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February 28, 2010

Rivals.com Daily NCAA Tournament Tracker

Here's our daily NCAA tournament tracker.

There's not much action today, but conference tournaments begin Tuesday, which should spice things up a bit. Still, there's a big game in the Big East, one that could have a big impact on the NCAA seedings for two of the league's better teams.

We'll continue our tracker through the final days of the conference tournaments. We'll also update as needed the "NCAA locks" chart.

NCAA TOURNEY LOCKS (27)
ACC (3): Duke, Maryland, Wake Forest
Atlantic 10 (3): Richmond, Temple, Xavier
Big 12 (5): Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas, Texas A&M
Big East (5): Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia
Big Ten (4): Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Horizon (1): Butler
Mountain West (2): BYU, New Mexico
SEC (3): Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
West Coast (1): Gonzaga
ONE-BID LEAGUE REGARDLESS (16)
America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Ivy, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern Athletic, Summit, Sun Belt.
GAME OF THE DAY

Georgetown at West Virginia, 7 p.m., ESPN: Georgetown has lost three of its past four and is in danger of dropping to 9-8 in Big East play. The late-season swoon almost certainly will have an adverse impact on the Hoyas' NCAA seeding. WVU, meanwhile, has a shot at a No. 2 seed despite splitting its past six games. The Mountaineers close the regular season with this game, then one at Villanova. A poor end to the regular season could see them fall to a No. 4 seed.

OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Jackson State, 7 p.m., ESPNU: Jackson State can clinch the regular-season title in the SWAC with a victory over second-place UAPB. The Tigers won by five at UAPB on Feb. 1. Since starting the season 0-10, Jackson State has gone 16-1.

Oklahoma at Texas, 9 p.m., ESPN: Texas has lost seven of its past 12 and could use a victory -- any kind of victory -- to feel good about itself. At one point this season, the Longhorns looked as if they could be a No. 1 seed. Now, they look more like a No. 6 seed. OU beat the Longhorns by nine in Norman on Feb. 6.

Fresno State at Utah State, 9 p.m., Comcast Sports Net California/ESPN FullCourt: Utah State clinches at least a tie for the WAC regular-season title with a win. The Aggies' final regular-season game comes at home against second-place New Mexico State on Saturday.

SUNDAY REVIEW

Michigan State 53, Purdue 44: Michigan State's victory in Purdue's first game without Robbie Hummel put the teams a three-way tie in the loss column -- along with Ohio State -- atop the Big Ten. It also was just Michigan State's third RPI top-50 win of the season. Both teams finish out the regular season with easy games -- Michigan State with home games against Penn State and Michigan, and Purdue with a home game against Indiana and a road trip to Penn State. Ohio State's final regular-season game will be a home contest against what should be a desperate Illinois team.

Louisville 78, Connecticut 76: Louisville improved its NCAA at-large chances and put a big hurt on UConn's. The Cardinals won for the fourth time in five games and moved to 10-6 in the Big East. They have games remaining against Marquette (road) and Syracuse (home); a win in one of those likely locks up an NCAA bid, while two losses may mean they'll need to win one (or, rather, avoid a bad loss) in the Big East tournament. UConn dropped to 7-9 in Big East play with road games remaining against resurgent Notre Dame and USF. UConn needs to win both to have an at-large shot going into the Big East tourney.

Xavier 78, Richmond 76 (2OTs): Xavier remained tied atop the Atlantic 10 standings with Temple, and this was the Musketeers' last tough regular-season game -- well, last tough one on paper, anyway. Xavier has won nine of its past 10. The loss snapped Richmond's eight-game winning streak, and the Spiders close the regular season with tough games against bubble teams Dayton (at home) and Charlotte (on the road).

Clemson 53, Florida State 50: The Tigers swept the Seminoles this season, and in the process, they moved into a tie for third in the ACC with FSU and Virginia Tech. This was Clemson's first road win of the season over a team in the RPI top 100. FSU had won three in a row and four of five, and likely still needs one more win to feel totally comfortable about an NCAA bid. The Seminoles' final two regular-season games are against Wake Forest (home) and Miami (road). FSU now is under .500 against RPI top-100 teams.

Marquette 84, Seton Hall 83 (OT): This was the last road game of the season for Marquette, which won for the eighth time in nine games. The Golden Eagles are just 3-7 against RPI top-50 teams, but they're still in good shape for an NCAA bid.

Duke 67, Virginia 49: The Blue Devils won their eighth in a row and are in great shape to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament because of Purdue losing Robbie Hummel and Villanova fading a bit. The Blue Devils' next game is at Maryland on Wednesday, and a win clinches the ACC's regular-season title. Duke has lost four times this season -- and all four have come on the road.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.


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