Saturday, February 9th Highligted Match-ups

Saturday, February 9th Highligted Match-ups
Feb 09, 2008, 01:21 am

-BAYLOR AT KANSAS (Big Twelve). Baylor just snapped a two game losing streak with a close win against Texas Tech. They’re a solid team at 16-4 and appear to be in great shape for the NCAA Tournament, but this win would go a long way toward elevating their team’s status this year. Kansas looks to be on the road to a #1 seed, and will still be in strong position to get one even if they lose a game or two between now and the end, so it would be a huge quality win for Baylor if they’re able to pull the upset. As for the Jayhawks, it would be yet another big win on their resume. It’s also big within the conference because they’re in a race with rival Kansas State for the conference lead.

-GEORGETOWN AT LOUISVILLE (Big East). Louisville has won eight out of their last ten, and is coming off a very impressive and decisive road win against Marquette. The fans should be pumped up for this one in a big way as Georgetown, who is on pace to receive a very high seed, comes to town. A win for the Cardinals would be another big boost to their resume, and really help them out in terms of seeding. A win for the Hoyas would continue to solidify them as a team that should end up seeded in the 2-3 range. Louisville is actually two games behind Georgetown in the conference standings, so it’s a chance for them to close the gap a little bit.

-PURDUE AT WISCONSIN (Big Ten). First place in the Big Ten is on the line, and for Purdue, it’s a chance to make a HUGE statement to the selection committee that they deserve a top caliber seed. Having won eight straight they’ve already done enough to prove they belong barring a collapse. Now they can prove that they belong seeded possibly #4th or better. Wisconsin is trying to maintain that they are a top level team as well. The Badgers have had some struggles on the road, but are typically very tough to beat at home. It should be an interesting, and hopefully entertaining high stakes game.


-MISSISSIPPI AT ARKANSAS (SEC). Ole Miss is having a good year and looks to be a solid NCAA Tourney team, but they’ve lost three out of their last four, so their seed has begun to drop somewhat. This would be a nice road win for them against a divisional rival. Arkansas has proven to be a very tough team to beat at home. They have back-to-back decisive wins against Mississippi State and Florida, both of whom had been playing really well. This would be another nice resume win for the Razorbacks as well.

-MISSISSIPPI STATE AT AUBURN (SEC). Mississippi State has a modest 15-7 record, but just snapped a two game losing streak and a lack of quality wins has caused their resume to dwindle around the bubble. They need a strong finish between now and the end in order to secure themselves a spot. Auburn has lost four straight, and is coming off a close loss to Kentucky.

-OREGON AT CALIFORNIA (Pac ten). Both of these teams are going in opposite directions. Cal has really gotten hot and won three straight, whereas Oregon has lost five of six and was blown out by Stanford in their last game. The Ducks really need to string together some wins if they want to get back in the hunt for the NCAA Tournament. Cal just needs to keep doing what they’re doing. This is a chance to pick up another conference win and gain some more ground in the standings.

-GEORGIA TECH AT CONNECTICUT. This is an out of conference game that looks to be a little bit of a mismatch, especially considering how well UConn has been playing as of late. The winning streak for the Huskies should continue. They’re positioning themselves for a good seed and placement in this year’s tournament.

-VCU AT DELAWARE (Colonial Athletic). VCU has a shot at a bid, but they pretty much need to win out in order to get it. As of now, they have a one game lead in the Colonial standings over George Mason. If that goes away I think they can pretty much forget an at-large bid.

-EVANSVILLE AT DRAKE (Missouri Valley). Drake continues to dominate the league, and is really setting themselves up nicely as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned. They had a big come from behind win earlier this week against a pretty good Illinois State team on the road. This would be their 21st straight win if they pull it off. Evansville is just 6-15 and shouldn’t put up much of a fight.

-BOSTON COLLEGE AT DUKE (ACC). As well as Duke has been playing it’s hard to imagine that anyone could beat them at home. Considering BC has been struggling lately, it would be a huge shocker if they manage to put up much of a fight, much less win the game. Duke can’t lose focus. Every game is important if they want to be the #1 seed in the Charlotte Region.

-GEORGIA AT FLORIDA (SEC). Florida has lost two in a row and needs this win to get back on track. It’s a very winnable game against a rival, who has also lost two in a row. The Gators are close to the bubble in my projections right now, but they are a good team and will have ample opportunities to safely play their way in between now and the end.

-DAYTON AT GEORGE WASHINTON (Atlantic Ten). Dayton had been on a downward spiral, but picked up a huge win against Charlotte earlier in the week. If they can make it two in a row it would go a long way toward helping their cause. GW is just 5-13, but they have played fairly well at home this season. Dayton needs to be on upset alert because this isn’t the kind of loss they want on their resume.

-PEPPERDINE AT GONZAGA (West Coast). Gonzaga looks to be a solid tournament team, but they’re coming off a road loss to Saint Mary’s, and are now in a tie with them in the league standings. They have played outstanding at home during league play, though, and I expect they’ll win this one rather handily.

