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The New Bracket and Weekend TV Preview "United and It Feels So Good" Extravaganza - 28 February-1 March

There's so much going on this weekend at all levels of the bracket that I decided to combine the rundown of today's bracket (seed list, trends) with my regular TV preview post, so let's get started.


Georgia Tech @ North Carolina (CBS, 12 EST) -The Tar Heels currently remain the #4 overall seed. It was a tough week for seeding the top line, thanks to losses by Oklahoma and Pitt. UConn moves back up to #1 overall. The Heels should take care of business here and hold off Memphis.

Georgetown @ Villanova (ESPN, 12 EST) - The Wildcats remain a 4, though you could argue they should be higher. The Louisville loss Monday further confirms that the Hoyas' only chance is to win five in five days at New York. Good luck with that.

Cleveland State @ Butler (ESPN2, 12 EST) - The Bulldogs have already sewed up the Horizon League regular season crown, so they'll host the bulk of the conference tournament. The Vikings, like so many before them, were never able to build upon their big non-conference win. If they win today, they may have the confidence to repeat the feat during Championship Week.

Iowa State @ Texas A&M (Big 12/Altitude/Full Court, 1:30 EST) - The Aggies are firmly in my "Also Considered" group. The bubble is such that they may remain there even if they lose this one. Note that Baylor is also still there despite losing to the Cyclones Tuesday only because of their non-league wins. Wins over LSU and Arizona mean that the A&M will continue to get a look.

Notre Dame @ Connecticut (CBS, 2 EST) - The Irish are in my "Next Four Out" group, but they'll certainly move higher if they get this one. If the Huskies do drop this one, the top line is going to be fun to sort out for Monday.

Illinois State @ Creighton (ESPN2, 2 EST) and Evansville @ Northern Iowa (FS Midwest/CSN Chicago, 8:30 EST) - The Blue Jays and Northern Iowa are tied at the top of the Valley. The Panthers have, arguably, the easier game to close their regular season, at home against Evansville. If they both win, the Valley's needlessly complicated tiebreaker comes into play.

Clemson @ Florida State 0r Wake Forest @ Virginia (Raycom Regional/Full Court, 2 EST) - Clemson probably should've dropped after their loss to bracket newcomer Virginia Tech Wednesday, but Marquette goes down to the 4 line instead because of Dominic James' foot injury. The Noles were positioned to move into a protected slot, then they lost to BC Tuesday night. Wake remains on the 3-line, but their stay there depends on how well their youngsters' finishing kick.

Arizona @ Washington (FSN/selected CSN outlets, 3 EST) - The Wildcats fall down to a 10 after their offense deserted them in the second half in Pullman. They really don't want to lose a second game in the state. The Huskies replace Arizona State as a 4 after beating the Sun Devils Thursday evening. UW can clinch the Pac-10 regular season title with a win this afternoon.

Oklahoma @ Texas Tech or Duke @ Virginia Tech (ABC Regional/Full Court, 3:30 EST) - The Sooners should have Blake Griffin back, making the Red Raiders' task so much more difficult. The Blue Devils remain a 2 seed, but they should have a tougher time against the Hokies than they did in Durham on January 4.

LSU @ Kentucky (CBS, 4 EST) - The Tigers sewed up the SEC regular season crown with their win over Florida Tuesday night. The Wildcats are a game behind South Carolina in the East division, but the Gamecocks own the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep of UK. Still, a win here would be good for Big Blue's resume.

Ohio State @ Purdue (ESPN, 4 EST) - The Boilermakers remain a 4, even after their loss to Michigan on Thursday. The Buckeyes ended a three-game slide with a home win over Penn State (who's out of today's field), but a loss here would drop them further down the S-curve.

Georgia State @ VCU (Comcast Network/CSN New England/CSS, 4 EST) - The Rams can make it easy on everyone by winning this and taking the CAA regular season crown. If they lose, the rest of the evening becomes very interesting, thanks to the CAA's tiebreakers.

Mount St. Mary's @ Robert Morris (NEC/MASN/FSN Pittsburgh/Full Court, 4 EST) - The Colonials have already clinched the NEC regular season title, but with the Mountaineers right behind them, this is a possible preview of the conference championship game (though the Mount's possible semifinal opponent, Sacred Heart, may have something to say about it).

Temple @ Dayton (A10/CSN Philadelphia/WHIO, 4 EST) - The Owls are out of today's field, thanks to their loss to LaSalle on Thursday. After dropping road trips to St. Louis and Rhode Island, the Flyers need to get back on a winning note.

Utah @ BYU (CBS CS, 5 EST) - The Utes can clinch the MWC regular season crown by beating the Cougars today and New Mexico on Tuesday. The problem for Utah is that they'll have to win in two of the toughest arenas in basketball to complete the task. BYU needs this win to solidfy a rather shaky resume, outside of their computer numbers.

Arizona State @ Washington State (FSN/selected CSN outlets, 5 EST) - The Sun Devils try to recover from their loss in Seattle by taking on another team who plays a slow deliberate style. This game could make Illinois-Penn State look like Loyola Marymount-Michigan in the 1990 tournament.

Texas @ Oklahoma State (ESPN, 6 EST) - Like BYU, the Cowboys have good computer numbers that just don't make sense when you look at their actual schedule. Even if the Longhorns are a bit down, they're still a tournament team, so a win here would help OK State's case.

