Thu, 03/10/2011 - 16:02 — Raphielle Johnson
With more games come more opportunities to see who actually wants to go to the NCAA Tournament. Now that the Big 12 (for the most part) has sorted itself out it's time for conferences such as the ACC, Big Ten, Mountain West, Pac-10 and SEC to begin their tournaments in earnest (the Mountain West and Pac-10 had games yesterday but none had an impact on the field of 68).
One game to keep an eye on tips off late in Greensboro with banged-up Virginia Tech taking on Georgia Tech in the final game of the day.
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.
Sun, 03/06/2011 - 17:05 — Raphielle Johnson
By this time next Sunday there will be more than 20 teams guaranteed inclusion in the 2011 NCAA Tournament and the first three tickets were punched on Saturday. UNC Asheville (Big South), Belmont (Atlantic Sun) and Morehead State (Ohio Valley) all won their conference tournament finals while Princeton (Ivy) missed out on a chance to join the fun with their loss at Harvard. Now the Tigers need to beat rival Penn at the Palestra to forge a tie atop the standings, forcing a one-game playoff with Harvard for the Ancient Eight's automatic bid.
Wed, 03/02/2011 - 19:43 — Raphielle Johnson
Just two games remain for teams in the middle of the Big East pack to separate themselves and earn a first round bye, a fact that makes the game between Connecticut (21-7, 9-7) and West Virginia (18-10, 9-7) all the more important to both. Kemba Walker's been the player whose received the lion's share of the attention for the Huskies and rightfully so as he's one of the top candidates for Big East Player of the Year.
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.
Tue, 03/01/2011 - 20:41 — Raphielle Johnson
It's one thing to say you're not going to play in the NIT and another to come through on your guarantee. That's exactly what senior guard Jacob Pullen has done in recent weeks for Kansas State and as a result the Wildcats find themselves in a very good position with one game left in the regular season. Pullen (X-rays on his right hand were negative according to FoxSports.com's Jeff Goodman) scored 20 points while Rodney McGruder led the way with 22 in a 75-70 win at #7 Texas.
Mon, 02/28/2011 - 19:04 — Raphielle Johnson
Another Monday and another important matchup in the Big East, with Villanova (21-8, 9-7) visiting Notre Dame (23-5, 12-4) in a game the Wildcats desperately need to avoid playing on Tuesday in next week's Big East Tournament. Jay Wright's club is currently in a five-way tie for seventh place and only two teams will avoid playing on Tuesday. Notre Dame on the other hand has clinched at least a first round bye and one more win would mean a double-bye for Mike Brey's team. And at Purcell Pavilion the Irish are tough to beat, as they've gone 16-0 at home this season.
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.