Highlighted Games for Saturday, Jan 25th

Be sure and check out Chad Sherwood’s most recent bracket projection HERE:  http://hoopshd.com/2014/01/25/chads-bracket-projection-january-24-2014/

 

SPOTLIGHT GAMES

-MICHIGAN AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten). Michigan has been playing much better after a somewhat disappointing start, but this is an extremely tall order. Michigan State is competing for a #1 seed and it won’t be easy to win there. It’s a conference rivalry between two good teams who are looking to add to their profiles. Should be fun.

 

OTHER HIGHLIGHTED GAMES

-IOWA AT NORTHWESTERN (Big Ten). Northwestern is a mile away from the bubble, but they’ve played well these past two weeks, so Iowa better not overlook them.

-FLORIDA STATE AT DUKE (ACC). Both teams are good, but both of their profiles could use some improvement.

-XAVIER AT PROVIDENCE (Big East). Xavier appears to be solid right now, but could use some good wins on the road. Providence is right on the bubble, so every game they play has a pivotal feel to it right now.

-GEORGE WASHINGTON AT GEORGE MASON (Atlantic Ten). GW is solidly in the field for now, but this is the kind of game that can be dangerous. It’s a rivalry road game against a team with a weak profile, but who is also capable of playing well at times.

-VCU AT LA SALLE (Atlantic Ten). La Salle got off to a slow start and they still have a lot of work to do, but they have looked good in their last five games. They need wins in games like this if they want to get back onto the bubble. VCU has been playing better lately as well.

-SYRACUSE AT MIAMI FL (ACC). Miami is playing better and only lost by five when these two met earlier in the year, but it’s still unlikely that they’ll be able to play their way back onto the bubble. Still, beating a #1 caliber seed would be a good start.

-GEORGIA AT KENTUCKY (SEC). Kentucky is likely undermatched in this one.

-TEXAS AT BAYLOR (Big Twelve). This is a conference rivalry game between two teams who really need a big win. Both are inside the bubble, but I believe both are very close to it. Even though Baylor is in the rankings their overall profile isn’t that good.

-KANSAS STATE AT IOW STATE (Big Twelve). The biggest thing missing from Kansas State’s profile is a big win on the road. There is a reason it’s missing, though. They have not played well on the road, and it isn’t likely they’ll be able to win at Iowa State, who is one of the toughest teams in the country at home.

-VILLANOVA AT MARQUETTE (Big East). Marquette has no good wins, but no bad losses. As far out of the picture as they appear to be, this is the kind of game that could really jumpstart their season if they’re able to pull it off.

-WEST VIRGINIA AT OKLAHOMA STATE (Big Twelve). Okie State is still a protected seed, but they don’t appear to be the #1 seed caliber team that a lot of us thought they would be. Still, they shouldn’t have trouble winning this one at home.

-VIRGINIA TECH AT VIRGINIA (ACC). This is a great conference rivalry, but this year it’s a huge mismatch. Virginia needs to win so they can avoid a bad loss on their profile.

-TENNESSEE AT FLORIDA (SEC). Tennessee is a bubble team, and Florida is a solid protected seed. This is the kind of road win that could move Tennessee way inside the bubble if they’re able to pull it off, but it is far easier said than done.

-OKLAHOMA AT TEXAS TECH (Big Twelve). Oklahoma has looked good lately and should be able to pick up another conference road win today.

-NEW MEXICO AT COLORADO STATE (Mountain West). New Mexico will make the field if they hold serve against the non-tournament teams in their league, but the way it has played out this year, that’s pretty much everyone other than San Diego State, so they need to win this game.

-DAYTON AT RHODE ISLAND (Atlantic Ten). Dayton is quickly trending in the wrong direction, and a loss today would be extremely damaging. It’s not good for a bubble team to lose to a team that’s not even in the picture.

-SAINT JOSEPH’S AT RICHMOND (Atlantic Ten). Richmond had a really good week, and it looks like they finally may be playing like the NCAA Tournament caliber team many of us thought they would be. They still have some work to do as we have them right on the bubble right now, but if they keep going like they’ve been going they should be fine.

-MISSISSIPPI STATE AT OLE MISS (SEC). Both teams are outside the bubble, but both have decent wins and could perhaps play their way onto it with a strong finish to the season.

-SOUTH CAROLINA AT MISSOURI (SEC). Mizzou is right on the bubble and cannot afford a home loss to a team as weak as South Carolina.

-WISCONSIN AT PURDUE (Big Ten). Wisconsin has been slipping a little bit, and they’ve got another tough test against a Purdue team that has just one home loss on the year, and who could still play their way onto the bubble.

-PITTSBURGH AT MARYLAND (ACC). Pitt is 17-2, but has played a weak schedule. Although Maryland isn’t good, this would still probably be Pitt’s best win to date if they pull it off.

-ILLINOIS STATE AT INDIANA STATE (Missouri Valley). Indiana State can play their way onto the bubble if they win out.

-UCONN AT RUTGERS (American). UConn shouldn’t have too much trouble picking this one up on the road.

-SOUTHERN MISS AT EAST CAROLINA (Conference USA). It’s a tall order, but if Southern Miss wins out they’ll likely end up inside the bubble.

-COLORADO AT ARIZONA STATE (Pac Twelve). Both teams are trending down and desperately need a win in this one.

-EASTERN KENTUCKY AT BELMONT (Ohio Valley). Belmont is probably out of strikes, but as weak as the bubble is they may get a look if they win out. These are probably the two best teams in the OVC.

-GEORGETOWN AT CREIGHTON (Big East). Georgetown has really hit the skids and are now shorthanded for the rest of the year. Creighton is coming off a very impressive win at Nova and is going to be extremely tough to beat at home.

-WICHITA STATE AT DRAKE (Missouri Valley). Wichita could end up on the #1 line if they win out.

-KANSAS AT TCU (Big Twelve). Kansas should win this one easily, but they did lose this game a year ago.

-BYU AT GONZAGA (West Coast). BYU is outside the bubble, and Gonzaga is barely inside it. This is one of the few chances that either team has remaining at getting a notable win, so it’s a huge game for both teams.

-SAN DIEGO STATE AT UTAH STATE (Mountain West). Injuries have hit Utah State hard. It’s unfortunate because this would have been a fantastic game if both teams were healthy. San Diego State, I think, can still end up on the #1 line if they win out, which they are good enough to do.

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