Just spoke with Ron Hunter about last night’s loss and what’s upcoming. I posted those thoughts on twitter @ajcgsu and will have more in a story that will appear Friday on ajc.com
Georgia State’s hopes of appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001 will depend upon it winning the Colonial Athletic Association.
It can prepare itself for a possible postseason berth by winning its BracketBuster game, which will be played Feb. 18 at the Sports Arena.
What is a BracketBuster, you ask, and why does it have another capitalized B? No idea on the second, but here you go on the first: The Bracketbuster, contrived by ESPN, is designed to pit at-large hopefuls against each other on a nationally broadcast game. This year, the 142-team field will feature teams from 16 conferences: 12 from Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-American Conference and Southland; 11 from the Ohio Valley Conference and Big South; 10 from Horizon League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley and Summit League; nine from America East, Big Sky and Big West; eight from the Western Athletic Association; four from the Southern Conference; three from the MEAC; and two from the West Coast Conference.
The Panthers’ opponent will be announced on Jan. 30. But that can’t stop us on speculating who it might be.
Well, we know who they won’t play… another team from the CAA.
The possible visiting teams could be luminaries such as College of Charleston or Wichita State.
A matchup with College of Charleston would be interesting because it would bring former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins back to Atlanta.
The Cougars are currently rated No. 102 in the NCAA’s RPI (dated Jan. 23). The Panthers are No. 174, which may make this matchup unlikely because the RPI’s are so far apart.
Tennessee Tech, from the Ohio Valley Conference, is No. 184. They don’t have any wins over a well-known opponent that would add some pizazz to this game.
Stony Brook, from the America East Conference, is No. 172. The Seawolves don’t have any signature wins, either.
Other teams that might generate regional interest include (RPI in parenthesis): Campbell (No. 153), High Point (298), Liberty (323), Presbyterian (270), UNC-Asheville (130), Winthrop (266) or Wofford (176).
The Terriers of Wofford might be the most fun matchup. They have beaten Wake Forest and Charleston this season, and would likely bring a few fans to Atlanta.
Of course, if the point is to provide a bump in RPI, while also giving some television exposure to the teams, I’m not sure Wofford helps the Panthers. That also brings up one of the issues I have with this setup: how does pitting two teams with similar low RPIs help either one? Conversely, why would a team with a higher RPI want to play a team with a lower RPI? Other than being on TV, how does it help?
Anyway, the floor is open: Who would you like to see Georgia State play, and why, and don’t forget to follow me on twitter @ajcgsu.
– Doug Roberson, AJC