Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Top 5 must-watch matchups in this weekend's slate

March Madness is right around the corner but the final regular-season weekend slate is set to deliver.

Virginia v Duke
Virginia v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages
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The road to Selection Sunday is almost here. In almost one week, the bracket will be announced and 68 teams will have their eyes set on cutting down the nets en route to Phoenix.

Despite the bubbling anticipation towards college basketball’s greatest event, the final regular-season weekend slate for many teams and conferences across the country is set to take place, holding severe NCAA Tournament implications for teams right on the cutline of the at-large picture along with numerous top-25, rivalry-ridden matchups taking place.

Take a look at the five biggest matchups for this weekend's slate as the road to March Madness nears.

HM: New Mexico at Utah State

The Lobos have put themselves right on the cutline for an at-large bid. A NET Ranking of 25 would indicate they should be in the field but a recent Q4 loss to Air Force along with the fact the Lobos are just 2-6 in Q1 games leaves a lot to be desired resume-wise. Thankfully for Richard Pitino’s group, a Q1 opportunity awaits in Logan for a team that is desperate to add a quality win to their resume.

HM: UConn at Providence

Standing at 19-11 (10-9), the Friars have done a good job -- if not a great job -- at avoiding bad losses, hence why they are in the at-large discussion despite their middling metrics. After taking care of business against Georgetown on Tuesday, Kim English’s group closes out the regular season with a home game against UConn. In short, this is a game that won’t hurt them if they lose but they will have a lot to gain if they win.

HM: Creighton at Villanova

The Villanova Wildcats may be the most confusing team in college basketball. With a 17-13 (10-9) record, the Wildcats have three Q3 losses on their resume -- Saint Joseph’s, Drexel, Penn -- but own wins over North Carolina, Creighton (road), Texas Tech and Providence (road). The metrics are fond of Villanova with a KenPom and NET Ranking average of 30 but the Wildcats would be playing with fire heading into conference tournament play if they drop their home finale to Creighton -- a team that is eyeing a deep March run.