NEWS AND NOTES
-For Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day, which highlights the start of play in the NEC – CLICK HERE
-Another exciting game in the Big East as Seton Hall came from behind to get the win at home against Creighton.
-It was a rough night for two UTR teams that we were just praising 24 hours earlier as possible/likely at-large candidates. Northern Iowa, almost inexplicably lost at home to Southern Illinois. There are some really good teams in the Missouri Valley. We didn’t think Southern Illinois was one of them, and we certainly weren’t expecting them to win AT Northern Iowa. Stephen F Austin also lost in a shocker at SELA, who is a sub 200 team. This REALLY damages UNI’s chances to land inside the bubble if they fail to win the conference tournament, and it pretty much eliminates SFA’s chances entirely.
-The Johnnies, which was another team that we really thought that was good, were blown completely out at home by a Providence team that we didn’t think had looked good at all.
-LOUISVILLE AT KENTUCKY. This game is always intense, and things won’t be any different this year. Louisville is still looking for their first true road win, and if they’re able to pick it up today not only will they have bragging rights, but their NCAA Tournament profile will be given a huge boost. Kentucky is coming off a loss to UCLA, and could use some more good wins on their resume because outside of their win against Virginia Tech they haven’t done much. Both teams have a lot of potential, but both also have a lot of work to do.
-WEST VIRGINIA VS OKLAHOMA STATE (Big Twelve). It’s the conference opener for both teams, and like virtually every Big Twelve game, it should be a good one. West Virginia is ranked in the top ten and this would be a solid road win for them. Oklahoma State is a team that we thought would be rebuilding, but they come into this at 10-2 and can keep that momentum going if they can somehow pull off this win.
-BAYLOR AT TEXAS TECH (Big Twelve). Texas Tech has been a surprise team in the OOC portion of the season, and have actually played their way into the rankings with just one loss. Baylor has looked really strong as well. It’s two ranked teams that are looking for a quality win, and who also have a lot of tough games ahead of them.
-LOUISIANA AT LITTLE ROCK (Sun Belt). Louisiana’s margin for error is small, but if they can blow through the Sun Belt they should be in the discussion for a bid.
-KANSAS AT TEXAS (Big Twelve). This one should be fun. Texas has looked really good this year, but doesn’t have a win this big on their resume just yet. Kansas has looked good as well, but has also looked vulnerable, especially in true road games.
-KANSAS STATE AT IOWA STATE (Big Twelve). K State has a bloated record, but not much in the way of big wins. That can change if they can pull this one off tonight against an Iowa State team that’s lost just two games and looked a lot better than what we expected coming into the year.
-UTAH AT OREGON (Pac Twelve). Both teams have looked good at times, but both also have a lot of work to do, which gives this game a bit of a pivotal feel.
-WASHINGTON AT USC (Pac Twelve). It’s been a rough year for USC, and things probably won’t be getting any smoother any time soon despite the fact that they just won the Diamond Head Classic. Washington has been somewhat inconsistent this year, but they do have a big win against Kansas in Kansas City and can play their way into the field with a strong showing in conference.
-COLORADO AT OREGON STATE (Pac Twelve). Both teams need to improve and get hot in conference play if they want to be relevant in March.
-WASHINGTON STATE AT UCLA (Pac Twelve). Both teams need to improve and get hot in conference play if they want to be relevant in March. Both have some decent OOC wins, and UCLA picked up a really nice win in their last game against Kentucky, but they’re hardly to a point to where they can just start skating.
-Cleveland State @ Michigan State
-Florida A&M @ Ball State
-Lawrence Tech (nondiv1) @ Central Michigan
-UMBC @ Maryland – UMBC has played well recently
-Stetson @ Nebraska