Bracket Bits: The gift of Saturday hoops
Given the Christmas season, it’s appropriate that Saturday is wrapped with an extravaganza of college hoops. You can start with the Crossroads Classic and meander through a variety of resume-worthy matchups.
Visit the Schedule page for a complete list of games worth tracking.
Here’s a quick peek at a few of the more important resume games on tap …
Utah vs. Duke – After a drubbing at the hands of Wichita State (with Fred VanVleet in the lineup), the Utes are searching for a signature win and this is their last chance before Pac-12 play begins.
Wichita State at Seton Hall – The Shockers certainly look like a different team with VanVleet on the court. But with four early losses on the docket, every quality win counts. As for Seton Hall, beating a healthy(ier) WSU team would add another notch to the Pirates’ profile that already features wins over Ole Miss and Georgia.
Villanova at Virginia – The Wildcats would love to erase the memory of a lopsided loss to Oklahoma in Honolulu. It’s also worth nothing that UVA is Nova’s last chance to post a quality win before Big East play. The last time we saw the Cavaliers they were running away from West Virginia. It should be a good one.
Cincinnati at VCU – The non-conference season is slipping away from the Rams, who have dropped all four decisions against the best teams on their schedule. One win does not a season make, but if VCU is going to make a run at an at-large bid, a win here would certainly help.
Tulsa at Oregon State – Two teams that could arguably be on the proverbial bubble in late February.
Baylor at Texas AM – The jury is still a bit undecided on the Bears who lost a close decision at Oregon and won a close one at home against Vanderbilt. The Aggies have quality wins over Gonzaga, Texas, and Kansas State. Then again, you can never have too many of those.
Indiana vs. Notre Dame – It’s hard to imagine the Hoosiers missing the NCAA tournament, but their current resume is lacking. IU has not won a game away from Assembly Hall and is 0-3 against the best teams on its non-conference slate. Notre Dame’s top wins are Iowa and Illinois. Maybe they should have joined the Big Ten instead of the ACC – at least this year.
Enjoy your festive Saturday on the hardwood.