Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tonight's Top Games

And down the stretch they come ... the final week of the Conference basketball season and we still don't know the complete five-team fields for next week's Centennial tournament. We know that the men's tournament will be at Ursinus, and that the Bears, Gettysburg, Johns Hopkins and McDaniel are also in the bracket. We don't know where the women's final four will be (although tonight could give us an answer), but we do know that Dickinson, Muhlenberg, Franklin & Marshall and McDaniel are in the tourney. That means we have some important games tonight - games that could go a long way to clearing things up for the season finales on Saturday.

Dickinson at Muhlenberg (Women's Basketball)
The Red Devils (14-2 CC, 16-6) can clinch the top seed and homecourt for next weekend's final four with a win against the Mules (13-3, 18-5) in Allentown. Dickinson has won four straight in the series, including a 64-49 win on Jan. 24, and has held 'Berg to an average of 40.0 points in the four victories. Muhlenberg leads the CC in scoring offense (69.1) and assist/turnover ratio (1.18), while Dickinson tops the loop in scoring defense (51.7) and scoring margin (+12.0).

Gettysburg at Franklin & Marshall (Women's Basketball)
The Bullets (11-5, 15-8) travel to Lancaster to take on the Diplomats (12-4, 17-6) in a game that is critical to the Conference playoff chase. Gettysburg can secure a berth with its second victory of the year against the Blue and White (70-47, Jan. 24), while F&M can lock up a first-round tournament bye with a win. The Bullets have won six straight in the series to close the all-time deficit to 30-27. The Dips' last win was a 74-69 triumph at home in 2004. It could be a game to 70 points, as the victor in the last 11 meetings has scored at least 70 and no more than 77 points.

Johns Hopkins at McDaniel (Men's Basketball)
The Blue Jays (10-6, 14-9) make the short trip to Westminster to take on the Green Terror (10-6, 15-8) in a game that could decide a first-round tournament bye. McDaniel won the year's first meeting by a 59-56 count on Jan. 23 and looks for its first season sweep of Hopkins since 1995 - the last year the Green and Gold made the CC playoffs. To do so, the Terror will need just its second home win vs. the Jays since 1997 and first since 2004. A McDaniel victory secures the No. 3 seed for next week's tournament.

Muhlenberg at Dickinson (Men's Basketball)
Two of the three teams battling for the final playoff spot meet in Carlisle as the Mules (8-8, 10-13) take on the Red Devils (7-9, 11-11). A loss eliminates Dickinson from the chase, while a victory presents a number of different scenarios for Saturday's season finales. Muhlenberg won the first meeting of the year on Jan. 23 by a 67-62 count, but Dickinson has won the last two matchups at the Kline Center. The first 20 minutes could tell the story, as 'Berg is 10-3 when leading at the break and 0-10 when trailing.

Gettysburg at Franklin & Marshall (Men's Basketball)
Quick ... tell me the last time that F&M missed the conference basketball playoffs three years in a row? Can't remember can you? How 'bout 1972-73-74. That's the situation tonight at Mayser as the Diplomats (7-9, 12-11) need a victory against the Bullets (14-2, 19-3) to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Gettysburg pulled out a heart-stopping 67-66 win against F&M back on Jan. 23 to extend its all-time series lead to 104-91. Two freshmen to watch tonight that you'll be hearing a lot of over the next three years - F&M's James McNally (12.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Gettysburg's Andrew Powers (14.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

there is a huge swim meet tomorrow, in case you forgot. you have spoken only about basketball for almost an entire month.