Blog Entry

What's at stake on Sunday

Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:31 am
Edited on: March 4, 2012 12:33 am
Lots on the docket for Sunday. Be sure to plan your time out wisely. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

After a Saturday that gave us the first three teams for the 2012 bracket and plenty of other notable results with debatable impact, what will God's day give us?

In terms of auto bids, there's only one for the taking, and it's in St. Louis at 2 ET on CBS. If Creighton wins the Missouri Valley, bubble teams everywhere take a moment to exhale before realizing they still have work to do and their future is already in pretty bad shape if they're relying on Illinois State to lose a game to help them get into the field.

Illinois State acting as a bid thief would be pretty great to see. The Valley hasn't had three times in the NCAAs since 2006, when the league got four. If Creighton wins, the likelihood that the MVC gets two teams in the five/six seed range is high, and that's just as impressive and sending three into the Big Bracket. If you didn't catch the semifinal action Saturday, you need to watch the championship game. The MVC tournament is always such a thrill because the crowds there are terrific, and there's always one or two classic games. Illinois State over Wichita State fit the description. Can we get one more?

Conference tournament action to eye:
  • Drexel is without serviceable forward Derrick Thomas for the entirety of the CAAs due to school-mandated suspension due to problems with the law. The Dragons need to be Old Dominion in Sunday's Colonial semi to have a shot at an at-large. The game is at 2 p.m. ET.
  • VCU has one loss with Jan. 8. It came on a last-second shot to George Mason. Fittingly, these two teams face in the other CAA semi, at 4:30 ET.
  • Iona and Fairfield were seen as the MAAC's two best teams at the start of the season. Iona lived up to that; Fairfield, a four seed, did not. They face off in the semifinals at 2 p.m. The Stags can win, but the Gaels are the league's only team with a good chance at beating a lot of teams in the NCAAs.
  • Teams with the faintest bubble chances that are killed off tomorrow with losses in the semis of their tournaments: Middle Tennessee State and Davidson.
  • Kentucky plays at Florida at noon ET on CBS. If the Wildcats win, they'll become the first Big Six conference team to run the table in their league since 2003, when Kentucky did it. The Wildcats were knocked out by Dwyane Wade and Marquette that season.
  • Illinois wraps up its regular season at Wisconsin (1 ET, Big Ten Network). If the Illini managed a win here, not only would it inject life into their dead at-large case, but Wisconsin's seeding would take a huge hit.
  • Ohio State-Michigan State is the third game of CBS' triple-header on Sunday. The Spartans win the Big Ten outright if they beat Ohio State, which they already did in Columbus in February. What's most on the line: the loser of this game has virtually no shot at a No. 1 seed.
  • At 23-7 and 13-4 in-league, Cal is the Pac-12 team in the "safest" position now, after Washington lost at UCLA Saturday. But Cal's not all that impressive in the resume department, to be honest, and the road test at Stanford (FSN, 5:30 ET) is huge. A loss there, and we're right back to one-bid-Pac-12 talk.
  • Purdue is in the field with some room to spare. If it's able to beat Indiana at Indiana (6 ET, Big Ten Net), a single-digit seed becomes very likely.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:32 am

What's at stake on Sunday

Today's Kentucky game on national tv gives Anthony Davis his stage to solidify NPOY. I'm interested if the game plan involves really getting it to him. Today might be the triple double game that has (barely) eluded him all year.

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