Tuck: A Sneak Peak At Bracketbusters
You wanna win your NCAA March Madness Brackets contest, right?
Then this would be a good weekend to dedicate your time to do some homework. It's Bracketbusters weekend, and some of the best teams you haven't seen this year are playing. These are the teams that will, well, bust your bracket if you don't know about them. Knowledge is power. Empower yourself this weekend.
Last year VCU played in this event. The year previous Butler did. Both of those Cinderellas danced into the Final Four. It doesn't mean all these teams have a chance to dance that long, but you'll have a better idea which ones do, and which ones don't by watching them play against solid competition.
In fact, here is a rundown of the busters that did some damage.
BracketBusters To Reach Sweet 16
|2010||Butler <<||Connecticut (National Championship)|
|2010||Northern Iowa||Michigan State|
|2008||Davidson||Kansas (Elite Eight)|
|2006||Wichita State||George Mason|
|2006||George Mason <<||Florida|
|>> Advanced to Final Four|
In every year but 2009 someone that played in this event advanced to the second weekend of March Madness. That's good to know. Here are this year's entries.
BracketBusters TV Schedule
Northern Iowa vs. VCU - 7:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 17, ESPN2
Valparaiso vs. LMU - 9:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 17, ESPN2
Drexel vs. Cleveland State - 11:00 a.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPNU
Wichita State vs. Davidson - 12:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPN or ESPN2
Buffalo vs. South Dakota State - 1:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPNU
Akron vs. Oral Roberts - 2:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPN or ESPN2
Drake vs. New Mexico State - 3:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPNU
Nevada vs. Iona - 4:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18. ESPN or ESPN2
Old Dominion vs. Missouri State - 5:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPNU
Saint Mary's vs. Murray State - 6:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPN or ESPN2
UNC-Asheville vs. Ohio - 7:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPN3
UT-Arlington vs. Weber State - 8:00 p.m., Feb. 18, ESPN3
Long Beach State vs. Creighton - 10:00 p.m. ET, Feb. 18, ESPN2
Players to keep an eye on:
G Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
F Doug McDermott, Creighton
G Damian Lillard, Weber State
G Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
G Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts
Best game: St. Mary's at Murray State
It's only the 4th time two brackbusters were ranked when playing each other. Both shouldbe at-large picks barring a late season collapse, but winning this game should help the cause immensely.
Team to watch: Wichita State
The defending NIT champs start 4 seniors, shoot the heck out of the ball, have won 13/14, and lead the Missouri Valley Conference by two games over more famed Creighton. They should be an at-large pick even if they don't win the conference tournament.
Best conference: West Coast Conference
Sorry Horizon and Colonial. The WCC has St. Mary's and Loyola Marymount participating and BYU and Gonzaga already set to dance without this weekend. LMU-Valpo should be a terrific game, and both teams desperately need the quality win.
March Madness starts in one month. Be prepared.