Men's Basketball Bracket Buster Projections

Northern Iowa vs. Creighton Men's College Basketball

Bracket Buster Projections

The tenth annual Bracket Busters is quickly approaching. This year there are a record 142 teams and 71 games. Sixteen different conferences are taking part in Bracket Busters weekend from February 17th to 19th. While there will be 71 games, 13 of those will be on the ESPN family of networks and those are the games each team is hoping to get into. But not everybody can get the national television exposure. The official announcement of the matchups will come on January 30th, but in the meantime College Sports Madness will project all 71 games and give some insight as to why the lucky 26 teams deserve to make a case for an at-large bid, or at least gain some momentum before their conference tournament, on national television. Check back next week to see the latest projections.

Bracket Buster ProjectionsSt. Mary'sATMurray StateCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Right now St. Mary’s and Creighton going at it might make the most sense, but who wouldn’t want to see a team head to Murray State and try to defeat the presumably unbeaten Racers? If anybody is going to have a real shot at knocking off Murray State, it will be during Bracket Busters and this is the matchup that could do it.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsLong Beach StateATCreightonCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Creighton does not get left out of a premier contest. Long Beach State has gone through a brutal schedule and beaten teams like Pittsburgh and Xavier. They will not be intimidated heading to Omaha to face the fierce home court advantage of the Bluejays. The result could be a make or break game for Long Beach State’s shot at an at-large berth. Creighton may need the win as well with a tough conference slate ahead of them.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsNorthern IowaATCleveland StateCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Speaking of the bubble, these two teams appear to be headed right for it. Northern Iowa is in pretty good shape right now, but the Missouri Valley Conference will not make it easy for the Panthers to reach the NCAA Tournament without winning a few games during Arch Madness. Cleveland State is in a similar situation, but their RPI will not remain as high as UNI unless they keep winning. The Horizon League schedule is simply not as impressive as that of the MVC. If Cleveland State loses a game or two along the way, this could be the late season signature win they need.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsWichita StateATIonaCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Unlike Wichita State, it appears that Iona will need to win the MAAC Tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament. Right now they have a solid RPI, but that is only going to go down and losing to teams like Manhattan certainly does not help. For the Shockers, this could be a great opportunity to get a quality win on the road against a very good team. However, to some, it could also appear to be a bad lose for Wichita State even though the Gaels boast an explosive offense that can hit the 100 mark without much a problem.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsCharlestonATMissouri StateCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Charleston has been terribly inconsistent lately and that will need to change if they want to stay up here in the televised games. With Antwaine Wiggins and Andrew Lawrence leading the way, Coach Bobby Cremins should have his Cougars hitting their stride sooner or later. When they do, they can beat a team like Missouri State on the road. So far Missouri State is holding their own in the Missouri Valley Conference. Even with a heartbreaking loss to Northern Iowa, they won at Creighton and will play the Bluejays again this week. If they can string some wins together, the Bears will be eyeing an at-large bid, but a game against Charleston will not help much.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsAkronATOral RobertsCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Akron will be a player in the MAC, but for everybody in the MAC it will come down to a few days in Cleveland, so this game will not bust any brackets. The Zips have had some nice wins this season. The same can be said for Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles have played some great basketball after losing their first two games of the year. ORU does not lose very often at home and it would take a big effort from the Zips to come home with a win.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsIndiana StateATDavidsonCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Yes, another Missouri Valley Conference team. As they beat up each other a little bit over the next couple of weeks prior to the announcement of the Bracket Busters matchups. There should be even more televised MVC teams, but there are a lot of good teams slated to be the home squad and right now that is leaving out a deserving squad like Illinois State. But for the conference, these will all be big games. It is a chance to boost the conference RPI and the MVC then could look at getting a couple at-large bids. But Indiana State traveling to Davidson is a tough matchup. The Wildcats got some attention after beating Kansas and have started out SoCon play very strongly.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsNevadaATOhioCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Ohio is right there with Akron as the best team in the MAC. Nevada will battle it out with New Mexico State for that honor in the WAC. It is doubtful that this game will have any at-large appeal, but both teams could use some momentum down the stretch in a couple of conferences that should be very tight during February and March.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsUCSBATNew Mexico StateCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Long Beach State is not the only team in the Big West. UCSB has played a tough schedule and does not have the big wins like LBSU, but Orlando Johnson and company will give the 49ers a run for their money in the Big West. NMSU has gained some momentum lately during a stretch of easy games and have a couple conference wins under their belt as well. The WAC does not look like a two bid league no matter what, but the Aggies are probably the one team with the talent to win enough games to get into the conversation.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsDrakeATVCUCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
VCU will likely get a televised game just because they are VCU. However, there are some quality teams like Kent State, Illinois State and George Mason who may get left out. ESPN goes with what is hot and VCU is hot right now. Their competition could be yet another MVC team. Drake may not be the most deserving squad right now, but it is an interesting game between a couple teams that have had some March success.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsDrexelATMilwaukeeCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Drexel got off to a slow start, but this is a good team…at least at times. The Dragons will have some conference road tests to overcome before they get a televised game in Bracket Busters, but this is a team that not long ago beat VCU and George Mason in back to back games. Like Drexel, Milwaukee is a good team that does not get much credit. The Panthers have had their own troubles on the road, but fortunately for them, they get to host this game.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsBuffaloATWeber StateCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
It remains to be seen if Buffalo is the third best team in the Mid-American Conference behind Ohio and Akron, but with a quality win over Kent State, they have earned their way into a televised game…or at least televised on your computer like every other game in the world. A lack of quality road teams in the pool will help the MAC get a third team into the top 13 matchups. Weber State is sporting a nice RPI at the moment, but Montana may be the better team in the Big Sky. We’ll find out before the official announcements, but do not be surprised if some Big Sky team gets to host one of the 13 featured games.
College Basketball Bracket Buster ProjectionsFairfieldATButlerCollege Basketball Bracket Buster Projections
Butler will probably get to host a game because of the past. The Bulldogs are a decent team this year and only getting better with every game, but others may be more worthy. But that does not matter. Fairfield may not be the most worthy opponent either, but the Stags have a slew of talent and even with an average RPI, they could sneak into a televised game due to stars like Rakim Sanders and Derek Needham. They better start winning some games though.
Boston UATCentral Michigan
Cal PolyATUtah State
Central ArkansasATAppalachian State
Delaware StateATVMI
Eastern MichiganATDetroit
Eastern WashingtonATLoyola Marymount
Fresno StateATMontana
HamptonATSam Houston State
HawaiiATUC Riverside
High PointATAlbany
Idaho StateATPacific
James MadisonATBowling Green
LamarATSouth Dakota State
LibertyATSoutheast Louisiana
Loyola (IL)ATMiami (OH)
Montana StateATUC Irvine
Morehead StateATMcNeese State
NiagaraATEastern Illinois
Northern IllinoisATNorthern Arizona
OaklandATCoastal Carolina
Old DominionATKent State
Portland StateATIdaho
San Jose StateATUMKC
SE Missouri StateATSouth Dakota
SienaATGreen Bay
Southern IllinoisATAustin Peay
Southern UtahATCal State Fullerton
Stony BrookATBall State
Tennessee StateATNorthern Colorado
Tennessee TechATNorthwestern State
Tennessee-MartinATLouisiana Tech
Texas A&M-Corpus ChristiATCal State Northridge
Texas StateATJacksonville State
Texas-ArlingtonATEastern Kentucky
Texas-San AntonioATMorgan State
ToledoATNicholls State
TowsonATSacramento State
UC DavisATNew Hampshire
UMBCATStephen F. Austin
UNC-AshevilleATLoyola (MD)
UNC-WilmingtonATNorth Dakota State
ValparaisoATGeorge Mason
Western IllinoisATIllinois State
Western MichiganATManhattan
William & MaryATSaint Peter's
Wright StateATCharleston Southern
Youngstown StateATGeorgia State