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BobZag
02-18-2009, 10:44 AM
This Saturday there are two very, very intriguing Bracketbuster games on ESPN and ESPN2.

First: Butler visits Davidson at 9am on ESPN. I am assuming Curry will be okay for this. However, I'm picking Butler to win this. They just seem to be a bit better team, though I fully realize Curry can win games single-handedly.

Second: Utah State visits St. Mary's at 2pm on ESPN2. BSU just exposed the Aggies after Idaho nearly did, plus USU has never played in a hostile little gym like McKeon. I'm taking the Gaels. They're just better, imo.

You?

zagfan08
02-18-2009, 11:00 AM
Assuming Curry is good to go, I'll take Davidson over Butler. Butler hasn't been playing too well recently, and Curry should have another great performance.

I am also picking Saint Mary's over Utah State. Utah State has a lot of close wins over teams that are mediocre at best. Going into Saint Mary's will be tough for them, and the Gaels get a big non-conference win.

Reborn
02-18-2009, 11:07 AM
The Butler vs Davidson game depends on how stable Cury's ankle is. If he's not at 100% it will be tough. However, Davidson is at home. Because the home court advantage has been so significant this year I'm going with Davidson.

St. Mary's is playing without Mills and this will hurt the Gaels some. However, St. Mary's seems to be regaining their mojo lately. They've put together two good games at home. They will be at home once again, and that is definately an advantage. I go with the Gaels because they're playing at home. If they win it will also really help the Zags. Utah State has been in the top 20 in the last couple of weeks.

Zagsker
02-18-2009, 11:12 AM
Go Gaels

A St. Mary's win can only bring positives our way

cjm720
02-18-2009, 11:17 AM
Butler and Utah State should both win on the road...close games, IMO.

GO ZAGS!!

omahazag
02-18-2009, 11:31 AM
I think Butler and Utah State win due to the injuries to Mills and Curry.

One other game of note, at least for me personally, is the Creighton vs. George Mason game Saturday night in Omaha. I bring this up b/c Creighton may be able to "steal" an at-large bid should they win out (currently 22-6) and make a deep run in the MVC tourney. I suggest that if any of you would to see a coach that gets more out of ALL his players (subs 4-5 guys at a time), then watch the Bluejays play, espeically lately. Coach Altman is amazing.

Zagsker
02-18-2009, 11:33 AM
One other game of note, at least for me personally, is the Creighton vs. George Mason game Saturday night in Omaha. I bring this up b/c Creighton may be able to "steal" an at-large bid should they win out (currently 22-6) and make a deep run in the MVC tourney I suggest if any of you would to see a coach that gets more out of ALL his players (subs 4-5 guys at a time), then watch the Bluejays play, espeically lately. Coach Altman is amazing.

I hear alot about how good of a coach Altman is on the Nebraska board I go to

omahazag
02-18-2009, 11:51 AM
I hear alot about how good of a coach Altman is on the Nebraska board I go to

Oh, i bet. I didn't know Husker fans discussed anything other than their average football teams. In any event, I'm glad that Husker fans are finally giving credit where credit is due.

Zagsker
02-18-2009, 11:54 AM
Oh, i bet. I didn't know Husker fans discussed anything other than their average football teams.

We also discuss Corn and other Corn related items...John Deere......debate on whether the earth is flat or round..........does "i" really come before "e" except after "C"? or is that just a myth.........and other subjects

DADoZAG
02-18-2009, 12:21 PM
Butler squeezes by a gimpy Curry, imo.

Omar and Diamon handle the forwards for Utah State, so it's up to the guards to push the Gaels over the top. Agree with Bob, though, and take McKeon.

bullzag23
02-18-2009, 02:39 PM
Assuming Curry is good to go, I'll take Davidson over Butler. Butler hasn't been playing too well recently, and Curry should have another great performance.

I am also picking Saint Mary's over Utah State. Utah State has a lot of close wins over teams that are mediocre at best. Going into Saint Mary's will be tough for them, and the Gaels get a big non-conference win.

I think I'll choose not to comment on the 'Utah State has a lot of close wins over teams that are mediocre' comment. Think about that for a minute.

Anyways, Butler over Davidson, even if Curry comes back, is the ankle 100%? Not likely if he's still listed as day to day.

As for the SMC v USU showdown in Moraga, I think this one's a toss up. If Mills were healthy, I'd take SMC hands down. However, Utah State is a solid team, despite some close victories(a win is a win is a win). As of today, they're #35 in RPI, and #40 in overall adjusted scoring margin(margin of victory adjusted to SOS for a more comparable number). In addition to this they're 10-1 on the road(difficult to do for ANY team), and 3-2 against the RPI top 100. Not too shabby. I wouldn't sleep on them.

zagfan08
02-18-2009, 03:19 PM
Flawed logic, yes, but having yet to see them play that's basically what I have to go by. Their best win is at home over Utah by 2, they have narrow victories over UC Santa Barbara, Wyoming, Louisiana Tech, Southern Utah, San Jose State, and Fresno State.

