Thursday, February 7th Highlighted Match-ups

Thursday, February 7th Highlighted Match-ups
Feb 07, 2008, 09:39 am
-OREGON STATE AT CALIFORNIA (Pac Ten). California has won two straight games and has another winnable game tonight against Oregon State. They’re still outside the bubble, but they can make up quite a bit of ground if they win this one and then beat Oregon over the weekend.

-INDIANA AT ILLINOIS (Big Ten). Illinois has now lost nine of their last eleven games, and their season looks like it’s on a downward spiral. The fans should be up for this one, though, because it’s Eric Gordon’s first visit to Champaign. You may remember that he originally committed to Illinois, but ended up going to Indiana instead, which really angered the Illini faithful. The Hoosiers are having a much better season and are a solid tournament team. This is a chance to add another road win to their resume.

-RHODE ISLAND AT MASSASCHUSETTS (Atlantic Ten). UMass had been playing well, but has lost three out of their last four and their credentials have slipped. They need to string together some wins between now and the end in order to strengthen their case for a bid. Rhode Island is having an outstanding year. They’re just a game behind Xavier in the conference standings and have a chance to add another notable road win to their profile today. UMass needs this more than Rhode Island because they aren’t anywhere close to as safe, but it’s a big game for both teams.

-WEST VIRGINIA AT PITTSBURGH (Big East). Back Yard Brawl!!! This is a huge rivalry in the Big East. It’s always intense when these two lock horns and tonight shouldn’t be any different. Both teams appear to be tournament caliber teams, but West Virginia probably needs it a little more because their credentials aren’t quite as impressive.

-XAVIER AT SAINT LOUIS (Atlantic Ten). Saint Louis has been very inconsistent this year, so it’s hard to say whether they’ll show up and give Xavier a decent game or not. Xavier is red hot and currently in sole control of first place in the league standings. They are in good position to earn a pretty good seed and a win today will sustain that current status.

-ARKANSAS STATE AT SOUTH ALABAMA (Sun Belt). South Alabama should be safe for an at-large bid if they win out. They should be able to take care of business at home in this one tonight. Arkansas State has lost five of six and is just 7-13 on the year against div1 competition.

-OREGON AT STANFORD (Pac Ten). Stanford has emerged as a contender in the Pac Ten. They’ve won five straight, including two on the road against Washington and Washington State, and have another winnable conference game tonight. Oregon just snapped a four game losing streak, but they need to pick up a win like this to breathe some life back into their resume.

-CLEMSON AT VIRGINIA (ACC). Clemson is having a good season, and should be safe for a bid so long as they keep winning at the same rate that they have been. Virginia has been struggling and appears to have fallen out of the picture, so it looks to be one of the more winnable conference road games for Clemson. Having said that, it’s never easy to win on the road in this league regardless of who it’s against.

-USC AT WASHINGTON (Pac Ten). USC has been playing very well and if they keep it up they could be poised to not only make the NCAA Tournament, but make quite a bit of noise in it once they get their. They’ve won four out of five, have beaten some great teams during that stretch, and are coming off a decisive win against Arizona State. Washington has lost three straight and appears to have fallen out of the picture, but it’s still going to be difficult for the Trojans to go in there and win on their floor.

-UCLA AT WASHINGTON STATE (Pac Ten). Wazzu has lost three out of four. They’re still very safe for an NCAA Tournament bid, but they’re beginning to fall out of the range of where a #1 or #2 seed is a strong possibility. They have another tall order tonight against a UCLA team that is playing outstanding basketball. The Bruins blew out Arizona and Arizona State in back-to-back games, and as unbelievable as this may sound they’ve yet to lose a game on the road. A win for Wazzu would be a huge boost to their resume and go a long way toward getting them back in the discussion of earning a very good seed. A win for UCLA would go a long way toward them making a case that they’re a #1 seed.

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