Tuesday, January 15th Highlighted Match-ups

Tuesday, January 15th Highlighted Match-ups
Jan 15, 2008, 12:20 pm

-If you haven't seen the most recent Bracket Express Projections, they are posted in the article below this one.

-I apologize for the delay in today's write-ups, but everyone on my street lost power. It's also very cold where I live and I'm really hoping that it's back on when I get home.


-OKLAHOMA STATE AT BAYLOR (Big Twelve). Baylor is off to one of their best starts in quite some time, and managed to win their first conference game over the weekend. Oklahoma State got off to a horrible start, but has now won five games in a row, including their conference opener, which was a blowout of Texas Tech. The thing is that none of those teams were as good as Baylor, and all were at home.

-MIAMI, FL AT BOSTON COLLEGE (ACC). BC rebounded nicely from their surprising loss to Robert Morris by blowing out Wake Forest in their conference opener. Miami has had an incredible season and has just one loss, but the level of competition is stiffening now that conference play is beginning. These are two good teams, but they don’t appear to be as good as the likes of Duke and North Carolina, so wins aren’t going to be easy to come by. That’s why games like this are big.

-NORTH CAROLINA STATE AT CLEMSON (ACC). NC State had won five straight, but were blown out by North Carolina in their conference opener. They have another very tough road game today, and it will be interesting to see how they react. Clemson just got a big win against Florida State, which was one they needed not just for the sake of getting a good win on paper, but for their mental health. They had lost two in a row prior to that, including a heartbreaker to North Carolina. If they win this game they should be in pretty good shape.

-NEBRASKA AT COLORADO (Big Twelve). Nebraska looked like they had quite a bit of momentum, but they were blown out by Kansas in their conference opener. They still appear to have a decent team, but they played a lot of cupcakes out of conference and need a strong showing in Big Twelve play, which means taking care of business in games like this.

-WAKE FOREST AT MARYLAND (ACC). Wake Forest was blown out in their last game, and is on the outside looking in. Maryland is so far outside right now that they can’t even see in. Both teams have quite a bit of work to do, and really can’t afford to lose this game.

-OHIO STATE AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten). Both teams are coming off conference losses. Ohio State’s wasn’t that surprising because it was on the road against a very good Purdue team, but Michigan State’s was shocking. They fell on the road against an Iowa team, and really looked badly doing it. Both teams appear to be solid, and Michigan State could still get a spot in the pod system. A win here would be a good resume builder for either team.

-KENTUCKY AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (SEC). Mississippi State continues to play well, and their current winning streak is now at six games, with two conference wins. Kentucky got a rather surprising win in their conference opener against Vanderbilt. Considering how poorly Kentucky played out of conference, I was wondering if they’d be able to beat anyone in the SEC. This game could be tougher, though, because they’re on the road against a team that’s red hot.

-CREIGHTON AT NORTHERN IOWA (Missouri Valley). UNI got off to a fairly decent start, but has lost their last three games. Creighton appears to have righted their ship, and is looking for their fourth straight conference win, which would leave them in pretty good shape. The Valley isn’t quite as strong this year as it has been in the last two, but a strong showing in league play should be enough to put Creighton in the discussion. They need to win on the road, though. They’ve won their last two road games, but both were close games against sub-par teams.

-CINCINNATI AT NOTRE DAME (Big East). We’re just four games into the Big East schedule, but these two are currently in a tie for first (with several others) with 3-1 records. Cincinnati got off to a pitiful start to the season, so going 3-1 hasn’t been nearly enough to make up for the ground they lost, but they are definitely headed in the right direction and traveling at a rapid speed. If they can manage a win here it will be another huge step forward. Notre Dame was blown out in their last game. They are much better at home, but if they can’t take care of business on the road then winning at home is a must. This should be a good one. Cincinnati has improved quite a bit, and is really fun to watch.

-WISCONSIN AT PENN STATE (Big Ten). Penn State is playing better than they usually do, but they’re still a long way from being in any NCAA Tournament discussion. Wisconsin appears to be playing their best ball of the season right now, but they did get a scare from Illinois in their last game. This is a chance to pick up another conference road win.

-BYU AT UNLV (Mountain West). This is a huge game between two teams who are looking to get into the NCAA picture. Both are good enough to do so, but need a strong showing in conference to get there, which means winning games like this. BYU has a notable win against Louisville, but considering what a slow start Louisville got off to they may not get much credit for that. UNLV is 11-4, and is coming off a very damaging loss to Air Force, which means their margin for error is now very small.

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