There is much debate over whether all three teams - or none - make it into the dance. But there's no debate that a win helps more than the alternative.
La Salle coach John Giannini, whose Explorers haven't made the NCAA tournament since 1992, admits a bid is in the back of the minds of players and coaches but said that the focus remains on the next opponent.
"We certainly want to make the NCAA tournament," he said. "We do talk about it. But we talk far more about our upcoming opponent, and so far we've been able to manage that balance."
Villanova coach Jay Wright agreed that it's difficult to keep the NCAA possibilities out of the minds of his players.
"I would be lying to you if I told you, you don't think about that stuff, but you have to work hard not to," he said. "You can't do anything about it. You've got to teach the guys how to work hard to concentrate on preparing for Pitt now and just Pitt."
La Salle, which hasn't played since last Sunday when it defeated Rhode Island, would seem to have a long-distance advantage against Duquesne. The Dukes have given up a league-high 207 three-point baskets while the Explorers have swished 197 - a team-high 73 by Ramon Galloway - and limited the opposition to 30.9 percent shooting from deep.
Temple is coming off a hard-fought 83-78 win over Detroit on Thursday night when it benefited from some late clutch shooting by Khalif Wyatt, the A-10's top scorer. The Rams are last in the conference in scoring and shooting, but Temple must stay focused defensively, a challenging task at times this season.
Villanova was battered on the boards in its initial matchup with Pittsburgh, which means Mouphtaou Yarou (five double-doubles in his last 10 games) needs to be on and get help. Yarou scored the Wildcats' last basket against Seton Hall, giving him 1,000 points for his career.
Other City Six games on Saturday:
Harvard at Penn, 6 p.m. The Crimson, who were 17-7 and 9-1 in the Ivy League starting the weekend, either will arrive at the Palestra in command of the Ancient Eight or in a virtual tie for first with Princeton. Either way, the Quakers (7-19, 4-5) would love to knock off the top dog.
Fordham at St. Joseph's, 7 p.m. The Hawks (15-11, 6-7) need a win over the Rams (6-22, 2-11) to stay one game ahead of Dayton and, for the time being, out of the dreaded last four in the A-10 standings, which would mean no admittance to the conference tournament.
UNC Wilmington at Drexel, 7 p.m. On Senior Night, the Dragons (12-17, 8-9 CAA) wrap up their regular season wishing for back-to-back wins and momentum for next Saturday's start of the Colonial Athletic conference tournament.
Contact Joe Juliano at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @joejulesinq.