In terms of regular season matchups, there aren't too many with more importance than the one that ESPN3 will carry on February 22.
After leap-frogging Bryant for first place in the #NECWBB standings last week, Sacred Heart will visit Smithfield on Monday night for a face-to-face battle with the Bulldogs.
The league office has selected that matchup as its Wildcard Game on ESPN3. Live coverage will begin at 7:00 pm ET on February 22 with John Schmeelk (play-by-play) and Pam Roecker (color) on the call.
With four games to play, only 1.0 game separates SHU (12-2) and Bryant (11-3) in the race for the NEC Tournament's No. 1 seed.
Sacred Heart (.409) and Bryant (.407) are the NEC's two-best teams when it comes to field goal percentage this season. Mary Burke's Bulldogs have also been beasts on the boards, having owned the league lead in rebounding margin (+9.0/g) for much of the season.
Bryant edged the Pioneers, 61-59, in the year's first meeting between the two teams back on January 30 in Fairfield.
Monday night's winner will have the upper hand on securing home-court advantage for the three-round conference tournament, which awards its champion with an automatic bid to the NCAA's Big Dance.