Wednesday schedule: West Virginia vs. Providence; Georgetown vs. Seton Hall; Notre Dame vs. Rutgers.
Thursday quarterfinals: Boston College vs. West
Virginia/Providence winner; Villanova vs. Pittsburgh; Connecticut vs. Georgetown/Seton
Hall winner; Syracuse vs. Notre Dame/Rutgers winner.
Best non-championship matchup: Villanova vs. Pittsburgh in a
Keep this in mind: Three teams (Connecticut, Villanova and
Pittsburgh) are playing extremely well right now. ... Georgetown, once
seemingly a "lock" for an at-large bid a few weeks ago, has dropped five
in a row. Will getting to the tournament final be enough to get back in
the selection committee's good graces?
Player to check out: Connecticut sophomore point guard Marcus Williams has been marvelous of late (13.0 points and 9.7 assists per game
during team's six-game winning streak).
Projected tournament winner: Connecticut over Pittsburgh. The
programs hook up for the title for the fourth year in a row, with the
Huskies having titles sandwiched around Pitt's win in 2003.
At-large Land: Boston College, Connecticut, Pittsburgh,
Syracuse, Villanova are in the field of 65, with solid seeds, regardless of
what transpires in New York. Notre Dame and West Virginia seemed
relatively assured of bids - assuming Wednesday victories and no bundle of
upsets in many of the so-called 'mid-major' conferences that would
snap up at-large bids.
Recently elected to the USBWA Hall of Fame, Frank Burlison is
Scout.com's National Basketball Expert and also covers college basketball
for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. He can be reached at
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