-In case you haven't seen it yet, the new bracket projections are up, so be sure and check them out. The notes to those are in the article right below this.
HIGHLIGHTED GAMES. They are in alaphabetical order via the home team. Conference games are noted by parenthesis.
-AIR FORCE AT COLORADO STATE (Mountain West). Air Force was pretty impressive out of conference, but played several cupcakes and now must continue to be impressive in conference. This game might not be all that easy to win. Its on the road, and Colorado State is 8-2 on the year with a pretty good win against Kansas State. Its also a rivalry game, so anything can happen.
-CLEMSON AT FLORIDA STATE (ACC). Very big game here. Clemson is unbeaten, but this will definitely be their toughest game of the season so far. Florida State has played very well this year, especially at home, and appears to have a tournament team. This would go down as a quality win for either team, as well as count in the conference standings, so quite a bit is at stake. It will be interesting to see what Clemson does on the road against a good team.
-DREXEL AT GEORGIA STATE (Colonial Athletic). Drexel is very strong and should get a bid to the dance if they can finish first in their league and avoid any poor losses. They certainly dont want to drop this one on the road to a weak Georgia State squad.
-HOUSTON AT KENTUCKY. Kentucky has been playing very well lately and this is their final game before conference play. Houston is talented, but has not played up to their potential at all this year. A win for Kentucky would be their seventh straight.
-ILLINOIS AT MICHIGAN (Big Ten). Illinois lost a tough one to Xavier earlier last week in a game where they simply did not play well at all. They need to rebound from that and get a win on the road. Michigan has a good record, but has played mostly cupcakes and has not performed the few times they have been tested. The only way theyll make the dance is if they finish well in the conference standings. Illinoiss current profile could use some work as well, so this is a big game as far as both teams looking to kick it into gear.
-PURDUE AT MINNESOTA (Big Ten). Minnesota is off to a rough start, but they are never easy to beat at home. Purdue has also been known to struggle on the road. The Boilermakers are off to a good start and they want to continue that in conference play. They could also use some road wins on their profile.
-EVANSVILLE AT NORTHERN IOWA (Missouri Valley). Northern Iowa is 11-2 on the season and managed wins in their first two league games, including a big road win against Wichita State. Evansville comes in at a modest 9-5, but hasnt beaten anyone as good as Northern Iowa yet, especially not on the road.
-LOUISVILLE AT NOTRE DAME (Big East). Louisville has won five straight games, but all were at home against pretty weak competition. Notre Dame loaded up on cupcakes for their OOC schedule as well, but they did beat some good teams such as Maryland and Alabama. They have been very tough at home this year and have just one loss. The competition the Irish will face in conference is much tougher. This game tips off at 6pm so it will be over in time for the Sugar Bowl, which Notre Dames football team is playing in. If Louisville can pull this off, it would be huge. Its a road game against a nationally ranked conference opponent. Louisville hasnt had a good win in quite some time, and could really use one now to boost their resume and their expectations.
-WYOMING AT SAN DIEGO STATE (Mountain West). SDSU is at 9-3 with a very talented team, but they dont have much of a profile right now. Still, a first place finish in league play should be enough to get them a solid seed. This is their conference opener tonight. Wyoming has played some pretty good basketball, but just doesnt appear to have the talent to hang with SDSU on the road.
-SAINT LOUIS AT SAINT BONAVENTURE (Atlantic Ten). Saint Louis had a fairly decent out of conference schedule and should be able to lock up an NCAA Tournament bid IF they do well in the league. They kick things off in conference against one of the worst teams in div1.
-CALIFORNIA AT STANFORD (Pac Ten). This is a big rivalry, but its also a win that could make a big difference for both teams on paper. Cal is 9-5 and going through a slump. Stanford has a good record at 8-3 and ahs a pretty decent win against Texas Tech, but both teams still need to build up their resumes if they want to make the dance. Doing well in conference is a must for both of them.
