I definitely have no inside information, but I thought it would be fun to predict the BracketBuster matchups for this year before they are announced tomorrow. I would hope that this season, ESPN, the NCAA and the schools involved are a little travel expense savvy and will make the matchups a little more regional due to the economy (not only this year, but next for the return games), but at the same time, some of it is unavoidable the way the teams are matched up.
These are just guestimations or the 13 TV games, not necessarily using RPI as a total factor but also how teams are playing right now and some travel considerations.
- Butler @ Davidson–Seems like a natural matchup.
- Utah St. @ Creighton–Creighton gets this game only for the fact that they can only play a 9PM or 11PM game and is still an attractive team for ESPN and west coast viewers.
- Northern Iowa @ St. Mary’s –UNI gets the benefit from having an outstanding conference season and St. Mary’s has fallen a bit after losing 2 in a row.
- George Mason@ Siena — Siena will probably be the ones that feel the most hosed out of the process although ESPN loves them.
- VCU @ Niagara-Pretty even matchup
- Illinois St. @ Portland St.–An interesting matchup for various reasons
- Buffalo @ Fairfield–A little closer travelwise than other options
- Wisconsin-GB @ Evansville–A good regional matchup.
- Miami (OH) @ Nevada–Two teams really average right now.
- Northeastern @ Wisconsin-Milwaukee–Though Northeastern is playing well, they get a weird matchup
- Boise St. @ Wright St.–Sort of a game of what’s left.
- Hofstra @ Drake–Drake benefits and gets TV due to their performance last year.
- Bradley (or Cleveland St.) @ Drexel–I’m still a little undecided on this because after Bradley’s loss yesterday, it may affect if they will be left out of TV, but if the decisions for these TV games were made yesterday afternoon, then it could be Cleveland St. out.
So the CAA, MVC and MAAC will be the featured conferences in this BracketBusters. Some oddities but they wouldn’t surprise me. We will find out Monday at 5:30.