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Northwestern NCAA Tournament Bubble Rooting Interests: 2/29/2012

With Northwestern sitting squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble, it's time for a new daily feature, in which I take a look at every game relevant to Northwestern's NCAA chances and tell you whom you should be rooting for.

Before we start, a reminder of just how precarious Northwestern's current bubble position is, via a tweet from's resident bracket expert, Andy Glockner:

So even though Northwestern is currently listed as in by most experts, eventually there will likely be upsets in conference tournaments and it will become that much harder to make it. So we're left with no choice but to root for no Cinderellas. Except us.

Penn St. Nittany Lions @ Purdue Boilermakers (--11.5), 5:30 central, BTN

Team to root for: Penn State

Purdue has all but locked up a bid...unless they somehow lose at home to Penn State. They did get clowned in Happy Valley earlier this year, so who knows.

Marquette Golden Eagles at Cincinnati Bearcats (-1), 6 central, ESPN2

Team to root for: Marquette

Cincinnati looks like they should be a lock with 20 wins overall and 10 BIg East wins already but their non-conference schedule was a total joke and the committee has been known to look harshly on teams with weak non-conference performances. A marquee win over a team like Marquette should elevate them to lock status, however.

South Florida Bulls at Louisville Cardinals (-9), 6 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Louisville

South Florida has an impressive 11-5 Big East record but they don't have any marquee wins and find themselves squarely on the bubble. They'll probably need to make a run in the Big East tournament if they don't win this one.

St. Joseph's Hawks at St. Bonaventure Bonnies (-3.5), 6 central, no TV

Team to root for: St. Bonaventure

This is close to a must-win for St. Joe's.

Dayton Flyers at Richmond Spiders (-2), 6 central, no TV

Team to root for: Richmond

Ditto for Dayton.

Auburn Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide (-12.5), 7 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Auburn

Alabama is close to lock status but a home loss to terrible Auburn could make things interesting.

Craig James allegedly killed five hookers while at SMU Mustangs at Southern Miss. Golden Eagles (-11), 7 central, no TV

Team to root for: SMU

Southern Miss would probably have to lose out to miss the NCAAs, but might as well hope.

Mississippi St. Bulldogs at South Carolina Gamecocks (+3), 7 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: South Carolina

Mississippi State is reeling right now and can't afford yet another bad loss to one of the SEC's many weak bottom-feeders.

Tennessee Volunteers at LSU Tigers (-1), 8 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: Tennessee

LSU is hanging on by a thread at this point, a loss here sends them off the cliff.

Miami Hurricanes at N.C. State Wolfpack (-3.5), 8 central, ESPN3

Team to root for: NC State

Miami is in as now after upsetting Florida State on Sunday, while N.C. State is likely done considering their dreadful combination of zero RPI top 50 wins and 3 RPI sub-100 losses.

Oklahoma Sooners at Texas Longhorns (-10), 8 central, ESPN2

Team to root for: Oklahoma

Texas is right there on the bubble with Northwestern in all the bracket predictions and needs to beat a non-NCAA team like Oklahoma at home to stay afloat.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels at Colorado St. Rams (+3.5), 9 central, CBS College

Team to root for: UNLV

Colorado State is in a similar position to Northwestern: squarely on the bubble with a great opportunity to get a marquee win at home tonight.

UC Irvine Anteaters at a city they call Long Beach St. 49ers (-17), 9 central, no TV

Team to root for: UC Irvine

Rooting for Long Beach State to win their conference tournament will be priority one come next week, as long as they don't suffer awful losses between now and then and play themselves off the bubble.