Highlighted Matchups for Monday, 11/20, and More

Highlighted Matchups for Monday, 11/20, and More
Nov 20, 2006, 12:27 am


-AIR FORCE VS DUKE. Duke has not been tested yet, but they should be today and they better be on upset alert. Air Force absolutely pounded Stanford on Stanford’s floor to advance to the semifinals, and followed that up with a blowout win on the road at Colorado. This team is playing like a top 25 caliber team. If they win this tournament, that should definitely be enough to put them into the rankings. If they win either this game or the consolation game, I think that should be enough. This is very important to Air Force because their schedule is rather weak, but this tournament allows them to face some quality competition, which is something they really need.

-TEXAS TECH VS MARQUETTE. Marquette struggled against very weak competition in their first two games, but snapped out of it when they blew out Detroit to advance to the semifinals. Texas Tech had dominated both of their tournament games, but they are coming off a game where they struggled to get by North Dakota State. This should be a quality win for whoever pulls this out, which will look good on their NCAA Tourney resume.


-De Paul vs Kentucky
-Oklahoma vs Memphis
-UCLA vs Chaminade
-Georgia Tech vs Purdue

Once again, this appears to be the strongest overall field among all the exempt tournaments. De Paul has played very poorly and Kentucky isn’t likely to have much trouble with them, but Memphis, UCLA, Georgia Tech and Purdue have all looked pretty good. UCLA took on a tough BYU team, but other than that none of these teams have really been tested yet, so it will be interesting to see how they all do against each other. A lot of these teams will be in the tournament picture come March, so that means the committee will be looking at these games to see how they did against each other. As always, these games are important to the selection and seeding process.


-Both semifinal games were good games. Iowa hung with Alabama for most of the game, but Bama pulled away at the end and wound up winning. Xavier and Villanova was close all the way through. I don’t recall a point in the game where a team had a bigger lead than seven points. It seesawed back and forth, but at the end Xavier was ahead and picked up a huge win, which they needed more than Nova. Nova will have a lot more opportunities at statement wins in conference than Xavier. Alabama and Xavier will play for the title. Iowa will face Villanova in the 3rd place game, but the selection committee doesn’t consider it a 3rd place game. They just consider it a regular season game between Iowa and Villanova. The same can be said for Xavier vs Alabama.


-WINTHROP AT MARYLAND. Maryland has been playing great basketball. They won the Coaches vs Cancer Classic and are 5-0 on the year. Winthrop played well against North Carolina in the NIT, but couldn’t quite pull off the upset. They’ll have another shot to get a statement win tonight, which is something they need if they want to make a case that they’re an NCAA at-large team, but as good as Maryland is playing right now it won’t be easy.


-SANTA CLARA AT CALIFORNIA. Cal needs to rebound from their loss to San Diego State. A win improves them to 2-1.

-SAN FRANCISCO AT OHIO STATE. Ohio State is 4-0, but really hasn’t been tested yet. It isn’t likely they will be tonight either.


-A new Bracket Projection will be posted later today. I will also post my personal top 25, which has nothing to do with the projection. The projection is an attempt to guess the committee, whereas my top 25 is simply a list of who I personally think the 25 best teams are. I can say there will most likely be a lot of changes in both my bracket and top 25.

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