College basketball preview: March 1, 2013

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

Top five games

5 Harvard at Princeton » The top two in the Ivy League are battling for the conference title and an NCAA berth. Harvard (17-7, 9-1) captured the first meeting as guard Christian Webster (Landon) became the winningest player in Crimson history. Princeton (14-9, 7-2) looks to answer with 6-foot-7 senior Ian Hummer (Gonzaga), who leads the Tigers in points (16.1 pg), rebounds (6.3 pg) and assists (4.3 pg). (Friday, 7 p.m., ESPNU)

4 No. 10 Louisville at No. 12 Syracuse » Reeling Syracuse has lost five of its last nine, seeing its chance for a No. 1 seed disappear. After his team blew a seven-point lead in the final eight minutes Monday at Marquette, coach Jim Boeheim fumed when his strategy was questioned. Louisville is anxious to atone for a 70-68 home loss to the Orange last month when the Cardinals were ranked No. 1. (Saturday, noon, CBS)

3 No. 9 Michigan State at No. 4 Michigan » It will be interesting to see whether Michigan State can rebound from losses last week to Indiana and Ohio State. Coach Tom Izzo's team has had six days off to rest and recover. In the first meeting Feb. 12, Michigan State humbled Michigan 75-52. Questions remain about the Wolverines after Wednesday's loss to lowly Penn State, the Nittany Lions' first win this season in Big Ten play. (Sunday, 4 p.m., CBS)

2 No. 20 Butler at Virginia Commonwealth » Siegel Center will be revved up for this rematch of the 2011 NCAA semifinal, won by Butler 70-62. The game has been anticipated since Butler (22-6, 9-4) and VCU (22-6, 10-3) agreed to join the Atlantic 10 this season. This will be their lone regular-season meeting. They could play again in two weeks in Brooklyn in the A-10 tournament. (Saturday, noon, ESPN2)

1 No. 5 Miami at No. 3 Duke » The Hurricanes (23-4, 14-1) can wrap up the ACC regular-season title with a win and perhaps gain a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. It won't be easy with Duke (24-3, 11-3) anxious to atone for a 27-point loss at Miami last month. There's a nice matchup at point guard between emerging sophomores Shane Larkin of Miami and Quinn Cook of Duke. (Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN)

- Kevin Dunleavy


Maryland at Wake Forest

When » Saturday, noon

Where » Joel Coliseum,

Winston-Salem, N.C.

TV » Ch. 5

Radio » ESPN 980 AM

When the teams met four weeks ago, Maryland was an overwhelming 86-60 winner as it outshot Wake 67.3 percent to 34.4 percent, hit 11 of 16 shots from beyond the arc and dominated the boards (42-21) and blocks (7-0). But can Maryland (19-9, 7-8) do it again considering the Terrapins have been a different team on the road, winning only one of seven ACC games, including another disheartening loss Wednesday at Georgia Tech? Wake Forest (12-15, 5-10) has been similarly site-dependent, going 5-2 at home and 0-8 on the road.

George Mason at Delaware

When » Saturday, 2 p.m.

Where » Bob Carpenter Center,

Newark, Del.


George Mason (17-12, 10-7) looks to avenge a 79-72 loss to Delaware in Fairfax on Feb. 9. Seeding for the CAA tournament still is at stake for the Patriots. If they lose and James Madison (16-14, 10-7) beats William & Mary, they will fall to the fourth seed. Otherwise, George Mason will be seeded third. Either way, the Patriots will open with Drexel (11-17, 7-9) or William & Mary (13-15, 7-10) in the quarterfinals March 9 in Richmond. Delaware (17-13, 12-5) is assured of the No. 2 seed and will open with Hofstra (7-23, 4-13).

Bucknell at Navy

When » Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where » Alumni Hall, Annapolis

Radio » WNAV 1430 AM

Bucknell (24-5, 11-2) has locked up the top seed in the Patriot League, while Navy (8-21, 2-11) is assured of the bottom seed, which means the teams will meet again Wednesday in the opening round of the conference tournament. It's the same scenario as last year, when Navy's season ended with consecutive losses to Bucknell. The Bison clinched the top seed Wednesday with a 66-47 win over American as Mike Muscala scored 21 points. It is the first time in Patriot League history that a team has won three straight regular-season titles.

Staten Island at Catholic

When » Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where » DuFour Center

In the opening round of the NCAA Division III tournament, Catholic (24-3) takes on College of Staten Island (22-5), which reached the Sweet 16 last year. Landmark Conference champ CU is in the tournament for the first time since 2007 and led by seniors Chris Kearney (17.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Shawn Holmes (16.1 ppg, 3.2 apg). Staten Island is powered by 6-foot-11 junior Dylan Bulger (10.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and junior guards Bloochy Magloire (21.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Jonathon Chadwick-Myers (17.7 ppg, 3.7 apg).

- Kevin Dunleavy

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