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College basketball preview: March 8, 2013

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy,Terps,George Washington University,University of Maryland

Top five games

5 No. 21 Virginia Commonwealth at Temple » With six straight wins, the Owls have solidified their NCAA tournament credentials. A win over VCU would leave no doubt. The game features stellar wing players Khalif Wyatt (19.5 ppg) and Scootie Randall (11.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg) of Temple vs. Treveon Graham (15.7 ppg) and Troy Daniels (12.4 ppg) of VCU. (Sunday, noon, CBS)

4 No. 11 Florida at Kentucky » No league has more teams on various parts of the NCAA bubble than the SEC. Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee have done their time in limbo. Saturday is a chance for the Wildcats to assure their bid. Otherwise, John Calipari's team will have work to do next weekend in the conference tournament. (Saturday, noon, CBS)

3 No. 2 Indiana at No. 7 Michigan » Indiana (25-5) was destined for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before losing at home Tuesday to Ohio State. A win here by Trey Burke and the Wolverines (25-5) could put them in the driver's seat for the top seed. Last month, Indiana made Michigan's stay at No. 1 short with an 81-73 win in Bloomington. (Sunday, 4 p.m., CBS)

2 No. 17 Syracuse at No. 5 Georgetown » The Orange have lost six of their last 11, including a 57-46 defeat at home to the rival Hoyas. Despite a 67-57 loss at Villanova that ended its 11-game winning streak, Georgetown is dreaming of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and postseason honors for Otto Porter and coach John Thompson III. (Saturday, noon, ESPN)

1 No. 3 Duke at North Carolina » In a 73-68 loss on Feb. 13, the Tar Heels found their identity with a smaller, quicker four-guard lineup and have won six straight games since. The Blue Devils are improved as well with 6-foot-11 Ryan Kelly back and are zeroing in on a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. North Carolina leads the storied series 132-103. (Saturday, 9 p.m., ESPN)

- Kevin Dunleavy

LOCAL GAMES

Dayton at George Washington

When » Saturday, 2 p.m.

Where » Smith Center

TV » CBSSN

Radio » 1500 AM

GW (12-16, 6-9) has lost seven of its last nine games, dropping to 13th place in the 16-team Atlantic 10. But with a win over Dayton (17-12, 7-8), the Colonials likely will finish in the top 12 in the league and advance to the A-10 tournament Thursday in Brooklyn. Dayton was on the cusp of elimination but has captured must-win games against Richmond, St. Bonaventure and Charlotte. Now all three of those three teams are tied with Dayton in the standings. Provided it wins, GW would own tiebreakers over all but Richmond.

Catholic at Williams

When » Saturday, 4 p.m.

Where » Chandler Gymnasium,

Williamstown, Mass.

In the NCAA Division III round of 32, CU (25-3) travels to perennial power Williams (24-4), which reached the semifinals two of the last three years under coach Mike Maker. CU advanced last week with a 67-61 victory over Staten Island as B-CC product Nate Koenig (19 points, nine rebounds) made four free throws in the final 33 seconds. Williams is led by 6-foot-4 junior Taylor Epley (18.3 ppg) and 6-9 junior Michael Mayer (17.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg). The winner plays Virginia Wesleyan or Christopher Newport.

Virginia Tech at Wake Forest

When » Sunday, 2 p.m.

Where » Joel Coliseum,

Winston-Salem, N.C.

TV » Ch. 20

Virginia Tech (13-17, 4-13) goes for a sweep of Wake Forest (12-17, 5-12) and tries to escape the cellar in the ACC. In the first meeting in Blacksburg, Robert Brown made a short jumper with 12 seconds left and Erick Green scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half of a 66-65 victory. After losing nine straight, the Hokies have shown some life, winning two of their last four. This will be the final home game for Demon Deacons standout C.J. Harris (14.8 ppg), one of just two seniors on the roster. Virginia Tech has only two seniors as well.

Maryland at Virginia

When » Sunday, 6 p.m.

Where » John Paul Jones Arena,

Charlottesville, Va.

TV » ESPNU

Radio » ESPN 980

In a game with NCAA implications for two teams on the tournament bubble, Maryland (20-10, 8-9) looks to avenge one of its most deflating losses, an 80-69 defeat four weeks ago in College Park in which Cavaliers hit 11 of 19 shots from beyond the arc. Virginia is 20-10 overall and 10-7 in the conference after losing Thursday at Florida State. The Cavaliers have won four straight in the series, their longest string since 1992-94, when the Terps were saddled with NCAA sanctions.

- Kevin Dunleavy

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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