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On The Menu: Saturday, March 5, 2016

The majority of the power conferences wrap up their regular seasons today, and there's still much to play for on both the conference tournament and NCAA bracket fronts.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Game information courtesy Matt College Sports on TV Website, which has even more games listed and more specific info on coverage for regional sports networks and American Sports Network telecasts.

All times listed are Eastern, adjust accordingly.

Conference Tournaments

For full information on this year's conference tournaments, visit Conference Tournament Central.

I've published a separate preview for today's conference tournament action.


North Carolina State Wolfpack (15-15, 5-12) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (19-10, 10-7), 12 p.m. (CBS)
Clemson Tigers (16-13, 9-8) at Boston College Eagles (7-23, 0-17), 12 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
Syracuse Orange (19-11, 9-8) at Florida State Seminoles (17-12, 7-10), 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Pittsburgh Panthers (20-9, 9-8) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (17-13, 7-10), 2 p.m. (ACC Network/ESPN3)
No. 7 Miami Hurricanes (24-5, 13-4) at Virginia Tech Hokies (17-13, 9-8), 4 p.m. (ACC Network/ESPN3)
No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels (24-6, 13-4) at No. 17 Duke Blue Devils (22-8, 11-6), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
No. 11 Louisville Cardinals (23-7, 12-5) at No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers (23-6, 12-5), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Fourteen of the ACC's 15 members wrap up the regular season today (Wake Forest did so on Tuesday), and there's quite a bit on the line. For starters, the top seed in the ACC Tournament will be determined. Arguably, Miami is in the driver's seat, as they visit Blacksburg (though the Hokies have a tough out at home, just ask Pitt), while UNC, who owns the tiebreaker over the Hurricanes, thanks to their big win in Chapel Hill, visits a Duke team they lost to at home.

If both the Hurricanes and Tar Heels lose, Virginia, who split with the Hurricanes and defeated the Tar Heels, will have a chance if they can beat ineligible Louisville.

Elsewhere, Syracuse and Pitt both hit the road needing wins to keep up with their bubble rivals, though both defeated Saturday's opposition on their respective home floors earlier in the season. Meanwhile, in Chestnut Hill, BC has one last chance to avoid going winless in both football and men's basketball this season.

Big 12

No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (23-6, 11-6) at TCU Horned Frogs (11-19, 2-15), 1 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
No. 10 West Virginia Mountaineers (23-7, 12-5) at No. 19 Baylor Bears (21-9, 10-7), 2 p.m. (ESPN)
Kansas State Wildcats (16-14, 5-12) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (18-11, 8-9), 3 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
No. 21 Iowa State Cyclones (21-9, 10-7) at No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks (26-4, 14-3), 4 p.m. (ESPN)

With Texas having defeated Oklahoma State last night, the remaining eight Big 12 members wrap up conference play today. The most important matchup is in Waco, where the Mountaineers can drop out of the two seed with a loss to the Bears, a team they defeated by 11 at home on February 6th, and a likely Oklahoma win over TCU. That's because the Sooners swept the season series.

With Texas Tech, K-State, Oklahoma State, and TCU playing on Wednesday, the big seeding issue to be resolved is the group of teams sitting in the fourth through sixth positions—Texas, who finished at 11-7, and 10-7 Iowa State and Baylor.

Big East

Georgetown Hoyas (14-16, 7-10) at No. 3 Villanova Wildcats (26-4, 15-2), 12 p.m. (FOX)
Seton Hall Pirates (21-8, 11-6) at DePaul Blue Demons (9-20, 3-14), 12 p.m. (select FSN outlets)
Providence Friars (21-9, 9-8) at St. John's Red Storm (8-22, 1-16), 12:30 p.m. (FS1)
Marquette Golden Eagles (19-11, 8-9) at Butler Bulldogs (20-9, 9-8), 2:30 p.m. (select FSN outlets)
Creighton Bluejays (18-12, 9-8) at No. 5 Xavier Musketeers (25-4, 13-4), 2:30 p.m. (FOX)

While the top three seeds in New York are set, the rest of the Big East Tournament bracket is in flux, though Marquette and Georgetown don't encounter matchups that are likely to improve their seeding. The same goes for a Creighton squad locked in a three-way tie for fourth. Nationally, Villanova and Xavier need to win at home to stay in the race for a top seed, while Butler, Providence, and Seton Hall all face foes they need to beat for their bubble hopes.

