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Ten Non-NCAA Teams to Watch in 2011-12

April 13th, 2011
Anthony Grant's Crimson Tide may need an automatic bid to danceWhile many tend to ignore the "other" postseason tournaments in March due to the overwhelming popularity of the NCAA Tournament, there's an awful lot to be gained from said events especially if a team has a lot due back the following season. So similar to those bowl games outside of the BCS in college football, teams gain valuable practice and game experience. Below are ten teams (in alphabetical order) who fit the mold, including one that didn't play in the postseason at all, and could make some noise in 2011-12.

(1) Alabama (25-12, 12-4 SEC)

College Hoops Saturday Recap: Three Tickets Punched

March 6th, 2011
Kenneth Faried and Morehead State will be in the field of 68By this time next Sunday there will be more than 20 teams guaranteed inclusion in the 2011 NCAA Tournament and the first three tickets were punched on Saturday. UNC Asheville (Big South), Belmont (Atlantic Sun) and Morehead State (Ohio Valley) all won their conference tournament finals while Princeton (Ivy) missed out on a chance to join the fun with their loss at Harvard. Now the Tigers need to beat rival Penn at the Palestra to forge a tie atop the standings, forcing a one-game playoff with Harvard for the Ancient Eight's automatic bid.

College Hoops Saturday: Your Commentary

March 5th, 2011
David Jeune and North Florida look to complete their miraculous runWith three NCAA Tournament tickets assured of being punched (that number becomes four if Princeton wins at Harvard in a crucial Ivy League tilt), it makes sense to touch on each of those games as opposed to the usual daily preview. The title game in the Atlantic Sun provides a matchup of the prohibitive favorite taking on the underdog, a storyline that usually doesn't come into play for another two weeks.

College Hoops Saturday: Your Commentary

February 25th, 2011
San Diego State forward Kawhi LeonardSaturday brings about the biggest game in the history of the San Diego State (27-1, 12-1) program, which before the recent run of Steve Fisher has been an afterthought in southern California. BYU (26-2, 12-1) visits Viejas Arena with the winner taking a significant step towards not only the Mountain West's regular season crown but possible a one seed in the NCAA Tournament. Both have resumes that could merit such mention should the winner go on to win out, including the conference tournament (BYU is 8-1 vs. RPI Top 50, SDSU 4-1), but that's of little concern.

College Hoops Wednesday Recap: Even More Bubble Follies

February 24th, 2011
Scott Drew's Bears failed to pick up a needed win at MissouriWell, someone has to go to the NCAA Tournament. But there are more than a few teams who either don't value the importance of making a statement at this point or are willing to roll the dice on Selection Sunday. Wednesday was one of those nights, with a number of teams squandering opportunities to either bolster their causes or avoid stubbing their toe in contests they should win. Boston College qualifies, as they fell behind Miami at home by as many as 21 points before rallying back, ultimately losing 73-64.

College Hoops Tuesday Recap: Wildcats Outwork Tennessee

February 9th, 2011
DeAndre Liggins led Kentucky with a career nightA lot of the talk leading into Tuesday's matchup between Kentucky and Tennessee at Rupp Arena surrounded the return of Bruce Pearl to the Tennessee sidelines after an eight-game SEC suspension. The Vols won five of eight with associate head coach Tony Jones in charge but there's something to be said in regards to the comfort level a team has when their head coach is on the bench. But the return to normalcy means nothing if you get outworked and that's exactly what happened to the Vols, ultimately falling 73-61 to the 18th-ranked Wildcats.

College Hoops Monday Recap: BracketBusters TV Matchups Announced

February 1st, 2011
Mickey McConnell led Saint Mary's with 27 pointsMonday was an important day for a number of teams in non-BCS conferences as the eleven televised matchups for the ESPNU BracketBusters event were announced. The remainder of the teams in participating leagues will find out their assignments later this week but there are some very good matchups on the televised schedule, beginning on Friday, February 18th. The eleven matchups are as follows:

Fri., 2/18
7 p.m. VCU at Wichita State (ESPN2)
9 p.m. Kent State at Drexel (ESPNU)
Sat., 2/19
11 a.m. Hofstra at Wright State (ESPNU)

College Hoops Tuesday Recap: Irish Hold off Connecticut

January 5th, 2011
Notre Dame guard Ben HansbroughNotre Dame knew that they had to make Kemba Walker work for his points if they were going to beat Connecticut on Tuesday. And thanks in large part to Ben Hansbrough, who also scored 21 points they were able to do just that in beating the Huskies 73-70 to move to 2-1 in Big East play. Walker scored 19 points but had to attempt 23 field goals to do that, making just eight while outside of Shabazz Napier (4-6 FG, 18 points) and Roscoe Smith (11 points) his teammates struggled offensively.

College Hoops Monday: Your Commentary

November 22nd, 2010
UConn's Kemba Walker receiving instruction from Jim CalhounThanksgiving week is here and with that more in-season tournaments either tip off or move to the semifinal stage. Monday features four games in Maui, with a lot of eyes focused on Wichita State/Connecticut in the first game of the day. Of course there's expected national title contender Michigan State along with two other good teams in Kentucky and Washington (given the meetings on the recruiting trail many hope that the Wildcats and Huskies advance to Tuesday's semifinals).