Highlighted Games for Sun, 1/28

Highlighted Games for Sun, 1/28
Jan 28, 2007, 12:27 am
-MASSACHUSETTS AT CHARLOTTE (Atlantic Ten). Massachusetts needs to win this game to stay in the hunt for a first place finish, and to be in a position to get an at-large bid. A loss in this game would practically end their chances.

-VIRGINIA AT CLEMSON (ACC). Clemson lost a heartbreaker to Duke on a controversial last second shot. They need to rebound from that and avoid a loss to a Virginia team that has been extremely inconsistent this year. Clemson is still very solid and very much in the hunt to make the pod system. The Duke loss is unfortunate because it hurts their chances of getting into Winston Salem, but they aren’t out of the race by any means. They can still get a good seed and location if they can continue to take care of business against teams like Virginia, and rack up a few big wins between now and the end.

-BOSTON COLLEGE AT DUKE (ACC). Boston College won an exciting game against Florida State their last time out, and they have a very good record in ACC play, but they haven’t played in a conference game like this yet. I believe BC is pretty close to the bubble now, but a win in this game would really boost their profile and make them much safer. As for Duke, they appear to be a solid pod team, and a win in this game keeps them in the race, which is important because they want to be placed in Winston Salem.

-LSU AT GEORGIA (SEC). LSU desperately needs this win. They have a losing record in conference, have done next to nothing on the road, and don’t really have an impressive profile. Georgia is going in the opposite direction. They’ve racked up some big wins lately, including an overtime win against Kentucky their last time out, and will be an NCAA Tournament team if they keep it up. It won’t be easy for LSU to beat them on the road, but this is exactly the type of win they need.

-VIRGINIA TECH AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC). Georgia Tech has lost two straight games, but they were road games to North Carolina and Maryland, so that isn’t too damaging. Virginia Tech continues to play outstanding basketball. They’ve won six of their last seven and have beaten some high quality teams in that stretch. This is a big home game for Georgia Tech. They aren’t in any danger of dropping out of the tournament picture, but their resume will take a hit if they drop a third straight game.

-WISCONSIN AT IOWA (Big Ten). Iowa has played pretty well at home recently, but they probably aren’t much of a match for a Wisconsin team that is a #1 seed caliber team. A win for Wisconsin gets them to 21-1 on the season, and keeps them unbeaten in Big Ten play.

-TENNESSEE AT KENTUCKY (SEC). Tennessee hasn’t played all that well their last few games. They’ve lost four out of five, but played well against Vanderbilt and Ohio State in that stretch. However, they haven’t looked the same in their last three games and better find the answers soon because they face a very good Kentucky team today. Kentucky has lost two games in a row, but both were by close margins against good teams. They seem to be the kind of team that rebounds well, and chances are the losses got their blood flowing rather than broke their spirits. They need a few more big wins to improve their resume, and this would certainly qualify. You get the sense that this is a somewhat pivotal game for both teams at this point.

-MARQUETTE AT SOUTH FLORIDA (Big East). Marquette has won five straight games, and three of those came on the road. In the conference like the Big East, that is very impressive. They shouldn’t have too much trouble taking care of a South Florida team on the road today.

-UCLA AT STANFORD (Pac Ten). This is a fantastic Pac Ten match-up. Both teams won handily on Thursday night. Stanford has been playing very well lately, and has a ton of momentum coming into this game for what should be a very electric atmosphere. UCLA is still in strong contention for a #1 seed, and a loss in this game doesn’t change that, but a win certainly continues to add ot their already impressive resume. A #1 seed for UCLA would mean they’d be relatively close to home in Sacramento and San Jose throughout the first four rounds of the tournament. A win for Stanford in this game really boosts their profile and will improve their projected seed.

-DE PAUL AT WEST VIRGINIA (Big East). De Paul had been looking pretty good after getting off to a sluggish start this season, but they have slipped up lately. They’ve lost their last two to fall to 11-9, and although the NCAAs aren’t out of reach by any stretch, they do need to start winning games against quality opponents. This would be a huge road win for them if they could pull off the upset. West Virginia is a completely different team at home than they are on the road. It isn’t unusual for teams to play better at home than on the road, but West Virginia is an extreme case. They are unbeaten at home, and have really won handily in nearly all their games, and are just 1-3 in true road games with the one win coming against Duquesne. They’re at home today, though, so expect them to play like a solid top 25 team.

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