A-ttention: Xavier has been a top-two seed each of the last 5 years and flopped before getting to the finals. Star guard Tu Holloway's numbers have dipped since winning the league's player of the year last season. Holloway was at the center of an ugly fight against rival Cincinnati earlier in the year . . . St. Bonaventure is likely headed to its first postseason since 2000, the next week will determine if it's a grand prize (NCAA) or consolation (NIT). Forward Andrew Nicholson is the first Bonnie to be named league MVP since Earl Belcher won his second in 1981 . . . Charlotte freshman Pierria Henry had at least one steal in all 27 games he played this season and is ninth in the nation in thefts. His first name is pronounced "Perry-ay," like the water.
Big Dance prospects: Temple and Saint Louis are in. Xavier is in the hunt.
1: Duquesne (9) at Massachusetts (8), 7
2: Charlotte (12) at Saint Joseph's (5), 7
3: Richmond (10) at La Salle (7), 7
4: George Washington (11) at Dayton (6), 7
Friday - Tournament moves to Atlantic City
5: Temple (1) vs. Game 1 winner, noon
6: Saint Bonaventure (4) vs. Game 2 winner, 2:30
7: Saint Louis (2) vs. Game 3 winner, 6:30
8: Xavier (3) vs. Game 4 winner, 9
9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 1
10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 3:30
Semifinal winners, 1 (CBS)
Regular-season champ: Syracuse is practically a lock to be the No. 1 seed in the East, where Boston will host the regionals.
Beast briefs: Notre Dame dropped two games in the final week of the regular season when it was surprised by St. John's and thumped by Georgetown . . . Marquette got a nice boost when massive power forward Davante Gardner returned from a knee injury in the season finale. The Golden Eagles could play their way up to a two seed with a good showing . . . The conference is celebrating 30 years of the tournament at Madison Square Garden. Syracuse's six-overtime win over Connecticut in 2009 was voted the greatest moment. Ray Allen's shot over Allen Iverson to win the 1996 championship should have finished higher than fifth.
Big Dance prospects: After sending 11 of 16 to the NCAA last year, ESPN's Lunardi is projecting 10 at this point. Syracuse, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Louisville and Cincinnati have top-10 seeds. Seton Hall, Connecticut, West Virginia and South Florida round out the 10. West Virginia's win at South Florida in the season finale gives the Mountaineers a valuable trump card. Connecticut has an attractive RPI (34), but the Huskies are 4-9 since mid-January.
At New York
1: DePaul (16) vs. Connecticut (9), noon
2: Pittsburgh (13) vs. St. John's (12), 2:30
3: Providence (15) vs. Seton Hall (10), 7
4: Villanova (14) vs. Rutgers (11), 9:30
5: Game 1 winner vs. West Virginia (8), 12
6: Game 2 winner vs. Georgetown (5), 2:30
7: Game 3 winner vs. Louisville (7), 7
8: Game 4 winner vs. USF (6), 9:30
9: Game 5 winner vs. Syracuse (1), noon
10: Game 6 winner vs. Cincinnati (4), 2:30
11: Game 7 winner vs. Marquette (2), 7
12: Game 8 winner vs. Notre Dame (3), 9:30
13: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 7
14: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 9:30
Semifinal winners, 9 (ESPN)
Regular-season champ: Savannah State, which joined the MEAC last year, is hunting for its first ticket to the Big Dance. The Tigers are coached by Horace Broadnax, the former Georgetown guard who nearly made Villanova's Harold Pressley a soprano with a well-placed knee to the groin at the end of the 1985 championship game.
MEAC musings: Norfolk State center Kyle O'Quinn is the first MEAC player to win league player of the year and defensive player of the year in the same season. The Spartans, the No. 2 seed, have never been to the NCAA Tournament . . . Delaware State freshman Tahj Tate was league's rookie of the year. He is a cousin of Larry Nance, the Suns player who won the NBA's first slam dunk contest in 1984 . . . One of the conference's best wins was Norfolk State's victory at Drexel on Nov. 18.
Big Dance prospects: This is a one-bid league likely headed to the play-in game.
At Winston-Salem, N.C.
1: Hampton (8) vs. Morgan St. (9), 11 a.m.
2: North Carolina A&T (7) vs. Howard (10), 1:30
3: NC Central (5) vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (12), 4
4: Bethune-Cook. (4) vs. S. Carolina St. (13), 6:30
5: Coppin St. (6) vs. Florida A&M (11), 9
6: Savannah St. (1) vs. Game 1 winner, 6
7: Norfolk St. (2) vs. Game 2 winner, 8:30
8: Delaware St. (3) vs. Game 5 winner, 6
9: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30
10: Game 6 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 6
11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8:30
Semifinal winners, 1 (ESPN2)
Coming tomorrow: Big 12, Conference USA, Pac-12, Southland, SWAC.