BX News, Notes, Ramblings and Highlighted Match-ups

BX News, Notes, Ramblings and Highlighted Match-ups
Feb 22, 2008, 11:47 am

-Dayton, a team that got off to an incredible start this season, is in the midst of an incredibly awful finish. Injuries did play a role and the selection committee does consider such things, but they consider it. They don’t dismiss it. With their overtime loss to La Salle last night, they are just 3-7 in their last ten games with losses to La Salle, George Washington and Richmond in that stretch. If they win out and manage to beat Xavier at some point in the conference tournament then that would probably get them in, but the way they’re playing now it’s more likely that they’ll lose out than win out.

-South Alabama may be under the nation’s radar, but the committee has certainly noticed them. They picked up a huge 69-64 win on the road against a very tough Western Kentucky team last night. It was a hostile environment, but South Alabama was never rattled, even when WKU began coming back. It is WKU’s first loss of the season at home, so even though they don’t have solid NCAA Tournament credentials South Alabama should get quite a bit of credit for the win. They now have an RPI of 27, and with wins at Western Kentucky and Mississippi State, they should get strong consideration for an at-large bid if they win out, but fail to win the conference tournament. Losses at North Texas and at Middle Tennessee are a drag on the resume, but winning out it should be enough to offset those losses.

-UMass got a huge, much needed road win against Rhode Island over the weekend. The two are know deadlocked with one another in the standings, and with UMass having beaten Rhode Island twice they appear to have the upper hand. 6-6 in the Atlantic Ten is not outstanding for either team, though, and it will cause the committee to be hesitant toward taking either team if they can’t finish strong. I believe both need to finish strong in order to feel safe.

-Arizona State missed an opportunity to pick up a big time road win against Washington State. It’s a nice win for Wazzu, who continues to further their credentials, but ASU is probably continuing to sweat. They’re a bubble team and their game against Washington this weekend is suddenly looking very important for them.

-USC snapped a two game losing streak when they came from behind to take down Oregon. The Ducks got out to an early lead and it appeared as though they’d run away with it, but USC had a great second half where they outscored the Ducks 48-33 and managed to pick up the win.


-Notre Dame trailed Pittsburgh for a good portion of the game, but came back in the second half to win and keep their long home winning streak in tact. The Irish remain in the mix for the Big East regular season title. Louisville, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Georgetown are all tied for first place in the loss column, so it should be an exciting finish to the season.

-Providence is in 13th place and trails De Paul by two games. It’s generally easier to make up ground at the bottom of the standings than it is at the top because the teams at the bottom lose more often. (That’s why they’re at the bottom) Still, with just four games remaining Providence is in danger of being mathematically eliminated from the Big East Tournament if they can’t turn it around. Rutgers and South Florida are just one loss away from mathematical elimination.

-Cincinnati is interesting. They’re 8-5 in the conference, and with games coming up against Georgetown, Pittsburgh and Connecticut they have a chance to play their way into the NCAA Tournament. It won’t be easy, but considering how bad UC was at the beginning of the season it’s hard to believe that they even have a chance. If they can win four out of their last five, and De Paul and Providence are both very winnable games, that should be enough to get them into the field.


-The Bracket Buster gets underway tonight with two intriguing match-ups. Neither appears to have that much of an impact on the at-large pool, but both games feature two teams that could easily end up winning their conference tournaments and making the NCAAs.

-DAVIDSON AT WINTHROP. This is a match-up of regional intrigue. Winthrop has a young team, but on occasion has shown they can play some excellent basketball. They’ve been inconsistent throughout the season, but with four straight wins and a season’s worth of experience behind them it looks as though they’re hitting their stride right now. Davidson may get some at-large consideration if they win out, but lose in the conference tournament. Anything short of that won’t be enough, though, and it may not be enough even if they do manage to win out. Davidson played UCLA, North Carolina, Duke, NC State and Charlotte, and were in a position to win all five of those games, but unfortunately they ended up losing all five. Nevertheless, they’re MUCH better than their resume indicates and if they do manage to get into the NCAA Tournament they are good enough to win a game or two.

-UC SANTA BARBARA AT UTAH STATE. UCSB entered conference play with a big head of steam and it appeared as though they may be good enough to play their way into the at-large discussion. They’re still a good team, but they have too many sub100 RPI losses so it looks as though they’ll need the Big West automatic bid to get in. Utah State got off to a terrible start, but at one point went through a stretch where they went 14-1. They’re currently in a slump with three straight losses, though, so they aren’t coming into this with as much momentum as they had when the match-up was announced.

-I’ll have a rundown of all of tomorrow’s Bracket Buster match-ups, along with all the rest of tomorrow’s big action, posted late tonight/early tomorrow. This is the biggest weekend of the season up until this point so be sure and check it out.

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