Hello, college basketball fans!
With the regular season winding down, here's games this weekend that may affect the bracket.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, Sat 4pm (Battle of Tech's)
In a year the ACC lost to the Big 10 in the ACC-Big 10 challenge, it's going to be hard to believe they will get seven in the dance. If you are looking for one of the seven contenders to exclude, look no further than this game. A loss (a home loss) for the Jackets, and they are 7-9 in conference. While Va. Tech would be 9-7 with a loss (ahead of 8-8 Georgia Tech), consider that in the ACC schedule they played these five teams twice: UNC, Mia, BC, Va, NCSt. None of those teams are in the NCAA discussion! They only would have wins over Clemson and Wake Forest, both at home. And their non conference schedule was pathetic.
North Carolina at Duke, Sat 9pm
Only on this list because, hey, it's UNC/Duke. And should Duke lose, they can kiss their #1 seed chances goodbye. BTW, the last two times Duke hosted UNC on Senior Day (2006 and 2008), they lost. North Carolina has won the last five regular season finales.
Clemson at Wake Forest, Sun 6pm
Clemson should be safe, win or lose. Jerry Palm of CBS said the committee took out last 12 games as a criteria but you don't need a "last 12" stat to know the Demon Deacons are struggling late and a loss here could really hurt their NCAA chances.
Richmond at Charlotte, Sat 2pm
Last ditch effort for Charlotte. Not sure they are even in the discussion now but a win would give them a sweep over the Spiders (Charlotte won in Richmond already) and they also beat Temple so don't count them out yet.
Rhode Island at Massachusetts, Sat 4pm
Rhode Island saved their season beating Charlotte and now lead Charlotte in the A-10 pecking order. But a loss to UMass and it won't matter.
St. Louis at Dayton, Sat 7pm
The road has been unkind to Dayton. Luckily, this one's at home. And they do need this game in the worst way.
West Virginia at Villanova, Sat noon (CBS)
With Duke and Kansas State losing on Wednesday, the winner of this game could be in the discussion for a #1 seed (or definitely for position in the Big East pecking order). Villanova won the first game in Morgantown on the road.
Cincinnati at Georgetown, Sat 2pm
Someone has to win this game, right? Georgetown isn't in bubble territory but their seed is plummeting. This is Cincinnati's last chance at a marquee win (although who hasn't beaten Georgetown these days?) before the Big East tournament.
Syracuse at Louisville, Sat 2pm
Syracuse is a fairly solid #1 (especially since there aren't many candidates left to replace them). The game is mostly for Louisville's seed because I think they are most likely in. Remember Louisville gave Syracuse one of their two losses (in the Carrier Dome, no less).
Notre Dame at Marquette, Sat 2pm
Why do I have a feeling every Big East ref will be busy at 2pm this Saturday? Notre Dame is guaranteed a .500 record in conference, a steal at Marquette would make them 10-8 and in great position for an at large bid. A loss and I think they are in the discussion but their RPI is still kind of high (in the 60's according to CBSSports.com).
Connecticut at South Florida, Sat ... you guessed it, 2pm
Big loss for Connecticut at Notre Dame. They now sit at 7-10 in conference. A loss and they are four games below .500 in conference. I don't believe any team in the last decade (2000-2009) has received an at large bid that was four games below .500 in conference. By the way, I don't think any team in the Big East last decade received an at large bid with a losing record so U Conn's chances are slim already.
Seton Hall at Providence, Sat .... NOT at 2pm! (7pm)
A tough road game and a must win for Seton Hall to stay in bubble contention. Providence was a 3 pointer from upsetting Pitt.
Wisconsin at Illinois, Sun 2pm
Illinois needs at least win and possibly two to warrant at large consideration. Might as well start here against a Badger team they upset in Madison earlier in the season.
Kansas at Missouri, Sat 2pm (CBS)
Pretty sure Missouri is in the tournament already, but should the Tigers win, watch that RPI and those mock bracket seeds skyrocket (look at Oklahoma State last week).
San Diego State at Air Force, Sat 9pm
San Diego State is one of those teams that are one side of the bubble or the other in almost everyone's bracket. Air Force is pathetic. San Diego State loses just showing up at Air Force in terms of RPI. If they lose? I think you know the answer.
Tennessee at Mississippi State - Sat. 6pm
Last chance for MSU before the tournament for a signature in conference win. Of the top four teams in the SEC East, the Bulldogs haven't beaten any of them. Expect that to come up in the conversation should MSU lose to Tennessee. The head to head loss at Florida also hurts them although there may be a chance for payback in the SEC tournament.
Florida at Kentucky, Sun noon (CBS)
Well no one expects Florida to win. Unfortunately it will keep them on the bubble heading into the tournament.
Kent State at Akron - Fri. 8pm
A rare Friday night game. They are playing for 1st place in the MAC (Eastern Division, currently tied with Akron). Kent's RPI is in range for at large consideration, but it's hard to justify one if they didn't win their conference.
UAB at Texas El Paso - Sat. 9:05pm
Don't look now, but Memphis passed UAB in the conference standings, the RPI gap between the two has shrunk, and Memphis has a head to head sweep over UAB. I was thinking about should Memphis be the 2nd team from C-USA instead of UAB. Now I'm sure of it. But if UAB beats UTEP in El Paso (and if Memphis loses at home to Tulsa), that could change things.
MWC Tournament (Final Sun 2pm on CBS).
Northern Iowa has a good resume for an at large team, bubblers around the country should hope N. Iowa wins out.