NCAA Basketball in Chicago: Week of February 13, 2023

The 30-day countdown to March Madness starts as of publishing time, and we’ve got a full slate of more inter-conference that mean a whole lot to certain teams. For some, this week is essentially their shot at a tournament bid. Teams outside of the top 25 but with a strong record like the Northwestern Wildcats and Oklahoma State Cowboys — with both teams playing ranked opponents at home, a win will surely stand out on their end-of-the-year resume when the committee is ready to set the table.

The game of the week will be Wednesday’s bout between the always consistent Tennessee Volunteers hosting the Crimson Tide of Alabama. This game couldn’t have come at a more crucial time than now for the Volunteers, as they’ve lost three of their last four games (with their one win being a three-point victory over the feisty Auburn Tigers) despite their #10 ranking. Half of their losses over the entire season have happened in the last 12 days. Tennessee plays well at home, but the Crimson Tide have been on a wrecking crew as of late and won’t go away easily. I expect this to be a close game with the winner being whoever can make the most defensive stops in the final three minutes of play.

With that we get into the top tier games this week. Locals will want to tune in to see Northwestern battle Indiana. Northwestern edged out Indiana in Bloomington just last month 84-83, so while the Wildcats need this win to bolster their final resume, Indiana will be seeking revenge.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Creighton Bluejays (#23) @ Providence Friars (#20)

@ Amica Mutual Pavilion, Providence, Rhode Island
7:00pm CT

Creighton University Chicago bars: Sully’s House Tap Room & Grill

Kansas Jayhawks (#9) @ Oklahoma State Cowboys

@ Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma
9:00pm CT, ESPN

Kansas University Chicago bars: All Stars Seafood and Sports Bar, Kincade’s, Theory Sports Div Lounge, Toon’s Bar & Grill

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Alabama Crimson Tide (#3) @ Tennessee Volunteers (#6)

@ Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee
7:00pm CT, ESPN2

University of Alabama Chicago bars: Houndstooth Saloon
University of Tennessee bars: Riverview Tavern & Grill / Robey Pizza

Xavier (#13) @ Marquette (#10)

@ Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
7:00pm CT, CBSSN

Xavier University Chicago bars: Merkle’s Bar & Grill
Marquette University Chicago bars: Commonwealth Tavern, Four Shadows

Indiana Hoosiers (#18) @ Northwestern Wildcats

@ Welsh–Ryan Arena, Evanston, Illinois
9:00pm CT, BTN

Indiana University Chicago bars: Kirkwood, Finley Dunne’s Tavern, Joe’s Bar on Weed Street, Sluggers
Northwestern University Chicago bars: Bat 17, Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern, Connie’s Pizza, Cork & Kerry at the Park, Derno’s on Diversey, Goose Island Beer Co., Kincade’s, Timothy O’Toole’s

Thursday, February 15, 2023

Utah Utes @ Arizona Wildcats (#4)

@ McKale Memorial Center, Tucson, Arizona
10:00pm CT, PAC12

University of Utah Chicago bars: Nisei Lounge
University of Arizona Chicago bars: Finley Dunne’s Tavern, Joe’s Bar on Weed Street