Huge bubble Saturday arrives for USC and other NCAA Tournament chasers

The USC Trojans just took care of Colorado on Thursday. Can they now beat Utah on Saturday evening in Salt Lake City and take the next step toward an NCAA Tournament berth?

We will find out soon enough.

Obviously, beating Utah is the one thing USC can control on Saturday. The rest is up to other bubble teams. If USC beats Utah, it will significantly improve its chances of making the NCAA Tournament regardless of what other teams do.

However, if the Trojans lose, other bubble games will matter a lot. The Trojans could avoid slipping downward if other bubble teams can’t move up.

Here’s a quick look at the other bubble games you need to pay attention to on Saturday if you’re a USC fan:

  • TCU at Texas Tech, 9 a.m. Pacific, ESPN2. Tech is making a late bubble run and can gain a lot of ground here. USC is ahead of Tech, but the Red Raiders will have a chance to play their way into the field.

  • Clemson at N.C. State, 9 a.m., ACC Network: Clemson needs this and then a road game at Virginia next week.

  • Arizona State at Arizona, 11 a.m., CBS: Arizona State has to win this game or next week’s road game at UCLA.

  • Texas A&M at Mississippi State, 12:30 p.m., SEC Network: If MSU loses this game, it will need to win its next four games in a row if not five. This is arguably the biggest game for any bubble team on Saturday.

  • Virginia at North Carolina, 3 p.m., ESPN. This is the other really huge bubble game on Saturday. If UNC loses, its margins become extremely slim. If it wins, it probably makes the tournament or at least moves to the good side of the bubble.

  • San Diego State at New Mexico, 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network: If New Mexico loses here, its path becomes very limited. If UNM wins, it probably moves to one of the last four teams in the field.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire