The record for the number of teams from one conference to reach the NCAA Tournament in a season is the Big East when 11 of its 16 members reached the field in 2011. That conference has since been watered down with teams like Syracuse and Louisville leaving for the ACC. And it's the ACC that could potentially tie or break that mark this year with I think 11 schools currently having a shot - and maybe an unlikely 12th wins the conference tournament. The ACC already holds the record for the greatest percentage of its league members in the Big Dance. It put six out of nine teams in the tournament in both 1996 and 1997.
Saint Louis at St. Bonaventure ( -16.5 )
Atlantic 10 game at 7 p.m. ET with no national TV. The most crushing loss that I have seen this season - and it's certainly not possible to follow every single game in college basketball - had to be St. Bonaventure's 83-77 home defeat to VCU on Saturday. It looked like the Bonnies had a win when Matt Mobley hit a 3-pointer with half a second left for a 66-65 lead. The problem is that there was half a second left and the student section stormed the court. That led to a technical foul and VCU hit the shot to send the game into OT, which the Rams obviously won. Mobley finished with a career-high 34 points and set a St. Bonaventure record with nine 3-pointers. On Saturday, the league office said the referees made the right call but then Sunday backtracked and said the fans didn't spill onto the court until after time expired. Instead, it claimed there were plenty of other reasons to call a technical. The game officials only erred in citing crowd interference as the rationale. Talk about wavering. Mobley was named the A-10 Co-Player of the Week, the first honor of the junior's career. He's fourth in the A-10 in scoring at 19.9 ppg. Teammate Jaylen Adams leads at 21.5 ppg.
Saint Louis is probably the worst team in the conference and does have the worst overall record at 8-15 but isn't in last place in the A-10. The Billikens have won two in a row and are off a 78-59 victory over North Carolina A&T on Saturday. SLU shot 52.7 percent (29 of 55) from the floor, including 42 percent (10 of 24) from long range in the nonconference game. It was a season-high in 3-pointers made. As a team, the Billikens recorded a Chaifetz Arena record 26 assists (on 29 made baskets). Saint Louis leads the all-time series 10-9, but St. Bonaventure has won five in a row.
Key trends: The Billikens are 4-0 against the spread in their past four road games. The Bonnies are 2-8 ATS in their past 10 at home. SLU is 1-5 ATS in the past six meetings.
I'm leaning: Saint Louis.
Virginia Tech at Miami (-6)
A 9 p.m. ET tip on the ACC Extra Network. These two are both on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Virginia Tech is 16-6 overall and 5-5 in the ACC. The Hokies have one nice win on their resume, a 14-point victory over then-No. 5 Duke on New Year's Eve. They haven't won back-to-back games since then. Virginia Tech was crushed at No. 9 Virginia last Wednesday so will be well rested. The Cavaliers took a 35-21 lead into the intermission. Tech sliced the lead to 11 points with 8:44 remaining on a layup by Seth Allen but could get no closer. He led the Hokies with 14 points. They lead the ACC in field-goal percentage in conference games.
Miami (15-7, 5-5 ACC) also has just one quality win : over No. 9 North Carolina on Jan. 28. It still has chances to build a resume against ranked Louisville, Virginia. Duke and Florida State, but only the Duke game is in South Florida. The Canes are off a big 84-79 win at NC State on Saturday. The Wolfpack shot 62.1 percent in the first half, including an 8-for-10 effort from the 3-point line, and led by as many as 12 points. But senior forward Davon Reed scored a career-high 26 points to lead UM's comeback. The Hurricanes should at least get in the Big Dance ahead of NC State (if it comes down to that) after completing the sweep. Miami, which is 14-1 this season when scoring at least 70 points, has won six of the last seven matchups against the Hokies and was 2-1 against them last season.
Key trends: The Hokies are 1-5 ATS in their past six games. The Canes are 2-9 ATS in their past 11 at home.
I'm leaning: Miami.
Stanford at No. 9 Arizona (-13.5)
Pac-12 game on Fox Sports 1. I always fall into the trap of picking Arizona to make the Final Four, and the Wildcats always disappoint me. They were sucking me into thinking that again with a 14-game winning streak until getting clobbered at No. 13 Oregon 85-58 on Saturday for their first Pac-12 loss. It was the worst defeat for a ranked Arizona team ever under Coach Sean Miller. Arizona hadn't lost by as many as 20 since the 2010-11 season. Star freshman Lauri Markkanen was a total non-factor with four points on just five shots. Still, Arizona has the edge for the Pac-12 regular-season title because the Ducks still have to play at the Los Angeles schools, while the UA's only remaining road games are at WSU, Washington and ASU. Unfortunately, Arizona and Oregon don't play again unless it's in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Stanford won't be playing postseason basketball at 12-11 overall and 4-7 in the conference. The Cardinal ended a three-game losing streak Saturday with an 81-75 home win over Utah. Reid Travis scored 13 of his 26 points in the final 8:10 as the Cardinal pulled away in a game that featured 16 lead changes and nine ties. Stanford shot 64 percent from the field in the second half and won despite missing five free-throw attempts in the final 1:18. The Cardinal were trashed in their own gym by Arizona on New Year's Day, 91-52. Arizona shot 62.5 percent for the game in winning its 14 th straight in the series.
Key trends: The Cardinal are 8-21 ATS in their past 29 on the road. The Wildcats have failed to cover their past five at home. Arizona is 6-0 ATS in the past six meetings.
I'm leaning: Arizona.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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