College Under The Radar - Brady vs Manning

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CHECKING OUT A COUPLE OF SATURDAY'S"UNDER-THE-RADAR" KEY GAMES

OUR SUPER BOWL XLVI COVERAGE ROLLS ON AS WE BREAK DOWN BRADY V. MANNING THIS POST-SEASON

By Jim Hurley:

No reason to fret because we all have to wait one more week till Super Bowl XLVI ... hey, football freaks out there still get a pair of games this weekend with college football's Senior Bowl clash on Saturday (4 p.m. ET on NFL Network) and, of course, there's the NFL Pro Bowl back in Honolulu on Sunday (7 p.m. ET on NBC) but there's a couple of great"under-the-radar" games in College Basketball here on this final Saturday in January and so let's not waste another second.

Here's what to watch for"under-the-radar" style ...

VCU (17-5, 8-2 CAA) at GEORGIA STATE (14-7, 6-4 CAA) -2 p.m. ET
Has everyone out there in hoops-land forgotten that the Virginia Commonwealth Rams made it all the way to the Final Four last spring? Heck, could have fooled us 'cause head coach Shaka Smart gets no national love -still! -despite the fact his club remains on the heels of George Mason (9-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play) and very much a player on the big stage despite the fact four key seniors are gone from last year's bunch.

The Rams remain one of the grittiest clubs in the country and they don't need any 20 points-per-game guy leading the way as here Bradford Burgess (12.8 ppg) and Juvonte Reddic (10.5 ppg) look to steer VCU to the winner's circle for a seventh consecutive time.

P.S., note that VCU isn't even among the"Others Receiving Votes" in the current Associated Press Top 25 poll -talk about an under-the-radar team!

SOUTHERN MISS (18-3, 5-1 C-USA) at CENTRAL FLORIDA (15-5, 5-2 C-USA) -7 p.m. ET
Here's two teams that don't play in a so-called"power conference" and therefore often get the short end of the stick when it comes to media attention but take note the Southern Miss Golden Eagles and UCF Knights represent half of Conference USA's 5-in teams right now in league play (Memphis is 5-1 and Tulsa is 5-2) and so plant this one smack dab on your"under-the-radar" screen here even though this result likely gets no more than"bottom line" scrawl place on the ESPN family of networks.

Note that Larry Eustachy's USM gang was tabbed to finish eighth in this 12-team league but instead it's been a renaissance season in Hattiesburg and now the"Golden Birdies" come off a 72-60 triumph at 3 ½-point underdog East Carolina in which five players registered double-digit scoring totals paced by Jonathan Mills' 13 points -can Southern Miss now crank out a fourth straight win against a Central Florida squad that needs a stat-sheet stuffing night from Keith Clanton (see 15 points and 11 rebounds in 66-61 loss at 3 ½-point fav Tulsa this past Wednesday night).?

In other College Basketball News & Notes ...

Don't look now but the BYU Cougars (18-5) are carving out a nice little season -and it was further buoyed by Wednesday night's 70-68 win at 3-point favorite Virginia Tech. The Coogs -led by F Noah Hartsock's 22-point, 7-rebound game in Blacksburg -hung on in a back-and-forth game and one key to victory was the fact BYU shot 21-of-24 from the free-throw line. Now just how many college b-ball teams shoot 87.5 from the charity stripe in games these days? ...

Whatever you do, don't sleep on #18 Miss State as the Bulldogs (17-4 and 4-2 in SEC play) may have the"it factor" going for them these days and how about that stellar game by F Arnett Moultrie who poured in game-highs 28 points and 12 rebounds in that 76-71 non-cover win against 9-point pup LSU the other night? Moultrie -a 6-foot-11 junior who will be NBA-bound following this 2011-12 campaign -leads all SEC players with 12 double-double games this year.

Finally, when you think you're having a bad day, than spend a few moments thinking how things are going for the following College Basketball squads: Through this past Wednesday night's action Binghamton was 0-20, Towson was 0-22, UL-Monroe was 2-19, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 2-18, Bryant was 2-18, Fairleigh Dickinson was 1-18, UC-Davis was 1-17 and Rhode Island 3-18.

Now that's a lot of losing to swallow, folks!

MORE SUPER BOWL XLVI COVERAGE

With all this talk about"elite quarterbacks" we know that both New England slinger Tom Brady -a three-time Super Bowl champ -and New York Giants hurler Eli Manning (see SB 42 champ) are on that Mount Rushmore of NFL signal-callers but just what have been their post-season stats so far this year?

Here's the lowdown and -of course -keep in mind that Manning's played three playoff games this year with wins against Atlanta, Green Bay and San Francisco while New England's won a pair of playoff games against Denver and Baltimore:

TOM BRADY

ELI MANNING

Passing Yards

602 (or 301 ypg)

923 (or 307.7 ypg)

Completions

48 (or 24 per game)

76 (or 25.3 per game)

Attempts

70 (or 35 per game)

123 (or 41 per game)

Pct

68.6

61.8

TDs

6

8

INTs

3

1

Sacked

1 (or .5 per game)

8 (or 2.7 per game)

QB Rating

105.8

103.1

Okay, so numbers may not always tell the whole story but isn't it interesting to note that Manning is averaging slightly more passing yards per playoff game this winter than Brady (now whoever would have guessed that?) and that Manning's TD-to-INT ratio this post-season would be better than the Patriots mega-star quarterback?

Note that Manning's QB Rating of"only" 82.3 against San Francisco last weekend was termed"a joke" by ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer who claimed Manning made all the big plays and tough throws -which he did -and than consider the Giants' quarterback had a rating of 129.3 in the 24-2 NFC Wild Card win against Atlanta and a QB Rating of 114.5 in the 37-20 NFC Divisional Playoff win in Green Bay two weeks ago ... is there anyone in this post-season playing better than this -yes -elite quarterback of"Big Blue"?

In a word, nope!

16
Aug

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