By Brian Willwerth
Conference play is winding down, and league tournaments are not far off. New England’s Division I schools are running out of time to make a last-minute charge, but can they possibly make something happen during these final few days of the regular season?
A look at what’s ahead for the weekend:
In the Big East, #14 Connecticut is at Cincinnati on Sunday. The Huskies will try to rebound from an overtime loss to Marquette on Thursday at the XL Center. The Huskies have lost two straight, and now must go on the road and face a Bearcats team that is one game ahead of them in standings.
Providence is at Marquette. This is the only meeting of the season between the Friars and Golden Eagles. After his 52-point outburst on Wednesday, what will Marshon Brooks do for an encore?
Boston College’s tournament hopes took a big hit Thursday night when the Eagles lost at home to Miami. The loss dropped the Eagles to [6-7] in the ACC. They travel to Charlottesville on Saturday to face Virginia.
In the A-10, Rhode Island goes on the road to take on Fordham. The Rams have won three of their last four, improving to [8-5] in the conference. Still, they probably have to run the table in the conference tournament in Atlantic City to make the Big Dance. The same holds true for Massachusetts. The Minutemen look for their third straight win when they take on LaSalle in Philadelphia.
Conference play in the America East wraps up this weekend, with the top two teams meeting Sunday in Burlington, Vermont. UVM has already wrapped up the regular-season title. Boston University clinched the second-seed with a two-point win at Binghamton Thursday night. The Terriers won the first meeting against the Catamounts at Case Gymnasium. We could see this matchup again in the America East championship game, if both teams get that far in the conference tournament. Elsewhere in the conference, Maine hosts Albany, and UNH travels to Hartford.
In the Ivy League, first-place Harvard has two road games: Friday at Brown, Saturday at Yale. The Crimson can’t afford a slip-up, since they’re tied in the loss column with Princeton. If the Crimson and Tigers both hold serve this weekend, it would set up a marquee matchup between the two teams next Saturday night, with the winner getting the automatic berth to the NCAA tournament
In other action, Northeastern hosts UNC Wilmington on Saturday at Matthews Arena. Holy Cross is home against Lehigh.