Mississippi State, who hasn't done enough to sew up an NCAA bid to this point in the season, has a great opportunity to do so in Starkville on Tuesday night. Kentucky comes calling on ESPN in a game that matches up likely lottery pick big men in DeMarcus Cousins and Jarvis Varnado. With an RPI of 58 and an overall strength of schedule of 118 (numbers courtesy of realtimerpi.com) they need at the least a solid effort if they're to be a part of the NCAA Tournament.
As we get closer to March the games that take precedence are those with NCAA Tournament hopes on the line, and there will be no shortage of such contests on Saturday. Connecticut kicks things off in what's essentially an elimination game between the Huskies, who welcome back head coach Jim Calhoun, and Cincinnati at the XL Center. A pair of Lance Stephenson free throws decided the first meeting but neither he nor Deonta Vaughn has played well of late.
You can normally tell the magnitude of a game at Duke by how fired up head coach Mike Krzyzewski is, especially when it comes to pumping up the Cameron Crazies. Coming off of a sound defeat at the hands of Georgetown, the Blue Devils needed to respond against a team that had knocked them off earlier in the season and they did just that. In the 83-65 win Kyle Singler hit eight three pointers in scoring 30 points while also grabbing five rebounds, and as a team Duke shot 66.7% (12-18) from behind the arc.
The weekly Bracketology field is based on how the tourney looks "as of this moment." . In late February, I release Bracketology updates daily as the season approaches crunch time.
Ranking players is more art then science. How do you compare the potential of freshmen with seniors who have already peaked? How much does physical talent come into play versus intangibles and experience? How big a role do numbers play?