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Pregame Shootaround: Major conference tournaments in full swing

Royce O'Neale, BillyDee Williams, Davin Williams

AP Photo


Game of the Day: No. 18 West Virginia vs. No. 16 Baylor, 12:30 p.m.

The Big 12 tournament quarterfinals are absolutely loaded, but this is going to end up being the best game of the day in Kansas City. The two most surprising teams in the conference -- and the two favorites to win the Big 12 Coach of the Year award -- square off.

The Other Game of the Day: No. 19 North Carolina vs. No. 14 Louisville, 2:30 p.m.

Not to be outdone, the ACC tournament turns up this afternoon, with Louisville playing their first league tournament game. It just so happens to come against the Tar Heels in Greensboro. Welcome to the ACC, Cards fans. What will be interesting is to see just how the crowd is divided up. How many Louisville fans make the trip and get tickets?

Who’s Getting Upset?: N.C. State vs. No. 2 Duke, 7:00 p.m.

Four times this season, Mark Gottfried has beaten a Hall of Fame head coach. He’ll try to make in five in this ACC quarterfinal matchup. The first time these two squared off, Trevor Lacey absolutely lit up the Blue Devils in a 87-75 Wolfpack win.

Five Things to Watch For

1. The Atlantic 10 quarterfinals will be on NBCSN and streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra:

  • La Salle vs. UMass, 12:00 p.m.
  • Fordham vs. VCU, 2:30 p.m.
  • St. Joseph’s vs. St. Bonaventure, 6:30 p.m.
  • Duquesne vs. George Washington, 9:00 p.m.

2. No. 15 Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State, 9:00 p.m.: Another great Big 12 tournament matchup, as we’ll have Bedlam Rd. 3 in Kansas City.

3. There are plenty of bubble teams in action today, but the two biggest bubble games:

  • Texas vs. No. 13 Iowa State, 7:00 p.m.
  • Stanford vs. No. 17 Utah, 11:30 p.m.

4. St. John’s vs. Providence, 2:30 p.m.: The best game of the day in the Big East tournament pits the hottest team in the Big East against the league’s Player of the Year.

5. Top ten teams in action:

  • Florida State vs. No. 3 Virginia, 12:00 p.m.
  • Marquette vs. No. 4 Villanova, 12:00 p.m.
  • Cal vs. No. 5 Arizona, 3:00 p.m.
  • TCU vs. No. 9 Kansas, 2:30 p.m.

Bubble Games

  • Michigan vs. Illinois, 12:00 p.m.
  • Air Force vs. No. 25 Boise State, 3:00 p.m.
  • Auburn vs. Texas A&M, 3:00 p.m.
  • Middle Tennessee State vs. Old Dominion, 3:30 p.m.
  • USC vs. UCLA, 5:30 p.m.
  • Northwestern vs. Indiana, 6:30 p.m.
  • Texas vs. No. 13 Iowa State, 7:00 p.m.
  • Colorado vs. Oregon, 9:30 p.m.
  • South Carolina vs. Ole Miss, 9:30 p.m.
  • Miami vs. No. 11 Notre Dame, 9:30 p.m.
  • Xavier vs. No. 22 Butler, 9:30 p.m.
  • Fresno State vs. Colorado State, 11:30 p.m.
  • Stanford vs. No. 17 Utah, 11:30 p.m.