Time to cram on Isaiah Canaan and others in BracketBusters action this weekend.Your one-stop primer for this weekend’s BracketBusters games.
16 Saint Mary’s at 14 Murray State - 6 ET Saturday, ESPN/ESPN3
Involving Two Ranked Teams
This is the fourth game in the 10-year history of the BracketBusters event that has pitted two ranked teams against each other. The lower-ranked team has won the three previous meetings.
Murray State’s opponents rebound 35 percent of their misses, putting the Racers in the bottom 20 percent of the country in defensive rebounding. That could be a problem against the Gaels’ Rob Jones, whose 10.8 rebounds per game ranks in the top 10 nationally.
The top four players in Division I according to Offensive Rating on KenPom.com will be featured in televised matchups.
F Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts
The 6-foot, 6-inch wing has really excelled in isolation. He's averaging the third-highest points per play while turning the ball over fewer than once every 14 plays when going one-on-one (minimum 50 plays).
F Doug McDermott, Creighton
The sophomore efficiently moves without the ball within Creighton’s offense. McDermott has made nearly 80 percent of his shots off cuts to the basket and averages better than 1.5 points per play, both of which rank among the top 10 in Division I (minimum 50 plays).
G Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
The Racers lived up to their nickname this season, ranking third nationally in transition points per play. As the team's starting point guard, Canaan leads the fast-paced attack. He’s scored on 60 percent of his transition plays, racking up nearly four times as many assists as turnovers.
G Damian Lillard, Weber State
Lillard torches opposing teams as both a scorer and passer. Among players with at least 50 pick-and-roll plays, he averages the second-most points per play in Division I and created an additional 96 points on 82 passes with just six turnovers.
The record for points scored in a BracketBuster game is 35 by Norris Cole of Cleveland State at Old Dominion on Feb. 20, 2011. Another contender who could top that is South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters.
The junior topped the 30-point mark five times this season, including in his last game on Wednesday. KenPom.com shows that he draws 6.5 fouls per game (32nd in the nation). He’ll enjoy a home-crowd advantage as the Buffalo Bulls travel west to play the Jackrabbits at 1 ET (ESPNU).
GET TO KNOW: WICHITA STATE
Here are quick facts on the defending postseason NIT champs who are unranked in the ESPN/USA Today’s Coaches Poll but rank 12th in ESPN's new BPI.
• 8-3 vs BPI Top 100 teams (best among mid-majors; minimum 5 games)
• 14-4 vs BPI Top 150 teams (best among mid-majors; minimum 9 games)
• Won 13 of last 14 games (only loss in 3OT)
• Third-most experienced team in the nation (according to KenPom.com) starting four seniors
• Four players shoot at least 38 percent from 3-point range (minimum 25 attempts)
• Joe Ragland: 68.58 true shooting percentage ranks fifth in Division I
Wichita State plays at Davidson, Noon ET Saturday on ESPN2/ESPN3.
BracketBusters Participants To Reach Sweet 16
Contributions by Mackenzie Kraemer, Katie Sharp and Harold Shelton