Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Buster Matchup Guide

I. Check out the Bracket Buster viewing guide.
Updated ranking of games based on the impact of teams' at-large profiles:
1. Bucknell at Northern Iowa. UNI is all but a lock. Bucknell is likely in, too, but they need this one more. A loss here does not kill them, though.
2. George Mason at Wichita State. A GMU win makes them a solid at-large contender if they falter in the CAA tourney. They are a decent one already.
3. Missouri State at UW-Milwaukee. Both need it for at-large hopes. Panthers are a REAL long shot at this point.
4. Akron at Nevada. Must-win for Nevada. No shot for Akron as an at-large.
5. Fresno State at Creighton. Must-win for Creighton. No shot for Fresno State as an AL.
6. LA Tech at SIU. SIU must win. LA Tech is dead as an AL.
7. Northern Arizona at Western Kentucky. Must win for WKU's razor thin AL hopes. N Ariz has no shot as an AL.
8. Marist at Old Dominion. ODU's hopes are on life support.
9. Northwestern State at Utah State. USU's AL hopes are Kate Moss-thin.
No chance for any of these teams as AL's.
10. Samford at Ohio.
11. Butler at Kent State.
12. Albany at VCU.

II. Bracketography.com is doing in-depth game breakdowns. Good stuff.

III. Last Night's GOI
--at Nevada 50, LA Tech 49. Important win for Nevada. They now have sole possession of the WAC lead.
--Kansas 64, at Oklahoma State 49. Winning by 15 in Gallagher-Iba usually comes with much fanfare, but what else do you expect KU to do at this point? This is one scary team heading down the stretch.
--at Villanova 69, UConn 64. This gets 'Nova back into the 1-seed convo. UConn is still 1-seed material, too. But, will the committee give a 1-seed to a team that finishes third in its conference?

IV. Tonight's GOI
--SIU at Bradley. The Braves are very tough in Peoria (10-1).
--Michigan State at Iowa. Major Big Ten implications.
--West Virginia at Seton Hall. Let's see if SHU can bounce back from the UConn debacle.
--Alabama at South Carolina. Tide trying to solidify themselves while Gamecocks look to climb into the Bubble picture.
--Saint Joseph's at Temple. In city rivalry alert! Gotta love it. SJU won the first meeting by two.
--Creighton at Wichita State. Two of the four 11-4 teams atop the MVC standings. How much fun is the MVC this year?