In case you missed it ...
Hope you were paying attention to BracketBusters weekend, because history says at least one team that participated will survive the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament.
In the previous five years, at least one participant has reached the Sweet 16. Last year, Butler and Southern Illinois turned the trick, and in 2006 it was Wichita State and George Mason, with the Patriots ultimately landing in the Final Four. The other Sweet 16 alumni from BracketBusters?
With that in mind, here are five things we learned from an entertaining BracketBusters weekend.
The Wildcats entered the weekend in need of a quality nonconference win, and they were able to pick one up at Big South leader Winthrop. Davidson got next to nothing from Curry -- just two field goals each half and 4-of-14 shooting overall, but the Wildcats were in control throughout thanks to Curry's backcourtmate
It appears for the first time in 10 years, the Valley will only send one team to the NCAA tournament if Drake wins the Arch Madness tourney. The league put together an impressive 8-2 BracketBusters record over the weekend, headlined by Drake's four-point thriller over No. 8 Butler. Southern Illinois has won five of its last six games after pounding Nevada 74-49 on Saturday. If the Salukis can beat Bradley and Illinois State to close the regular season and then reach the MVC final, they will play themselves into the at-large discussion. Creighton's 65-64 win at Oral Roberts was one of the most impressive wins of the event as well as one of the most entertaining. Illinois State picked up an RPI top 100 win over Wright State on Sunday and Bradley won for the ninth time in 11 games by beating Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It may be too little, too late, but some pride was salvaged by a proud conference.
Drake won its first seven close games (five points or less or overtime) and took advantage of a rare off year in the Missouri Valley to clinch its first regular season title since 1971. But two losses in three games prior to BracketBusters gave the feeling Drake's luck was running out. On Saturday, however, Drake introduced itself to a nationwide audience. In an extremely difficult environment against a veteran Butler team, the Bulldogs announced themselves as a true threat come March. SI.com's
After a gutty 65-57 win at No. 23 St. Mary's, the Golden Flashes gained the most in terms of an at-large bid out of any BracketBusters team. Kent State had a gaudy 22-5 mark prior to Saturday, but win No. 23 jumped the Flashes from No. 41 to No. 30 in the RPI. The Golden Flashes held freshman sensation
VCU showed it is planning on returning to the NCAAs with a grind-it-out victory over Akron, to boost its record to 21-6 on the season. Freshman