Tues, February 19th News, Notes and Highlighted Match-ups

Tues, February 19th News, Notes and Highlighted Match-ups
Feb 19, 2008, 08:53 am

-The most recent Bracket Express Projections are posted in the article below this one. Be sure and check them out if you haven’t already.

-Saint Joseph’s suffered a surprising, upset loss to La Salle last night 90-89. It’s an inner-city rivalry game, so they lose some bragging rights, but more importantly it’s the kind of loss that really looks bad on their profile. This isn’t going to look good to the committee at all, so SJU’s margin for error just became much smaller.

-Gonzaga won a big game against San Diego last night. Both teams were in a three way tie for first place, so it was a big road win for the Zags, at least as far as the West Coast standings go.

-Xavier held on to beat Rhode Island after blowing a 12 point halftime lead on the road. Rhody is now just 6-5 in the Atlantic Ten and will need a strong finish to secure a solid seed in the NCAA Tournament.


-DE PAUL AT CONNECTICUT (Big East). UConn struggled against South Florida in their last game and needed a last second tip-in in order to win. Nevertheless, they escaped, and are still solidly in the hunt for the Big East title. This looks to be a winnable game at home, so they should sustain their momentum and remain in the hunt.

-BRADLEY AT DRAKE (Missouri Valley). Bradley has been playing better lately, but it’s still hard to imagine that they’ll be much of a match for Drake on the road. Drake has the big game coming up against Butler and doesn’t want to get caught looking ahead, though. Their bid to the NCAA Tournament is relatively safe barring a collapse, but their seed could take a hit if they go into the tank.

-CLEMSON AT FLORIDA STATE (ACC). A solid finish to the regular season should guarantee Clemson a spot. Florida State has been in a slump, but they’re typically a tough team to beat when they’re at home, so this should be yet another tough test for the Tigers.

-PURDUE AT INDIANA (Big Ten). This is one of the bigger rivalries in the Big Ten, and tonight’s game is interesting because for the first time in a long time the game has first place implications for both teams. It’s also the only time these two will meet in the regular season, and if you throw in the Kelvin Sampson card this game suddenly has more storylines than I can count. Indiana could use another big win on their resume because even though they beat Michigan State last week they still don’t have quite as many as the teams that are being projected ahead of them. A win for Purdue will be yet another big time road win and keep them in the driver’s seat to win the Big Ten. However, the most important thing to both teams tonight could be the bragging rights that come with winning this game.

-BAYLOR AT OKLAHOMA (Big Twelve). This is a pivotal game for both teams. Both are still very much in the NCAA Tournament mix and should remain that way regardless of who wins, but both have quite a bit of room for improvement when it comes to their credentials. Oklahoma got a nice road win over the weekend, but barely. It took a last second desperation three to beat Texas Tech. Baylor put up a fight against Texas, but ended up losing. The Bears have lost five of six, and with Kansas State coming up they really need to win this tonight.


-KENT STATE AT BUFFALO (Mid American). Kent has a big game coming up this weekend against Saint Mary’s which will probably determine whether or not they’re in contention for an at-large bid. They don’t want to overlook this game, though, because if they slip up and drop a game like this on the road it will likely knock them completely out of the picture and will need the automatic bid to get in.

-UNC GREENSBORO AT DAVIDSON (Southern Conference). It’s possible that Davidson will get some consideration if they win out and fail to win their conference tournament, but anything short of winning out and they’ll almost assuredly need the automatic bid. They’ve been dominating the league, and if they lose a game in the regular season or the conference tournament it will be a surprise, though.

-GEORGIA AT KENTUCKY (SEC). Kentucky’s next three games all appear to be winnable. In fact, five of their last six appear to be winnable. Not all of them are easy, but Kentucky has been playing well enough (minus the blowout loss to Vandy last week) to win them all. If that happens, they’ll be squarely in the discussion for an NCAA Tournament bid.

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