Big Ten

Ohio State Buckeyes (19-11, 11-6) at No. 2 Michigan State Spartans (25-5, 12-5), 12 p.m. (ESPN)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-21, 2-15) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-24, 0-17), 1 p.m. (BTN)
No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes (20-9, 11-6) at Michigan Wolverines (20-10, 10-7), 8 p.m. (BTN)

Back on Sunday, Ohio State defeated Iowa at home to give its tourney chances some life, but a win in East Lansing over a Spartan team that handled the Buckeyes in Columbus on February 23rd would really resuscitate their chances. In the evening game, Iowa needs a win to stop its freefall, while Michigan could use a quality victory (and the Hawkeyes still count) to boost a profile that's bubble-worthy.

With three Minnesota players suspended for the remainder of the season, this is Rutgers' best shot at snapping its 31-game regular season conference losing streak (32 if you factor in the Big Ten Tournament).


No. 9 Oregon Ducks (24-6, 13-4) at USC Trojans (20-10, 9-8), 4 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National, Oregon, L.A.)
Stanford Cardinal (15-13, 8-9) at No. 18 Arizona Wildcats (23-7, 11-6), 4 p.m. (CBS)
Oregon State Beavers (17-11, 8-9) at UCLA Bruins (15-15, 6-11), 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National, Oregon, L.A.)
No. 25 California Golden Bears (21-9, 11-6) at Arizona State Sun Devils (15-15, 5-12), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Colorado Buffaloes (21-9, 10-7) at No. 13 Utah Utes (23-7, 12-5), 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Sadly, the most interesting afternoon tip in the Pac-12 will receive a limited audience, as Utah fans will be cheering hard for USC to stun Oregon at the Galen Center, a result that would give the Utes a chance at a share of the Pac-12 crown (while simultaneously serving as a huge boost to the Trojans' NCAA case). Later, Oregon State will look to win at Pauley Pavilion, even though such a win won't be as helpful to a tournament profile as usual. Cal needs to respond in Tempe after their late collapse in Tucson on Thursday. Finally, even if Utah enters its home finale with Colorado out of the title race, the Utes remain in the hunt for a two or three seed in the NCAAs.


Vanderbilt Commodores (19-11, 11-6) at No. 20 Texas A&M Aggies (23-7, 12-5), 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
Ole Miss Rebels (19-11, 9-8) at Tennessee Volunteers (13-17, 6-11), 12 p.m. (SEC Network) 
LSU Tigers (18-12, 11-6) at No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats (22-8, 12-5), 2 p.m. (CBS)
Auburn Tigers (11-18, 5-12) at Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-16, 6-11), 2:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
South Carolina Gamecocks (23-7, 10-7) at Arkansas Razorbacks (16-14, 9-8), 5 p.m. (SEC Network)
Alabama Crimson Tide (17-12, 8-9) at Georgia Bulldogs (16-12, 9-8), 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
Florida Gators (17-13, 8-9) at Missouri Tigers (10-20, 3-14), 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Out of the seven games on today's SEC slate, three stand out. Naturally, the contests in College Station and Lexington will decide the conference title, with the potential of a four-way tie out there if both home teams lose. Remember that A&M has the tiebreaker over Kentucky for the top seed in Nashville should both win. Vanderbilt would ideally love to ruin the Aggies' chances, however, since that would all but book the Commodores' NCAA bid.

