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College Basketball

A Mid-Major Disappointment

February 23, 2003|Mike Bresnahan

This "Bracket Buster Saturday" thing seemed like a decent idea several months ago. And ESPN, of course, will do anything at any time if it means a few more Nielsen households tune in. But after further review, all this bracket-busting was, well, a bust. Of the 18 teams playing in the ESPN-sponsored smorgasbord of mid-major games, only one, Creighton, was ranked in the top 25. Five of the teams have losing records. Another three are barely over .500.

Here was the thinking: That the competing mid-major teams, always looking for added exposure, would form a final impression on the NCAA tournament selection committee. But here's the truth: The selection committee doesn't meet for three more weeks, with hundreds of games to be played between now and then. Will any committee members really remember these particular ones next month? Don't think so.

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THE GAMES

*--* Matchup (Records After Saturday, Conferences) Result * Tulsa (15-9, Western Athletic) at Gonzaga Gonzaga, 69-60 (20-7, West Coast) * Fresno State (19-6, WAC) at Creighton (24-3, Creighton, 67-66 Missouri Valley) * Wisconsin Milwaukee (21-6, Horizon) at So. So. Illinois, 66-64 Illinois (19-5, MVC) * Hawaii (14-8, WAC) at Kent State (18-5, Hawaii, 79-78 Mid-American) * Detroit (14-11, Horizon) at UC Santa Barbara Detroit, 75-59 (13-12, Big West) * Bowling Green (11-12, MAC) at Illinois Chicago Ill. Chicago, 83-72 (18-7, Horizon) * Ball State (11-13, MAC) at Western Kentucky W. Kentucky, 84-79 (19-8, Sun Belt) * Illinois State (6-18, MVC) at Marshall (11-12, Illinois St., 57-53 MAC) * Northern Iowa (7-15, MVC) at Louisiana Tech No. Iowa, 76-71 (12-11, WAC)

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-- Mike Bresnahan

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