Look ahead: regular season comes to a close for 15 conferences
The regular season ends for 15 conferences this weekend, and there are big games everywhere.
It's the beginning (of March) and the end (of the regular season). Fifteen conferences will wrap up conference play this week, and the first conference tournaments will begin on Tuesday.
Here is a by-conference look at what is happening this weekend:
ACC: Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes can clinch the top seed in the ACC tournament with a win at Duke Blue Devils . There is a chance that Ryan Kelly might finally return for the Blue Devils.
A-10: Butler Bulldogs is at VCU Rams in a big game for both teams but more so for VCU, which can lock up a spot in the NCAA tournament with a win. Also, fading bubble teams Charlotte 49ers and Massachusetts Minutemen hit the road for must win games.
Atlantic Sun: Mercer Bears clinches the league title and top seed in the conference tournament with a win at Stetson. A loss opens the door for Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to share the title and possibly steal the top seed.
Big 12: Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats start the day tied for first. The Jayhawks host West Virginia. KSU is at Baylor Bears , the Bears really needing the win to keep their tournament hopes alive. Iowa State has a chance to pick up its best road win of the year at Oklahoma Sooners , which needs the win as well for its somewhat thin tournament resume.
Big East: Cincinnati Bearcats hosts Connecticut as the skidding Bearcats hope to get things going in a good direction again. Bubbler Villanova Wildcats has a chance to add a big win to its resume at Pittsburgh Panthers on Sunday. Louisville Cardinals is at Syracuse Orange , loser of two straight, and Marquette hosts Notre Dame in games in which NCAA tournament seeding could be impacted.
Big South: High Point Panthers has already clinched the North Division, and Charleston Southern Buccaneers can clinch the South with a win on Saturday. If CSU loses, it could create a three-way tie in the division. And if High Point loses as well, there could be a four-way overall tie.
Big Ten: Michigan Wolverines 's loss at Penn State not only eliminated the Wolverines from the conference title chase for all intents and purposes but calls into question whether this team has hit a wall. They only looked good once in February, which was the win over Illinois. They host Michigan State Spartans on Sunday in a must-win game if they are to have any hope of a top-four seed in the B1G tournament and the day off that comes with it. Right now, they look like they have a better chance of finishing 10-8 than 13-5. I will be at the game on Sunday.
Big West: Long Beach State 49ers can clinch the title and top seed with a win at UC Irvine on Saturday night.
MAAC: Niagara Purple Eagles clinches the title with a win over St. Peter's. If the Purple Eagles lose, they will tie with at least the winner of the Rider Broncs - Canisius Golden Griffins game and possibly Loyola-Maryland Greyhounds also.
MAC: Akron Zips secures the top seed in the conference tournament with a win at Buffalo.
MVC: Wichita State Shockers is at Creighton Bluejays in a winner-take-all game for the Valley title. It's also important for each team's at-large hopes as they are both on the bubble.
Pac-12: California Golden Bears hosts Colorado Buffaloes in a game of teams in the bottom half of the bracket. Arizona Wildcats is at UCLA Bruins with both teams fighting to stay with Oregon in the conference race.
SEC: Kentucky Wildcats , Tennessee Volunteers and Ole Miss Rebels take their bubble hopes on the road. The Wildcats are at Arkansas, which never loses at home. Tennessee is at Georgia, which already beat the Vols at home. Ole Miss travels to in-state rival Mississippi State. Also, Florida Gators hosts Alabama Crimson Tide , which is on the fringe of the bubble but can certainly make a stronger case for itself with a win at Gainesville.
Southland: Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks hosts Northwestern State Demons in a battle for sole possession of first place heading into the final week of the season.
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