Monday, March 2, 2009

Key Games this Week

Although there is just one week left in the regular season, there is still plenty of important games to be played. Here is a look at some of the major ones.

Villanova at Notre Dame (Monday):
The Fighting Irish still have work to do for an at-large bid, and a win here against a struggling ‘Nova team would look good.

Kansas State at Oklahoma State (Tuesday): Kansas State was out and Oklahoma State was in this week’s bracket, but the roles could be reversed next week.

Florida State at Duke (Tuesday): Both of these teams are locks for the Big Dance, and they are also two of the best defensive teams in the ACC.

Utah at New Mexico (Tuesday): Utah’s lead in the MWC is down to one game, over BYU and New Mexico. The Lobos also need a win for their at-large profile.

Wake Forest at Maryland (Tuesday): Maryland whiffed last week with its home game against Duke, but the Terps get another shot against the Demon Deacons.

North Carolina at Virginia Tech (Wednesday):
The Hokies fell out of my projected field this week, but a win here over UNC would do wonders for their resume.

Marquette at Pittsburgh (Wednesday): Both teams are fighting for two byes in the Big East Tournament, and Marquette has to prove it can without Dominic James.

Wisconsin at Minnesota (Wednesday): Wisconsin would certainly lock up a bid with a road win, while Minnesota has to win to keep its spot in the field.

Oklahoma at Missouri (Wednesday): Kansas’ two victims from last week battle in a fight for second place behind the Jayhawks. Game of the week?

California at Arizona (Thursday): Two Pac-10 teams who went a combined 0-3 last week. Arizona still has work left to do to lock up a bid to the Dance.

Providence at Villanova (Thursday): Providence had an excellent stretch last week, but a win here on the road against ‘Nova would lock up a bid.

Tennessee at South Carolina (Thursday): Both of these teams were in the field this week, but South Carolina is in a tenuous position and needs a win.

Illinois at Penn State (Thursday): Illinois is likely out of the Big Ten title race after its loss to Mich. St. Penn State would get into next week’s field with a win.

Dayton at Xavier (Thursday): Battle for the Atlantic-10 title (although URI is also in the mix). Dayton won the first meeting and would improve its seeding with a win.

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