Sabtu, 18 Februari 2012

Impact Saturday

This year's NCAA Tournament is not far away now as March is only a couple weeks away now. The college basketball regular season is nearing its end as conference tournaments are close to starting so teams on the bubble will look for big wins while some teams will look to get on a run to improve their seed. With the BracketBusters today also, this could be the most important Saturday for the bubble teams with so many of them having the chance to get big wins. So, what will happen on this Impact Saturday?

6 Ohio State at 19 Michigan
Ohio State needs a big win after last Saturday's loss at home to Michigan State. Ohio State was able to beat Minnesota Tuesday but a big win tonight in Ann Arbor could put them right back in contention for a number one seed as a loss would diminish their chances of a number one seed. Jared Sullinger has once again proved why he is one of the best players in college basketball but William Buford's prescence has given this team multiple threats. Michigan has been very good this season despite the fact that they have struggled to score points. Point guard Trey Burke has been key in leading this offense as he has averages 14 points and 5 assists per game. John Beilein has turned around the Michigan basketball program as he would definitely be a candidate for coach of the year if Frank Haith was not doing as well as he has at Missouri. Ohio State beat Michigan in Columbus earlier this season but with all the spotlight from College Gameday in Ann Arbor to playing in primetime, this game will be different from the first matchup. Ohio State will be going into a very difficult environment but I think the Buckeyes are the better team and they will win a close one in Ann Arbor thanks to their excellent offense.

16 Saint Mary's at 14 Murray State
This is definitely the headline game of the BracketBusters despite the fact that both teams have had both had surprising losses. Saint Mary's has lost two of there last three games including one at home to Loyola Marymount. This team was playing very well but now they are looking for a big win to turn around their season and improve their seed in the tournament. Senior forward Rob Jones has been secretly putting up excellent number as he average 15 points and 11 rebounds a game. Jones has been the star on this very good team that could make a run to at least the second weekend of the tournament. Murray State has been the surprise of the season as they only have one loss this year under first year head coach Steve Prohm who could beat out Missouri's Frank Haith for coach of the year. Junior guard Isaiah Canaan has been very impressive this season as he has been averaging 19 points a game for the Racers. This game will be in primetime right before the Ohio State-Michigan game on ESPN so both teams will get a shot to make a huge statement. Saint Mary's could have some problems with a couple key players hurt right now for the Gaels. It will definitely be a high scoring game as both these teams have put up tons of points all season long but Saint Mary's will lose another game as Murray State will make a huge statement to climb back up a few slots to a 4 or 5 seed with Isaian Canaan stepping up with a big performance.

11 UNLV at New Mexico
The Mountain West has been one of the strongest conferences this year despite the lack of attention they have received. UNLV has struggled on the road this season as all 5 of their losses were away from the Thomas-Mack Center to good teams (17Wisconsin, 15 San Diego State, Witchita State, Wyoming, TCU).  UNLV has another tough road trip to New Mexico as they will look to make a statement that they can win on the road. Mike Moser has been very good this year as he has averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds a game. UNLV will look to have a big performance as they are playing on CBS while New Mexico will look to prove why they should easily be in the top 25 as they are the current leaders of the Mountain West. New Mexico has only two losses in the Mountain West but they got revenge on San Diego State earlier this week after they went to San Diego and beat the Aztecs by ten. New Mexico is scoring tons of points this season despite the fact that there leading scorer is only averaging 12.5 points per game. Drew Gordon has been dominate down low but will face his toughest matchup in UNLV's Mike Moser. New Mexico has a lot of momentum and UNLV's struggles on the road will continue as New Mexico wins, and joins UNLV and San Diego State in the top  25 next week thanks to a strong team performance.

21 Florida State at NC State
This is a huge game in the ACC between two teams that are in different situations right now. Florida State has had some close calls recently after losing a little over a week ago at Boston College as Leonard Hamilton will look to inspire his team to get a big win in Raleigh. Michael Snaer hit a game-winning three pointer against Virginia Tech as he has been averaging 13.6 points per game and is shotting 38% from beyond the arc this year. Meanwhile, NC State is right on the bubble and they know that a win today can help put some distance between the bubble and themselves. NC State is having a surprising season as they are fourth in the ACC and ahead of a ranked Virginia. CJ Leslie has been a very good player for the Wolfpack as his 13 points and 6 rebounds per game have been important. The Wolfpack also have a sharpshooter from beyond the arc in Scott Wood who has made 43% of his threes. NC State will make a huge statement led by Wood making plenty of threes as they improve their NCAA Tournament resume.

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