NEWS AND NOTES
-Lots of big games yesterday. Here is a link to the posts I made in the forum throughout the day yesterday. They are all in chronological order and give you a first hand look at how a basketball junky spends his Saturday. Feel free to register and share your comments.Basketball Forum
-My new bracket should be posted late tonight/early tomorrow morning. be sure to be on the lookout for that.
HIGHLIGHTED GAMES. The conference games are indicated in parenthesis. The teams are in alphabetical order via the home team.
-MICHIGAN STATE AT INDIANA (Big Ten) (CBS, 4:30pm, est). Indiana struggled at some points earlier in the season, but they have gotten better and better with every game theyve played. Even though they lost their conference opener to Ohio State, they played very well against them on the road and look like an NCAA Tournament caliber team right now. They need to grind out some quality wins in conference play in order to get themselves into the picture. Michigan State is off to a pretty good start as well, but their only win against a quality team came against Texas. Theyll need some quality wins of their own in league play.
-SYRACUSE AT MARQUETTE (Big East) (DirecTV #785, 8pm, est). Both these teams entered conference play with good records and Marquette had some good wins to go along with it, but both fell in their conference opener. The winner of this game picks up what should be a quality win on their profile. The loser falls to 0-2 in league play, so this has the feel of an early season swing game. Syracuse doesnt have the OOC wins that Marquette has, so they need the quality wins in conference play a little more. Both these teams have also been highly inconsistent this season.
-WICHITA STATE AT MISSOURI STATE (Missouri Valley). These appeared to be the two best teams in the conference shortly before conference play began. Both had big time wins against potential pod system teams, and looked to be headed toward the pod system themselves. Wichita State then lost four straight games, and went from being ranked in the top ten to not being ranked at all. Missouri State also fell in their conference opener against Creighton. Both these teams still have good credentials as far as their resume goes, but this is a chance for them to turn around their momentum by picking up a quality win in conference play.
-FLORIDA STATE AT NORTH CAROLINA (ACC) (DirecTV #647, 7pm, est). Florida State looked very good and entered league play with a lot of momentum and some good wins to go along with it, but they fell in their conference opener against Clemson. North Carolina might be the best team in the country, and they are very tough to beat at home. Its still a big game for them in the sense that there are first/second round games in Winston Salem, and that is where theyd like to be placed if they make the pod system. Florida State is a good team and they should get the wins they need to make the NCAA Tournament, so even if they lose this game they shouldnt be too concerned about starting off 0-2 in conference. They have some good wins out of conference, and will have plenty of opportunities to get some more.
-SOUTH FLORIDA AT PITTSBURGH (Big East) (DirecTV #783, 12pm, est). South Florida was winless in conference last year. They will likely win some games this year, but not today. Pitt is extremely difficult to beat at home, so look for them to improve to 2-0 in league play.
-DAYTON AT RHODE ISLAND (Atlantic Ten). Dayton is 11-3 and has a chance of making the NCAA Tournament as an at-large if they can finish at or near the top of the conference standings. They won their league opener against Charlotte.
-KANSAS AT SOUTH CAROLINA. South Carolina has a good record, but doesnt have much in the way of quality wins yet. This would really boost their resume if they pull it off. Kansas has some good wins, but they havent been on the road all that much. They lost their only true road game of the season against De Paul, so they need wins like this to help out that part of their resume.
-MISSISSIPPI STATE AT TENNESSEE (SEC) (DirecTV #784, 4pm, est). Mississippi State has lost two in a row and hasnt done well against any of the NCAA Tourney caliber teams theyve played so far. Tennessee has won eight in a row and has some big wins in that stretch. They have a lot of momentum going into conference play.
-STANFORD AT VIRGINIA (DirecTV #636, 5pm, est). This is a game between two teams who have looked very good at times, but still havent pieced together the types of wins that they need to get them strong consideration. Virginia has a big win against Arizona, but they really struggled in the San Juan Shootout and havent fully offset that yet, although they did get a nice win against Gonzaga in their last game. Stanford has lost two in a row in league play, but looked very strong against Arizona for most of the game. They need a win to rebound from those two losses.