Wed, 04/13/2011 - 06:03 — Raphielle Johnson
While many tend to ignore the "other" postseason tournaments in March due to the overwhelming popularity of the NCAA Tournament, there's an awful lot to be gained from said events especially if a team has a lot due back the following season. So similar to those bowl games outside of the BCS in college football, teams gain valuable practice and game experience. Below are ten teams (in alphabetical order) who fit the mold, including one that didn't play in the postseason at all, and could make some noise in 2011-12.
(1) Alabama (25-12, 12-4 SEC)
Thu, 03/10/2011 - 09:19 — Raphielle Johnson
While the regular season battle between Rutgers and St. John's was a tight affair that wasn't decided until the final seconds, it paled in comparison to what happened at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday afternoon. Rutgers came out on the short end of the stick in numerous situations late in the game with regards to the officiating. From Mike Coburn not getting a foul call despite having to deal with contact on a shot attempt to Jonathan Mitchell having a player go over his back on a missed free throw the breaks all seemed to go to the Red Storm.
Wed, 03/09/2011 - 16:47 — Raphielle Johnson
More conference tournaments enter the fray on Wednesday with the Big 12 and Pac-10 being two of the seven conference tournaments that open. The Big 12 will be of particular interest as two teams playing today can ill-afford a first round loss. Baylor and Colorado are both in need of more wins; how many more is unknown but a loss to either Iowa State or Oklahoma could do irreparable harm to their at-large hopes. The task is simple for the Buffaloes: Alec Burks, Cory Higgins and Levin Knutson need to be on offensively while on the defensive end they have to slow down Diante Garrett.
Sat, 03/05/2011 - 08:33 — Raphielle Johnson
With three NCAA Tournament tickets assured of being punched (that number becomes four if Princeton wins at Harvard in a crucial Ivy League tilt), it makes sense to touch on each of those games as opposed to the usual daily preview. The title game in the Atlantic Sun provides a matchup of the prohibitive favorite taking on the underdog, a storyline that usually doesn't come into play for another two weeks.
Wed, 03/02/2011 - 18:50 — Raphielle Johnson
This point in the season offers many at-large candidates the opportunity to boost their resumes with another big win before going into conference tournament play. But having the chance and taking advantage of it are two entirely different things, and this was on full display Tuesday night. Baylor went on the road to Oklahoma State with a chance to simply show that they were effective at staying out of their own way...didn't happen.
Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:02 — Raphielle Johnson
Well, someone has to go to the NCAA Tournament. But there are more than a few teams who either don't value the importance of making a statement at this point or are willing to roll the dice on Selection Sunday. Wednesday was one of those nights, with a number of teams squandering opportunities to either bolster their causes or avoid stubbing their toe in contests they should win. Boston College qualifies, as they fell behind Miami at home by as many as 21 points before rallying back, ultimately losing 73-64.
Wed, 02/23/2011 - 18:40 — Raphielle Johnson
Despite some solid opportunities still left on their schedule the Baylor Bears (17-9, 6-6) need to rattle off some wins in a hurry thanks to an overall resume that lacks bulk in addition to some eye-opening losses. The most recent result was a 78-69 loss at home to Texas Tech, which doesn't qualify as a statement that Scott Drew's team wants to make at this point in the season. Tonight brings about the challenge of solving the Missouri (21-6, 7-5) press, and the way in which the Bears have protected the ball at times this contest has the potential to get out of hand if they aren't careful.
Sun, 02/20/2011 - 17:19 — Raphielle Johnson
Saturday night's matchup between Illinois and Michigan State didn't set up to be the marquee meeting expected when the season began, but it definitely didn't lack for importance with both teams needing wins to ensure an NCAA Tournament appearance. And in a battle of seniors who needed to step up it was Kalin Lucas who came through, scoring 25 points in Michigan State's 71-67 win over the Illini.
Sun, 02/06/2011 - 07:53 — Raphielle Johnson
Heading into Saturday's action the Arizona Wildcats were already up by a game in the Pac-10 standings thanks to their win over Stanford combined with Washington's loss at Oregon State on Thursday night. With a golden opportunity to make themselves the clear favorite to win the regular season title at their fingertips as Washington lost at Oregon earlier in the day, the young Wildcats took a big step in that direction in Berkeley. It's just hard to imagine that anyone involved realized just how much effort would be needed to do so.
Sat, 02/05/2011 - 06:32 — Raphielle Johnson
There's just one game on Saturday matching ranked teams and surprisingly it comes in the SEC, where #11 Kentucky (16-5, 4-3) heads south to take on #23 Florida (17-5, 6-2). And while the SEC East has shown itself to be somewhat wide-open, John Calipari's young Wildcats would be well-served to win this one and avoid falling behind the Gators by two games in the loss column. But Kentucky also has just one road win in conference play (South Carolina) and they'll have their hands full with a talented group of Gators.