By JOHN BOSCHINI
There's still a week to go until the brackets for the 2011 NCAA Tournament are revealed but several teams have already seen their postseason hopes extinguished.
Only four teams remain in the Big East Tournament as Connecticut, Louisville, St. John's and Villanova moved on to the semifinals. The remaining sides will face each other this weekend at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey. Notre Dame was unexpectedly dumped out in the first round thanks to Villanova's upset. The Fighting Irish are in the mid-30's of the latest RPI and could face a nerve-racking selection day at the end of the week. Villanova is a lowly 130th in the RPI but the Wildcats find themselves two wins away from an automatic berth.
There won't be any drama in the Pac-12 as UCLA wrapped up their seventh conference title with a 2-0 win over California on Friday and continued their perfect conference season with a 3-0 victory against Stanford on Sunday. The Bruins are flying high having won nine of their last ten games. The Pac-12 does not have a conference tournament so UCLA earns the automatic berth.
Here is a look back at the rest of the action in the final weekend of regular-season action.
Northwestern have hardly been impressive overall this season but the Wildcats utilized an unbeaten conference record to wrap up the Big 10 regular-season title. Northwestern dispatched Michigan 1-0 on Saturday to earn a bye to the semifinals in the Big 10 tournament which kicks off Wednesday. Indiana squeaked by Ohio State in both sides' regular-season finale. The Hoosiers are the favorite in the Big 10 despite entering the tournament as the fourth seed.
The Creighton Blue Jays continued their march towards a number one seed with a 2-0 win over Evansville in their regular-season finale. Goalkeeper Brian Holt hasn't conceded a goal in five games and Creighton hosts the Missouri Valley conference where they will be heavy favorites despite playing as the second seed.
New Mexico finished the regular season as the only unbeaten side in the nation with a 3-0 victory over UNLV. The Lobos should cruise through the Mountain Pacific tournament which kicks off Thursday.
Duke was the only ACC team in action over the weekend with a 2-0 win over Mercer. The Blue Devils have moved up to third in the ACC and are looking good to qualify for the NCAA tournament despite an atrocious start.
What did you think of this weekend's results? Impressed with New Mexico and UCLA? Could Villanova finish off their dramatic title run? Which conerence tournament are you most looking forward to?