-The semifinals are now set. North Carolina trailed Winthrop at the half 38-30, but Winthrops shooting cooled off in the second half and although they kept it close the whole way they couldnt finish off the Tarheels. It is a better win for UNC than they probably realize. Winthrop is a very good team that appears to be top 25 caliber.
-The Tarheels will face Gonzaga in the semifinals. Gonzaga jumped out on Baylor early, but Baylor played them pretty evenly the reast of the way. Gonzaga ended up winning by nine.
Both semifinals should be good games. Tennessee has Butler on the other side.
-Watching the first half of Air Force vs Stanford was like watching the basketball team from the movie Pleasantville. They literally hit everything they threw up. Air Force looked like a top ten team as they completely blew out Stanford at Stanford. It was a great win for the Falcons because it guarantees them two more quality opponents. They will face Duke in the semifinals and either Marquette or Texas Tech in the championship/consolation game.
COACHES VS CANCER CLASSIC SEMIFINALS
-SAINT JOHNS VS MARYLAND. Maryland is unranked, but they blew out a pretty solid Vermont team in the quarterfinals to get here. Saint Johns got here by defeating North Florida and Navy, neither of which are very good. Still, this is in Saint Johns back yard so the crowd should favor them. This is a chance for Maryland to establish themselves early if theyre able to win this tournament.
-TEXAS VS MICHIGAN STATE. Both teams got here relatively easy. This is the first real test for both teams as well. The winner of this game would appear to have the upper hand in the title game, but one cant really tell this early in the year. Its a good chance for each team to get a statement win early. Not that there wont be other chances for both teams later on, but teams can never have too many, especially if they are contending for a spot in the pod system.
-UNC GREENSBORO AT DUKE. A win will get Duke to 3-0. This is a sandwich game before the semifinals of the CBE Classic.
-JACKSONVILLE AT FLORIDA. Another low caliber in-state opponent for the Gators. A win gets them to 3-0.
-GEORGIA STATE AT GEORGIA TECH. I dont know if you can call these two crosstown rivals, but they are crosstown opponents. Georgia Tech should role in this one though and improve to 3-0.
-JACKSON STATE AT MEMPHIS. Jackson State has played Alabama, Georgia Tech, Illinois and Memphis all on the road all within a week. As far as buying opponents goes, Jackson State is a team that is clearly for sale. They get no rest after yesterdays game against Illinois. This is the season opener for Memphis.
-LIPSCOMB AT MISSOURI. A win gets Mizzou to 4-0. They havent been tested, but they have taken care of business so far.
-LIBERTY AT OKLAHOMA. A win for Oklahoma gets them to 2-0. This is the season opener for Liberty.
-UC DAVIS AT UTEP. UTEP is 2-1 with their only loss coming at Syracuse. A win today will give them a nice start to their season. For the most part their schedule is light, so they cant afford to lose too many games this year if they want to be in the NCAA picture.
NEWS AND NOTES
-Oral Roberts beat Kansas in what could turn out to be the biggest upset of the regular season. It was fairly close the entire game, but Oral led them the entire way. They made the common mistake many teams make who are about to pull off an upset of trying to milk the clock in the final six minutes of the game rather than just continuing to play as they were before. It almost cost them as Kansas drew as close as three, but Oral Roberts hit some big shots in the final minute to ice it. Kansas was awful from the freethrow line in the second half, which didn't help them out much. That is a hell of a way for ORU to bounce back from losing their season opener to LMU. Kansas falls to 1-1 on the year. In reality the loss is far more insult than injury. With the competition they play theyll have more than enough opportunities to recover from it. As for Oral Roberts, theyll also face Georgetown and Arkansas out of conference. They dont play many home games until conference play either, so if they can win a reasonable amount of those games they could begin to build an at-large caliber resume. As big of a win as this was, they have a lot of work to do if they want to get to the dance without the automatic bid though. Still, a great win for their program.
-Northwestern State nearly upset Oklahoma State for the second year in a row, but could never get over the top down the stretch. Okie State actually got out to an early lead and Northwestern State came back to draw even late in the second half, but just couldnt pull it off. Still, a great showing for a team that lost some top players from last years second round squad.
-Miami, OH hung with Kentucky the entire game and led for most of the first half, but couldnt pull off the upset. Not to take anything away from the Redhawks, but Kentucky did not play well at all on the offensive end. They did play tough defense though, and that was the biggest difference between the two. Theyll have to turn it up a notch if they want to win some big games out in Maui.
-UCLA and BYU was also close for most of the way. BYU led at halftime and was within reach until about the final three minutes when UCLA pulled away. It was the season opener for both teams, but neither team looked rusty at all. Despite the loss, BYU appears to have the makings of a very strong team and will be a force in the Mountain West.
-Arizona rebounded from their season opening loss to Virginia by blowing out a pretty good Northern Arizona team at home tonight 101-79. Arizona really loves to run up and down the floor and can really wear out their opposition.
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...