NEWS AND NOTES
-The new bracket projection will be posted some time this morning. Be sure to check it out.
ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE
-OHIO STATE AT NORTH CAROLINA. Both of these teams are potential #1 seeds. North Carolina has looked a little better despite the fact that they already have a loss. Ohio State just hasnt been tested yet, but they certainly will be tonight. A win would basically solidify them as the #1 team, which is what theyre ranked right now. A loss wouldnt do much damage, but it could be the difference of who gets a #1 seed if both teams are in the hunt down the stretch.
-MICHIGAN STATE AT BOSTON COLLEGE. BC was ranked pretty high to start the season and still has a ton of potential, but they have yet to show any of it yet. They need a big win like this to get their season turned around and the sooner it comes the better. Michigan State is young, but they still play very hard and are off to a 6-1 start. A win like this on the road will continue to improve their profile.
-CLEMSON AT MINNESOTA. Clemson is unbeaten and has looked very good this season. Minnesota is just 2-4 and hasnt really looked good at all. It is still early and they can still turn it around. A win like this at home would go a long way as far as their profile and state of mind are concerned.
-VIRGINIA AT PURDUE. Purdue has just one loss, but it came in the first round of the Maui Invitational against Georgia Tech. They did manage wins against Oklahoma and DePaul. Virginia is unbeaten and does have a win against Arizona, but that came at home. Winning on the road against a Purdue team who is trying to make a case for themselves early wont be easy. This is another big early season game between two teams that could end up being good enough to make the NCAA Tournament.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTED MATCHUPS
-WAKE FOREST AT AIR FORCE. Wake is unbeaten on the year and despite having some pretty low expectations theyve played some pretty good basketball. This is by far their toughest test and would be a huge win for them if they could pull it off. Air Forces only loss so far has been to Duke and they have blown out Stanford, Texas Tech and Colorado away from home. They are one of the best shooting teams in the country and love to control the pace. This could end up being another statement win for them if Wake can end up having a decent year. The two styles are very contrasting. Air Force likes a slow-down controlled half court type of game whereas Wake loves to run and get points in transition.
-BYU AT BOISE STATE. BYU has won three straight since dropping their opener to UCLA. Boise is just 1-3 and although they are at home BYU shouldnt have too much trouble winning.
-KANSAS STATE AT CALIFORNIA. Both these teams have just one loss, but neither really have a big time win yet, so this is a big opportunity for both teams because it would easily be the biggest win theyve had so far. California is off to a good start and just won the Great Alaska Shootout and this would definitely help them build on that. Its a game between two teams that could end up being really good, but neither are really proven yet.
-OREGON AT GEORGETOWN. This game is interesting. Oregon is unbeaten, but untested. Georgetown hasnt really been tested either other than their game against Old Dominion (which they lost), but is a very talented team that is looking for their first big win. A win for Oregon would go a long way as far as making a statement that they are good enough to be in the NCAA Tournament mix. An impressive win for Georgetown would simply indicate that they are deserving of their ranking and that they are capable of playing up to their potential.
-SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT LOUISIANA TECH. LA Tech has just one win and is overmatched despite the fact that they are playing at home. Southern Illinois is 3-1 with their only loss being to a very good Arkansas team and appears to have the makings of yet another NCAA Tournament caliber team. Its harder for them to go on the road and play in games like this rather than doing what some major conference teams do by just sitting at home and playing cupcakes, but they also get more credit for winning on the road.
-SAINT LOUIS AT LOYOLA, IL. Both teams have just one loss, and both those losses came against top ten teams. Saint Louis has a good win against Houston, but Loyola is still looking for a quality statement win. Both teams have played some pretty good basketball and it wouldnt be impossible for either one of them to sneak into the bracket mix if they end up having big years. A win here would go a long way. It will also help the RPI of both teams since both are expected to play well in their conferences.
-OLD DOMINION AT MARIST. Marist got the attention of some people based on how well they played in the Old Spice Classic. They beat Minnesota and Western Michigan to finish third. Old Dominion has just one loss to Clemson, who is playing very well, and even has a big win against Georgetown on their resume. This is a big RPI game for them because Marist is favored to win the MAAC and will help boost it. In order for either team to make a case that they are an at-large caliber team they probably cant afford to lose more than five or six games all year (if that many), but both are good enough to possibly make a run, which is what makes this game so interesting.
-CHARLOTTE AT MISSISSIPPI STATE. Basically if either team wants to make a run at the NCAA Tournament, the sooner they kick it into gear the better. Both teams are just 2-2 and have beaten no one, so they need to win this just to get back into the picture early on.
-NORTH TEXAS AT NEBRASKA. North Texas is a team to watch out for. They blew out Charlotte and have just one loss on the year. They also have a big win against Tulsa. Nebraska is 2-0 with a big win against Creighton, but they could unexpectedly have their hands full with a North Texas team that is playing very well early on.
-IOWA STATE AT NORTHERN IOWA. This is Iowa States first real test of the year. If they win it is a big statement that they are for real and belong in the NCAA Tournament mix. Northern Iowas only loss came in a close game at Washington, but unfortunately as of now they really dont have any big wins either. They lost a lot of personnel from last years squad, including coach Greg Dermott, who is now at Iowa State (which adds some more drama to this one) and a lot of people are wondering if they can play at the same caliber as they did a season ago. This is a great chance to see how these two do against each other. Its a big game for two teams who are in-state rivals and trying to build up their resumes.
