Saturday, February 2, 2008

Games to Watch: 2/2/08

Games are in order of tip-off time.

Kent State @ Toledo (MAC): If Kent State wants to remain in the discussion for an at-large bid, they need to take care of business and beat a sub-par Toledo team.

Maryland @ Georgia Tech (ACC): Both teams are 3-3 in conference and have been playing better as of late. They are on the outside looking in at the moment, though, so this is a must-win for both squads.

Marquette @ Cincinnati (Big East): Cincinnati is only 10-11, but at 5-4 in conference play is probably the most improved team in the country between November and now. Marquette is only 1-3 on the road and really needs to win games like this to improve their position and seeding.

Syracuse @ Villanova (Big East): Another critical matchup between 2 bubble teams. Villanova is fading quickly and really needs this game to stop the bleeding. Syracuse might have the toughest remaining schedule in the country, so they will have plenty of chances to prove their worthiness in the upcoming weeks.

Seton Hall @ Georgetown (Big East): Seton Hall has won 5 in a row to improve to 5-3 in the conference, and needs a high-quality win to secure their position in the field. Georgetown has been less than impressive lately, needing late game heroics to beat Syracuse and West Virginia, so I would not be surprised if this game is much closer than expected.

UTEP @ Memphis (C-USA): Memphis shouldn't have much trouble getting to 21-0.

Pittsburgh @ UConn (Big East): UConn's position is improving as rapidly as anyone in the nation. If they can pull off the victory against a strong Pitt team, their seed will continue to rise.

Kansas State @ Missouri (Big 12): Believe it or not, KSU is the only undefeated team in Big 12 play. This is definitely a trap game, though. After beating KU they need to avoid a letdown, or else they could find themselves in for a battle.

Baylor @ Texas (Big 12): Baylor showed its mettle in their 5OT win at Texas A&M. Can they pull another upset against the Longhorns? I don't like their chances, but stranger things happen all the time.

UMass @ St. Louis (A-10): If UMass wants to make the dance, then they need to take care of business on the road.

Dayton @ Rhode Island (A-10): This is a huge game for positioning in the A-10. The winner can feel much secure about their at-large bid prospects, while the loser will find themselves in a precarious position at 3-4 in conference. Dayton has been plagued with injuries the past few weeks, and the committee will take that into consideration come March.

Rutgers @ Louisville (Big East): Louisville should be fine as long as they keep winning games like this one.

Stanford @ Washington State (Pac-10): A huge game in Pullman. Second place in the Pac-10 is on the line. Both teams are safely in the dance for now, but this game could have a major impact on seeding.

Florida @ Arkansas (SEC): Florida is looking good to make the dance, and looks to continue their winning ways against a surging Arkansas team, who is coming off a 20 point win against Mississippi State.

Kansas @ Colorado (Big 12): Colorado is usually tough at home, but I don't see KU having many problems winning this game.

Purdue @ Illinois (Big 10): Purdue's computer numbers might be weak, but it's hard to knock a team that's 7-1 in the Big 10. They need to take care of business against a weak Illinois team and keep the momentum going.

Oklahoma @ Texas A&M (Big 12): Oklahoma could use another quality win away from home to improve their position, while the Aggies need to hold serve at home in order to remain a viable at-large candidate.

South Alabama @ UL-Monroe (Sun Belt): South Alabama can't afford many losses if they want to remain in the at-large discussion, and a loss to the Warhawks would be very damaging to their chances.

BYU @ Wyoming (Mountain West): BYU needs all the road wins they can get. While Wyoming is a tough place to play due to the elevation, this is the type of game an NCAA team should win.

Auburn @ Vanderbilt (SEC): Vanderbilt needs to right the ship in a hurry, or else they could find themselves on the bubble very soon.

South Carolina @ Ole Miss (SEC): Ole Miss just needs to win the games they should win, and they should be in good shape to make the tournament.

DePaul @ Notre Dame (Big East): A Notre Dame win here would improve them to 6-2 in conference play.

Ohio State @ Iowa (Big 10): Ohio State needs to be wary of this game. This is a trap game for the Buckeyes. If they lose this one they will fall right back onto the bubble.

Tennessee @ Mississippi State (SEC): Mississsippi State is my first team out right now. This is a chance for them to pick up a huge W and move themselves back into the bracket. Tennessee is fighting for potential 1 seed, and needs to continue winning to keep those hopes alive.

West Virginia @ Providence (Big East): Another matchup between two Big East bubble teams. Providence probably needs this one more than WVU, but the winner will improve their position dramatically while the loser will take a big hit to their chances.

La Salle @ Xavier (A-10): Xavier should have no problems improving to 18-4.

Gonzaga @ Santa Clara (WCC): Gonzaga needs to keep winning to stay in first in the WCC. A regular season crown should insure the Bulldogs of a bid.

Drake @ Indiana State (MVC): Drake has won 18 in a row, while Indiana State is 10-0 at home. Something has to give, and a Drake win will continue to establish their legitimacy.

Michigan State @ Penn State (Big 10): MSU already has one bad loss at Iowa. Another one would be very damaging to their seed.

Boston College @ Clemson (ACC): Clemson needs to win this one to maintain their solid position, while Boston College needs another big win to get back in the discussion.

Illinois State @ Missouri State (MVC): If Illinois State is an NCAA caliber team, then they need to win games like this against a struggling Missouri State squad.

Wichita State @ Creighton (MVC): Creighton is in big trouble after dropping another game to Drake, and needs to go on a winning streak if they want to have any chance at an at-large bid.

Arizona @ UCLA (Pac-10): Arizona has been play some terrific basketball since the return of Jerryd Bayless. Both teams look destined to make the pod system, and this is a chance for each team to add another high quality win to their resume.

New Mexico @ UNLV (Mountain West): UNLV and BYU are currently tied for 1st place in the MWC standings. The Runnin' Rebels need to win games like this if they want to stay in the race throughout the conference season.

Arizona State @ USC (Pac-10): Arizona State is in a freefall. They have lost 4 in a row, and desperately need a big win to stop the bleeding. Both teams sit at 4-4 in the conference standings, but USC is in much better shape with their quality wins and strong computer numbers.

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