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Loyola-Chicago guard Marques Townes celebrates after making a 3-pointer in the final minute of the team's 69-68 victory over Nevada in the the regional semifinals of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament regional Thursday, March 22, 2018, in Atlanta. No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago and No. 9 seed Kansas State will battle on Saturday for a spot in the Final Four (AP Photo/John Amis)

A preview of Saturday’s NCAA Tournament games

Two regional finals are on tap, and some long shots are still alive for a Final Four berth.

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 16: Isaiah Wilkins #21 of the Virginia Cavaliers reacts to their 74-54 loss to the UMBC Retrievers during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Explaining Virginia’s stunning loss, and other NCAA thoughts

We are into the regional semifinals, and there have been surprises in the early rounds.

Providence's Kyron Cartwright (24) drives past Xavier's Paul Scruggs (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Big East men's tournament semifinals Friday, March 9, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

A preview of Friday’s NCAA Tournament games

Clemson could be ripe for an upset, and Creighton-Kansas State should be an intense matchup.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 07: Tra Holder #0 of the Arizona State Sun Devils drives against the Colorado Buffaloes during a first-round game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Buffaloes won 97-85. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A look at Wednesday’s NCAA Tournament games

Two more First Four games at Dayton, Ohio, complete the first round of play.

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, UCLA guard Aaron Holiday (3) brings the ball up court during the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Utah in Salt Lake City. Holiday was selected to the AP All-Pac-12 team on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

A look at Tuesday’s NCAA Tournament games

A couple of First Four matchups at Dayton, Ohio, will kick things off this year.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - MARCH 3: Justice Bartley #2 of the Virginia Cavaliers and the rest of the bench cheers in the second half during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at John Paul Jones Arena on March 3, 2018 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Virginia defeated Notre Dame 62-57. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

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For now, let’s focus on the postseason and not the probe

The FBI investigation will have repercussions, but conference tournaments are in the spotlight now.

FILE - In this March 24, 2011, file photo, Marquette players are blurred by a slow shutter speed as they run the ball up the court during practice in Newark, N.J., for an East regional semifinal game in the NCAA college basketball tournament. Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports. NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, the allegations

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FBI investigation has to bring change to college basketball

The corruption probe is a cloud over the game, even as the conference tournaments begin.

Texas Tech's Keenan Evans (12) shoots under pressure from Kansas' Udoka Azubuike (35) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Lawrence, Kan. Texas Tech won 85-73. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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Conference championships and seedings are on the line

The last two weeks of college basketball’s regular season are crucial for NCAA positioning.

Villanova's Donte DiVincenzo in action during an NCAA college basketball game against Xavier, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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Villanova-Xavier one of many important games this weekend

The third-ranked Wildcats face the fourth-ranked Musketeers at a critical time of the season.

Purdue lost to both Michigan State (above) and Ohio State last week.

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It’s impossible to identify an NCAA Tournament favorite

Villanova, Purdue, Virginia, and Cincinnati are still viable candidates but nothing is a lock.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 03: Players of the St. John's Red Storm react from their bench during their game against the Duke Blue Devils at Madison Square Garden on February 3, 2018 in New York City. St. John's won 81-77. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

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Two St. John’s stunners had to be seen to be believed

The downtrodden Johnnies were heading nowhere when they suddenly beat Duke and Villanova.

St. John's head coach Chris Mullin reacts during the first overtime half of an NCAA college basketball game against Georgetown, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Washington. Georgetown won 93-89 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

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It’s just not working for Chris Mullin at St. John’s

He is a living legend at the school, but his team has fallen on hard times at 0-10 in the Big East.

Ohio State guard Kam Williams (15) and forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) guard Minnesota guard Amir Coffey (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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Unselfish play is the difference for Ohio State

The Buckeyes (17-4) aren’t the most talented team but they play as a unit on offense and defense.

Boston College's Steffon Mitchell (41) grabs a rebound in front of Clemson's Shelton Mitchell (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. Clemson won 74-70. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

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‘BC’ and ‘NCAA Tournament’ can be mentioned in the same sentence

It’s amazing to think the Eagles can make it into the field, though they do have a lot of work to do.

Michigan's Mortiz Wagner, right, drives against Michigan State's Gavin Schilling during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan won 82-72. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

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Michigan State’s loss to Michigan was revealing

Some of the Spartans’ flaws were exposed as they fell to their in-state rival.

