NEWS AND NOTES
-The most recent Bracket Express Projections and Analysis have been posted. If you havent seen it yet, you can check it out HERE
-Nothing too eventful or surprising from last night. Kansas State has lost three in a row, but for thirty minutes against Texas they looked much better than they had in their previous two games. Still, they need to turn things around if they want to end up with a good seed. HIGHLIGHTED MATCH-UPS
-SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT BRADLEY (Missouri Valley). Southern Illinois is a long-shot for an at-large bid at best, but they should at least get a look if they win out and advance to the conference championship game. Anything short of that wont be enough, though, and tonight wont be easy against rival Bradley, who has won nine of their last eleven games.
-OHIO STATE AT INDIANA (Big Ten). Ohio State is in a must win situation because theyre outside of the bubble and need to string together some big wins down the stretch just to play their way in. Indiana got a hard fought win against Northwestern in their last game. One wouldnt expect a team as good as IU to struggle with Northwestern under normal circumstances, but the circumstances for the Hoosiers have been anything but normal. They are definitely safe for a bid, but it will be interesting to see how they perform down the stretch without Kelvin Sampson.
-DRAKE AT MISSOURI STATE (Missouri Valley). Drake is coming off a huge win against Butler and has already clinched first place in the Missouri Valley, but they still want to finish strong. Theyve lost two straight conference games and if they go into the tank down the stretch it will offset their big win in the Bracket Buster, which will have a negative impact on their seed.
-BYU AT NEW MEXICO (Mountain West). BYU had been on a long winning streak, but is coming off a loss to San Diego State over the weekend. They could be in for a big fight tonight because New Mexico is right on the bubble and could play their way in if they can manage some big wins against the likes of BYU and UNLV between now and the end. The next two games for the Lobos are huge because they currently dont have any wins against the RPI top fifty, and they have a chance to add two to their resume this week. Expect a raucous home crowd for this game and it should be a good one.
-CONNECTICUT AT RUTGERS (Big East). UConn had a ten game losing streak snapped over the weekend against Villanova, but theyre still in the mix with three other teams to win the Big East title. Rutgers isnt a good team at all, and a loss in this game mathematically eliminates them from the Big East Tournament, but it can still be tough to win against them on the road.
-SAN DIEGO STATE AT UNLV (Mountain West). San Diego State is coming off a big win against BYU, but it still looks to be too little too late as far as the NCAA Tournament goes. It wont be a cakewalk, but this is still a very winnable game for UNLV, and they should be safe for a bid if they can win three out of their last four and avoid an early exit in the conference tournament. Theyre actually just one game behind BYU in the conference standings, so every game down the stretch is important in that regard.
-TENNESSEE AT VANDERBILT (SEC). Tennessee is coming off a huge road win against Memphis, which ultimately elevated them to being the #1 team in the country. They have another very tough road game tonight against a Vanderbilt team that is going to be absolutely pumped up for them. The Vols won the first meeting between the two, but Vandy has really been playing well lately and they almost assuredly have revenge on their mind. It would also be a big win resume wise because Vandy doesnt have many against the RPI top 50, and to beat the #1 team in the country this late in the season would really give them a boost when it comes to seeding. Not to mention, this is a huge conference rivalry, so it will give them bragging rights as well.