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.
Wed, 03/09/2011 - 15:42 — Raphielle Johnson
Three more tickets were punched on Tuesday night with one being snagged by Greg Kampe's Oakland Golden Grizzlies in a 90-76 win over Oral Roberts in the Summit League title game. Regular season and tournament MVP Keith Benson went off for 28 points, 14 rebounds and four assists and Reggie Hamilton added 26 points and six assists as Oakland completed an impressive run through the conference that included just one loss (IUPUI).
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.
Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:37 — Raphielle Johnson
Trailing by just one point (25-24) at the half but mostly stifled offensively (21.2% FG) the Washington Huskies needed someone to step up and change the flow of the game. Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning struggled to find clean looks, which is to be expected given how prominently they figure in the Husky attack. Enter freshman CJ Wilcox, overlooked by some who chose to focus on the loss of Terrence Jones and the anticipated impact of Terrence Ross.
Thu, 03/03/2011 - 08:42 — Raphielle Johnson
One final Pac-10 Thursday before the end of the regular season, and the showcase matchup is a hot UCLA (21-8, 12-4) squad taking their show on the road to face Washington (19-9, 10-6) in an important game for both. The Huskies put forth a lackluster showing on Sunday night as they were soundly whipped by rival Washington State, and given their overall resume Lorenzo Romar's team may be slipping back into a position they'd rather avoid.
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.
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.
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.
Fri, 02/18/2011 - 20:41 — Raphielle Johnson
Before Thursday night's game between Richmond and Temple the Atlantic 10 may have been in some trouble with regards to getting three teams into the NCAA Tournament. Both the Owls and Xavier are seen to essentially be locks to get into the NCAA Tournament, and after Thursday night they may be the only two teams that get in come Selection Sunday.