Tuesday, January 8th Highlighted Match-ups

Tuesday, January 8th Highlighted Match-ups
Jan 08, 2008, 03:49 am

-Not too much action from last night, but two games are worth mentioning. Robert Morris defeated Boston College 57-51, and pretty much led throughout the whole game. This could potentially be damaging for BC. They can certainly erase it by playing well in the ACC, but if they’re close to the bubble this is one of those games that could really stick out.

-Kansas State held Savannah State to just four points in the second half to win 85-25. You read that correctly. Kansas State led 37-21 at halftime, and proceeded to outscore Savannah State 48-4 in the second half. I saw the score on Yahoo and thought it was a mistake. When I saw that it wasn’t I then thought that Savannah State’s coach must have pulled a trick right out of Hoosiers and decided to play with just four players. Evidently neither happened. Savannah State was just 1-23 from the field in the second half. I guess it just wasn't their night.

-Yesterday's bracket projections and analysis are posted in the article below this one. Be sure and check it out if you haven't already.


-FLORIDA AT ALABAMA (SEC). Florida has potential, but they’ve also been fattened up quite a bit from all the cupcakes they scheduled out of conference. Now that conference play is beginning the wins will be harder to come by. Alabama is a modest 11-4, but doesn’t really have any impressive wins either, and when they recently faced Clemson in a tough test they failed miserably. Both teams need to string together several wins in conference because neither has done anything impressive yet.

-BROWN AT BAYLOR. Baylor is coming off a disappointing loss to Arkansas, but should be able to take care of business in this one. Brown looks to be one of the better teams in the Ivy League and could get into the NCAAs via the automatic bid, but winning at Baylor will be a very tall order.

-SAINT JOHN’S AT CONNECTICUT (Big East). Both teams are 1-1 in conference play, but right now Connecticut clearly looks like the better team, and their loss at Notre Dame isn’t all that damaging. Still, this is the type of game that is considered a standard win if UConn wants to safely make the NCAA Tournament. They haven’t done very much heavy lifting yet, so a loss like this could be somewhat damaging.

-GEORGETOWN AT DE PAUL (Big East). De Paul was awful out of conference, but they’ve managed to win their first two conference games and have actually beaten two pretty good teams in Villanova and Providence. Both wins were at home, but then again this game is at home. Georgetown has a good team, but they played a poor out of conference schedule and failed their only big test of the year with a loss at Memphis. Many believe, myself included, that they are good enough to win the Big East, but if they drop this game they won’t exactly be getting a quick start out of the starting gate. If De Paul wins, then it would be their third conference win in a row against a quality team. Not bad for a team that has given North Carolina A&T it’s only div1 win so far.

-SAINT MARY’S AT FRESNO STATE. Saint Mary’s has some impressive wins, but none have come in a true road game. They played well against Texas for a half over the weekend, but it was the wrong half and they ended up losing decisively. Fresno State has been somewhat disappointing this year, so it’s a road game that a team like Saint Mary’s should be able to win. A loss would be damaging because solid NCAA Tourney teams need to win on the road.

-NORTHERN IOWA AT ILLINOIS STATE (Missouri Valley). Both teams have decent records, and Illinois State has managed some big conference road wins, but other than that neither team has really beaten anyone that looks to be a solid NCAA Tourney team yet, so both have a somewhat small margin for error. That being said, both can get themselves into the picture if they dominate the league, but Northern Iowa has some bad losses already. Illinois State has been playing really well, and one has to like their chances in this one since they’re playing at home.

-LOYOLA, MD AT KANSAS. Loyola should be a factor in the Metro Atlantic, but will be a very small factor tonight against a Kansas team that’s undefeated and good enough to make the Final Four.

-SETON HALL AT MARQUETTE (Big East). Seton Hall has a modest 10-4 record, but none of those ten wins have come against anyone all that impressive. This is the kind of win that would really jump out at the committee, but it’s also the kind of win that’s not easy to get. Marquette is 10-2 and is coming off a loss to West Virginia, so you can guarantee that a solid team like them will be looking to rebound and pick up a conference win at home.

-INDIANA AT MICHIGAN (Big Ten). Indiana’s schedule was rather weak leading up to conference play, and as much as Michigan may not like hearing this they’re playing another weak team tonight. It’s not easy to win on the road in the Big Ten, but Indiana shouldn’t have too much trouble putting the Wolverines away in this one. Michigan has lost eight of nine, which is a huge contrast to Indiana’s 12-1 record.

-PURDUE AT MICHIGAN STATE. The Boilermakers can play well, but don’t always do it. That’s typical of a young team, but they are well coached and I can’t help but think that it’s just a matter of time before they hit their stride. A win like this would really put them on the map, but it won’t be easy. Michigan State has been solid this year and if they stay healthy I’d be shocked if they didn’t finish at or near the top of the conference standings and getting a very good seed.

-BYU AT WAKE FOREST. BYU has a notable win against Louisville, but that doesn’t look nearly as impressive now as it did at the time. I do believe they have a good team, but they just don’t have very impressive credentials yet. Their RPI is horrible, but that should improve as their competition improves and as some of the weaker teams they’ve played begin conference play. A win on the road against Wake Forest would give them a nice boost. Wake has been playing well and is on a five game winning streak. They’ve beaten South Florida and Virginia Tech in that stretch. That’s not outstanding, but it’s not too shabby either. This is a big game for them as well.

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