Tonight's games with some hint of significance for borderline postseason teams ...
* Villanova at Notre Dame (6): The Wildcats knocked off Louisville and Syracuse last week to thrust themselevs into the NCAA tournament discussion. There would be no shame in losing in South Bend --- most teams do when they face the Fighting Irish there --- but a win would likely become another significant asset for Villanova.
* VCU at Rhode Island (7): It's time for the Rams (OK, the A-10's newest Rams) to get well after consecutive losses to Richmond and La Salle. It also begs the question: With Fordham, Rhode Island and VCU in the A-10 and Auburn, Louisiana State and Missouri in the Southeastern Conference, is this the first time a league has had three schools with the same mascot?
* Massachusetts at La Salle (7): More Atlantic 10 fun, this time involving a La Salle team coming off a fantastic week. For their part, the Minutemen own no top-70 victories and have yet to defeat a top-100 team on the road.
* Richmond at Temple (7): OK, almost every Atlantic 10 game is a bubble game of sorts. The Spiders are still not close to the NCAA discussion, but a win in Philadelphia would certainly help.
* Oklahoma at Baylor (7): A win would certainly help the Bears, who are already in decent shape.
* Memphis at East Carolina (7): On general principles, Memphis can't afford many (if any) missteps in Conference USA play.
* Seton Hall at Georgetown (7): The Hoyas knocked off Notre Dame and Louisville last week. Now, can they handle prosperity and dismiss a Seton Hall bunch that isn't a serious NCAA threat?
* Maryland at Florida State (8): It's a significant game for Maryland, whose next four conference road games (Virginia Tech, Boston College, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest) don't offer much in the way of opportunities for quality victories.
* Missouri at Louisiana State (8): Noted only because Missouri is winless in three road games this season (UCLA, Florida, Mississippi). Frank Haith's team would be wise not to let that stat fester for too long.
* Iowa State at Oklahoma State (8): Both teams are in the 8-10 seed range at the moment, so it's not like a bad loss is on the table. The winner gets a useful asset for down the road.
* Texas-El Paso at UAB (8): The Miners aren't that viable an at-large threat at the moment, and losing to the sub-.500 Blazers wouldn't help --- especially with so few chances for credible victories in Conference USA.
* Fresno State at Air Force (9)
* Boise State at Colorado State (9)
* New Mexico at Wyoming (9)
Pick any Mountain West game and it'll probably pop up on this list. Air Force, Boise State and Wyoming all could use a pick-me-up, while Colorado State would be wise to hold serve at home.
* DePaul at St. John's (9): Only one team has lost to DePaul at home since the Blue Demons joined the Big East in 2005-06 and went on to make the NCAA tournament. That was Villanova in 2007. Take heed, St. John's, take heed.
* Texas A&M at Mississippi State (9): This is precisely the sort of game the Aggies can ill afford to fritter away. Kentucky's victory at Mississippi does give Texas A&M a bit of a nudge, but it could disappear with a lousy performance in Starkville.
* Saint Mary's at San Francisco (10): Free advice for the Gaels: Do yourselves a solid and don't lose to anyone not named "Gonzaga" for the rest of the regular season.
* Oregon at Stanford (11): The Cardinal is 0-7 against the top 75 and 12-1 against everyone else. Until they prove otherwise, it's pretty clear what their level is --- an NIT team. Beating the Ducks would be a nice start to changing that perception.
--- Patrick Stevens