Quick Thoughts on Bracket Buster Games

31 Jan

Just some really quick thoughts, I will have a detailed look at some of the match ups in the coming days.

#16 St. Mary’s (21-2) at #9 Murray State (21-0) 6:00PM Feb. 18 TBA:-One of the marquee match ups of Bracket Buster weekend, the Gaels travel to Murray, Kentucky to give the undefeated Racers its biggest test before the NCAA tournament.

Why Watch:

Other than finding out if the last unbeaten in college basketball can stay that way, there are two match ups worth watching: St. Mary’s guard Matthew Dellavedova going head-to-head with Isaiah Caanan of Murray State.  Inside big men Rob Jones (St. Mary’s) and Ivan Aska (Murray State) will be interesting to watch.

Long Beach State (16-6) at #12 Creighton (20-2) 10:00PM Feb. 18 ESPN 2:-The leader of the Missouri Valley welcomes the leader in the Big West.

Why Watch:

This is an opportunity to see potential Player of the Year Candidate Creighton Sophomore Doug McDermott who is averaging nearly 24 points and 9 rebounds a game.  For Long Beach State who hasn’t been afraid to play anyone this season, they can showcase their senior-laden squad and leader Casper Ware.

Northern Iowa (14-9)  at Virginia Commonwealth (18-5)  7:00PM Feb. 17 ESPN 2:-A battle between perhaps the two biggest Cinderellas in the last 2 NCAA Tournaments; Last year’s Final Four participant VCU and the team that took out #1 Kansas in 2010, Northern Iowa.

Why Watch:

An interesting match up in this one is between two young forwards; Jake Koch of Northern Iowa and Juvonte Reddic of Virginia Commonwealth.

Valparaiso (15-8) at Loyola Marymount (13-9) 9:00PM Feb. 17 ESPNU:-The 2nd place team in the Horizon League travels to Los Angeles to take on up and coming Loyola Marymount of the West Coast Conference.

Why Watch:

Valpo who is coached by Bryce Drew, who hit that memorable shot in 1998 to beat Mississippi, but his team is lead by a couple of Juniors.  Kevin Van Wijk and Ryan Broekhoff average 30 points and 14 rebounds for the Crusaders.  LMU has a trio of their own worth keeping an eye on in Drew Viney, Ashley Hamilton and Anthony Ireland.

Nevada (18-3) at Iona (17-5) 4:00PM Feb. 18 TBA:-If you like points you will enjoy this game, Nevada averages 70 a game and Iona puts up 82 a game, 5th in the country.

Why Watch:

This is easy: watch the backcourts Nevada’s Malik Story and Deonte Burton against Iona’s Scotty Machado and Momo Jones.

Wichita State (18-4) at Davidson (15-5) 12:00PM Feb. 18 TBA:-Wichita State is right on the heels of Creighton in the Missouri Valley and Davidson is again running roughshod over the rest of the Southern Conference.

Why Watch:

Can Davidson get another resume-building win to help their at-large chances should they happen to slip up late.  Wichita State has a chance to show a national audience why they beat teams like UNLV, Tulsa and Colorado this season.

Akron (14-7) at Oral Roberts (20-4)  2:00PM Feb. 18 TBA:-The best team in the Mid-American Conference travels to Tulsa to face the team currently holding court in the Summit League.

Why Watch:

This game features two of the country’s best kept secrets: Akron’s Zeke Marshall is one of the nation’s best shot blockers and Oral Roberts’ Dominique Morrison is a star ready for the big stage.

Drexel (17-5) at Cleveland State (18-4)  11:00AM Feb. 18 ESPNU:-Bruiser Flint takes his Drexel Dragons into Cleveland to take on the new head honcho in the Horizon League.

Why Watch:

If you like defense this may be your game as both teams have combined to give up 70 or more points just 3 times this season.

Old Dominion (14-9) at Missouri State  (13-10) 5:00PM Feb. 18 ESPNU:-Perennial Colonial favorite Old Dominion heads to Springfield, Missouri to take on the Bears of Missouri State.

Why Watch:

A battle between two star forwards; Old Dominion’s Kent Bazemore and reigning MVC Player of the Year Missouri State’s Kyle Weems.

Buffalo (12-6) at South Dakota State (17-6) 2:00PM  Feb. 18 ESPNU:-The highest scoring team in the MAC goes on the road to take on the Jackrabbits.

Why Watch:

This is another game for the offensive enthusiasts, Buffalo averages nearly 74 points per game and SDSU 80.  This game should also feature a great 2-on-2 game;  Buffalo’s Mitchell Watt and Javon McCrea against one of the best back courts in the country Nate Wolters and Griffan Callahan of SDSU.

Drake (13-9) at New Mexico State: (15-7) 3:00PM Feb. 18 ESPNU:-Two teams in the thick of their conference races do battle in Las Cruces.

Why Watch:

Drake’s Mr. Everything is Sophomore guard Rayvonte Rice and his counterpart is New Mexico State’s senior forward Wendell McKines.

UNC-Asheville (16-7) at Ohio  (17-4) 7:00PM Feb. 18 ESPN3-The best team in the Big South travels north to take on the Bobcats of Ohio.

Why Watch:

One of the best back courts in the country UNC-Asheville’s J.P. Primm and Matt Dickey take on Ohio’s talented D.J. Cooper.

Texas-Arlington (15-5) at Weber State (16-4) 8:00PM Feb. 18 ESPN3:-The undefeated leader in the Southland goes on the road to take on the Big Sky’s co-leader.

Why Watch:

Two words: Damian Lillard, Weber State’s Junior guard averages over 24 points, nearly 6 rebounds and leads the team in assists (3.7)

College Hoop Haven

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