-NEW MEXICO AT TCU (Mountain West). New Mexico has struggled on the road, but they appear to be improving. They are coming off a close loss to Texas Tech, but it was a game that they were in position a position to win and they appear to have the talent they need to do some damage in conference play. TCU is off to an 8-4 start, which is a huge improvement from last season. Its the conference opener for both teams, and since this appears to be a multi-bid league its a big opportunity for them.
-UTAH AT UNLV (Mountain West). UNLV has been very impressive early on, and could not only end up making the NCAA Tournament, but getting a very good seed to go along with it. They are at home against a Utah team that has really struggled, so its important that UNLV avoid the bad loss on their resume. They appear to be getting better and better with every game they play, though.
-GONZAGA AT VIRGINIA. Gonzaga has really hit the skids having lost four of their last five. For that matter, so has Virginia. They got off to a great start this season and even have a big win against Arizona, but they really played poorly in the San Juan Shootout and havent done anything impressive since. Both these teams are looking to turn their seasons around. For Gonzaga, its the last big opponent they play before beginning conference play, so its one of their last chances at a notable win.
-VILLANOVA AT WEST VIRGINIA (Big East). Big time conference game here. Both teams enter conference play with good records, but for the most part they built those records against fairly weak competition. Still, both appear to be strong teams and West Virginia proved that with their decisive win over Connecticut in their conference opener. This is a huge test for Villanova on the road. It would be their best win of the season so far if they were to pull it off, especially because its on the road. As for West Virginia, knocking off Villanova and Connecticut in back to back games is certainly making a statement.
-TROY AT WESTERN KENTUCKY (Sun Belt). Western Kentucky pretty much needs to run the table if they want to be in the picture for an at-large. They shouldnt get much of a challenge from Troy at home, but Troy did manage to upset the Hilltoppers last season.
-KANSAS STATE AT XAVIER. Kansas State started off rather sluggish, but they have rattled off six straight wins, including winning the Las Vegas Classic by beating New Mexico and USC. Bob Huggins, the former Cincinnati coach, returns to his old city to take on his old rival, so that is an interesting side story to this game. Xavier has been inconsistent all season, but just knocked off Illinois. This is a chance for them to get another good win on their profile, which is big because they wont have many chances for that in conference play. Essentially both teams have some work to do in order to make themselves candidates for at-large bids, but both teams also appear to be improving, so it could end up being a pretty good game.
-YALE AT BOSTON COLLEGE. BC begins the bulk of their conference schedule after this. A win gets them to 9-4.
-WINSTON SALEM STATE AT GEORGIA TECH. Georgia Tech should roll in their final tune up before the bulk of conference play.
-PENN AT NORTH CAROLINA. Penn should end up being one of the best teams in the Ivy League, but they are way overmatched on the road today. UNC should win rather easily.
-WESTERN CAROLINA AT SOUTH CAROLINA. South Carolina can improve to 10-2 with a win. They do have a nice win against USC, but most of the others have come against cupcakes.
Highlighted Games for Sat 2/17: Bracket Buster Edt
Feb 16, 2007, 09:16 pm
Drew Barnette runs down one of the biggest Saturdays of the college basketball regular season. With the Bracket Buster teams being played today, read about who is on the bubble and could really improve their NCAA Tournament resumes with quality wins today. Also read about teams who are favored to win their conference tournaments, and who are facing each other in games that will have an impact on their seeding, and possibly put them in a better position to pull a big upset.
Other big games include Louisville looking for their second big road win in a row as they travel to Marquette, Vanderbilt plays one of their biggest home games of the year as they host Floirda, Georgetown and Villanova Square off in an important Big East showdown,
All that, and much more in a huge Saturday for college hoops...
Mid Major Ramblings on the Eve of the Buster
Feb 16, 2007, 01:20 am
Drew Barnette gives his thoughts and opinions about the upcoming Bracket Buster, talks about how he feels mid-majors are viewed by the media today, looks at tonight's big game between Winthrop and Missouri State, and more...