Setting up this week

The craziness continues.

First of all, you simply must read Dick Jerardi's column in this morning's Daily News. It is significant enough that they even tried to do a mock bracket. But the truly impressive accomplishment is what Jerardi was able to take what he's learned from Indianapolis in recent years and teach a new group of people how to go through the process.

That is really impressive.

Second, we have a new special section for conference tournament coverage. Click here to get everything you need to know about the A-10, Big East, ACC and all the other leagues.

Now for tonight's action. We've got a trio of great rivalries playing out on the best possible stage: conference tournament finals.

We start with George Mason facing Virginia Commonwealth in the CAA final in Richmond, taking places as I write this post. Then at 9, picture-in-picture will be in order as Niagara meets at-large candidate Siena in the MAAC and St. Mary's squares off once again with Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference.

That Niagara-Siena game is loaded with Philly ties, by the way. Purple Eagles coach Joe Mihalich and players Tyrone Lewis, Bilal Benn, Austin Cooley and Kashief Edwards all hail from our area, while Saints coach Fran McCaffery and guard Ronald Moore are area natives as well.

You could have a heck of a debate about which game has bigger implications for the NCAA Tournament field. Siena is smack on the bubble, while if St. Mary's plays well tonight and loses they could get back in shape with Patty Mills back at full health. Gonzaga probably gets in regardless of result.

I'd be interested to know which one you'll be watching.

Tomorrow, I hit the road (okay, the escalator at 30th Street Station) and head for what should be a great day of blogging in New York. At noon, I'll be at CBS headquarters for a media session with many of the network's NCAA Tournament broadcasters, including Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery, Jim Nantz, Jay Bilas and Ian Eagle.

After that, I'll hop on the subway and head over to Madison Square Garden for Georgetown-St. John's in the Big East Tournament. If I can get away with it, I'll try to open a liveblog and we can talk hoops for a while, but I'm not guaranteeing anything.

As soon as the final horn sounds in that game, I'll get back on the train and return to Philadelphia for Princeton-Penn at 8 p.m. It's the Palestra's last game of the season, which will give us a good opportunity to reflect on the Quakers' troubles and everything else we've seen on 33rd Street this year.

Then it's off to Atlantic City on Wednesday, and we'll be courtside at Boardwalk Hall at noon sharp for the tipoff of Saint Louis-La Salle.

Can you handle it? I think so. In fact, I bet you're still hungry. So fill yourself up with new editions of the City Six rankings table and the Schuylkill 16 RPI teamsheet compilation. The Schuylkill 16 will return Wednesday morning after Princeton-Penn.

Note that Drexel's overall record includes the (bad, to put it nicely) CAA Tournament loss to Towson, but the conference record only includes regular season games.