On that front, South Carolina needs to be careful on its trip to Fayetteville. Wrapping up the regular season with three straight losses and two wins in their last seven games might give the Committee reason to leave the Gamecocks out.

American Athletic

USF Bulls (7-23, 4-13) at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (19-10, 11-6), 5 p.m. (ESPNEWS)

The Golden Hurricane's hopes improved thanks to the struggles of other bubble teams, including conference rivals Cincinnati and Connecticut. But a loss to a bad Bulls team would put Tulsa in peril again.

Atlantic 10

George Washington Colonials (22-8, 11-6) at Davidson Wildcats (17-11, 9-8), 3:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
VCU Rams (22-8, 14-3) at Dayton Flyers (23-6, 13-4), 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
St. Bonaventure Bonnies (21-7, 13-4) at Saint Louis Billikens (10-19, 5-12), 8 p.m. (FS Midwest)

The Rams can clinch the Atlantic 10 title with a win in Dayton. However, if the Flyers win, it's possible four teams will share the crown—VCU, Dayton, Saint Joseph's (who host Duquesne at 4 p.m. in a non-televised game), and St. Bonaventure, provided the latter two also win.

GW is still on the bubble and will look to repeat their 10-point home win over the Wildcats down in North Carolina.


Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (24-4, 13-2) at Long Beach State 49ers (17-13, 11-4), 7 p.m. (FS Prime Ticket/FS San Diego/FCS Pacific)

The Rainbow Warriors might have to share the Big West title with UC Irvine should they lose at the Walter Pyramid, though they'll still own the top seed in Anaheim next week thanks to their season sweep of the Anteaters.

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (24-5, 17-0) at Sam Houston State Bearkats (17-13, 12-5), 8 p.m. (ESPN3)

Just one game separates the Lumberjacks from a perfect Southland season.

Viewing Picks

Early Afternoon Tips

Ohio State at Michigan State, 12 p.m. (ESPN)
Vanderbilt at Texas A&M, 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
North Carolina State at Notre Dame, 12 p.m. (CBS)
Georgetown at Villanova, 12 p.m. (FOX)
Seton Hall at DePaul, 12 p.m. (select FSN outlets)
Providence at St. John's, 12:30 p.m. (FS1)
Oklahoma at TCU, 1 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
Ole Miss at Tennessee, 12 p.m. (SEC Network) 
Clemson at Boston College, 12 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
Minnesota at Rutgers, 1 p.m. (BTN)

Mid-Afternoon Tips

West Virginia at Baylor, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
LSU at Kentucky, 2 p.m. (CBS)
Syracuse at Florida State, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Marquette at Butler, 2:30 p.m. (select FSN outlets)
Creighton at Xavier, 2:30 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech, 2 p.m. (ACC Network/ESPN3)
Kansas State at Texas Tech, 3 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
Auburn at Mississippi State, 2:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Late Afternoon Tips

Iowa State at Kansas, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Oregon at USC, 4 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National, Oregon, L.A.)
South Carolina at Arkansas, 5 p.m. (SEC Network)
Stanford at Arizona, 4 p.m. (CBS)
Miami at Virginia Tech, 4 p.m. (ACC Network/ESPN3)
George Washington at Davidson, 3:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
USF at Tulsa, 5 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
Alabama at Georgia, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)

Early Evening Tips

North Carolina at Duke, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Oregon State at UCLA, 6:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks National, Oregon, L.A.)
Hawai'i at Long Beach State, 7 p.m. (FS Prime Ticket/FS San Diego/FCS Pacific)
Florida at Missouri, 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)

Mid-to-Late Evening Tips

VCU at Dayton, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
Louisville at Virginia, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Iowa at Michigan, 8 p.m. (BTN)
Colorado at Utah, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
California at Arizona State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Stephen F. Austin at Sam Houston State, 8 p.m. (ESPN3)
St. Bonaventure at Saint Louis, 8 p.m. (FS Midwest)

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