NEWS AND NOTES
-The biggest surprise of the day was New Mexicos 71-68 win against previously unbeaten Wichita State in the Las Vegas Invitational. The Shockers did not have guard P.J. Couisnard, but its still a huge win for the Lobos, especially since it was a win away from their home court. New Mexico had a 40-27 lead in the second half, but Wichita State came roaring back. It wasnt enough to get them the win though. New Mexico will face USC in the championship game and Wichita will face Kansas State for third place.
-Drexel was once again impressive with their 69-54 win against Temple. Temple isnt particularly good, but they arent bad either and they had been playing well in their last few games. Its a nice road win for Drexel, who has a pretty good NCAA Tourney profile right now.
-Georgia Tech got a big 78-69 win over rival Georgia. Georgia hasnt played many road games yet, so although they have a good record and a good win against Gonzaga, they still have some work to do.
-Kent State, who looked fantastic against Duke earlier this week, fell at home to Youngstown State, who is one of the worst teams in the Horizon League. Talk about inconsistency.
-This is the last day of games before a three day break for the Christmas Holidays. I was never a fan of teams playing games on the 23rd either, and most didnt unless it had something to do with television, but since the 23rd falls on a Saturday this year, we have pretty much have a full slate. Since Im visiting my family and friends that I grew up with, and since most of those people dont want to spend the Holidays watching twelve hours of basketball, I probably wont see many of the games, but Ill keep up with the scores as best I can.
-OHIO STATE AT FLORIDA (***Pod System Implications***). In about two weeks these two will meet in football to decide the BCS Championship. That fact should add quite a bit of atmosphere to this game. Both teams are highly ranked and potential pod teams. Florida has dropped two games this season and this would definitely be their biggest win so far. It could turn out to be one of their biggest wins all season. The same could be said for Ohio State. No matter what the outcome is both teams should remain strongly in the pod picture, but the winner of this game would have a leg up.
-NORTH CAROLINA STATE AT CINCINNATI. These are two 7-3 teams that could use a win.
-CALIFORNIA AT DE PAUL. Cals center is injured and will be out for several weeks. De Paul is really hot right now after getting off to a poor start this season. They could add yet another good win to their profile.
-BOSTON COLLEGE AT KANSAS. Both teams have two losses and have somewhat under-performed on occasion, but both have a tremendous amount of talent and potential and could end up making the pod system. A win here would go a long way for either team in that regard.
-VILLANOVA AT LA SALLE. This is a Big Five showdown. Both teams have just two losses, but Nova has looked a lot better. Both teams also need to win some quality games if they want to make the bracket picture.
-DAYTON AT PITTSBURGH. Dayton has just one loss on the year, and even has some notable wins against Creighton and Louisville, but a win in this game would really boost their resume. Theyd go from borderline, to top 25 caliber overnight. Its easier said than done, though. Pitt has lost two straight games, but both were on the road to highly ranked teams. Those didnt hurt much, but they were some missed opportunities. This would be a great game as far as rebounding from that goes, and getting back on track to get a top four seed.
-TEXAS AT TENNESSEE. These are two teams that have a lot of momentum right now, so it should be a good game. Tennessee just got a big win against Pitt in their last game, which was their fifth in a row. Theyve also beaten Memphis and Western Kentucky during that stretch. Texas has won three in a row, including big wins against Arkansas and LSU. Right now, both these teams look like top four seeds, so this should be a great game.
-BUCKNELL AT TEXAS TECH. Bucknell is on a role. Theyve won three in a row and all of those came on the road. A win here would be huge for their profile. Texas Tech is hot as well, and Bobby Knight can Dean Smith on the all time wins list. More importantly, his team can continue to build their NCAA Tournament profile.
-MICHIGAN AT UCLA. Michigan has played an absolute cupcake schedule, so their 9-1 record means very little. UCLA is unbeaten and has played some pretty good teams along the way. This is a big test for Michigan. Even if they dont win, a good showing would be a statement that they are capable of playing well on the road. That may not mean much to the committee, but it would at least give us an idea of how good Michigan can be.
-COPPIN STATE AT ALABAMA. A win gets the Tide to 11-1.
-WESTERN CAROLINA AT CLEMSON. Clemson can improve to 12-0 with a win. It is worth noting that they began last season 11-0 as well, but missed the NCAA Tournament.
-SAINT PETERS AT FLORIDA STATE. FSU is off to a great start and can improve to 11-2.
-NAVY AT GEORGETOWN. Georgetown is looking for their fifth straight win.
-LOUISIANA TECH AT LSU. This appears to be a mismatch. LSU was clobbered in their last game against Washington, but today it should be them that is doing the clobbering.
-AMERICAN AT MARYLAND. Maryland should have little trouble improving to 11-3.
-MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE AT MEMPHIS. Memphis should improve to 9-3 today.
-WISCONSIN GREEN BAY AT MICHIGAN STATE. Expect Michigan State to win with little trouble and improve to 12-2.
-MERCER AT OREGON. Oregon should improve to 11-0 with little trouble.
-CAMPBELL AT VIRGINIA TECH. Virginia Tech has won four in a row and this will likely be number five. They got off to a sluggish start, but have really hit their stride.
MORE NEWS AND NOTES
-Since most everyone in my family goes to bed way before I do, Ill probably do my next bracket late Sunday night, so be sure and keep an eye out for that.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Holiday 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...