No Big surprises after the first day. Gonzaga looked very impressive. They were took on Eastern Washington, who is a decent team out of the Big Sky, and blew them out. That isnt necessarily a surprised, but they looked very good doing it. Florida also looked as good as their #1 ranking with their blowout win against Samford, who is favored to win the Ohio Valley Conference.
BCA CLASSIC SEMIFINALS
-LOYOLA, IL AT OHIO STATE. Loyola is expected to be one of the best teams in the Horizon League. An upset here is unlikely, but if they pull it off it would be as good a win on their resume as theyll likely get all year. Ohio State is a strong candidate for a #1 seed and this should be a good RPI game for them since Loyola will likely win a lot of games.
-IUPUI VS KENT STATE. Both teams rolled over their opponents in the first game. Kent State is the defending MAC champions, but theyve got some rebuilding to do. IUPUI is one of the best teams in the MidCon, but the competition theyll face in the final two games of this tournament is much better than what theyre used to playing in conference games.
-The two consolation games are South Dakota State vs Alabama A&M and VMI vs Princeton.
COACHES VS CANCER QUARTERFINALS
-NAVY AT SAINT JOHNS. The winner will advance to the semis where theyll face Maryland.
North Florida will face Loyola, MD in the consolation game.
-This is the second leg of a round robin.
-UTEP AT SYRACUSE. Both teams won their first game. This would be a major upset if UTEP could pull this off, but it isnt likely. Still, they beat a very good Penn team in their first game.
-PENN VS SAINT FRANCIS, NY.
BASKETBALL TRAVELERS CLASSIC AT FRESNO STATE
-South Alabama @ Fresno State
-Winston Salem State vs UC Irvine
Both South Alabama and Fresno State were winners in their first game.
BASKETBALL TRAVELERS CLASSIC AT OREGON
-Cal State Northridge @ Oregon
-Lehigh vs Portland State.
Both Cal State Northridge and Oregon won their first game.
BASKETBALL TRAVELERS CLASSIC AT OLD DOMINION
-Clemson vs Monmouth
-Arkansas State @ Old Dominion
Both Clemson and Old Dominion were winners in their first game. This is the second leg of a round robin tournament.
JIM THORPE CLASSIC
-Tennessee Martin @ Cincinnati
-High Point vs Howard
Both Cincinnati and Tennessee Martin won their first game. Cincinnati crushed Howard and isnt likely to be challenged by anyone else. This is the second leg of a round robin tournament. JOHN THOMPSON
-Davidson @ Michigan
-Army @ Missouri
The Davidson vs Michigan game could be interesting. Davidson is rebuilding, but they are still a good team in the Southern Conference. Michigan is trying to get back to the NCAA Tournament after a long absence.
SAINT MARYS SHAMROCK
-SAN DIEGO STATE AT SAINT MARYS. Saint Marys beat a nondiv1 team the other night whereas San Diego State downed Murray State. Both teams are NCAA Tournament hopefuls, but if either get into the picture theyre likely to be close to the bubble, so this is a big game for both teams early on.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTED MATCHUPS
-BUCKNELL AT ALBANY. This is a good matchup between two teams who are the hands down favorites to win their conferences. Bucknell has been to the second round of the NCAA Tournament two years in a row, and has another team this year that can contend for an at large bid. This is a good game for them as far as the RPI goes because Albany will likely win 20+ games this year. Both teams are experienced as well.
-DE PAUL AT BRADLEY. Bradley is in a rebuilding mode, but could get off to a good start with a win against a good De Paul team. De Paul will have their hands full in Big East play, so a road win like this will really help them. With the conference being so strong they need to win all the winnable games they can because theyll likely be overmatched in a lot of conference games.
-HOFSTRA AT CHARLOTTE. Very good early season game here between two teams who are good enough to compete for an at large bid. Hofstra has a tremendous back court and just missed making the NCAA Tournament last year. They appear to be improved this year, but need a good win like this. An early season win against another team who is in the tournament hunt could be what gets them over the top. The same goes for Charlotte.
-GEORGE MASON AT CLEVELAND STATE. George Mason lost some of their top players from last years Final Four team, but still appears to be very good and could be back in the bracket picture this year. One wouldnt expect them to have much trouble winning this game.
-NORTHERN ARIZONA AT KANSAS. This is probably technically a Buy Game, but Northern Arizona is one of the better teams in the Big Sky who will win a lot of games this year. Kansas is definitely a potential pod team and many feel they could end up as a #1 seed. Northern Arizona may be overmatched today, but they should win a lot of games this year and we could see them in the NCAA Tournament come March. Of course if they win this game, it will be a big step as far as possibly getting an at-large bid.
-TOLEDO AT MISSOURI STATE. Both Toledo and Missouri State should have big years this year. Missouri State was surprisingly left out of the NCAA Tournament last year despite having a terrific season, but has the personnel to get them in this year as an at large. Toledo is pretty solid as well. They return most of last years team that finished very strong down the stretched and advanced to the MAC Championship game. This is likely a good RPI game for both teams and it will be a good win on either teams resume, which is something that both teams will need as much as they can get come March.
-VILLANOVA AT NORTHWOOD (nondiv1). Villanova is on their way to the Virgin Islands to play in the Paradise Jam. Theyre stopping off in Palm Beach to take on Northwood. Im sure Northwood is happy to have a team like Villanova coming to their place to play them.
-HARTFORD AT GEORGETOWN. Georgetown is a very good team who will likely compete for a spot in the Pod System. Buffalo would be an ideal placement for them.
-WILLIAM & MARY AT KANSAS STATE. The Bob Huggins era begins at Kansas State. They appear to be good enough to compete for an at-large bid, but they really arent challenging themselves in the season opener. They should role in this one.
-DARTMOUTH AT MASSACHUSETTS. UMass has a very talented team this year and appears to be one of the better clubs in the Atlantic Ten. They could very easily play their way into contention for an at large. They play some pretty good teams out of conference, but this isnt one of them.
-NICHOLLS STATE AT MISSISSIPPI STATE. Mississippi State missed the NCAA Tournament last year. They shouldnt have a hard time starting things off with a win this year.
-SAM HOUSTON AT TEXAS TECH. Texas Tech had a very bad year last year, but looks to be improved this season and may be good enough to get back to the NCAA Tournament. Either way they should have little trouble winning today.
-JAMES MADISON AT WAKE FOREST. Wake Forest got off to a good start last year, but completely fell apart in conference play. Nevertheless, James Madison poses little threat to them.
-ROCKHURST (nondiv1) AT WICHITA STATE. Wichita State is a top 25 caliber team who should be in the bracket picture all season long. They arent going to gain anything from playing a nondiv1 team, but better competition is on the horizon.
-COASTAL CAROLINA AT XAVIER. Coastal Carolina is one of the better teams in the Big South and they have a very good backcourt. They may have a shot at pulling off the upset. Xavier finished strong last year and is capable of making the NCAA Tournament, but they cant afford to drop games like this.