Wednesday, February 20th Highlighted Match-ups

Wednesday, February 20th Highlighted Match-ups
Feb 20, 2008, 08:47 am

-LSU AT ARKANSAS (SEC). Arkansas has lost two straight and needs to snap out of it. They’ve played really well at times this season, but have also struggled at other times. LSU has played two good games since John Brady was fired and could really do some damage to Arkansas’ NCAA hopes if they pull off the upset in this one.

-UTAH AT BYU (Mountain West). This is a huge rivalry. It’s usually a good game, and the first meeting this season came down to the wire with BYU winning on the road. Both teams enter this game with quite a bit of momentum so we could be in for another treat. BYU sits atop the Mountain West standings and appears to be safe for a bid even if they drop a few games down the stretch, whereas Utah will really need a strong finish and a good showing on the conference tournament just to be considered. Still, expect a hard fought game from both teams.

-WISCONSIN AT ILLINOIS (Big Ten). Wisconsin is now in a three-way tie for first place in the Big Ten and appears to be on pace to get a good seed in the NCAA Tournament. This is potentially a dangerous game for the Badgers. They’ve been able to win on the road, but they’ve also had some close calls. Illinois is also probably a little better than their record indicates, at least when they’re at home.

-VIRGINIA TECH AT MARYLAND (ACC). Maryland is on a nice streak where they’ve won seven of nine, and can continue to build on that with a winnable game at home today. They’re currently in third place in the conference standings, and if they can get the wins they need in order to sustain that they should get a good seed in the NCAA Tournament. Virginia Tech has lost three straight, and was absolutely blown out by North Carolina in their last game. As well as the Terps have been playing their chances don’t appear to be all that good tonight.

-PENN STATE AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten). Michigan State has struggled in some recent road games and actually fell to Penn State on the road earlier this season, but shouldn't have too much trouble taking care of business at home tonight. With a three way tie for first place in the conference, and Michigan State just two games behind that with Wisconsin and Indiana remaining on the schedule, we could be in for a very exciting finish.

-KANSAS STATE AT NEBRASKA (Big Twelve). K State is still squarely in the hunt to finish first in the Big Twelve standings and they should be a force in the NCAA Tournament. They’re virtually a lock for a bid, but these games are still big because a loss in a game like this could effect their seed.

-MARQUETTE AT SAINT JOHN’S (Big East). Marquette’s next three games are winnable, so they should be able to build up quite a bit of momentum going into their game against Georgetown and make a push to remain in the top part of the conference standings. Saint John’s, on the other hand, needs to string together some wins just to make the Big East Tournament.

-AUBURN AT TENNESSEE (SEC). Tennessee continues to dominate the SEC and has another winnable game at home tonight. They’re currently winning at a clip that will enable them to earn a #1 seed if they keep it up. Auburn has really struggled away from home this year, and as hot as Tennessee is I don’t see them putting up too much of a fight.

-MEMPHIS AT TULANE (Conference USA). Memphis is a perfect 25-0 on the season and even though they’ve had a few close calls lately they shouldn’t have too much trouble putting Tulane away tonight. They have a huge game coming up this weekend against Tennessee and I’m sure they want to avoid what would prove to be a huge upset.

-BUTLER AT UIC (Horizon League). Butler needs to be on upset alert because UIC has just one loss at home this season. They also don’t want to get caught looking ahead to their big Bracket Buster game against Drake because Wright State is right on Butler’s heels. If Butler loses this game, Wright State could take over first place if they’re able to beat the Bulldogs for a second time next week.

-WEST VIRGINIA AT VILLANOVA (Big East). Villanova has won two out of their last three and appears to be playing much better than they were when they went through a major slump of five straight losses, but they need some big wins between now and the end of the season to get back into the picture. West Virginia appears to be relatively safe, but they could use some road wins to build up their resume and improve their seed as well.


-SOUTH CAROLINA AT FLORIDA (SEC). The Gators have lost four out of their last five, and because they played such a weak out of conference schedule they don’t have much to fall back on if they can’t pull out of this slump. One gets the feeling that tonight is a must win for the Gators.

-MISSISSIPPI STATE AT MISSISSIPPI (SEC). These are two teams that are going in opposite directions. Ole Miss got off to a terrific start at the beginning of the season, whereas Mississippi State struggled out of the gate. Now, Mississippi State is red hot and is sitting atop the SEC West standings whereas Ole Miss has lost six of their last eight, several of which were to poor RPI teams, and has dropped to just 3-7 in the conference standings. Ole Miss needs to finish strong or they’ll be left out of the NCAA Tournament, which would be a shame considering how well they started the season. Winning at home in a rivalry game should enable them to build up some momentum, but this is a very high stakes game because it’s gotten to the point to where Ole Miss can’t afford many more losses.

-NORTH CAROLINA AT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (ACC). North Carolina is still without Ty Lawson, but if they play as well as they did against Virginia Tech earlier this week they really won’t need him. NC State has to fight their way into the NCAA Tournament between now and the end, and could really use a big win like this to get them safely inside the bubble. NC State was blown out in the first game, and has been a disappointment up until this point, but still has an opportunity to make quite a bit of noise if they finish strong.

-HOUSTON AT UAB (Conference USA). If Houston wins out and advances to the Conference USA championship game then they may have a chance. They have a tough game in this one tonight against a UAB team that’s been playing really well and nearly upset Memphis in their last game.

-DETROIT AT WRIGHT STATE (Horizon League). 13 of Wright State’s 19 wins have been by five points or less, but they’ve won ten games in a row. With road games at Butler and at Illinois State coming up, they should get some consideration if they win out, but lose in the conference tournament. Anything short of that, though, and they’ll need the automatic bid.

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