Teams Work on "Big Dance" Moves

BY foxsports • February 16, 2010

By Marlen Garcia, USAToday
February 16, 2010

Four weeks from
today, college basketball fans will be scrutinizing the NCAA Division I
men's basketball tournament field of 65, dissecting who made it, who
was left out and where teams were seeded.

There have been many
surprises this season, but not at the top of the rankings. Kansas gave
up its No. 1 ranking briefly to Texas and Kentucky, but otherwise has
been a consistent No. 1.

Syracuse, behind transfer Wes Johnson,
will vie for a top tournament seed in what was expected to be a
rebuilding season for the Orange. Defending national champion North
Carolina (14-11), ranked fourth in the preseason, will have to settle
for the NIT unless the Tar Heels win the Atlantic Coast Conference
tournament.

Connecticut (14-11), which reached the Final Four last season, is in a similar bind.

A look at teams that made moves last week:

Moving up
*Louisville:
After losing against St. John's by 19, the Cardinals (16-9) got back on
track with a 66-60 upset of third-ranked Syracuse on Sunday.

*New
Mexico: The Lobos (23-3) have won nine in a row and are headed for
their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2005. They beat host Utah
68-65 in overtime Saturday.

*Butler: The Bulldogs (23-4) have
won 15 in a row since losing to Alabama-Birmingham Dec. 22 to tie the
school's longest winning streak. They already have clinched the Horizon
League championship.

*Ohio State: Evan Turner and Co. defeated
host Illinois 72-53 Sunday to move OSU (20-6) into a first-place tie
with Michigan State in the Big Ten at 10-3.

*Richmond: The Spiders (20-6) are positioning themselves to make the tournament for the first time since 2004.

Moving down
*Connecticut:
Coach Jim Calhoun returned from a medical leave to watch the Huskies
lose 60-48 against Cincinnati on Saturday in Hartford. He said he was
embarrassed by one of the worst performances in 24 years at UConn.

*Northwestern:
The Wildcats, who are trying to make the tournament for the first time,
hurt their chances by losing against 9-17 Iowa on Wednesday.

*Florida:
The Gators (17-8) have been absent from the NCAA tournament the last
two years after winning national titles in 2006 and 2007. They lost to
South Carolina and Xavier last week.

*Alabama-Birmingham: The Blazers enjoyed a great start but have lost three of their last four games to drop to 19-5.

*South
Florida: After upsetting Pittsburgh and Georgetown in back-to-back
games, the Bulls (15-9) lost against Notre Dame and Marquette.




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