-UCLA AT ARIZONA (Pac Ten). Arizona appears to be safe for a bid, but their losses are starting to add up. Theyve played a strong schedule so their record wont hurt them too much, though. Theyve really been struggling lately and are just 2-5 in their last seven games, and today wont be an easy test either. If they lose, its important that theyre able to win next week. UCLA blew out Arizona State earlier this week, which helps get them get one step closer to winning the Pac Ten regular season. They have a huge showdown coming up later this week against Stanford, but they dont want to get caught looking ahead against an Arizona team that really needs a big win. UCLA should be in good shape to receive a favorable seed in the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens today. .
-NOTRE DAME AT DE PAUL (Big East). Notre Dame lost to Louisville earlier in the week in a game where they were getting blown out, but managed to come back. Theyre still in great shape as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned, and should finish near the top of the league if theyre able to take care of business in this final week. Theyre still just a game out of first, so its possible they could end up with at least a share of the title. De Paul is currently in 12th place, so a win in this game would be a big step toward securing a bid in the conference tournament. These schools have a pretty good rivalry with one another, so it should be a fun game to watch, especially considering that both teams have something to play for.
-VILLANOVA AT LOUISVILLE (Big East). Louisville is one of the hottest teams in the country right now, and theyre currently in a tie with Georgetown for first place in the conference. The two will face each other next week, but Louisville doesnt want to get caught looking ahead. Nova has been playing pretty well lately as well, but this is a very tall order for them. If theyre able to pull off the upset, though, it would give their resume a huge boost and all but guarantee them a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Big East has been very intense this year, and this is another match-up between two tournament caliber teams with quite a bit at stake for both. Even if Louisville loses, they could still win the Big East regular season title next week with a win over Georgetown because the Cardinals have the tiebreaker. Nova, on the other hand, being an NCAA bubble team has quite a bit more to gain.
-CLEMSON AT MARYLAND (ACC). Maryland is closer to the bubble than theyd like to be, but it still looks as though theyre relatively safe. A win today would still be very big for the Terps, though. Clemson appears to be solidly in as well, but they dont have all that many RPI top 50 wins, so picking up a road win like this would help them out as far as their potential seeding goes. Both these teams are pretty even in skill level, and just a half game separates the two in the conference standings, so that should make for an exciting game.
-INDIANA AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten). Michigan State has been struggling lately, especially on the road, but they arent on the road in this one. Indiana, on the other hand, has been playing very well, especially when one considers all the drama that has been surrounding that program this year. Theyve picked up some pretty big wins lately, and this is a chance for them to get another big one on the road and keep themselves in the race for the Big Ten title. Its big for Michigan State as well because theyre trying to break out of their slump. Beating a quality conference opponent at home would be a pretty good way for them to do that.
-OREGON AT OREGON STATE (Pac Ten). Oregon State is still looking for their first conference win. Oregon has really gone into the tank and it looks as though theyll need to win all their remaining regular season games, and perhaps even a game in the conference tournament in order to be seriously considered. If they drop this one on the road to a team thats struggled as much as Oregon State has theyll likely be out of the at-large discussion entirely.
-TEMPLE AT SAINT JOSEPHS (Atlantic Ten). Saint Josephs really stubbed their toes earlier in the week when they lost at home to Saint Louis. Theyre now in a position to where they need to win at least two of their final three games and/or advance a few rounds into the conference tournament. That is no easy task because Temple is a talented team, and Xavier, who theyll face later on, is tough as well. This is part of the Big Five rivalry, so these two should really go at it today. It should be a good one because Saint Josephs NCAA hopes are on the line.
-KENTUCKY AT TENNESSEE (SEC). Kentucky got some bad news the other day when they learned that Patrick Patterson
will miss the remainder of the year. Thats very unfortunate for a team that had won nine of their last ten and played their way back into the at-large picture. They still have a chance, but they clearly arent as good without Patterson and may not get the wins that they need between now and the end to make a strong enough case for themselves. On top of that, Tennessee is playing for a #1 seed and they have revenge on their minds. All of those things are a pretty bad combination for Kentucky.