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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

matchmaker

My favorite adjustment to the 2005 "Bracket Buster?" Games which are scheduled for this February serve as the front end of a home-and-home series to be completed as a non-conference (and non "Bracket Buster") game next season.

Of the 32 total "Bracket Buster" games, 11 will be nationally televised on the ESPN networks. Given the 64 teams for the 2005 event, which 22 would the NCAA selection committee most like to see on national television? Against whom should each team play?

Consider the highest-rated squads, by RPI, and ESPN's pre-determined home and away designations.

"Bracket Buster" Squads
AwayRPI HomeRPI
Southern Illinois 14Pacific 29
Vermont18Kent State34
Wichita State19Nevada 37
Western Michigan 32 Rice41
Bradley 45 Ball State55
UTEP49Northern Iowa66
Arkansas Little-Rock54 Miami of Ohio71
Buffalo60Bowling Green81
Drexel70 Hawaii 82
Wisconsin-Milwaukee80Western Kentucky 83
Murray State 95 Illinois-Chicago87

Then consider conference affiliation, geography and storylines. The result?


Suggested Games
Southern Illinois@Pacific
Vermont@ Kent State
Wichita State@Nevada
Western Michigan@Rice
Bradley@Ball State
UTEP@Northern Iowa
Arkansas Little-Rock@Miami of Ohio
Buffalo@Illinois-Chicago
Drexel @ Bowling Green
Wisconsin-Milwaukee@Western Kentucky
Murray State@ Hawaii

Oh, what a day of basketball it would be.

For more "Bracket Buster" analysis, see Blogger Ken Pomeroy. He too reviewed RPIs and suggested a series of games. Our lone overlap? UTEP at Northern Iowa. Also, ESPN's Andy Katz reveals a few of the cards held by the "worldwide leader." Pairings will be announced January 30th.