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COLLEGE HOOPS: THE WEEKEND AHEAD
February 10, 2006

SCS.comWe are rolling towards the finish line, the final few weeks of the 2006 college hoops regular season. Every game matters from here on out, and teams like Indiana, Maryland, Seton Hall, and Stanford certainly know that. Each of those bubble squads will take on one of the top twenty teams in the country this weekend, and those who pick up the win will take a huge step towards a possible waltz into the Big Dance come the month of March.

MUST-SEE THIS WEEKEND

Iowa at Indiana
Saturday 11:00 AM CST

Neither squad was impressive in their last outing, the Hawkeyes' getting beat on the road at Northwestern while the Hoosiers' were slammed at Wisconsin. However, Iowa still leads the way in the Big Ten by a half-game, while IU finds themselves a couple games back. This conference race is going to go down to the wire, and if the Hawks are going to win it, they'll have to find a way to win on the road.

LSU at Florida
Saturday 12:00 PM CST

The Gators lost a stunner at home to South Carolina Wednesday and have fallen even further behind Tennessee in the SEC East. LSU, meanwhile, seems to have a firm grasp on the SEC West, but Alabama (after beating the Tigers last weekend) is itching to get back in the race. A Florida victory would keep the Gators in the hunt in the East, and the resulting Tiger loss could open the door for the Tide to make a run at the West.

Duke at Maryland
Saturday 12:00 PM CST

The Devils continue to lead the ACC race by a large margin, while the Terps finally snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over Virginia earlier this week. UM is squarely on the bubble and would like to avoid falling back to .500 in league play. A Maryland victory would likely move the Terps into the field of 65 (for now, anyway) while allowing NC State to get back in the conference race.

Southern Illinois at Creighton
Saturday 1:05 PM CST

These two are right in the thick of things in the Missouri Valley. The Jays are tied with Northern Iowa atop the league standings heading into the weekend, while the Salukis find themselves a game back of that pair. This race is sure to right down to the final week of the season, but every game counts, not only for league title purposes but also NCAA positioning come March.

Illinois at Ohio State
Sunday 12:00 PM CST

The Buckeyes got a huge Thursday night win on the road at Michigan and are now right back in the Big Ten race. Both the Buckeyes and Illini are 6-3 in league play, a half-game behind league-leading Iowa. Illinois is looking to rebound from a stunning home loss to Penn State, while the Buckeyes could make a serious statement if they can complete the week with a second win over a Big Ten conference contender.

West Virginia at Georgetown
Sunday 6:00 PM CST

The Hoyas have now won six straight games and 13 of their last 15 overall. WVU picked up its first league loss of the year at Pittsburgh Thursday, but the Mountaineers are still tied atop the Big East standings. Georgetown, at 8-2 in league contests, is a half-game back of tri-leaders WVU, UConn, and Villanova. West Virginia would like to avoid losing two straight, while G'Town is looking to cash in on another huge RPI-building victory.

YOU'LL WANT TO CATCH THESE, TOO

Alabama at Mississippi - Saturday 2:00 PM CST
  Both coming off losses on Wednesday, and both need the win.

Kentucky at Vanderbilt - Saturday 2:00 PM CST
  Dores' NCAA hopes could be brought back to life.

Bucknell at Holy Cross - Saturday 2:30 PM CST
  Bison are running away with the Patriot League thus far.

UCLA at Washington - Saturday 2:30 PM CST
  League-leading Bruins visit Huskies who are looking to stop slump.

Nebraska at Texas - Saturday 3:00 PM CST
  Huskers' bubble hopes are slipping away in a hurry.

Iowa State at Kansas - Saturday 3:00 PM CST
  KU looking good for NCAAs, while ISU is about to slip off the bubble.

Tennessee at Georgia - Saturday 3:00 PM CST
  Vols can extend SEC East lead if they beat improving Bulldogs.

Old Dominion at Virginia Commonwealth - Saturday 5:00 PM CST
  Pair of teams who are playing catch-up in the Colonial.

Oral Roberts at IUPUI - Saturday 6:00 PM CST
  Front-runners in the Mid-Con meet head-to-head.

Connecticut at Seton Hall - Saturday 7:00 PM CST
  Pirates are on the bubble; win over #1 would do wonders for their hopes.

Missouri State at Northern Iowa - Saturday 7:05 PM CST
  Bears have fallen back in the pack in recent weeks.

Stanford at Gonzaga - Saturday 8:00 PM CST
  Huge non-conference showdown out west. Can Cardinal continue winning?

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh - Sunday 1:00 PM CST
  Bubble-bound Bearcats could use a win like this.

Marquette at Rutgers - Sunday 1:00 PM CST
  Eagles' NCAA hopes likely ride on finding a way to win games like these.

North Carolina at Miami - Sunday 7:00 PM CST
  'Canes are still in NCAA mix, but could use a RPI-building win like this.

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