CAA And MAC Both Improve Their Shot at Two Bids in Early Bracket Busters

There's a school of thought that holds Bracket Buster games in fairly low esteem. They don't do much to hurt or help a team's chances of getting into the tournament and make for better television than anything else. I can't argue with the latter. Today's the best day of college hoops all season, only in part because of Tennessee-Memphis, and I think it's one that could play a role on Selection Sunday.

Just ask George Mason how much winning your Bracket Buster game matters. If they didn't beat Wichita State in 2006, they probably don't make the tournament. If they don't make it, they don't get to the Final Four, obviously. I mention the Patriots because they played one of the marquee games this afternoon, not because they did anything to help their cause. After taking a 13-point lead into the break, GMU got rolled by Ohio and lost 69-57 in Athens. Leon Williams, the Bobcats beast, had his customary double-double but it was 18 in the second half from Bubba Walther and horrid shooting that really cost them.

The news wasn't all bad for the CAA, however.

VCU held Akron to 28% shooting and beat the Zips 57-52 to split the games against the MAC. VCU is now on pace to win the conference regular season and adds another solid win to an already decent at-large resume. If GMU wins the automatic bid, the only way they're getting in at this point, the Rams could sneak in if things break their way.

It's a similar mixed bag for the MAC. Ohio's now got five wins against the RPI top 100 and can potentially add two or three more before the season's out. One of them can come against Akron, which would give them second place in the MAC East and a good argument for a bid if Kent State wins the league tournament.

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