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.
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.
Sat, 02/26/2011 - 04:53 — Raphielle Johnson
Saturday brings about the biggest game in the history of the San Diego State (27-1, 12-1) program, which before the recent run of Steve Fisher has been an afterthought in southern California. BYU (26-2, 12-1) visits Viejas Arena with the winner taking a significant step towards not only the Mountain West's regular season crown but possible a one seed in the NCAA Tournament. Both have resumes that could merit such mention should the winner go on to win out, including the conference tournament (BYU is 8-1 vs. RPI Top 50, SDSU 4-1), but that's of little concern.
Fri, 02/25/2011 - 19:54 — Raphielle Johnson
Just a month ago the question was not just whether or not Gonzaga would get to the NCAA Tournament but also if their run atop the West Coast Conference was coming to an end. But what's said on the outside doesn't have to be accepted inside of a locker room, that's been the case for Mark Few's team as they've hung around. The end result was the chance to pull into a tie for first place, an opportunity the Bulldogs took full advantage of in their 89-85 overtime win at Saint Mary's.
Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:10 — Raphielle Johnson
One night after Cincinnati picked up a resume-building road victory it's Marquette's (16-11, 7-7) turn as they visit Connecticut (20-6, 8-6) at the XL Center. The Huskies need the win to keep pace with the other squads in the race for one of the four single byes in the Big East Tournament with an outside shot at grabbing a double bye, but they'll be without head coach Jim Calhoun. Coach Calhoun won't be present due to a death in the family, meaning that George Blaney takes over the reins.
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 - 08:05 — Raphielle Johnson
There comes a point in many teams' season where they're faced with a choice: fold up the tent and accept the result, or put up a fight in the face of adversity. That point for Tennessee may have come at the 13:02 mark in the second half, as a Festus Ezeli dunk extended Vanderbilt's lead to 42-31 in front of a raucous crowd at Memorial Gym. Bruce Pearl called a 30 second timeout, making sure to also send Melvin Goins, Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson back into the game, and from that point forward the Volunteers outscored Vanderbilt 29-9 and winning by the final score of 60-51.
Tue, 02/22/2011 - 17:51 — Raphielle Johnson
While Vanderbilt (20-6, 8-4) would need a lot of help to catch Florida atop the SEC East standings there's still the matter of sewing up a first round bye in next month's SEC Tournament, and they can move one step closer with a win over Tennessee (16-11, 6-6) Tuesday night. Tennessee won the first meeting between the two, with the Volunteers slumping at the time and needing a second-half revival of sorts (combined with some poor decisions from the Commodores) to pull off the comeback.