The Washington Times - March 8, 2009, 11:19PM

Monday will not bring a ton of crucial bubble games.

In fact, even if there are three games to keep an eye on, there’s really one one of any sort of bubble substance.


Consider it the calm before the storm —- the power conference tournaments that get underway later in the week.

Those three games are …

* Virginia Commonwealth vs. George Mason, 7: The Patriots are a top-50 RPI team, but realistically this is a one-bid league. Either way, the CAA’s two best programs —- both this year and over the last five seasons —- are set up for a fantastic finale here in Richmond.

* Siena vs. Niagara, 9: The defending league champion Saints split the regular season series with the Purple Eagles, who just wrapped up a double overtime defeat of Rider in the MAAC semis. Siena would have harbored serious at-large hopes if it hadn’t lost to both Niagara and Rider on the road earlier in the year.

* Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s/Portland, 9: The Zags are good to go, so a loss would take away an at-large spot for certain. But Saint Mary’s is a curious case, and are worth monitoring simply to see how well Patrick Mills is faring (assuming the Gaels win late Sunday).

—- Patrick Stevens