One last plea to the NCAA selection committee. As we head into the thick of conference tournaments, there are three teams you should already have in the field: Wichita State, Illinois State, and Middle Tennessee. It should not matter what happens in the conference tournaments.
PUT THESE TEAMS IN THE FIELD!!!!!
The most important games this weekend are the ones that are about securing a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Some of them will be obvious, such as tournament championship games. Other will be less obvious, such as Georgia vs. Arkansas.
So where the stakes are highest, that’s where my remote will be pointed.
Games I’d like to see this weekend:
Harvard at Princeton: The Tigers should wrap up the Ivy regular-season title at home, but then comes the first-ever Ivy League tournament.
Iowa State at West Virginia: Iowa State has been playing very well — but maybe not well enough to win in Morgantown.
Providence at St. John’s: Friars need to prove their NCAA worth by not messing up this winnable road game at what will be an empty MSG.
St. Francis of Pennsylvania at Wagner: An NEC semifinal. All the NEC games will be close. I think I’m getting on the St. Francis bandwagon (well, maybe just one foot for now).
Texas Tech at Kansas State: K State is a borderline NCAA team; it can’t afford a loss, but this won’t be easy.
Georgia at Arkansas: Two more borderline NCAA teams; almost an elimination game.
Notre Dame at Louisville: The Irish don’t travel well. The Cardinals are coming off a bad loss at Wake. Sounds like an easy victory for Louisville.
George Mason at VCU: A big rivalry game — for both the teams and the bands — but most importantly, VCU cannot afford another loss.
Seton Hall at Butler: The Hall could cement its NCAA spot with a win at Hinkle, which I think will happen.
Creighton at Marquette: Right now, the Fightin’ McGuires are in the field, according to the original and best bracketologist, Joe Lunardi of ESPN. To win this, and protect that spot, they will have to outscore Creighton. Maybe both teams will break 100.
Wake Forest at Virginia Tech: Danny Manning has done a tremendous job at Wake. The Deacs are a tough unit and might be a tournament team, but it’s really hard to win in Blacksburg.
Kansas at Oklahoma State: I hope the fickle fans in Stillwater show up, because their team could pull off an upset of the No. 1 team in the nation.
Davidson at Rhode Island: Rhody has a chance to save a disappointing season, but there can be no slipups. The defense has to contain Davidson guard Jack Gibbs.
Duke at North Carolina: The Tar Heels need this to win the ACC outright and make up for losing in Durham. I think they will.
Northeastern at Towson: CAA first round. Now or never for the Huskies.
OVC final: A chance to see the well-coached Belmont Bruins get their NCAA bid.
Purdue at Northwestern: It seems all but certain that Northwestern will finally be in the NCAA Tournament, but an outright Big Ten title is at stake for the Boilers. That should be enough motivation to win in Evanston.
Minnesota at Wisconsin: Teams going in opposite directions — Minny up, Wisco down. Richard Pitino has done a great job at Minny this season, but I’m not sure they can win in Madison.
Missouri Valley final: This should be Wichita State vs. Illinois State, Round 3.
Atlantic Sun title game: Florida Gulf Coast’s biggest fans, the Red Sox, won’t be able to attend this championship game vs. North Florida because they’ll be playing the Braves in an exhibition game. Gulf Coast is just going to have to do it without them.Joe Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSullivan