The 11th Annual Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters event begins this evening. These games were designed for the best of the mid-major teams in college basketball to receive some air time for a weekend. Here are my picks for this year's BracketBusters. All times are EST.
Friday, February 22
North Dakota St. (20-7) at Akron (21-4), 7 PM. Akron's interior play will be too strong for North Dakota State. Pick: Akron.
(22-3) at Long Beach St. (17-9), 9 PM. Become well-acquainted with the defense that the Stephen F. Austin plays. Pick: Stephen F. Austin.
Saturday, February 23
Iona (15-12) at Indiana St. (16-11), 11 AM. A great matchup of point guards between Iona's Momo Jones and Indiana State's Jake Odum will highlight this game. The key to this game will be tempo as Iona loves to play fast, while Indiana State likes to slow it down. Pick: Indiana State.
Eastern Kentucky (22-6) at Valparaiso (21-7), 1 PM. Both teams bring plenty of experience and balance to the table. This game could go either way. Pick: Eastern Kentucky.
Canisius (17-10) at Vermont (17-9), 1 PM. Vermont looks to gain momentum as they seek to repeat as America East Conference Tournament Champions. Canisius looks to build upon its turnaround season. Pick: Canisius.
Pacific (15-11) at Western Michigan (16-9), 2 PM. It seems that Pacific has been playing better against tougher non-conference opposition than against teams in conference out in the Big West. Pick: Pacific.
Montana (19-5) at Davidson (20-7), 3 PM. An interesting matchup between the backcourt of Montana versus the frontcourt of Davidson. Pick: Davidson.
Northwestern State (19-6) at Niagara (16-11), 3 PM. Both teams have exceeded expectations to this point. Pick: Northwestern State.
Detroit (18-9) at Wichita State (23-5), 4 PM. A very good matchup that could go either way. Pick: Wichita State.
Creighton (22-6) at St. Mary's (23-5), 6 PM. This BracketBusters game is the marquee team matchup this year. A possible at-large NCAA Tournament berth is on the line here. Can Creighton break from what is becoming an annual midseason malaise or can St. Mary's figure out a way to stop Doug McDermott? Pick: Creighton.
South Dakota State (21-8) at Murray State (19-7), 8 PM. This BracketBusters game has the marquee individual matchup this year between South Dakota State's Nate Wolters and Murray State's Isaiah Canaan. Pick: South Dakota State.
Denver (17-8) at Northern Iowa (17-11), 8 PM. Denver has only won one game on the road this season. Pick: Northern Iowa.
Ohio (20-6) at Belmont (21-6), 10 PM. Both teams love to shoot the three. Pick: Belmont.