Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 10 teams with the most pressure to win in February

Michigan State v Maryland
Michigan State v Maryland / G Fiume/GettyImages
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The start of February is rapidly approaching, meaning it's not the Super Bowl that’s the main focus, rather it's the fact that the margin of error for many college basketball teams across the country is slim to none if they hope to reach the NCAA Tournament and/or get a quality seed come Selection Sunday.

Although every single game matters -- there is no such thing as a meaningless game in college basketball -- there is something about February that brings excitement to the college basketball world.

From bubble watch to conference game rematches to teams desperately trying to build a quality resume, the month of February creates all sorts of regular-season chaos that can hold significant NCAA Tournament implications in the month ahead.

With that being said, let’s take a look at five teams with the most pressure to win in February.

10. Utah Utes

Standing at 14-7 (5-5), the Utes are still in a solid position to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016. Despite this, the month of January wasn’t so kind to Craig Smith’s club as the Utes went just 3-5 including two blowout losses to Washington and Washington State on the road last week.

Even though injury woes have plagued this team, another muddling stretch in February would create potential complications for their at-large hopes.

9. Gonzaga Bulldogs

The problem for the Zags is not their metrics as they are currently 31st in the NET and 22nd in KenPom thanks to a strong non-conference strength of schedule. The problem for Gonzaga is the fact that they currently have zero Q1 wins alongside zero wins over projected NCAA Tournament teams. 

Thankfully for Mark Few, Gonzaga will have two opportunities to grab Q1 including a home game against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 3 and a crucial non-conference tilt at Kentucky on February 10th. The Zags aren’t done just yet -- but February will tell if this team is capable of earning an at-large bid or not.