NEWS AND NOTES
-The latest Bracket Projections and Analysis are posted in the article below this one. Be sure and check it out if you haven't already.
-The score was tied at 53 in the final seconds of the Villanova vs Georgetown game last night. Nova had the ball with a chance to win, but couldnt get off a good shot. Georgetown recovered it and Jonathan Wallace
dribbled down the sidelines as time expired
or was about to expire. Then the whistle blew. A foul was called 70 feet from the basket on Villanovas Corey Stokes
. The only contact at all was that the two inadvertently brushed each other. Stokes actually had his hands in the air and appeared to take a step back right as Wallace went past him. Georgetown went to the line with two freethrows, hit them both, and won the game. I was trying to think of a time when I had seen a worse call in a basketball game, and I couldnt. Coming from someone that watches as much basketball as I do, thats saying a lot. Villanova wasnt necessarily robbed of a win, but they were robbed of a chance to go to overtime with a chance to win. Its my belief that Georgetown would have probably won the game in overtime anyway. Theyre a better team and they were at home. In a way, the bad call cheated Georgetown as well because all anyone is talking about is how Villanova got screwed
and theyre right.
-Texas and Kansas did battle in another classic. It seems like its always fun when those two get together. Kansas went cold from the field late in the second half, but heated up again just in time to keep themselves in it. They missed a three at the buzzer that would have tied it and Texas picked up a huge quality conference win at home. There have been times where Texass depth, or lack thereof, has been an issue, but not last night.
-Saint Marys played ugly down the stretch and Santa Clara nearly came from behind to pull the upset, but the Gaels survived for a 54-50 win. HIGHLIGHTED MATCH-UPS
-LOUISVILLE AT DE PAUL (Big East). Louisville is one of the hottest teams in the Big East right now and will contend for the league title if they can keep it up. It wont be easy for them to win on the road from here on out (not that it ever is) because theyll have a bullseye on their backs. De Paul has lost four of five, though, so Louisville should beat them if they show up ready to play.
-PROVIDENCE AT PITTSBURGH (Big East). Pitt is coming off an emotional win against rival West Virginia, which came on a last second shot. Theyre a solid NCAA Tourney team, but there is definitely room for them to improve upon their credentials. Providence has lost five of their last six games and will really need to finish strong in order to get themselves in the discussion. Its a winnable game for Pitt, and they need to take advantage of it.
-MICHIGAN STATE AT PURDUE (Big Ten). Purdue is the hottest team in the conference right now. Theyve now won nine straight, and 12 of their last 13. The only loss was a close one on the road to this very Michigan State team. The Spartans are a tough team, but they dont always play well on the road. They should be up for this one given that both teams are in the hunt for first place in the league and a good seed in the NCAA Tournament. It would be a huge statement win for whoever pulls it off, plus it would put the winner in good shape as far as winning the league. The first game between these two was a great one, and I cant wait for the encore tonight.
-MARQUETTE AT SETON HALL (Big East). Marquette is a good team and their spot in the NCAA Tournament appears to be safe, but they have been inconsistent this year, particularly on the road. Theyre coming off a close, somewhat heartbreaking loss to rival Notre Dame and could be in for another fight tonight. Seton Hall was in the NCAA Tournament picture and could end up back in it again, but theyve lost three straight and really need a win like this to get things turned around. Both teams really have something to gain from winning this one, so hopefully theyll play with a sense of urgency and well see a good game.
-AIR FORCE AT UNLV (Mountain West). UNLV is right on the bubble and should be okay for a bid if they can finish strong. However, with a lack of any big time quality wins, the margin for error is razor thin. They really need to take care of business in this game at home tonight. They normally do, which is why theyre in a position to make the NCAAs.
-BUTLER AT WISCONSIN MILWAUKEE (Horizon League). Butler just keeps on winning despite having a bullseye on their backs in league play. Because they dont have too many RPI top 50 wins they arent likely to receive that great of a seed, but theyre still way inside the bubble and are safe for a bid. Wisconsin Milwaukee has lost their last two games, but they should be jacked up for this one.
-KENTUCKY AT VANDERBILT (SEC). Kentucky is red hot and if it keeps it up they will make the NCAA Tournament, which would be remarkable considering how poorly their season started. Vandy appears to be safely in, but there is room to improve despite having such a good record. At this point in time they only have two RPI top 50 wins (South Alabama and Massachusetts) and neither of those teams are top 25 caliber teams. Winning this game and gaining some ground in the conference standings would help the Commodores. Kentucky won the first meeting between these two, and if they can pick up a second win on the road it would be another big step forward toward making the NCAA Tournament. Theyre on the outside looking in, but at least they can see in now.
-NORTH CAROLINA AT VIRGINIA (ACC). North Carolina is coming off yet another thrilling win, this one an overtime win against Clemson. Virginia has completely fallen apart and has just one win in their last ten games. Despite the fact that theyre at home this appears to be a big mismatch. North Carolina is still competing with Duke for the #1 seed in the Charlotte Region, so they need to bring it every night.