Sunday, January 27th Highlighted Match-ups

Sunday, January 27th Highlighted Match-ups
Jan 27, 2008, 08:50 am
-VANDERBILT AT FLORIDA (SEC). Florida is beginning to make a case for themselves as an NCAA Tourney team now that they’ve gotten into conference play and done well. This would probably be their most notable win of the year if they can pull it off, which they’re certainly good enough to do at home. Vandy snapped a two game losing streak with a decisive win over LSU in their last game, and they still stand at an impressive 17-2 on the year, but they’ve only won two of their four true road games, and none of their wins were against teams as good as Florida, so the Commodores have something to play for and prove as well.

-INDIANA STATE AT ILLINOIS STATE (Missouri Valley). Illinois State has lost two straight games to teams with poor RPIs. That isn’t the way to go for a team that didn’t have a large margin of error to begin with. They really can’t afford to drop a third game like that, especially at home.

-WESTERN MICHIGAN AT KENT STATE (Mid American). Kent State has a solid RPI, which is in the 30s. That alone would get them in the discussion for an at-large, but by no means would that automatically get them in. Western Michigan is the only team Kent plays other than Akron and whoever they’ll face in the Bracket Buster that currently has a winning record. If they can win out they should be alright for a bid if they lose in the conference tournament. Considering how weak their remaining schedule is, anything short of that may not be enough.

-DUKE AT MARYLAND (ACC). This is a huge rivalry within the ACC, and seeing as how well Maryland has been playing recently it has the potential to be another great game in the series. Maryland isn’t all the way back into the bracket picture yet, but they have won six of their last seven and are making up ground rather quickly. If they can win this game they’d be in great shape as far as the conference standings go, and they’d get another big RPI boost and another high quality win on their resume. Duke is still in contention for a #1 seed, which would allow them to play all their games in the state of North Carolina leading up to the Final Four if they can beat out the Tarheels. It’s a big game for the Blue Devils as well.

-XAVIER AT MASSACHUSETTS (Atlantic Ten). Xavier has struggled on the road this season. At home they’ll win by twenty, but then they’ll go on the road and lose by twenty to virtually the same team. UMass has been inconsistent as well, but they’ve got several young players so that’s to be expected. They’re coming off a close road loss to Saint Joseph’s and really need to rebound. Right now they’re inside the bubble, but they’re still somewhat close to it. Beating a solid team like Xavier would help them out a lot.

-CLEMSON AT MIAMI, FL (ACC). Miami has struggled since conference play began and if they don’t get it together soon they aren’t going to be in the NCAA discussion anymore. They’ve lost three in a row. Two of those were on the road and the other was against North Carolina so it’s not as if one individual game was all that damaging, but they need to win at least a few of those tough games in order to make the dance. I’m getting the feeling that this is a must win for the Hurricanes. Clemson has won three out of four and knocked off Wake Forest in an overtime thriller in their last game. It’s never easy to go on the road and win, but Clemson has past some road tests and should be up for the challenge.

-MICHIGAN AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten). This looks to be a huge mismatch, but Michigan gave Wisconsin a scare recently, so one never knows. This is a big rivalry, and because of that Michigan isn’t going to be able to sneak up on Michigan State. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ended in a blowout.

-CINCINNATI AT SETON HALL (Big East). Cincinnati’s last loss was a heartbreaker and because they played so poorly out of conference every conference loss hurts. They need a conference road game to get things back on track and keep them toward the top of the conference standings. If they can end up near the top they have a shot of getting in. Seton Hall has heated up recently with three straight wins, two of which were against Louisville and Providence. A win today would probably earn them a spot in the next projection and push their RPI into the top 50, not to mention move them up in the Big East standings.

-DENVER AT SOUTH ALABAMA (Sun Belt). Every game is the same story for South Alabama, and that’s win out and play their way into the discussion for an at-large. They got a big scare from Louisiana Lafayette in their last game, but pulled it out to remain unbeaten in Sun Belt play and 16-3 on the year.

-PROVIDENCE AT SYRACUSE (Big East). Syracuse lost a heartbreaker on the road to Georgetown earlier this week. A win would have gone a very long way toward boosting their NCAA Tourney resume, but as it stands they’re still on the bubble. Providence has been playing well lately, but is coming off a loss to Seton Hall and could use a notable win of their own.

-GEORGIA TECH AT VIRGINIA (ACC). After getting off to a pretty good start this season, Virginia is really heading in the wrong direction right now. They’ve lost four of their last five, and fell in a close one to Florida State in their last game, which was a very costly loss. They need to do a lot more than win this game in order to get things turned around. There is still time, but a loss would slip them even further down the ladder.

Recent articles

Twitter @DraftExpress

DraftExpress Shop