-OKLAHOMA STATE AT KANSAS STATE (Big Twelve). Other than a slipup against Missouri last week, Kansas State has been playing outstanding basketball. They have another winnable home game today, and they’ll remain in at least a tie for first place if they manage to win it. Oklahoma State barely got past a struggling Colorado team in their last game, and that ended a six-game losing streak.

-NORTHERN ILLINOIS AT KENT STATE (Mid-American). Kent State has struggled in their last two games. They fell on the road at Toledo, and then needed overtime to beat Ball State. Kent State is pretty close to the bubble, but an NCAA Tournament caliber team should have been able to win both games rather handily. They need to take care of business against Northern Illinois tonight because just one more loss could knock them completely out of the mix.

-ALABAMA AT KENTUCKY (SEC). Kentucky is still pretty far from being in the picture, but they have strung together quite a few wins. They’re just 11-9 on the year, but have won four in a row and are in second place in the SEC East just one game behind Tennessee. If they can keep it up, they’ll get the attention of the committee. There is still a long way to go and plenty of time to turn it around.

-TENNESSEE AT LSU (SEC). Tennessee continues to play outstanding basketball and barring a collapse they should receive a very good seed in the NCAA Tournament, and it’s possible they’ll end up as a #1 if they finish strong. LSU is having a rough year, so rough that their coach was recently fired. They’ve only won one league game and I don’t expect that they’ll win their second tonight.

-NORTH CAROLINA STATE AT MARYLAND (ACC). This is a game between two teams that could really use this win to improve their resumes. Both are close to the bubble, although it looks as though Maryland has been playing better as of late. They’ve actually won nine out of eleven, and have beaten North Carolina in that stretch. NC State has won three out of four, but hasn’t been all that successful on the road and a win in this game would help them out quite a bit. Both are also hovering around the middle of the ACC standings, so this game is an opportunity for both to gain some ground.

-UCF AT MEMPHIS (Conference USA). Memphis may not be at full strength for this game, but it shouldn’t matter all that much. They’re undefeated, they’ve blown through the conference, and will likely win this game without too much trouble either.

-NORTHWESTERN AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten). Michigan State is playing their first game since their upset loss to Penn State last Saturday, but they shouldn’t have any trouble rebounding. They’re at home against one of the poorer teams in the league, and shouldn’t have too much trouble picking up the win and keeping themselves near the top of the standings.

-TEXAS A&M AT MISSOURI (Big Twelve). TAMU had been struggling on the road, but they’ve managed to win their last two road games. Missouri could be a tough game to win, though. The Tigers aren’t the most consistent team in the nation, but they are tough to beat when they bring their A game. TAMU looks like a pretty solid tourney team, and will remain in the picture barring a collapse between now and the end.

-MARQUETTE AT NOTRE DAME (Big East). Marquette blew the Irish out earlier in the season when these two met, but Notre Dame has been playing much better recently, whereas Marquette has been struggling. It’s a big rivalry game, but Notre Dame appears to have more momentum and has the opportunity to add another quality conference game to their resume today, which will help out their seed in the end.

-VANDERBILT AT SOUTH CAROLINA (SEC). Vanderbilt has stumbled more than a few times in conference, especially on the road, but they still appear to be in pretty good shape. Nevertheless, this looks to be a winnable road game for the Commodores, so they need to take advantage of the opportunity.

-CHARLOTTE AT SAINT BONAVENTURE (Atlantic Ten). Charlotte is still in the Atlantic Ten race, and therefore in the NCAA Tourney race, but barely. They’ll have to come thundering down the stretch if they want any consideration at all.

-OREGON STATE AT STANFORD (Pac Ten). Stanford is on a roll and is tied with UCLA in the conference standings. They blew out Oregon the other night and will likely blow out Oregon State today. The Cardinal are on pace to end up with a very good seed, and if they can overtake UCLA and give a strong showing in the Pac Ten Tournament a #1 seed isn’t completely out of the question.

-COLORADO STATE AT UNLV (Mountain West). UNLV is coming off a rare loss to Utah, but still appears to be within the bubble and should be able to rebound today. They really need to finish strong, though, if they want to feel safe for an at-large bid come Selection Sunday.

-SETON HALL AT VILLANOVA (Big East). Seton Hall has lost two in a row, the most recent being a blowout loss to Notre Dame, and could really use a road win to turn things around. Villanova is just on a downward spiral with five straight losses. They’ll need to string together several wins just to get themselves back into the picture.

-MIAMI, FL AT VIRGINIA TECH (ACC). Miami has now lost six of their last seven games, and is beginning to fall out of the NCAA Tournament picture entirely. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, is coming on kind of strong. They need to keep it up, but they’re 6-2 in their last eight games and have another winnable conference game today.

-USC AT WASHINGTON STATE (Pac Ten). Wazzu has lost four out of five, and one is getting the sense that they really need to win this game. They won’t drop out of the NCAA projections, but their seed is getting worse and worse and they’re falling further and further down the standings. USC is a quality opponent that’s won six of their last seven and is building quite an impressive resume. This would be another big win for the Trojans if they manage to pull it off. This game should be a really good one.

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