Friday, November 16 Highlighted Games and Exempt Tournaments

Friday, November 16 Highlighted Games and Exempt Tournaments
Nov 16, 2007, 10:54 am


-GARDNER WEBB got into foul trouble early and really couldn’t stay with CONNECTICUT. At least they have another shot against them next Tuesday, but the results may not be any different. OKLAHOMA fell to MEMPHIS. They kept it within reach for most of the game, but couldn’t get over the top. MEMPHIS will face CONNECTICUT tonight in the championship game, and GARDNER WEBB will square off with OKLAHOMA in the third place game.


-PROVIDENCE and VCU won in exciting fashion yesterday. VCU and HOUSTON was close all throughout the game, but VCU managed to get the lead at the end and hold on. It was a nice win for a VCU team that’s trying to build a good resume, and playing well in this tournament should help. PROVIDENCE overcame a seven point deficit late in the second half to beat TEMPLE to win. Temple had a chance to send the game into overtime, but missed a shot at the buzzer.

-ARKANSAS had an easier time knocking off a young COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON team, and MIAMI, FL absolutely blew out MARIST.

That creates an interesting semifinal. VCU will face MIAMI, and PROVIDENCE will lock horns with ARKANSAS. The losers will face each other on the other side of the bracket.

-Yesterday’s games were exciting, but there were virtually no fans there. That has me somewhat puzzled. I know the enthusiasm isn’t all that high yet, but several of the schools in this tournament have passionate fan bases, and one would think that at least a few of those fans wouldn’t mind a week on the beach in Puerto Rico while watching their teams play.


-CHARLOTTE will square off against GEORGIA TECH in a game between two teams who are trying to establish themselves early. Georgia Tech lost their season opener against UNC Greensboro, but bounced back with a win in their next game. Charlotte hasn’t done much since joining the Atlantic Ten, but they’re off to a 2-0 start so far and have a chance to really make a statement if they can play well in this tournament.

-ILLINOIS CHICAGO, who is 2-0 with a win over Bradley, will face WINTHROP, which is a team that is looking to prove that it can still win despite the fact that it lost so much talent. This is Winthrop’s first game against a div1 team, and it doesn’t look like an easy assignment.

-BAYLOR, who appears to be getting better under head coach Scott Drew, has a chance to explode out of the gate early if they can play well in this tournament. They’ll face WICHITA STATE tonight. Both teams won their openers, but it was a struggle for Wichita State.

-NOTRE DAME is off to a 2-0 start, and shouldn’t have any trouble advancing to the semis against 0-2 MONMOUTH tonight.


-UAB and FLORIDA STATE appear to be the two best teams in the tournament, and they’ll square off in the first round tonight. Both teams appear to be either on or just outside the bubble right now according to preseason projections, but I expect both to have very good years and this would be a nice win for whichever team pulls it off. RHODE ISLAND is in the tournament as well, and will face SOUTH FLORIDA tonight, in what looks to be a very winnable game for the Rams. The tournament isn’t bracketed, but each of the eight teams will play three games. The most intriguing match-up appears to be tonight’s game between UAB and Florida State.


-NEW MEXICO STATE, WEST VIRGINIA, TEXAS and TENNESSEE are all bracketed to meet each other in the semifinals, but each will get two cup-cakes at home prior to next week. Tonight, Texas faces UC Davis, West Virginia has Arkansas Monticello, and Tennessee will host Prairie View A&M.


-ILLINOIS AT HAWAI’I. Illinois is in the Maui Invitational next week, but they’re squeezing in another game while they’re out there. It is very tough to go on the road and win at Hawai’i, so this would be a nice win for an Illinois team that’s trying to build up a tournament caliber profile.

-TOLEDO AT OLD DOMINION. I don’t know for sure how good Old Dominion is yet, but they did manage to win their season opener and can improve to 2-0 tonight. Toledo chalked up a rather impressive win in their opener against Missouri State, but fell to Vanderbilt in their last outing. This would be another good win for the Rockets if they can pull it off, especially since it’s on the road against a team that traditionally plays very well at home. This is the first of six straight road games for Toledo.

-FORDHAM AT SYRACUSE. Fordham appears to have a competitive team this year, but they had their doors blown off against Missouri in their last game. It isn’t surprising that they fell to Missouri on the road, but for them to be beaten that badly indicates that maybe Fordham isn’t as good as I thought. Syracuse got a battle from Saint Joseph’s in their last home game, but should have an easier time tonight and remain unbeaten going into the semifinals of the NIT.


-AUBURN AT ALABAMA STATE. I guess this isn’t technically a Buy Game because Auburn is actually the road team. Auburn’s next five games are away from home, and they don’t play another true home game until December 19th.

-JACKSON STATE AT BYU. This game is actually part of the Las Vegas Invitational, which is an exempt tournament. It won’t get interesting until the second tier, though, when Louisville, North Carolina and BYU will potentially square off.

-LAMAR AT MISSISSIPPI. Ole Miss should be able to improve to 3-0 without too much trouble.

-SOUTHERN AT MISSOURI. Mizzou has the semifinals of the CBE Classic coming up, but won’t likely get much of a test tonight.

-PRESBYTARIAN AT NEW MEXICO. New Mexico shouldn’t get much of a challenge, and will improve to 3-0 with a win.

-IDAHO AT WASHINGTON STATE. Wazzu went on the road and got a win against Boise in their opener. They’re at home tonight and should win rather easily.

-FLORIDA A&M AT WISCONSIN. This shouldn’t be much of a test for the Badgers, and they should remain unbeaten on the season.

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