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Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Utah State-St. Mary's matchup highlights BracketBuster schedule

By Eric Prisbell

As always, there are some compelling BracketBuster matchups this season. I'm disappointed Oakland is not in the event because Oakland is a good team that could win a game in the NCAAs as a No. 13 seed. Here are my favorite matchups:

1) Utah State at St. Mary's (Feb. 19, 9 p.m.): These are two of the nation's best mid-majors, and both are capable of winning at least one game in the NCAAs. Utah State has just two losses - to Brigham Young and Georgetown - but Stew Morrill's team can't afford to lose a WAC game to have any chance at an at-large bid. St. Mary's has pried control of the WCC race away from Gonzaga.

2) George Mason at Northern Iowa (Feb. 19, 7 p.m.): I'll be out there covering this game, and am very much looking forward to it. Mason is hot and looking like a tournament team. Northern Iowa has not lost since Jan. 7 and has beaten Missouri State and Wichita State during the win streak. NIU is one game back of the MVC lead.

3) Cleveland State at Old Dominion (Feb. 20, 1 p.m.): If there is a Horizon League team to watch this season, it is Cleveland State, not Butler. Both teams could claim at-large berths if things break right and they don't win their respective league tournaments. Expect a defensive matchup in this one.

4) Virginia Commonwealth at Wichita State (Feb. 18, 7 p.m.): Wichita State is on the bubble but it is 0-4 against top 100 teams. It is highly unlikely a team can earn an at-large bid without a top 100 victory. VCU, which has beaten ODU and UCLA this season, has not lost since Jan. 3. Both teams are involved in highly competitive league races.

5) Missouri State at Valparaiso (Feb. 19, 5 p.m.): I didn't expect either team to be in the hunt for their conference titles, so this is a matchup between two surprising teams. Both have RPI's in the top 60, but both are looking for quality victories outside of its respective league.

By Eric Prisbell  | February 1, 2011; 11:17 AM ET
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Next: NCAA tournament 2011: Are the Duke Blue Devils overrated?


she says we gotta hold on to what we got....

Posted by: jmorrisa | February 1, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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