-TX A&M CORPUS CHRISTI AT OKLAHOMA STATE. Both of these teams are unbeaten. TAMUCC is most likely the best team in the Southland Conference. This is a big season for them because it is their first year in a conference and it is the first time they can play for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma State is unbeaten and just got a major win against Missouri State. This is another game that may not help their profile that much as far as it being a quality win, but it can certainly boost their RPI if TAMUCC goes on to have a big year in conference play. An upset isnt impossible either. If TAMUCC could pull that off it would be a big step as far as them playing their way into the at-large picture.
-ROBERT MORRIS AT PITTSBURGH. This is technically a Buy Game, I guess, but Robert Morris is unbeaten and they are right across town so the rivalry element could come into play. An upset still isnt all that likely though. Pittsburgh is ranked #3 and they may be underrated at that. They are very good on both offense and defense.
-SAN DIEGO AT SAN DIEGO STATE. This is another cross-town rivalry. San Diego has no wins and San Diego State has no losses. I dont see that changing after today. SDSU has to be careful though. Rivarlies can produce upsets and this would look bad on their NCAA Tournament resume if they dont pull this one off.
-TEXAS TECH AT TCU. TCU had an awful year last year, but they are 4-1 this year and although they havent really been tested, it looks as though they have improved. Texas Tech has looked good at times, but theyve struggled at times. Winning this one on the road may not be easy for a team that didnt ever kick it into gear last year, and has yet to really beat a high caliber team this year. Too many losses such as this one will set Texas Tech back, especially if they struggle to get big wins to offset such losses.
-BRADLEY AT TENNESSEE TECH. Bradley might be better than everyone thought. They are coming off their first loss of the season, but played very well against Illinois and probably should have won. They should get to 6-1 with a win against Tennessee Tech today.
-NEVADA AT LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE. Louisiana Lafayette is winless, but they played pretty well at home against Tennessee in their last game. Nevada needs a win to remain unbeaten and avoid what could end up being a bad loss on their NCAA Tournament resume.
-LMU AT UC SANTA BARBARA. Neither of these teams will likely end up being at-large caliber teams, but both are off to pretty good starts. LMU is 3-2 with a win over a talented New Mexico State team and a second place finish in the Great Alaska Shootout. UCSB has just one loss, and that was a close game to a very good San Diego State team, so both teams are capable of playing some pretty good basketball.
-BUTLER AT VALPARAISO. Valpo is just 2-2, but they nearly pulled off a big upset against Marquette the other night losing by just three. Tonight they get another shot at a ranked opponent at home. Butler is unbeaten with some pretty big wins thus far, but this one will not be easy. It could also turn out to be a rather damaging loss depending on how well Valpo does this year. Still, it wont knock them out of the at-large picture, especially considering the wins that they have early on, but they still need a high number of wins considering that they play in the Horizon League and any loss in conference play could be a damaging one.
-MIAMI, OH AT XAVIER. This is a regional rivalry that could turn out to be interesting tonight. Miami, OH has three losses, but they played very well against Kentucky and Illinois and had a chance to win both games. Xaviers only loss came to Alabama and they do have a good win against Villanova, but they cant afford to just sleepwalk through this game. Miami is good and can pull off the upset.
BUY GAMES (brought to you by Hostess, the finest cupcakes in the land)
-OAKLAND AT CINCINNATI. A win will get Cincinnati to 5-1, but their schedule so far has been nothing but cupcakes, and they havent even been able to win all of them.
-SACRED HEART AT CONNECTICUT. A win will keep Connecticut undefeated at 6-0. They have not been tested yet at all though.
-ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF AT CREIGHTON. Pine Bluff has yet to win this season, and probably wont win today. Creighton has a ton of talent and although they only have one loss they really havent been winning all that impressively. Still, a win gets them to 3-1.
-MONTANA STATE AT FRESNO STATE. Fresno State is a team to keep an eye on. They are unbeaten at 5-0 and although they are untested, they have blown out virtually everyone and appear to be capable of playing their way into the NCAA Tournament mix.
-PRARIE VIEW A&M AT HOUSTON. Houston is looking to rebound from their loss to Saint Louis and get to 4-1. They should have very little trouble doing that.
-MCNEESE STATE AT LSU. LSU should rebound from their loss to Wichita State in a big way and win in a blowout. McNeese State has not yet won against a div1 team.
-ARKANSAS STATE AT MEMPHIS. Arkansas State hasnt played all that poorly and has a 3-4 record, but they are likely little match for Memphis.
-WINSTON SALEM STATE AT NOTRE DAME. The Irish should have little trouble improving to 5-1 against winless Winston Salem State.
-IDAHO AT WASHINGTON. Washington shouldnt have any trouble improving to 6-0.
-PORTLAND AT WASHINGTON STATE. Wazzu is unbeaten, but they havent played anyone and have struggled against some really low caliber teams. Still, its as good a start as anyone can ask for. A win gets them to 7-0.
-UMKC AT WICHITA STATE. Wichita State just won a big game at LSU. They need to come down from that, take care of business, and remain undefeated on the season.
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...