Tennessee, with two losses in their last three games have slid off the #1 Seed line in many projections this week. I still have them there, but only because they have a game coming up with the team that has replaced them, Kentucky, on Saturday. My assumption is that the winner of that game will possess the fourth #1 Seed in the update that follows. That could change though if Tennessee were too fall before then. This a classic trap game for the Vols. Sandwiched between games with LSU who beat them last Saturday and the Wildcats this coming weekend, Tennessee needs to avoid looking past the Rebels to the Saturday tilt in Knoxville. As of this writing, Tennessee finds themselves out of first in the SEC for the first time this season, trailing Kentucky and LSU by a half game after their wins last night. In addition to dropping out of the #1 seed line , a loss tonight would make winning the regular season title in the SEC, and the #1 seed in the conference tournament almost impossible to regain. Those stakes may help to focus the Vols headed into tonight's game.
Marquette at Villanova - 8:00 PM on Fox Sports 1
Back on February 9th, the last time these two teams tipped off, Villanova was riding an 11 game winning streak and held a two game lead in the league standings over Marquette, who was coming of their second loss of the season to St. John's. Marquette won that game by 1 in dramatic fashion on their new home floor at the Fiserv Forum. Marquette has followed that with three more consecutive wins, while the defending National Champs have dropped three of their last four. Marquette now leads the race for the league regular season title by a game and a half heading in to tonight's contest, and could all but lock up the #1 Seed in the Big East tourney tonight. Villanova has looked shockingly mediocre in double digit losses to Georgetown and Xavier in their last two losses, both on the road. During that same stretch Marquette has won the last 3 by an average of nearly 16 a game. These two teams always seem to play very entertaining contests, and with a conference title and significant seeding implications for both, the high stakes will further add to the enjoyment of this contest.
Other intriguing games:
- UCF at South Florida - 6:00 PM
- Texas at Baylor - 8:00 PM on ESPN2
- Auburn at Georgia - 8:00 PM on ESPNU