These close wins will probably give them confidence in tight games, but it's hard to look at that and say they are the 23rd best team in the country.

zagsdan86
02-18-2009, 05:56 PM
One other game of note, at least for me personally, is the Creighton vs. George Mason game Saturday night in Omaha. I bring this up b/c Creighton may be able to "steal" an at-large bid should they win out (currently 22-6) and make a deep run in the MVC tourney. I suggest that if any of you would to see a coach that gets more out of ALL his players (subs 4-5 guys at a time), then watch the Bluejays play, espeically lately. Coach Altman is amazing.

Amen. Go Jays!

CaliforniaZaggin'
02-18-2009, 06:25 PM
UPDATE: Butler falls again. Another loss this BBusters game would really have Butler heading in the wrong direction as we head towards the end of February.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/boxscore?gid=200902180654

hondo46
02-18-2009, 08:17 PM
Go Gaels!!!!

UberZagFan
02-18-2009, 09:05 PM
Uber hasn't had a chance to read all the posts in this thread so excuse him if some of this is repeated:

If Curry goes, Davidson has a good chance but Uber thinks Butler rises to the occasion and takes care of business. This should be a good game if Curry plays; if not, Butler will handle them even if they don't "pull away".

The second game is pretty interesting. Utah St. is good and is very consistent in season over the past several years. The Aggies have had decent post season success and have been very consistent. SMC is somewhat new to this game--at least at this level outside of playing GU and also w/o Mills. This would be a very intriguing game with Mills, w/o him--the Aggies hands down.

bballbeachbum
02-19-2009, 07:44 AM
having seen Utah St. and Butler only once each, really don't know much about them.

If Utah St. is in any way fooled into thinking since Mills is out that SMC is weak, then I think they'll get rolled; that SMC gym is a tough place to play, and Simpson is a beast; we've had our own issues matching up with him. Go Gaels!!!

And I'm really looking forward to seeing Butler/Davidson. If Curry can play with any effectiveness, I just have to believe he'll make the plays down the stretch to win it. We'll see!

siliconzag
02-19-2009, 11:49 AM
Oh, i bet. I didn't know Husker fans discussed anything other than their average football teams. In any event, I'm glad that Husker fans are finally giving credit where credit is due.

You know, I think the Jays are on a big momentum up swing. Very spotty performances are giving way to more decisive play, and all the trend lines in the right direction. What I love about them is that they have a very high % of FG which come from assists. They play smart, and guys are getting consistently better, all year long. Dana is a master at player development. He has kind of a goofy way of talkin, as evidenced by this parody which I find hilarious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBTpqBLlOao

Siliconzag is thinking the Jays are peaking at the right time. They could be a big surprise come March.

Sili

RenoZag
02-20-2009, 06:55 PM
VCU vs. Nevada was pretty good theater. . .UNR wins, rallies behind Coach's ejection ( as a result of two "T"'s in 18 seconds. . .

Article from the Reno Fish Wrap (http://rgj.com/section/SPORTS?GID=HL8lgJNCsvx5ZFPwjsghuw6du3bPNMGYtbfqCM5 8q+U%3D)

btzag
02-21-2009, 03:25 PM
Saw a lot of both games and here's my thoughts...

Butler is a nice solid team, not spectacular at all but just churns out the wins. Solid across the board at all positions. Davidson is just a bad team with a 1st team AA in their midst. If they lose in their conference tourney I don't think there is any way they should make the dance. I mean two losses in the southern Conf!?

Huge win by the Gaels and my congrats go out to them and their fans. Played real solid as a group and showed everyone that they are a top-level team without Mills. This was my first look at Utah State and was blown away by how mediocre they looked. Just no athleticism at all and you can see that they get their wins by good coaching and using those older players to grit out some nail biters. Don't have any clue how they made it in the top 25 and they definitely don't belong. I don't want this to sound like a rant because it's not, they are just around Univ of Portland's level and maybe not even that good as UP definitely has better athletes than Utah State.

Really this is why I like these Bracket Buster games as it exposes some teams who need to be exposed and elevates other teams that need to be elevated.

NotoriousZ
02-21-2009, 03:52 PM
Way to go SMC! Nice win by Wazzu at ucla (vomit).

Das Zagger
02-21-2009, 06:35 PM
Played real solid as a group and showed everyone that they are a top-level team without Mills.

SMC is finally learning to play without Mills.

BobZag
02-21-2009, 06:54 PM
If Utah State doesn't win the auto bid in Reno in the WAC Tourney, they'll have 4 losses and will go to the NIT, at best.

FieldHouseFishHouse
02-22-2009, 10:08 AM
Saw both games. I don't know if Butler was better than I had expected, or Davidson was worse. Butler was obviously athletic and active on defense. However, Davidson (especially Curry) coughed the ball up quite a bit.
On offense, there was not much to speak of. Davidson had Curry score an ugly 20 and one other player stepped up and hit some threes. That seems to be their entire game plan, that and to get more from Curry off the dribble. Neither team has a real presence inside. Hayward and Howard for Butler are both more "Heytvelt" than "Big John". Butler's guards looked quick and athletic, with some shooting touch but that might just be in contrast to the competition. They were not a big part of Butler's offense in the half court.

