NEWS AND NOTES
-The most recent bracket projections and articles are posted in the article below this one. Be sure and check it out if you haven't already.
-The biggest news coming out of the world of college hoops last night was Bob Knight
s sudden resignation. Pat Knight, his son and former associate head coach, will take over the reigns. The fact that Pat Knight is taking over is a sign that this really doesnt smell all that bad, but nevertheless there are a few people here and there speculating that something must have gone down which forced Knight to resign. Texas Tech does have a lot of young players, and the fact that next years head coach is going to be heading things up for the final ten games this year may actually make the transaction much smoother than if Bob Knight
had just remained at the helm the rest of the way.
-The Bracket Buster games have been announced. As expected, Drake is traveling to Butler. That game has more to do with seeding than it does with selection seeing as how both teams appear to be safely in. Another big game is that Kent State will travel out to Saint Marys, which is a huge opportunity for them. Other notable games are Ohio hosting George Mason and Kent State hosting VCU.
-Gonzaga played their second straight overtime thriller when they traveled to Saint Marys last night, but this time they came up short. Saint Marys Todd Golden had a tremendous night going 6-6 from three point land, and finishing with 19 points. SMC went on to win 89-85 in overtime.
-Louisville picked up an impressive road win against Marquette, which will go a long way toward boosting their resume. Its clearly their most impressive road win of the season and the game wasnt really all that close. Louisville doesnt always bring their A game, but when they do, theyre as good as anyone in the country. HIGHLIGHTED MATCH-UPS
-NORTHERN IOWA AT CREIGHTON (Missouri Valley). Creighton is on the outside of the bubble, and probably needs to win out if they want any serious consideration. Northern Iowa has won four out of five, and nearly upset Drake in the one loss during that stretch, so Creighton may get a tougher game out of them than most people expect.
-SOUTH FLORIDA AT GEORGETOWN (Big East). Georgetown should be able to win this game simply by going through the motions. Theyre in contention for the Big East regular season title and a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.
-DRAKE AT ILLINOIS STATE (Missouri Valley). This is one of the bigger games of the night. Illinois State is outside the bubble, but could really boost their resume with a quality win against Drake. Its the kind of game they need to win if they want to get any consideration for an at-large bid. Drake is steamrolling, and this would be another notable win to add to their profile if they can pull it off. Barring a collapse, Drake is safely in the NCAA Tournament.
VIRGINIA TECH AT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (ACC). Virginia Tech has won six of their last eight and is playing better basketball, but they still have a ton of work to do before they can even think about sniffing the NCAA Tournament. NC State appears to be right on the bubble. This is a winnable home game for them, so its one they really need to take advantage of.
-MICHIGAN AT OHIO STATE (Big Ten). This is a big rivalry, but its also a big mismatch. Then again, it looks as though just about every time Michigan plays this season its a big mismatch in favor of their opponents. Ohio State should take care of business at home and remain solidly in the NCAA Tourney picture.
-DE PAUL AT PROVIDENCE (Big East). Providence has lost four games in a row. They need to snap that losing streak tonight and then string together a few more wins just to get back into the conversation.
-PENN STATE AT PURDUE (Big Ten). Penn State is coming off an emotional win against Michigan State, which should give them some momentum, but winning on the road against a red hot Purdue team is a tall order as well. They Boilermakers have won seven in a row, have played their way into the Big Ten mix, and continue to build a solid NCAA Tournament resume. They are a young team that has definitely hit their stride.
-FLORIDA AT TENNESSSEE (SEC). Florida had been red hot, but was blown out by Arkansas in their last game and needs to rebound. The Gators have some big wins, but nothing close to how big a win this would be if they were to pull off the upset. It would really boost the quality of their NCAA Tournament resume. A #1 seed for Tennessee is not out of the question, but they need to finish strong. They should be favored to win this one tonight.
-BUTLER AT VALPARAISO (Horizon League). Valpo really began the season red hot, but has hit a slump lately. Still, the fans should be jacked way up for this game tonight. A win for Valpo will draw them within one game of Butler in the conference standings, which means theyll have a chance at hosting the conference tournament. A win for Butler pretty much puts them in the drivers seat to finish first, and win the home court advantage that comes along with it. Butler won when the two faced each other earlier this season, but going on the road to win will be a much taller order.