Fri, 03/11/2011 - 16:50 — Raphielle Johnson
Friday offers up some big matchups but none may be bigger than Georgia and Alabama in the first game of the day at the SEC Tournament. Both can still use wins (to be honest, who can't?) with the winner today keeping alive the ability to state their case on the floor while the loser has to hope their resume is good enough to warrant an NCAA Tournament bid. And the scouting reports should be fresh as the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide met in Saturday's regular season finale, a 65-57 Alabama victory in Tuscaloosa. The difference: turnovers.
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.
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.
Thu, 03/03/2011 - 08:31 — Raphielle Johnson
There was the question about how BYU would get along without the suspended Brandon Davies, who was their third-leading scorer and leading rebounder before his dismissal. But while the early returns certainly don't look good, keep in mind the fact that New Mexico beat BYU in their first meeting with Davies on the floor. But they weren't beaten on the boards in that contest as they were tonight, as the Lobos out-rebounded BYU 45-29 on their way to an impressive 82-64 win at the Marriott Center.
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.
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.
Sat, 02/19/2011 - 08:01 — Raphielle Johnson
One of the more important games of the day doesn't involve a ranked team, but because of the inconsistent nature of both teams they find themselves in need of a victory. Michigan State (14-11, 6-7) hosts Illinois (17-9, 7-6) in an important contest both teams need in regards to their NCAA Tournament hopes. Tom Izzo's had to deal with maddening inconsistency from some of the players expected to be leaders, not to mention the dismissal of backup point guard Korie Lucious that's sapped them of their depth at the point.
Tue, 02/08/2011 - 17:19 — Raphielle Johnson
Missouri played one of their best offensive halves of the season in the first half on Monday night, making 57.7% of their shots and scoring 42 points. But they were down four at the break thanks to the combination of suspect defense and superior execution by the Kansas Jayhawks. And as the Tigers slid closer to their season average in regards to field goal percentage Kansas got even better offensively, making 66.7% of their shots in the second half to win going away 103-86.