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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
3-point shot: Choosing BracketBusters

By Andy Katz

1. ESPNU will unveil the BracketBuster matchups that are being set up by the conferences and in association with ESPN programming (this type of match making goes on for non-conference games for other events, Jimmy V, other tournaments). The games (on Feb. 17, 18 or 19) that make the most sense are Saint Mary’s at Creighton and Nevada at Murray State. Forget about distance between these schools. These are the four best teams and the most likely of the participating teams to earn bids, regardless of whether they win a conference tournament.

2. It would be a real shame if Iona point guard Scott Machado and the Gaels don’t win the MAAC and get to the NCAA tournament. But the Gaels’ loss at Siena Monday night will make it even tougher for Iona to get an at-large berth, barring a massive run in the rest of the MAAC season. The Gaels (15-5 overall, 7-2 in the MAAC) play at Fairfield Friday and continue a brutal schedule. The MAAC didn’t do a league favorite any favors by scheduling Iona on the road for five of six games, including going to the two teams the Gaels are tied with in the league Loyola (Md.) and Manhattan.

3. Big East commissioner John Marinatto said in the fall that future football-only members San Diego State and Boise State will get four non-conference games against Big East basketball members. Which two teams will head West is still unknown. With Navy now reportedly to join the Big East in football by 2015 the question remains will the Big East force two teams to go to Navy in hoops as well? It should. Navy should get the same treatment as Boise and SDSU. Having an elite team go to Navy would be a solid gesture.