BX Highlighted Match-ups, News and Notes (February 6th)

BX Highlighted Match-ups, News and Notes (February 6th)
Feb 06, 2008, 01:26 pm

-Jonathan Davis, a member of Ohio- Chillicothe’s basketball team, tragically died after collapsing yesterday during the team’s practice. Everyone’s thoughts and prayers from Draft Express are with him and his family.

-Last night was another eventful night. Butler trailed for 38+ minutes against Valparaiso on the road in a hostile environment (it usually is when Butler plays on the road) but managed to stay in the game and escape with a 71-68 win. The game was a classic. It was played in an Indiana gymnasium, which is Valpo’s home floor. There were no $10,000 box seats and no scoreboard that costs more than a house. Just two good teams playing basketball in an electric environment.

-Tennessee trailed Florida in the first half, but regrouped and managed to come back and win 104-82. The game was much closer than the score indicates because the Vols sort of pulled away down the stretch. Tennessee is still on pace to receive a #1 seed if they keep it up.

-Drake was impressive last night. They went on the road to play a very good Illinois State team who’s fans and players were jacked up to the roof. They fell behind by 11 early, but managed to fight off the hostile environment and come back to get the lead, and eventually the win 73-70. The game was great. The broadcast on CSTV was not. It looked as though it was a direct feed from the video board on the scoreboard. During some crucial plays late in the game, viewers were treated to a cartoonish graphic that simply read “NOISE!!!”


-DUKE AT NORTH CAROLINA (ACC). The Tarheels may be without Ty Lawson, which is a major setback for them. If Lawson doesn’t play, the committee will factor in his absence to what is a hugely important game. There are first/second round games in Raleigh, and there is a regional in Charlotte, so it’s very possible that one of these teams could remain in the state of North Carolina until they reach the Final Four. However, only one of these teams will get that privilege, which makes this game, along with all other ACC games, so important. It’s the most intense rivalry in college basketball, and there is a lot at stake tonight both on and off paper. Both teams could end up a #1 seed, and both are fighting to be the #1 seed in the Charlotte Region. Game on.


-KENTUCKY AT AUBURN (SEC). Kentucky has won three straight games, and at minimum three of their next four are winnable. A very strong finish, and keep in mind it would have to be VERY strong, could end them up in the NCAA tourney.

-TEXAS TECH AT BAYLOR (Big Twelve). The fact that this is Tech’s first game without Bobby Knight will be surrounding this game, but it’s also a big game for Baylor, who is good enough to earn an at-large and needs to take advantage of this winnable conference home game.

-MARYLAND AT BOSTON COLLEGE (ACC). Maryland is playing really well right now, but they can’t afford to let up. BC is a good team, but they’ve lost four in a row and need to string together some wins to get themselves back into the picture. The Terps have won eight out of ten, and this would be another notable conference road win to add to their resume.

-TCU AT BYU (Mountain West). BYU is right on the bubble, so the margin for error is somewhat small. They should be able to take care of business and win at home tonight against a lower level conference team.

-CHARLOTTE AT DAYTON (Atlantic Ten). Dayton is right on the bubble and has not been able to win since the injuries set in with their team. Winning tonight would be huge, because they’re playing a conference frontrunner and it would show the committee that they’re still able to play and beat good teams at home. Charlotte struggled out of conference, but has been red hot since conference play began. A win on the road in this one would give their RPI a boost and keep them near the top of the A-10 standings.

-SAINT JOSEPH’S AT DUQUESNE (Atlantic Ten). Saint Joseph’s is coming off an emotional, yet convincing, win against rival Villanova. Duquesne has played pretty well this year and has been able to generate some enthusiasm around a program that hasn’t had much lately, but they have lost four of six and Saint Joseph’s is looking to pick up a conference road win, which would help them out considering that they’re close to the bubble.

-OHIO AT EASTERN MICHIGAN (Mid American). Ohio has a solid shot at an at-large bid if they can win out in the regular season. They need to be able to pick up a win on the road against a struggling EMU team. That being said, given what happened with Jonathan Davis I don’t know if this game will go on as scheduled or not.

-VANDERBILT AT GEORGIA (SEC). I thought Georgia would be hitting their stride once conference play began, but they’ve lost three in a row and are way outside the NCAA tourney picture right now. Vandy, who has only won two true road games this year, could really benefit from picking up a conference road win in this game.

-VCU AT GEORGIA STATE (Colonial). VCU has a shot at an at-large if they can win out, or come close to it and avoid any losses to poor RPI teams. Georgia State is a poor RPI team so they need to take care of business tonight.

-NEBRASKA AT KANSAS STATE (Big Twelve). Nebraska entered conference play with a ton of momentum, but they’ve been struggling ever since. Kansas State just suffered their first conference loss this past weekend in a somewhat surprising loss to Missouri, but they should be able to rebound from that and keep themselves in the hunt for a very good seed, as well as a first place finish in the league, with a win tonight.

-BALL STATE AT KENT STATE (Mid American). Kent is coming off a heartbreaking, buzzer beating loss to Toledo, but if they can take down Saint Mary’s in the Bracket Buster and avoid stubbing their toes against poor RPI teams between now and the end they should be in position to get an at-large bid.

-SMU AT MEMPHIS (Conference USA). Memphis is unbeaten on the year and shouldn’t have too much trouble remaining that way after tonight. They’ve won so many games that even a loss would keep them in position to earn a #1 seed.

-FLORIDA STATE AT MIAMI, FL (ACC). This is a big conference rivalry, but more importantly than that both teams are outside the bubble looking in and could really use a big win like this to help turn things around. Miami has lost five of six and FSU has lost six of seven, so neither team comes into this game all that hot and both teams come in really needing the win.

-ALABAMA AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (SEC). Mississippi State had been on a roll, but is coming off a loss to Tennessee. They fell behind, but managed to come back and nearly pulled off what would have been a big win. Nevertheless, they’re still solidly in the NCAA tourney hunt and need to take advantage of a winnable home game against Alabama.

-TEXAS AT OKLAHOMA (Big Twelve). Both teams appear to be solid Tournament teams, but a win in this game would really help improve their seed, not to mention their place in the conference standings. Oh yeah, this is the Red River Shootout as well. Bragging rights are on the line between these two big rivals.

-NOTRE DAME AT SETON HALL (Big East). Seton Hall just had a five game winning streak snapped with a loss at Georgetown, but it was a loss at Georgetown, which is hardly damaging. They’re still right on the bubble and can play their way safely inside it if they keep racking up wins. They host a very good Notre Dame team tonight, who typically struggles on the road. The Irish have a win at Villanova, but a win in this one would boost their credentials even more.

-CONNECTICUT AT SYRACUSE (Big East). Syracuse is on the bubble, but has been playing well recently and a win against conference rival Connecticut would really help them out tonight. UConn is red hot right now with five straight wins, three of which were against quality RPI teams. If they can keep it up they have a chance of making the pod system and playing their first/second round games in Washington, DC.

-UNLV AT UTAH (Mountain West). UNLV should be safe for a bid if they finish first in the league and avoid any losses to poor RPI teams. Tonight is a chance for them to pick up another conference road win.

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