On to SMC and Utah St. Everyone here knows about SMC. Samhan had a great game (made a few really tough shots and rebounded well), Simpson was good as well on both ends. The surprise on offense for SMC was McConnell, 22 points and perfect from the field (including at least on ridiculous off-balanced push shot from 15 with a defender colliding with him in mid-air). My impulse is to say that SMC would have been in trouble without McConnell's performance, but the game was not that close. He could have had an average game and they would have been OK.
Utah St. was a good team, but with average players. In the backcourt, Quayle had a good game. He is the kind of shooter that only need a little space to shoot, but he is small and that space is difficult to come by. He is tough as well, hitting a couple jumpers after getting fouled. Wilkinson down low is a middle aged man in his 20th year of organized basketball. He made all the right plays, made his free-throws, but is not a go-to player. If Utah St. makes the tournament, they need Quayle or another guard to go insane on the offensive end (similar to Davidson actually).
These games were interesting to me because all four teams are possible post-season matchups. Butler, Davidson and Utah St. especially could be 1st round matchups in the tourney. I think all can be beaten easily with a conservative '"prevent" defense.

DADoZAG
02-22-2009, 11:59 AM
Agreed on Butler's lack of a big man, FHFH, but the freshman Gordon Hayward, with 3 more years and 20 lbs, will be quite a player!

This year, Davidson will be playing in the NIT, along with Utah State.

Gaels may have just gotten their at large, but I have no expectations that the ZAGS will sweep up in Vegas... ;)

zagfan08
02-22-2009, 12:26 PM
Davidson won't get an at-large bid, but they should definitely win the SoCon tournament. Probably about a 12 seed, and the obvious pick in a 5-12 upset.

Utah State, on the other hand, may or may not win the WAC tourney. If they don't, they'll be on the outside looking in. Can't say I'm too surprised, they've been overrated all year.

DADoZAG
02-22-2009, 01:51 PM
Don't forget about Charleston, ZagFan08. They already beat Davidson with Curry on Davidson's home court.

Should be interesting.

Ain't this time of year great?

FieldHouseFishHouse
02-22-2009, 11:29 PM
Utah State, on the other hand, may or may not win the WAC tourney. If they don't, they'll be on the outside looking in. Can't say I'm too surprised, they've been overrated all year.
Its funny, sometimes you see a team like this lose four games in a season and rightfully get shut out of the tournament. However, if they get the WAC autobid, with a national ranking, they could get a single digit seed.
Say GU loses the WCC final, and gets a 7 seed. Playing Utah St. in my opinion would be a gift. Another scenario is what happened last year. If Davidson blows the SoCon tourney final, they are right on the edge of the bubble. Gonzaga ends up playing Southern Alabama with (hopefully) a different result. As it turns out Davidson was pretty good last year. Just goes to show, for better or worse, there are crazy twists of fate for every team come tourney time.

Butler Guy
02-23-2009, 02:29 AM
Agreed on Butler's lack of a big man, FHFH, but the freshman Gordon Hayward, with 3 more years and 20 lbs, will be quite a player!
Matt Howard is one of the best true post men in the country (http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/goodmanonfox/2009/02/14/BUTLERS_FUTURE_SCARYGOOD), that is why he is on the Wooden watch list as a sophomore. Matt Howard NEVER plays on the parameter. You could look it up, but I believe (just from recollection) that he has only attempted two threes all year, and both were to put the ball on the rim before the shot clock. If you want to compare his game to anyone's, it is probably closest to Hansbrough's. The only thing that has slowed him down is foul trouble, if you watched the first several minutes of the Davidson game that was pretty representative, DU really had no answer for him.

Butler's backup center, Avery Jukes who transferred from Alabama, has been unavailable for a couple weeks after tweaking his knee in practice, he should be back soon - probably at the end of the week. On Butler's list of things to worry about, post play is WAY DOWN the list. What has been the issue is consistent point guard play, but Ronald Nored is starting to show signs that he is figuring it out and Shawn Vanzant is now back (after missing weeks with a MCL)

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FieldHouseFishHouse
02-23-2009, 09:08 AM
Matt Howard is one of the best true post men in the country (http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/goodmanonfox/2009/02/14/BUTLERS_FUTURE_SCARYGOOD), that is why he is on the Wooden watch list as a sophomore. Matt Howard NEVER plays on the parameter.

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Maybe I mis-read Howard's game, but this is the only game I have seen. He had 5 rebounds, 0 blocks and 3 assists. I interpreted this as more of a "passing big man", "inside out" type game. I know size doesn't always dictate what kind of player one is, but Howard has to be at least 3 inches shorter than Psycho T. He might be a true post, but he is no Greg Oden down low.