February 02, 2007

Super Saturday...

The weekend is a huge day for ball... conferences all in action, fates decided each and every hour of the day. We're in February now, and admist the crucial "last 10" games that the NCAA holds so dear.

(23) Clemson at (65) Georgia Tech, 80-62 Tech
(30) Maryland at (114) Wake Forest, 79-72 Maryland
(165) Miami, FL at (39) Virginia, 81-70 UVA
(2) North Carolina at (118) N.C. State, 83-79 State
(34) Virginia Tech at (32) Boston College, 80-59 BC
(27) Florida State at (7) Duke, 68-67 Noles

A funny thing happened along the way to the Duke-UNC showdown with both programs losing the game before the matchup. It won't cost Carolina a #1 seed, but it might cost the Tarheels the #1 overall from ever being in their possession when factored in against UCLA and Wisconsin who now have much stronger SOS.

Three games feature teams with good RPIs heading on the road to play terrible teams - well, okay Georgia Tech isn't terrible, but they are 2-6 in the conference. Virginia Tech and Boston College represent the most even game of the weekend, with Duke needing to hold serve.

Big Ten
(13) Indiana at (94) Iowa, 81-75 Iowa
(164) Minnesota at (43) Illinois, 59-49 Illinois
(150) Northwestern at (4) Wisconsin, 69-52 Wisconsin
(6) Ohio State at (33) Michigan State, 63-54 Ohio State

The mark of a good team is when you can register a big home win over a Top 5 program and then go back out on the road and take care of business. As much as Indiana's win got them over Wisconsin, the loss to Iowa only puts them right back to where they were before. Illinois and Wisconsin held serve, while Ohio State is positioning themselves for a #1 seed if they can knock off Wisconsin at home later in the year.

Michigan State will look to bolster their resume, Wisconsin and Illinois should maintain status quo and Indiana will be on letdown alert after their win against Wisconsin.

Big XII Conference
(48) Kansas State at (46) Texas, 73-72 K-State
(12) Oklahoma State at (241) Colorado, 89-77 Colorado
(20) Texas A&M at (15) Kansas, 69-66 A&M
(29) Texas Tech at (87) Oklahoma, 75-61 Oklahoma

Texas will start from scratch to rebuild their resume as Kansas State climbs to third in the conference with a signature win. A five-win Colorado team destroyed Oklahoma State in a puzzling result that will damage State's seeding by a line or two. A&M got their big win on the road in Lawrence, conquering the fans, GameDay, and Bill Self's inept coaching. Oklahoma won big but they need a miracle to get in - a tough loss for Texas Tech.

Kansas State needs a resume win, Texas will look to keep climbing. Oklahoma State will take their act on the road, losers of their last two trips out. A&M and Kansas will be a great game, A&M needs it more. Texas Tech could start a slide putting them back on the bubble with a loss in Norman.

Big East
(69) DePaul at (57) Syracuse, 75-69 Syracuse
(59) Louisville at (22) Villanova, 57-53 Villanova
(38) Notre Dame at (163) South Florida, 69-63 South Florida
(53) Providence at (19) Marquette, 69-62 Marquette
(45) West Virginia at (107) Seton Hall, 81-70 West Virginia

West Virginia goes ahead of Notre Dame for securing a win on the road over a 100+ team. Notre Dame should not be ranked in today's poll (Monday). Marquette, Syracuse, and Villanova prove there is no place like home in the Big East.

The 'Cuse needs to make the Carrier Dome fearsome again. Louisville has the better conference record and could make an RPI jump over a good RPI, but losing conference record Villanova squad. Notre Dame and West Virginia need to maintain focus away from home, while Providence will seek a big win at Marquette.

Missouri Valley
(49) Bradley at (123) Illinois State, 70-62 Bradley
(28) Creighton at (119) Drake, 67-62 Creighton
(37) Missouri State at (89) Indiana State, 71-42 Missouri State
(61) Northern Iowa at (104) Evansville, 79-71 Northern Iowa
(11) Southern Illinois at (54) Wichita State, 54-46 SIU

Five-for-five. We now have a clear split in the Valley after all five teams hit the road and pick up wins. Creighton and Southern Illinois stand at 10-3 in the Valley, making them absolute locks for the NCAAs if they keep it up.

Saturday is a day for road warriors in the Valley. I would guess that all five teams will not get wins. Bradley and Northern Iowa can't afford to lose. Wichita State can jump back into the race with both feet by downing the Salukis.

Mountain West
(9) UNLV at (35) BYU, 90-63 BYU
(115) Wyoming at (18) Air Force, 88-43 USAF

UNLV gets destroyed, but they get the conference tournament on their home floor, while the Air Force posted the biggest win by margin in conference history.

UNLV-BYU loser will be in trouble, while Air Force should survive and advance.

Pac-10 Conference
(16) Oregon at (55) USC, 71-68 USC
(184) Oregon State at (1) UCLA, 82-35 UCLA
(40) Stanford at (56) California, 90-71 Stanford
(72) Washington at (8) Arizona, 84-54 Arizona
(27) Washington State at (234) Arizona State, 48-47 Wazzu

USC gets the season sweep over Oregon. UCLA holds OSU to 35 points. Stanford gets a nice win on the road, Arizona kills Washington's momentum as the Huskies had won three straight, and Washington State only needs 12 second-half points to hang on in Tempe.

Oregon seeks revenge for a home loss to USC earlier in the year. UCLA will cruise. Stanford and Cal each need the win. Washington catches a reeling Arizona, looking to conquer the Cats for an RPI jump, while Washington State needs to get it done against ASU.

(42) Georgia at (51) Vanderbilt, 66-61 Vandy
(7) Kentucky at (25) Arkansas, 82-74 Kentucky
(81) LSU at (90) Mississippi State, 85-78 Miss. State
(80) Mississippi at (85) Auburn, 82-59 Ole Miss
(78) South Carolina at (26) Alabama, 64-61 Alabama
(14) Tennessee at (17) Florida, 94-78 Florida

Vandy gets to 6-3 while Kentucky races past Arkansas in the second half to secure the status of the second-best team in the conference. Miss. State bombs LSU out of the picture as the Tigers now stand in last place in the West with a 2-6 conference mark. Ole Miss is quietly moving into contention. The Rebels are 15-8 overall, 4-5 in conference. Alabama wins and will remain the most overrated Top 25 team in the land, while Florida proves their dominance over Tennessee.

The Georgia-Vandy winner will stand at 6-3 in conference play, the loser will start to have doubts creep into their recent success. Kentucky needs the win to keep up their RPI, while Arkansas needs it to get to .500 in the conference. LSU is facing a must-gotta have-absolute-need win. Lose here and you won't be in the list next time. Auburn could get to 5-4 in conference play with a win. Alabama needs the win over South Carolina to get closer to .500 while Tennessee and Florida won't the showdown that their RPI's suggest with the Vols missing Chris Lofton.

(95) Hawaii at (31) Nevada, 69-68 Nevada

Nevada accomplishes the mission, barely.

Pack looks to keep rolling.

West Coast
(41) Gonzaga at (223) Pepperdine, 82-57 Gonzaga

Gonzaga's next/only statement game left is against Memphis in two weeks.

Zags will need to keep focus after an emotional, double-overtime win at Stanford.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.