NCAA Tournament Bracket Scouting Daily: Tennessee, Purdue & More

    Eight ranked teams are in action on Tuesday night, including a matchup between ranked Big Ten teams and an in-state rivalry game in the conference. Here's

    February 19, 2019

    Eight ranked teams are in action on Tuesday night, including a matchup between ranked Big Ten teams and an in-state rivalry game in the conference. Here’s a look at how tonight’s intriguing matchups could impact the NCAA Tournament resumes of the programs involved.

    The NCAA Tournament seed projections are from Stadium’s latest tournament update.

    Vanderbilt at No. 5 Tennessee, 7 p.m. ET

    Tennessee (23-2): 4-2 Quadrant 1, 7-0 Quadrant 2, 6-0 Quadrant 3, 5-0 Quadrant 4

    Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament seed projection: No. 1 seed

    Remember what happened the last time Vanderbilt and Tennessee met? Grant Williams scored 43 points on a perfect 23-of-23 night from the free throw line, including a pair of free throws after Vandy’s Clevon Brown was whistled for a Flagrant 1 late in the game on a “hook and hold.” The Volunteers won 88-83 in overtime in Nashville against a Commodores team that was in the midst of a 12-game slide that is still active.

    All of that leads to this: Tennessee now hosts Vanderbilt as it tries to rebound from just its second loss of the season and a pretty lopsided one after the Volunteers’ 86-69 defeat at Kentucky Saturday. Tennessee is projected to win by 20 points, according to kenpom.com, and given how the Vols’ last game (and their last game against Vandy) went, don’t be surprised if this game gets out of hand.

    Tennessee has a challenging closing stretch to its regular season schedule but Tuesday’s game projects to be the most winnable of the next six. Vanderbilt represents a Quadrant 3 game for Tennessee and the Volunteers’ next five games fall under Quadrant 1.

    If Tennessee loses tonight, it will have serious issues in terms of its projected No. 1 seed, SEC regular season title hopes and trajectory heading into its most difficult stretch of the season.

    [RELATED: Stadium’s Latest NCAA Tournament Projections]

    No. 15 Purdue at Indiana, 7 p.m. ET

    Purdue (18-7): 6-6 Quadrant 1, 6-1 Quadrant 2, 2-0 Quadrant 3, 4-0 Quadrant 4

    Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament seed projection: No. 3 seed

    Indiana (13-12): 5-8 Quadrant 1, 0-4 Quadrant 2, 2-0 Quadrant 3, 6-0 Quadrant 4

    Purdue started the season 6-5. Indiana started the season 12-2.

    If I told you on Jan. 1 that one of the two Big Ten schools in the basketball-loving state would make the NCAA Tournament and the other would miss the Big Dance, it probably would have been a pretty clear choice.

    Think again.

    The Boilermakers have won 12 of their last 14 and the Hoosiers have lost 10 of their last 11.

    How times have changed.

    Sure, Indiana hasn’t been mathematically eliminated from an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament but earning such a bid would require the Hoosiers to almost completely flip the script and win something like five of their final six regular season games. A loss on Tuesday would drop Indiana to .500 on the season, which is concerning after a 16-15 season last year.

    At the very least, a chance to try to spoil Purdue’s Big Ten title hopes could spark a bit of a revival in Bloomington for Indiana. Purdue can climb to one game over .500 in Quadrant 1 with a road win.

    No. 24 Maryland at No. 21 Iowa, 8 p.m. ET

    Maryland (19-7): 5-5 Quadrant 1, 5-2 Quadrant 2, 3-0 Quadrant 3, 6-0 Quadrant 4

    Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament seed projection: No. 6 seed

    Iowa (20-5): 4-5 Quadrant 1, 6-0 Quadrant 2, 4-0 Quadrant 3, 6-0 Quadrant 4

    Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament seed projection: No. 6 seed

    This is the only matchup Tuesday between ranked teams, and it’s one between a pair of Big Ten schools that are projected No. 6 seeds, according to Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament projections. It’s a Quadrant 1 game for both schools and both the Terrapins and Hawkeyes are close to becoming locks for the tournament.

    This is the first and only regular season meeting between Maryland and Iowa this season. Iowa is projected to win by one point, according to kenpom.com, so this might be the best game of the night. The winner will have a leg up in the race for fourth place in the Big Ten, which comes with a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

    No. 16 Florida State at Clemson, 9 p.m. ET

    Florida State (20-5): 4-3 Quadrant 1, 5-2 Quadrant 2, 4-0 Quadrant 3, 7-0 Quadrant 4

    Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament seed projection: No. 6 seed

    Clemson (15-10): 1-7 Quadrant 1, 3-3 Quadrant 2, 5-0 Quadrant 3, 6-0 Quadrant 4

    Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament seed projection: First Four Out

    Clemson was the third team left out of Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament projections so the Tigers could use wins, especially good ones, as much as any bubble team. They’ll have a great opportunity Tuesday at home against the Seminoles.

    Clemson has just one Quadrant 1 win in eight tries this season and it only has two more opportunities left in the regular season, including tonight. The Tigers might have to beat Florida State and North Carolina at home to feel confident in their at-large chances.

    Florida State, meanwhile, is as hot as almost any team in the country with a seven-game winning streak. With a 4-3 Quadrant 1 record and three Quadrant 1 games left in the regular season, a win on Tuesday would guarantee at least a .500 record in Quadrant 1 for the Seminoles entering the ACC Tournament.

    Florida State won the first meeting 77-68 in Tallahassee on Jan. 22 thanks to 45 bench points, led by Mfiondu Kabengele’s 17.

    Baylor at No. 19 Iowa State, 9 p.m. ET

    Baylor (16-9): 3-6 Quadrant 1, 7-1 Quadrant 2, 1-0 Quadrant 3, 5-2 Quadrant 4

    Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament seed projection: No. 10 seed

    Iowa State (19-6): 5-4 Quadrant 1, 3-2 Quadrant 2, 5-0 Quadrant 3, 6-0 Quadrant 4

    Stadium’s latest NCAA Tournament seed projection: No. 4 seed

    Here’s what’s at stake Tuesday in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State needs a win to keep pace in the Big 12 regular season title race (it’s currently in fourth and 1.5 games behind first-place Kansas State) and to maintain its projection as a top-four seed. After a six-game winning streak, Baylor has lost three of its last four and it could use another Quadrant 1 win to stay safely on the right side of the projected NCAA Tournament bubble.

    The Bears are three games under .500 in Quadrant 1 and all three of their remaining Quadrant 1 games in the regular season are on the road: Iowa State, Kansas State and Kansas. If Baylor can win its remaining home games (against West Virginia, Texas and Oklahoma State) and win one of those three road games, it’ll be in a comfortable position entering the Big 12 Tournament.

    MORE: 2019 NCAA Tournament Schedule, Dates, Locations

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