Monday, February 21, 2011

Mid-Major Madness Part 4

Here's the final edition of Mid-Major Madness. You should be recovered from the Bracketbusters now. Hopefully you got to see some quality action and teams that a lot of casual basketball fans missed. The conference tournaments start next week for some of the teams and it's your last chance to find that upset gem and cash in during the Big Dance. Here's some games that we won't miss this week and why...

Indiana St. (15-13) at Northern Iowa (19-10)
Both teams are 10-6 in the Missouri Valley and the winner is looking at the 3 seed for Arch Madness. The Sycamores won the first meeting by 25 points so the Panthers are looking for revenge in their final home game. It's also your last chance to see the famous "Interlude Dance" at half time.

Colorado St. (18-8) at BYU (25-2)

The Rams are firmly on the Bubble Watch and a road win over the Jimmers would be huge. BYU walked out of Fort Collins with a 9 point win in January.

Milwaukee (16-12) at Cleveland St. (23-6)
Cleveland St. leads the Horizon League standings at 12-4 and there are three other teams within a game, including the Panthers. The top two teams in the league get byes into the conference tournament semifinals.

Morehead St. (21-8) at Murray St. (21-7)
The Ohio Valley leader board has cleared up slightly and the Eagles and Racers find themselves at the top with 12-4 records. The Eagles feature the nation's leading rebounder and most likely the OVC Player of the Year in Kenneth Faried. The dude is a monster.

Western Illinois (7-20) at Centenary (0-28)
This Summit League showdown is a must watch game for a different reason. The Centenary Gentleman are looking for their first win of the season and this is their best chance of getting it and avoiding futility. The Leathernecks are 2-14 in the conference and did notch a victory over Centenary in December 57-51.

Gonzaga (19-9) at St. Mary's (22-6)
Neither team is a stranger to the Big Dance the last few years but both are on the bubble this season and a loss could burst it. The top team teams are awarded byes into the conference tournament semifinals and both teams would like the automatic pass to breathe easier. St. Mary's leads the Zags by a game for the regular season crown.

BYU (25-2) at San Diego St (27-1)
#7 vs. #4. The Aztecs are looking to avenge their only loss of the season, somehow stop Jimmer, and prove the Cougars are a one-man team.

Wichita St (22-6) at Missouri St. (21-7)
The winner takes the Missouri Valley title. Both teams are 13-3 in conference action and are looking to rebound from key Bracketbuster loses. An at large bid to the Dance is a slim hope and both teams could use another quality win. The Bears beat the Shockers 59-56 earlier this season.

Charleston (22-7) at Western Carolina (16-13)
The SoCon South Division leading Cougars don't have a lot to gain in the regular season finale but Western Carolina is tied for the North Division lead. A win and a division title will help the Catamounts' seeding for the SoCon tournament.

Enjoy the week of games and get ready for the mass chaos of conference tournaments next week. And by the way, theSportStew will be invading Vegas for the first week of the action.

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