***** – quit your job and divorce your wife if that’s what it takes to watch this game live
**** – best watched live, but if you must, tivo and watch it tonight as soon as you get home
*** – set your tivo but make sure you watch it later
** – set your tivo but we’ll forgive you if it stays in the queue until 2012
* – don’t waste bandwidth (yours or the tivo’s) of any kind on this game
NEC Championship – Robert Morris @ Quinnipiac – 7:00 on ESPN2 (***)
A few weeks ago, Robert Morris had a chance to secure home court advantage throughout the Northeast Conference tournament, but a pair of losses now have the Colonials playing in Hamden, Connecticut. RMU is just 9-7 on the road this year, while the Bobcats are 14-0 at home. However, that statistic can be attributed to the weak out of conference schedule Quinnipiac played, and they rank #343 in the Jeff Sagarin’s strength of schedule ratings. Neither team ranks high in offensive or defensive efficiency, but Quinnipiac’s #233 ranking on defense is eye-catching in a negative way. In the only meeting of these teams earlier in the year, Quinnipiac’s James Johnson scored a season-high 28 points, and the Bobcats came out with an 87-79 road win. The team also shot over 50% from the field in that game, and if they can duplicate that shooting performance at home, they should cement their place in the NCAA Tournament.
Big East Second Round – Notre Dame vs. Seton Hall – 7:00 pm on ESPN (****)
This is not an elimination game for the Irish, but this is a must win game for the Pirates, who are still on the outside looking in due to a #10 seed in the Big East tournament and a weak RPI. Seton Hall is stealing some of Notre Dame’s thunder late in the season, but people are getting fooled by this overrated Pirates team. Their last six wins have come against DePaul, St. John’s, Rutgers (twice) and Providence (twice). The Irish, on the other hand, have defeated Pitt, Georgetown, Connecticut and Marquette, with the wins over the Hoyas and Golden Eagles coming on the road. This game will feature two of the best players in the Big East, as Luke Harangody is back from an injury and Jeremy Hazell scores over 21 points per game. In the only meeting between these two teams this year, Hazell scored 35 points while Harangody was limited to 13 points. Notre Dame’s imbalance (#3 offense, #173 defense) has been well publicized, but Seton Hall has had defensive problems of their own. The Pirates rank #96 in offensive efficiency and a ridiculous #238 on defense. Although people are jumping on the Seton Hall bandwagon as of late, the Irish are a superior team and should get into the Tournament even with a loss tonight.
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