Sunday, March 2nd, Highlighted Match-ups

Sunday, March 2nd, Highlighted Match-ups
Mar 02, 2008, 08:05 am
-UCLA AT ARIZONA (Pac Ten). Arizona appears to be safe for a bid, but their losses are starting to add up. They’ve played a strong schedule so their record won’t hurt them too much, though. They’ve really been struggling lately and are just 2-5 in their last seven games, and today won’t be an easy test either. If they lose, it’s important that they’re able to win next week. UCLA blew out Arizona State earlier this week, which helps get them get one step closer to winning the Pac Ten regular season. They have a huge showdown coming up later this week against Stanford, but they don’t want to get caught looking ahead against an Arizona team that really needs a big win. UCLA should be in good shape to receive a favorable seed in the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens today. .

-NOTRE DAME AT DE PAUL (Big East). Notre Dame lost to Louisville earlier in the week in a game where they were getting blown out, but managed to come back. They’re still in great shape as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned, and should finish near the top of the league if they’re able to take care of business in this final week. They’re still just a game out of first, so it’s possible they could end up with at least a share of the title. De Paul is currently in 12th place, so a win in this game would be a big step toward securing a bid in the conference tournament. These schools have a pretty good rivalry with one another, so it should be a fun game to watch, especially considering that both teams have something to play for.

-VILLANOVA AT LOUISVILLE (Big East). Louisville is one of the hottest teams in the country right now, and they’re currently in a tie with Georgetown for first place in the conference. The two will face each other next week, but Louisville doesn’t want to get caught looking ahead. Nova has been playing pretty well lately as well, but this is a very tall order for them. If they’re able to pull off the upset, though, it would give their resume a huge boost and all but guarantee them a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Big East has been very intense this year, and this is another match-up between two tournament caliber teams with quite a bit at stake for both. Even if Louisville loses, they could still win the Big East regular season title next week with a win over Georgetown because the Cardinals have the tiebreaker. Nova, on the other hand, being an NCAA bubble team has quite a bit more to gain.

-CLEMSON AT MARYLAND (ACC). Maryland is closer to the bubble than they’d like to be, but it still looks as though they’re relatively safe. A win today would still be very big for the Terps, though. Clemson appears to be solidly in as well, but they don’t have all that many RPI top 50 wins, so picking up a road win like this would help them out as far as their potential seeding goes. Both these teams are pretty even in skill level, and just a half game separates the two in the conference standings, so that should make for an exciting game.

-INDIANA AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten). Michigan State has been struggling lately, especially on the road, but they aren’t on the road in this one. Indiana, on the other hand, has been playing very well, especially when one considers all the drama that has been surrounding that program this year. They’ve picked up some pretty big wins lately, and this is a chance for them to get another big one on the road and keep themselves in the race for the Big Ten title. It’s big for Michigan State as well because they’re trying to break out of their slump. Beating a quality conference opponent at home would be a pretty good way for them to do that.

-OREGON AT OREGON STATE (Pac Ten). Oregon State is still looking for their first conference win. Oregon has really gone into the tank and it looks as though they’ll need to win all their remaining regular season games, and perhaps even a game in the conference tournament in order to be seriously considered. If they drop this one on the road to a team that’s struggled as much as Oregon State has they’ll likely be out of the at-large discussion entirely.

-TEMPLE AT SAINT JOSEPH’S (Atlantic Ten). Saint Joseph’s really stubbed their toes earlier in the week when they lost at home to Saint Louis. They’re now in a position to where they need to win at least two of their final three games and/or advance a few rounds into the conference tournament. That is no easy task because Temple is a talented team, and Xavier, who they’ll face later on, is tough as well. This is part of the Big Five rivalry, so these two should really go at it today. It should be a good one because Saint Joseph’s NCAA hopes are on the line.

-KENTUCKY AT TENNESSEE (SEC). Kentucky got some bad news the other day when they learned that Patrick Patterson will miss the remainder of the year. That’s very unfortunate for a team that had won nine of their last ten and played their way back into the at-large picture. They still have a chance, but they clearly aren’t as good without Patterson and may not get the wins that they need between now and the end to make a strong enough case for themselves. On top of that, Tennessee is playing for a #1 seed and they have revenge on their minds. All of those things are a pretty bad combination for Kentucky.

Recent articles

Twitter @DraftExpress

DraftExpress Shop