Bracketology: Several big games this weekend, last call for 13 conferences

Oklahoma State has a big opportunity vs. Kansas on Saturday night. (USATSI)
Oklahoma State has a big opportunity vs. Kansas on Saturday night. (USATSI)

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This will be a very busy weekend with regard to teams playing for seed and teams playing just to get into the NCAA tournament.  Also, 13 conferences will wrap up league play and get ready for their conference tournaments.

Wichita State Shockers will try to be the first team to enter its conference tournament undefeated since St. Joseph's in 2004 when the Shockers host Missouri State Bears on Saturday.  The Bears gave the Shockers their biggest scare of the season, taking them to OT back in January.  However, Missouri State is just 2-6 on the road in conference play.

Virginia Cavaliers can clinch the ACC title with a win at home over Syracuse Orange  on Saturday.  Raise your hand if you had the Cavs as ACC champs before the season started.  All of you with your hands up are lying.  This would also be the biggest win of the season for Virginia's tournament resume.  The Cavs benefitted from a league schedule that had them playing the Orange and Duke Blue Devils just once each.

Florida Gators is already the SEC champ, but the Gators host LSU Tigers  in an important game for the Tigers' borderline tournament hopes. LSU let a great chance get away last weekend at Kentucky Wildcats .  This might be its last chance.

In the American Eagles conference, co-leaders Cincinnati Bearcats and Louisville Cardinals take to the road to face tough opponents. The Bearcats are at UConn, while the Cards are in Memphis Tigers to play the Tigers.

Saint Louis Billikens is at VCU in the A-10, which is an important game for tournament seeding, but a bigger game is UMass at Dayton Flyers . The Flyers need to show they can beat the better teams in this league, but so far, they haven't had much luck.

Oklahoma State Cowboys has a huge opportunity to show the committee that they are back to their old selves when they host Kansas Jayhawks .  The Jayhawks already have won the Big 12, but are playing for a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and don't have much of a margin for error.

Xavier Musketeers hosts Creighton Bluejays with a chance to may be play themselves off the bubble.  The Musketeers have been playing hit and miss basketball lately and need to be more consistent.

Minnesota Golden Gophers can get a huge road win for its tournament resume when it goes to Michigan Wolverines today.  Beating the Wolverines won't get the Gophers off the bubble, but it will provide some cushion.

Cal has lost two of its past three and looked very bad in both losses. The Bears are at Arizona State Sun Devils  hoping to at least be competitive, but they could really use a win for their tournament hopes.

There are two big SEC bubble games.  Vanderbilt Commodores is at Tennessee Volunteers , and it's must-win every time out for the Vols. They especially have to defend their home court.

Arkansas Razorbacks hosts Georgia Bulldogs coming off the Hogs big win at Kentucky. They can't assume that just because they beat Kentucky twice that they're in the field. Arkansas still has to finish the job, and that starts with taking care of business at home against the Bulldogs.

Finally, 13 conferences finish regular season play this weekend and get ready for their tournaments. Here is a look at how those are shaping up.

America East

Tournament: March 7-10, 15, Host: Albany, except for final, which is at higher seed.

Top Seed: Vermont Catamounts

Atlantic Sun

Tournament: March 4, 6, 9 at campus sites

Top Seed: Mercer Bears or Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

Big South

Tournament: March 5, 7-9 Host: Coastal Carolina

Top Seed: High Point Panthers


Tournament: March 7-10 in Baltimore

Top Seed: Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens or Towson Tigers


Tournament: March 4, 7-8, 11 Host: Campus sites for first round, Green Bay Phoenix next two rounds, high seed for final.

Top Seed: Green Bay

Metro Atlantic

Tournament: March 6, 8-10 in Springfield, Mass.

Top Seed: Iona Gaels

Missouri Valley

Tournament: Arch Madness, March 6-9, St. Louis

Top Seed: Wichita State


Tournament: March 5, 8, 11 at campus sites.  Semifinals are reseeded.

Top Seed: Robert Morris Colonials

Ohio Valley

Tournament: March 5-8, Nashville

Top Seed: Belmont Bruins or Murray State Racers


Tournament: March 3, 5, 8, 12 at campus sites.

Top Seed: Boston U. or American


Tournament: March 7-10, Asheville, N.C.

Top Seed: Davidson Wildcats


Tournament: March 8-11, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Top Seed: North Dakota State Bison

West Coast

Tournament: March 6, 8, 10-11, Las Vegas

Top Seed: Gonzaga Bulldogs

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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