Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mid-Major Madness, Part 2

Here is the second part of Mid-Major Madness. We're taking February to look at some of the teams that may be able to make some noise next month in the Big Dance. If you had the chance to check out some of last week's featured games, you saw some doozies and it's only getting better as the teams battle to improve their seedings for their respective conference tournaments. Here's what to watch this week...

American U (16-7) at Bucknell (16-8)
While neither of these teams will be given much chance in March Madness, this game features the top two teams in the Patriot League. Bucknell walked away with upset wins in the first round of the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament and are currently on a hot streak winning 14 of their last 16 games. The Bison are led by sophomore big man Mike Muscala, who in among the league leaders in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots. American U couldn't stop Muscala in their first meeting this season, as he slammed them with 33 points, 10 boards, and 5 blocks. Vlad Moldoveanu is the leading scorer for the Eagles at 20 ppg but was held to a season low 7 points against Bucknell earlier this season.

Florida Atlantic (18-7) at Denver (11-12)
This match up will showcase the Sun Belt's East Division leaders, the Owls, and the West Division leading Pioneers. The Pioneers are hoping to drastically improve from their last outing when they shot a measely 25% from the field and only managed 35 points. The Owls are 10-1 in SunBelt play and have a 3 games lead in the East Division.

Northern Colorado (13-9) at Montana (16-7)
You will get to see the top two teams in the Big Sky Conference in this game. The Montana Grizzlies were the pre-season favorite and went 2-0 against the Pac-10 in their non conference schedule. Northern Colorado has a one game lead and pounded the Grizzlies in early January by 18 points. The Bears are led by guard Devon Beitzel (19.2 ppg).

Wichita St. (20-4) at Northern Iowa (18-7)
Last week was bad for the Panthers as they lost their leading rebounder, Mr. Hustle, Lucas O'Rear. The Panthers beat the Shockers 77-74 last month and need some outstanding play from Valley Player of the Year candidate Kwadzo Ahelegbe to keep their razor thin at large hopes alive. The Shockers lead the Missouri Valley with a record of 11-2 and are riding a 5 game winning streak. The Panthers sit in third place, two games back.

Don't miss these either...
Mon, Feb 7
Austin Peay @ Tennessee Tech
Tues, Feb 8

UNI @ Evansville
Thur, Feb 10
Wright St. @ Butler
Tennessee Tech @ Murray St.
Fri, Feb 11
Jacksonville @ East Tennessee St.
Sat, Feb 12
Oakland @ IPFW
Old Dominion @ VCU
Texas Southern @ Jackson St.
James Madison @ George Mason
Southern Miss @ Memphis
Wright St @ Valparaiso
St. Mary's @ San Francisco

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