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma guard Trae Young (11) drives past Northwestern State forward Brandon Hutton, right, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Norman, Okla. The Big 12 is poised for a big week as conferences dive deep into league play. It has a national-best six teams in this week's AP Top 25 along with two games featuring a pair of ranked teams, including No. 12 Oklahoma's visit to 10th-ranked surprise TCU as the top game on the schedule for ranked teams in the week ahead. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

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Set the TiVo: Trae Young plays at 7:15 Saturday night

Oklahoma’s point guard is the best player in the country, leading college basketball in scoring and assists.

Wichita State's Landry Shamet during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

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Basketball is now important in the American Athletic Conference

A conference created for football reasons has become a solid basketball league.

Villanova's Jermaine Samuels, right, is guarded by DePaul's Justin Roberts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Young)

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Villanova is going to stay undefeated for a while

The Big East schedule favors the Wildcats, who are 13-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country.

Duke's Marvin Bagley III (35) dunks during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Dakota in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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It may be time to start taking Duke seriously

Starting four freshmen wouldn’t seem to be a recipe for success, but it seems to be working.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 26: Maik Kotsar #21 and Justin McKie #20 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrate with their teammates after defeating the Florida Gators with a score of 77 to 70 to win the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Handicapping Saturday’s Final Four games

The NCAA Tournament is down to the semifinals, and here is how things shape up.

Kansas is coming off an emphatic win over Purdue.

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Handicapping Saturday’s NCAA Tournament games

Two berths to the Final Four are on the line in the West and Midwest finals.

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Handicapping Thursday’s NCAA games

The Sweet Sixteen play begins, with two top seeds possibly vulnerable to an upset.

Villanova guard Jalen Brunson (1) follows through on a final shot as Wisconsin players celebrate the end of their second-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

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Why Villanova’s loss shouldn’t be that surprising

Thoughts and observations after four days and two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

JOE SULLIVAN

Handicapping Saturday’s NCAA games

Arizona and Butler could be in danger of upsets in the second round.

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 5: Markis McDuffie #32 of the Wichita State Shockers drives againt MiKyle McIntosh #11 of the Illinois State Redbirds during the Missouri Valley Conference Basketball Tournament Championship game at the Scottrade Center on March 5, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

JOE SULLIVAN

Handicapping Friday’s NCAA games

The second half of the field gets into action, and Dayton-Wichita State is one to watch.

New Orleans’ Nate Frye (3) defends against Mount St. Mary’s Junior Robinson (0) in the second half of a First Four game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Dayton, Ohio. Mount St. Mary’s won 67-66. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

JOE SULLIVAN

Handicapping Thursday’s NCAA games

There are 16 games on tap, with No. 1 seeds Villanova and Gonzaga in action.

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Scouting the NCAA Tournament First Four games

The tournament taps off with two games Tuesday and two more Wednesday.

Middle Tennessee guard Giddy Potts (20) reacts to making a three point basket during an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle via AP)

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Some things to look for around the NCAA bracket

With NCAA play getting going this week, here’s a guide to the best games and the best players.

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 21: Head coach Derek Kellogg of the Massachusetts Minutemen reacts in the first half while taking on the Tennessee Volunteers in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PNC Arena on March 21, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Joe Sullivan | College Basketball

Firing Derek Kellogg will only delay progress at UMass

The talented group of young players he recruited needs to stay if the Minutemen are going to start winning.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duke in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, March 4, 2017. North Carolina won 90-83. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Joe Sullivan

A wide-open ACC highlights this week’s conference tournaments

The ACC comes north for the first time, with the tournament in Brooklyn and several real contenders.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - MARCH 19: Siyani Chambers #1 of the Harvard Crimson reacts after a play against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 19, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Joe Sullivan | college basketball

The state of Massachusetts basketball: Bad

Harvard is the only school with a realistic chance of making this season’s NCAA Tournament.

Wichita State forward Zach Brown gets fouled by Missouri State forward Jarrid Rhodes after chasing a loose ball during the first of their game at Missouri State in Springfield, Mo., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Fernando Salazar/The Wichita Eagle via AP)

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Please just put Wichita St., Illinois St., and Middle Tenn. in the field

The NCAA selection committee shouldn’t worry about conference tournament results when it comes to these three.

Boston, MA- 12-06-16: Northeastern's Alex Murphy (0) is pictured during the game. Northeastern visited Harvard for a mens basketball game. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff) reporter: unknown topic: NU-Harvard hoops

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Handicapping this week’s conference tournaments

Tha NCAAs are the main event, but the conference tournaments will make for an exciting undercard.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wake Forest in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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Duke is winning but not looking like a contender

The Blue Devils have won seven straight but something still seems to be missing.

