The weekly Bracketology field is based on how the tourney looks "as of this moment." The field below is not necessarily who I think deserves to be in, but simply a prediction of what the committee would do as things stand. In late February, I release Bracketology updates daily as the season approaches crunch time.
For fans of schools in a number of non-BCS conferences Monday was a big day with the announcement of the eleven televised games in the ESPNU BracketBusters event. And the masses received their wish in regards to the headline contest with Siena visiting Butler on February 20th (11 AM on ESPN2). With both teams still undefeated in their respective conferences at this time it could possibly match up ranked teams if both continue on their current runs.
If either Connecticut or Louisville shows up at Freedom Hall not understanding the magnitude of the game they should be eliminated from at-large consideration. Hate to be so harsh but both teams are essentially at the point where they need to go on a run if they're to make the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies, who have been without head coach Jim Calhoun for the last four games due to health reasons, own just one Top 25 win (Texas) and they've yet to beat anyone of consequence on the road (as a matter of fact they've yet to win a true road game).
An in-state rivalry will be one of the top matchups on Wednesday night with Vanderbilt heading east to take on Tennessee in Knoxville. Thanks to South Carolina knocking off Kentucky the Commodores lead the SEC East with a 4-0 league record but they could have some company after Wednesday night. Kevin Stallings' team has won nine straight but this will be their toughest challenge by far, especially considering their tendency to struggle away from Memorial Gym in big games.
CollegeHoops.net Player of the Week: Jerome Dyson
Most of the talk surrounding Connecticut's game against top-ranked Texas focused on the fact that it was a good thing the Huskies ended their three-game losing streak on Wednesday night against St. John's. Few people expected the team, currently being run by George Blaney due to Jim Calhoun's leave of absence, to beat the Longhorns despite playing on campus in front of a frenzied crowd. And about 30 seconds into the second half, when one basket was followed by yet another turnover and Texas hoop to make it 44-34, it looked like the game was definitely headed in that direction.
There are some big games on the schedule Saturday, with the biggest possibly being Ohio State visiting West Virginia in a non-conference game that could have major implications come March in regards to seeding. Outside of the Buckeyes' Dallas Lauderdale you won't see big men on the floor, with both teams possessing a number of versatile players in the 6-5 to 6-9 range. The two best players on the floor: Ohio State's Evan Turner and West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler, both of whom are looked to as catalysts of their team's offense.