Winners and Loser From BracketBuster Saturday

  • Murray State – They came out fast, feeding off the home crowd and overwhelming the suddenly stuttering Gaels. Isaiah Cannan hammered home the win, scoring 17 of his 23 points in the 2nd half. The impressive performance came in the defensive play though, as the Racers held St. Mary’s to just 38% from the floor. The Gales lead the WCC with 47.6% FG percentage, which is 27th in the country. The Racers proved that they could hang with the rest of the mid-seed teams in the tournament. The question that still remains is how they’ll hang with the big boys.
  • Drexel – There were still doubters for the Dragons, who are tied with George Mason atop the CAA. I think there still maybe some hangers-on to the CAA’s previous Cinderella squads. However, Drexel’s 20-points beatdown of the Horizon League’s 2nd place squad, Cleveland State. The Vikings were never really in the game, trailing by as much as 29 in the second half. This could be the beginning of some stretch momentum for the Dragons to improve their seeding. 
  • Wichita State – We knew they were the top-rated mid-major for a reason. Their offense showed why they’ve gotten that high in the RPI rankings, easily dispatching Davidson. Another team that improved their seeding this weekend. 
  • Iona – Another team that helped their resume with a win. Their seeding has been slipping and the W over Nevada could help it recover over the next week. 
  • Saint Mary’s – They really didn’t look too bad, but they’ll have the L next to their name in this year’s premier BrackBuster game. They looked to be playing on their heels for most of the night and almost seemed rattled by the raucous Murray State crowd. They’ve now dropped three of their last four, but have a chance to recover this week with Portland (3-11 in the WCC) on Thursday, but finish up with a trip to San Francisco Saturday to wrap the regular season.  The Dons just upset Gonzaga and have a full week to rest and prepare for the Gales. Upset alert?
  • Buffalo – Any attempts Buffalo had to climb back into the MAC East race with Kent State and Akron were dealt a serious blow with their blowout loss to South Dakota State. They still get another shot at the Zips, but it might be too late by then. 
  • UNC-Asheville – The Bulldogs have the Big South wrapped up, with a 3-game lead on Coastal Carolina with 2 to play. However, they could have improved their standing for the NCAA Tournament by winning out. Then they got upset by CCU last week. Then Ohio blows them out on the road, killing any and all momentum UNCA built up during their previous 6-game win streak. Could they be vulnerable during the Big South tournament?
  • Texas-Arlington – Speaking of momentum killers. The Mavericks hadn’t lost since Dec. 20, running up 16 straight wins. Then Weber State snaps that streak in heartbreaking fashion in a 2-point loss. UTA is far and away the best team in the Southland, but a little hiccup on Saturday could be the difference between having to play a first round game and getting to go right into the second round.

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