Indiana @ Penn State (Big Ten, 6 EST) - It's seems pretty obvious, but Lions absolutely cannot afford to lose this.

Auburn @ Mississippi State (FS South/Sun Sports/FSN Florida/Full Court, 6 EST) - Would you believe that both of these teams are 7-6 in the SEC? Unfortunately, both appear to be NIT-bound, particularly the Tigers, who have a very thin resume.

Old Dominion @ Northeastern (CSN Mid-Atlantic/CSN New England/CSS, 6 EST) - The Huskies have a shot at the CAA crown if VCU loses their 4 p.m. start. The Monarchs are playing for a bye.

Long Beach State @ Cal State-Northridge (Prime Ticket, 6 EST) - The 49ers and Matadors are tied at the top of the Big West at 9-4. They'll each have two games next week, so things won't totally be settled tonight.

Liberty @ Radford (MASN, 6 EST) - Seth Curry's Flames got blown out by VMI on Tuesday night. They lost a 2OT outing to the Highlanders in Lynchburg earlier in the year. RU has the Big South regular season crown all to itself.

St. Mary's @ Loyola Marymount (FSN Regional/Prime Ticket/CSN BayArea+, 8 EST) - The Gaels fell out of the bracket today, thanks to the rise of Virginia Tech, Providence, and Michigan. They've done well without Patty Mills, and if he returns for the WCC tourney and they look good, they'll have a good chance at an at-large. SMC is now tied with Portland for second in the WCC, which also helps their case.

Towson @ George Mason (CAA/MASN/Full Court, 8 EST) - The Patriots have a top-4 seed for Richmond tied up. They can grab a share of the conference title if VCU loses. I'll be in attendance at the Patriot Center tonight.

Western Kentucky @ Middle Tennessee (Sun Belt/CSS/CST/Full Court, 8 EST) - The Hilltoppers move into the bracket this week (as I didn't read the Sun Belt's tiebreaker rules (oops)). UALR can steal it back if WKU loses, since the Trojans have a potentially easier game at home tonight against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Nebraska @ Kansas State (Big 12/Full Court, 8 EST) - Two teams hovering around .500 in the Big 12 and on the fringe of the bubble meet up in Manhattan.

North Dakota State @ Oral Roberts (FCS Central/Full Court, 8 EST) - The Bison (15-2) meet the Golden Eagles (14-3) for the Summit League regular season crown. I've yet to see the Bison play this year, so I'll certainly be DVRing this one.

San Diego State @ TCU (the mtn., 8:30 EST) - After dropping games at New Mexico and at home to BYU, the Aztecs are looking more and more like an NIT team.

Pittsburgh @ Seton Hall (Big East/FSN Pittsburgh/SNY/Full Court, 8:30 EST) - The Panthers are #2 overall, even after losing at Providence on Thursday. They'll look to recover (and stay at those lofty heights) by winning in Newark tonight.

UCLA @ California (ESPN, 9 EST) - The Bruins really struggled in Palo Alto on Thursday, while the Bears are coming off a hard-fought OT win over USC. Even though UCLA isn't a vintage Bruin club, a win here would help the case of a team that's been swept by Oregon State tremendously.

South Carolina @ Vanderbilt (ESPNU, 9 EST) - The Gamecocks look to keep ahold of the SEC East lead. They beat Vandy by 10 in Columbia.


Marquette @ Louisville (CBS, 12 EST) - OK, Golden will you play without Dominic James?

Buffalo @ Ohio (ESPNU, 12 EST) - The Bulls have lost four in a row, meaning they now share the MAC East lead at 9-4 with Akron and Bowling Green. The Bobcats are in last place in the division, but they're only two games back.

Missouri @ Kansas or Tennessee @ Florida (CBS, 2 EST) - The battle of Big 12 3-seeds is a rematch of the Tigers 62-60 win over the Jayhawks in Columbia three weeks ago. Will the Mizzou D be able to wear down KU a second time? In the other game, the Gators will be glad to be at home, as they can't buy a road win. Both teams need a win to stay in the hunt for a bye in Tampa.

Providence @ Rutgers (ESPNU, 2 EST) - The Friars are in today's bracket after their dominating win over Pitt Thursday. They can't afford to lose at the RAC.

Michigan @ Wisconsin (Big Ten, 2 EST) - The Wolverines are also new today, but they need to win one of their last two road games (the other is at Minnesota) to truly have a chance.

Cincinnati @ Syracuse (Big East/Altitude/CST/FS Ohio/MASN/SNY/Full Court, 2 EST) - The Bearcats will be confident after they got a win in Bob Huggins' return on Thursday night. The Orange look to stop their slide toward the bubble.

Michigan State @ Illinois (CBS, 4 EST) - The Spartans (12-3) can clinch the Big Ten regular season title outright by beating the second-place Illini (11-5).

West Virginia @ USF (Big East/MASN/MSG/Full Court, 4 EST) - The Mountaineers face a different away experience than the one they encountered on Thursday.

Maryland @ NC State (FSN/selected CSN outlets, 7:30 EST) - The Terps are still hanging in my projection, even after losing to Duke Wednesday night. This is exactly the type of road trip that has caused Maryland trouble in the past.

Next projection will be out Monday evening.