NEWS AND NOTES
-The most recent bracket projections are posted below this article.
-WASHINGTON STATE AT GONZAGA. Washington State just picked up a big road win against Baylor. It may not sound big, but I have a hunch that it will look much bigger once the season is over. Gonzaga is not at full strength yet, but theyre coming off a big win against Connecticut and have a highly ranked team on their home court tonight. Wazzu plays tough defense and has a tendency to slow it down, whereas Gonzaga has one of the best half-court offenses in the country. Both teams should end up being solid tournament teams and this should be a great game.
-WEST VIRGINIA VS AUBURN (Birmingham, AL). The crowd should favor Auburn, but it isnt likely to be much of a factor. West Virginia is very talented and displayed that against Tennessee, but theyve yet to get the type of win this season that verifies how good a team they are. Auburn hasnt done that either. Thats what makes this game so big. Its a good chance to check out two NCAA Tourney hopeful teams against each other.
-DAVIDSON AT CHARLOTTE. Davidson is a solid team, but needs to build a resume to back that up. Charlotte is also a good team, but also needs a resume to back that up. Charlotte just won a feel good/quality game against Wake Forest, but its hard to say how much that will end up helping them out. Davidson has played well against North Carolina and Duke, but failed to beat either. If they fail to win this game it could end up being rather damaging.
-PITTSBURGH AT DUQUESNE. Rivalry?? Maybe not. Tension?? Yes. Duquesne is off to a great start, but its against unimpressive teams. Pitt is off to a similar start against similar teams, but appears to be much better. Tonights game will probably confirm that, but it should be a fun scene. If Duquesne were to pull the upset it would be huge for a program that has recently done a lot to improve itself and is looking to do more.
-CLEMSON AT EAST CAROLINA (Reverse Buy Game). Its hard to give too much kudos to ECU, but they did beat George Mason in their last game and have a chance to build upon that in a huge way tonight. Clemson hasnt been beaten yet, and has some impressive wins on their profile, so one would assume theyd have little trouble tonight despite being the road team.
-TULSA AT OKLAHOMA. Tulsa is a program that has been at the top, but fallen and is now building itself up again. Theyre just getting started in the building process, though. A win today would speed it forward rather quick, but Oklahoma is also improving. Theyve taken care of business in games like this, but are still looking for their first big quality win. This wouldnt be a big win for Oklahoma, but it would still sustain their current profile.
-WAKE FOREST AT VANDERBILT. Vandy is unbeaten, but Wake Forest is one of the tougher tests theyve faced this year. Wakes only loss was to Charlotte in a close game, and theyre still looking for their first statement win of this season. If they can beat Vandy at Vandy it is a strong indicator that Wake could be a tournament team.
-SYRACUSE AT VIRGINIA. Syracuses defense has been disappointing this year, and they really dont have a big time statement win yet. This is an oddity for the Orange, because theyre actually playing a true road game out of conference against a good team. Virginia already has a big win on the season against Arizona, and this would most likely end up being a second.
-NEBRASKA AT WESTERN KENTUCKY. WKU just blew a game at Northern Arizona and their nine lives are wearing out quick. Nebraska is 5-1 and can pick up a decent road win in this game.
-CREIGHTON AT XAVIER. Creighton is undefeated, but this is their first real test. Theyre playing a tournament caliber team that is red hot on the road. It should be a fun one. It usually is. Xavier is playing lights out right now and is beating everyone by convincing margins. Creighton, however, is much better than the teams XU has faced in their last few games, and they also have something huge to play for, and thats a road win against a strong, NCAA caliber team.
-DELAWARE STATE AT ARIZONA STATE. Delaware State could end up being a factor in the MEAC, but they shouldnt present much of a challenge in this one. ASU should roll and get to 5-2.
-WEBER STATE AT BYU. BYU has been dominant all year and that shouldnt change tonight. They should have little trouble improving to 7-1.
-JACKSON STATE AT CALIFORNIA. Cal should have little trouble improving to 6-0 after tonight.
-HIGH PONIT AT DAYTON. High Point should be a contender in the Big South, but if Dayton plays the way they have been in the past two weeks theyll be a long shot at knocking them off. UD should improve to 6-1.
-FLORIDA A&M AT FLORIDA. The Gators should improve to 9-1 with little trouble after tonight. The Gators have not been challenged at all this year, and probably wont be tonight.
-HAMPTON AT GEORGE MASON. George Mason had one big slip up in their last game and cant afford another. Hampton is one of the better teams out of the MEAC and should boost George Masons RPI as the season continues.
-EASTERN WASHINGTON AT KANSAS. Kansas is unbeaten and will likely stay that way after tonight.
-BALL STATE AT PURDUE. Ball States team is going down in flames. Purdue shouldnt have too much trouble getting to 5-1 on the year.
-LAFAYETTE AT RUTGERS. Both teams are 5-2, and although neither has been proven, both have posted impressive records early on and are willing keeping an eye one.
-NORTH TEXAS AT TEXAS. North Texas went to the NCAA Tournament last year and should be a force in the Sun Belt this year. Texas should cream them, but its a game that should help out their RPI.
-LOUISIANA TECH AT TEXAS TECH. Texas Tech has struggled on the road and is looking to string together some wins to get put themselves in the postseason picture.
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