|BracketBusters matchups set to be released Monday|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 30 January 2009 09:45|
There's a slim chance that this seventh edition will provide a game between ranked teams for the third straight year.
No. 13 Butler and No. 22 Saint Mary's, Calif., are the only ranked schools in the pool for the games to be played Feb. 20-21 with ESPN making 13 games available on one of its networks.
The teams are put into home and away groups and even though Saint Mary's is in the group that will host a game and Butler is on the road gang, their RPI ratings through Tuesday don't make for a natural match.
Siena, 20th in the RPI, is the home team with the highest ranking followed by Davidson (38) and Saint Mary's (53). The highest-rated road teams are Butler (8), Miami, Ohio (41) and Utah State (46).
Seventeen conferences are included in the pool and Gonzaga, which is ranked 20th and 51st in the RPI, is not involved although it is in the West Coast Conference with Saint Mary's.
ler in a double-ranked BracketBusters game, the second straight home loss for Butler, which was 12th when it lost 68-64 to No. 16 Southern Illinois in 2006-07.
RANKED BULLDOGS: No. 13 Butler's appearance in The Associated Press' Top 25 this week was its 26th in the last 40 polls.
The rest of the Horizon League schools combined have been ranked a total of 26 weeks dating to the formation of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1979.
OREGON'S STRUGGLES: Ernie Kent still believes in his Oregon team's talent, despite a winless start in the Pac-10.
The Ducks (6-14, 0-8) entered the weekend as the only team without a conference victory. It is their worst Pac-10 start since losing 11 straight in 1992-93.
``Obviously it's been the most challenging season, but at the same time it's one of those seasons that has as much promise as any group that's sitting there as long as they continue to grow and get better because there's a lot of talent up there,'' Kent said after a 76-69 loss at California last Saturday. ``It's not a talent thing. We haven't run up against a team yet outside of (North) Carolina, Texas, where we felt their talent was better. But what we run up against is teams where we feel like they're stronger and their experience is a lot better.''
one of few players with experience on a young roster.
``We've still got a lot of growth in this team so we just have to keep on pushing and continue to get better,'' he said.
Forward Joevan Catron agreed.
``Sure it's a burden on our shoulders,'' Catron said. ``Just because we're competitors and we don't like losing and the slump that we're in right now is something that's new to everyone.''
TRIPLE-DOUBLES: Florida sophomore Nick Calathes had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in an 83-57 win over Georgia, his second career triple-double and the third in Gators' history. Calathes' other triple-double was against Creighton in the second round of last year's NIT. Corey Brewer recorded the school's first triple-double against Jacksonville in 2005.
M's Trant Simpson had his first career triple-double with 22 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 91-76 victory over Alcorn State.
And in the keep-the-triple-double-to-yourself department, Michigan's Manny Harris had 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 turnovers in a 72-54 loss to Ohio State.
TV OWL: Bill Cosby is about to get some company as a Temple graduate on television trying to make people laugh.
Lamont Ferrell, a reserve on the 1988-89 Owls team, will guest star on Sunday's episode of ``The Office.''
ayne'' over the past two years and has also written for ``Girlfriends,'' ``Moesha'' and ``The Parent 'Hood'''.
HONORS: Texas will retire the No. 15 jersey of Slater Martin in a halftime ceremony at Saturday's game against Kansas State. Martin, a four-year letterwinner (1944, 47-49), is the second player in the 103-year history of Texas' basketball program to have his jersey retired, joining T.J. Ford, who played for the Longhorns from 2002-03 and led them to the Final Four as a sophomore. His No. 11 was retired on Feb. 8, 2004.
Martin led Texas to a 63-14 mark from 1947-49, including a third-place finish in the NCAA tournament as a sophomore. In his next-to-last game at Texas, he set a school record with 49 points in an 81-60 win against TCU on Feb. 26, 1949. He played in 78 games and broke Texas' career scoring mark with 984 points.
UCLA will honor its NCAA championship teams from 1964 and 1965 on Saturday when the Bruins play Stanford. The 1964 team won the first of coach John Wooden's 10 titles and recorded the school's first 30-0 record. The Bruins beat Duke 98-83 in the national championship game.
The next season the Bruins went 28-2, ending the season on a 15-game winning streak that was capped with a 91-80 victory over Michigan in the championship game.
in 2000 as one of only six players in school history to score 2,000 points (2,015) and finished as the program's all-time leader in assists (660) and steals (288) and was a two-time America East Conference player of the year (1998, 2000).
AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.