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Tag:Middle Tennessee
Posted on: January 27, 2012 1:42 pm
 

Middle Tennessee pins at-large hopes on Saturday

By Jeff Borzello

With multiple major conferences suffering down years and a number of mid-majors still unbeaten in conference play, we might see a higher number of non-BCS teams getting at-large bids this season.

One of those teams to keep an eye on could be Middle Tennessee, whose at-large hopes come down to Saturday.

That is when the Blue Raiders head to Vanderbilt in an intriguing non-league contest. Right now, Middle Tennessee sits at 19-2, with 12 consecutive wins heading into the weekend. The only losses were to Belmont – whom they also beat – and UAB.

Does Kermit Davis’ squad hold legitimate at-large potential? The Blue Raiders have top-100 wins over Ole Miss, Akron and Belmont, with road victories over Loyola Marymount and UCLA also on the resume. Assuming they run the table in the Sun Belt – not a guarantee, with road games against North Texas and Denver remaining – and then lose in the Sun Belt tournament, the Blue Raiders do have a chance.

But it comes down to Saturday’s game in Memorial Gym.

A win over Vanderbilt would vault Middle Tennessee’s RPI into the top 50 and it would also give the Blue Raiders a marquee win to hang their hat on come Selection Sunday. Victories over Ole Miss and Akron don’t have the same effect. The win would likely leave Middle Tennessee with at least a 5-1 record against the RPI top 100 heading into the NCAA tournament. That’s tough to pass up.

A loss on Saturday, though, and Middle Tennessee might have to win the Sun Belt’s automatic bid.

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:03 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 1:32 am
 

Night Court: Belmont & MTSU have another thriller



By
Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Considering the first meeting between Belmont and Middle Tennessee this season went to double overtime, we should have seen a great game coming. In this one, Middle Tennessee prevailed by three, despite going 2-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds. Belmont couldn’t convert down the stretch, going 0-for-3 from the field with two turnovers in the final 71 seconds. Middle Tennessee's crowd rushed the court after the win, as seen above.

Win to brag about: It’s not the most impressive win on paper, but Wisconsin-Milwaukee was undefeated at home this season. Therefore, Wisconsin going in there and coming out with a six-point win is nothing to scoff at. Wisconsin looked like it would roll to an easy win, but UWM went on a 16-1 run midway through the second half to make it a game. Jordan Taylor’s 3-pointer in the final minute clinched the game for the Badgers.

Loss to hide from: Nothing in the way of embarrassing losses on Tuesday, as no teams above .500 besides Belmont and UW-Milwaukee lost.

Player who deserves improper benefits: It was against Rochester College, but Oakland’s Drew Valentine’s performance was impressive nonetheless. The junior forward totaled 20 points and 15 boards, shooting 8-for-10 from the field and knocking down two 3-pointers.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Mississippi State made sure it didn’t suffer a repeat of last season, staving off a late rally by Florida Atlantic to get a seven-point win. If the Owls were to pull off the upset two years in a row, they needed a big-time game from guard Greg Gantt. However, the junior only had five points on 2-for-5 shooting. He averages nearly 14 points per game on the season.

Numbers don’t lie:

  • Despite its win over double-overtime win over NAIA Point University tonight, Alcorn State has still not defeated a Division-I team since February 26 of last season.
  • Niagara went 14 minutes and 11 seconds without a field goal in the second half against Drexel, part of the reason the Dragons had a 29-4 run. Niagara fell 71-58.
  • Wyoming won 10 games in each of the past two seasons. The Cowboys’ win over UC-Irvine on Tuesday was their 10th already this year.

Three other notable results:

  1. J’Covan Brown scored 23 points to lead Texas to a 93-40 win over Nicholls State. The Longhorns held Nicholls without a field goal for 15:37.
  2. Villanova bounced back from a three point halftime deficit against Boston University with 45 points in the second stanza. ‘Nova won 68-43.
  3. Michigan racked up 17 assists on 22 field goals in its 63-50 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Notes:

  • In his fourth game back from the football team, South Carolina's Bruce Ellington scored a season-high 15 points in an eight-point win over Presbyterian.
  • Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally only combined for 26 points on Tuesday, but Jamie Serna stepped up with 22 and five blocks in a win for UC-Santa Barbara.
  • Marcus Jordan was suspended for UCF’s weekend win over Bethune Cookman, but he bounced back with a career-high 28 points against North Carolina A&T.
  • Oregon State’s Robert Nelson is heating up. In his last four games, the guard is averaging 15.0 points per game.

On tap: It’s another light day in the college basketball world, but there are some interesting tilts. Cincinnati returns to the court for the first time since the brawl, while Iona travels to Richmond.

Photo: US Presswire

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com