as the Utah State Aggies meet the New Mexico Lobos (9 p.m., CBSSN) and the Arizona State Sun Devils encounter the UCLA Bruins (9 p.m., Pac-12 Network).