BracketBuster Weekend

BracketBuster weekend is here, which means March is right around the corner. College basketball is now on the center stage. My single favorite time of the year, March Madness, is only weeks away. I love the concept of the BracketBuster weekend, which is now in its ninth season. It is a chance for teams from the smaller conferences around the country to make a name for themselves, and pick up a big win against a quality opponent. Realize that this is often the participant’s best chance to get a signature win that will help them enter the NCAA Tournament field. Let’s take a look at the top matchups for this weekend’s BracketBusters three-day event.Friday February 18th Virginia Commonwealth at Wichita State 7 pm ESPN– The VCU Rams are one of the better teams in the CAA, and Wichita State is currently the top dog in the Missouri Valley Conference. VCU has lost their last couple games to the other top teams in the CAA, so they are likely out of the at-large discussion. Wichita State is squarely on the bubble according to the bracketologists out there, so this is a must win game for them.

Saturday February 19 Missouri State at Valparaiso 5 PM ESPN2- Missouri State is actually tied with Wichita State atop the Missouri Valley standings. The Bears have a couple bad losses already this year, and they will likely be a bubble team if they don’t win the Missouri Valley tournament. Valparaiso isn’t even in the discussion for an at-large bid, but they are a talented team, and they’ll be tough to beat on their home court. This should be a terrific game.

Vermont at College of Charleston 5 PM ESPNU- The College of Charleston Cougars have proven they are capable of playing with top competition already this year. The Cougars beat Tennessee on the road, and narrowly lost to both Maryland and North Carolina. Andrew Goudelock is one of the best players in the nation that you probably haven’t heard of. Vermont plays in a very weak conference, so they’ll need to win their tournament if they are going to be dancing, but a win here could help their seeding quite a bit.

UW-Milwaukee at Buffalo 7 PM (Not televised)- The primary reason I think this game is one to watch is this Buffalo team appears capable of winning the Mid American Conference tournament. Wisconsin-Milwaukee has beaten Butler twice this year, and they are no stranger to road wins. This is off the radar of most people, but I expect an interesting matchup here.

Utah State at St. Mary’s 9 PM ESPN2- St. Mary’s was assumed to be in the tournament before Thursday night’s shocking loss to San Diego, but they are squarely on the bubble now. Their win over St. John’s at the beginning of the year is helpful, but a win at Utah State would make their chances of getting a bid skyrocket. Utah State’s best win of the year was over Long Beach State, who isn’t even ranked in the top 100 in the RPI Standings. The Aggies absolutely must win this game to have a chance at an at-large bid. This is probably the single biggest game of the weekend.

Sunday February 20 Cleveland State at Old Dominion 1 PM ESPN- Cleveland State is a team full of talent from the Horizon League. The Vikings have no signature win this season, and this will be their best chance until conference tournament time arrives. Old Dominion is probably in the tournament as it stands right now, and they have played a pretty tough schedule this year. Both teams are strong defensively and I expect a highly competitive game here.

Enjoy the BracketBuster weekend, and let’s gear up for some March Madness!

Written by Kyle Hunter from 

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