Home > Current Updates > Inside the Bracket: Six games to track this weekend

Inside the Bracket: Six games to track this weekend

dave1It’s a busy second weekend of college hoops.  There are six games that look particularly intriguing.  And it’s certainly possible that at least a couple could have bracket implications (seeding or selection) down the line.  Let’s take a look:

Ohio State at Marquette – Could be the best game on the docket.  If LaQuinton Ross proves to be a reliable scorer, the Buckeyes can challenge Michigan State in the Big Ten race.  They also need consistent play from Sam Thompson and Lenzelle Smith, Jr.  While guard play is a work in progress for the Golden Eagles, Davante Gardner and Chris Otule anchor a solid front line for Marquette.  This type of non-conference victory will look good on either team’s resume.

Michigan at Iowa State – Mitch McGary (back) has yet to play for the Wolverines, who are hoping for a return trip to the Final Four.   Iowa State just missed the Field of 68 in our preseason projection, but the Cyclones could easily work their way into the bracket if Fred Hoiberg once again blends some new pieces together.  Neither team has been challenged, but a victory would be a particularly nice boost for ISU.  The Cyclones have a tough trip to BYU next week.

Indiana State at Notre Dame – After losing a 16-point halftime lead and falling at Belmont on Thursday, Indiana State could use a bounce-back victory in South Bend. Other than a game at Saint Louis in December, the Sycamores’ non-conference schedule doesn’t offer many chances for bracket-worthy wins.  ISU allowed Belmont to score 63 second-half points.  They’ll have to tighten up the defense to have a chance against the Irish.

Creighton at St. Joseph’s – Creighton is averaging 100 points a game through its first two victories – and has yet to be tested.  Of course, offense has never been an issue for the Jays. National Player-of-the-Year Candidate Doug McDermott is averaging 28.5 ppg.  St. Joseph’s posted a solid road win at Vermont to open its season and is allowing just 63 points in two games.  Solid non-conference matchup.  You have to believe Creighton will make another NCAA appearance; a victory here would capture some attention for the Hawks.

Minnesota at Richmond – Kudos to the Golden Gophers for scheduling a true road game against a quality mid-major.  Richmond returns several key pieces from a team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the CBI last year.  Taking a step back towards the NCAAs would certainly be helped by winning a notable non-conference game. Minnesota is among three or four teams that could finish from sixth to ninth in the Big Ten.  Road wins help any resume.

Stanford at Denver – The Cardinal have missed the past five NCAAs tournaments.  So every victory counts.  After dropping a home game to BYU, Stanford would love to post a road win against the Pioneers.  Much like Minnesota, credit the Cardinal for taking on a worthwhile challenge.  Chasson Randle has been superb in the early going, averaging over 21 points a game.  Stanford has a strong non-conference schedule that provides plenty of opportunities.  This is a chance to build momentum before December brings dates with San Diego State, Connecticut and Michigan.

Enjoy a good weekend of college hoops.

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