Boston University team members meets before an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Syracuse won 99-77. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)

Joe Sullivan | college basketball

BU has a chance to win the Patriot League

If the Terriers can defeat slumping Bucknell Sunday at home, they will move into a first-place tie.

SMU forward Semi Ojeleye (33) reaches for a rebound against Cincinnati forward Gary Clark (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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Revived SMU could be your bracket buster

The overlooked Mustangs have gotten on track, winning 18 of their last 19 games.

VCU's Samir Doughty, right, dribbles against La Salle's Johnnie Shuler during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Richmond, Va., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. (Daniel Sangjib Min/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

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VCU is pretty good — but it has been lucky, too

A couple of freakish wins have helped the Rams to a share of first place in the Atlantic 10.

PEARL HARBOR, HI - DECEMBER 07: Myles Stephens #12 of the Princeton Tigers is guarded by Noah Allen #32 of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors during the second half of the Pearl Harbor Invitational NCAA college basketball game at Bloch Arena on December 7, 2016 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Princeton over Hawaii 75-62. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

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Princeton has straightened things out

The Tigers hit a few bumps, but now they look like the favorites in the Ivy League.

Akron's Kwan Cheatham Jr. (2) shoots over Creighton's Toby Hegner (32) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Joe Sullivan | On college basketball

Akron, Illinois State, and Wichita State should be tournament teams

Consider this good advance scouting for the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

Arizona guard Allonzo Trier, center, shoots as UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, left, and center Thomas Welsh defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in Los Angeles. Arizona won 96-85. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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Win over UCLA forces a reassessment of Arizona

With Allonzo Trier back on the court, the Wildcats might just be a Final Four candidate.

UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, front, picks up a loose ball as Colorado guard Deleon Brown pursues during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game late Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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Freshmen are at the head of the class this season

The preponderance of talented freshmen in college basketball is remarkable.

Notre Dame forward V.J. Beachem (3) and guard Steve Vasturia (32) congratulate each other during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Miami, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Coral Gables, Fla. Notre Dame defeated Miami 67-62. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Joe Sullivan | College Basketball

Notre Dame’s show has been pretty good on the road

Despite not scheduling any nonconference road games, the Irish are suddenly a solid visitor.

Florida State's Xavier Rathan-Mayes drives the ball up court against Duke's Matt Jones in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida State won 88-72. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Joe Sullivan | On college basketball

Florida State is Final Four good

After defeating Virgina and Duke, the Seminoles have a tough game at North Carolina Saturday.

Northeastern’s TJ Williams in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Joe Sullivan | College Basketball

Northeastern has a shot to make NCAA Tournament

The Huskies have won seven straight, but will still need to win the CAA tournament in March.

WACO, TX - JANUARY 04: Nazareth Mitrou-Long #15 of the Iowa State Cyclones drives to the basket against Johnathan Motley #5 of the Baylor Bears in the first half at Ferrell Center on January 4, 2017 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Joe Sullivan | College Basketball

Baylor’s going to be No. 1, but the Bears are not the best team

Duke, Villanova, UCLA, Kansas, and Kentucky are all better teams.

Virginia Tech guard Seth Allen (4) goes up for a basket against Duke forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec 31, 2016, at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. Tech won 89-75. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)

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The ACC is so tough, it will get at least 10 NCAA bids

There are 12 teams that are still in contention for bids.

BC's Mo Jeffers (15) drives for the hoop against Jalen Lindsey (21) and Rodney Bullock (5) of Providence College during BC's 79-67 win at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hilll. Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe (Sports, Frankie)

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Opportunities are there for BC and UMass this weekend

The Eagles (vs. Syracuse) and Minutemen (vs. Saint Bonaventure) can raise expectations with wins.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - DECEMBER 03: Jevon Carter #2 of the West Virginia Mountaineers defends Kyle Guy #5 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the second half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on December 3, 2016 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 66-57. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Joe Sullivan | On College Basketball

Led by Kyle Guy, Virginia is better than expected

The freshman guard is the Cavs’ second-leading scorer but has a great all-around game.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on against the Florida Gators in the second half during the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Joe Sullivan | On college basketball

One-game suspension would be enough for Grayson Allen

Duke needs to get Allen some help in dealing with his anger issues, too.

West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins celebrates his 800th career win at the conclusion of an NCAA college basketball game against UMKC, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, in Morgantown, W.Va. West Virginia defeated UMKC 112-67. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

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Bob Huggins: Sometimes controversial, always a winner

West Virginia’s Huggins recently became the 10th coach with 800 NCAA victories.