NEWS AND NOTES
Wow!! There were some major surprises last night.
-Boston College has been inconsistent this season and was just beaten rather handily by Kansas. However, theyd won six in a row prior to that and appeared to be taking care of business in their Buy Games. Last night, they lost to Duquesne in overtime 98-93. Duquesne is one of the worst teams in div1. They were 3-7 coming into this game, but two of their three wins came against current sub300 RPI teams, and they won each of those games by one point. Their own RPI was 311. They somehow managed to shock Boston College. Its probably the best team Duquesne has beaten in several years. If BC ends up as a bubble team, this loss may be grounds for leaving them out.
-Purdue had really been on a role this season, but tonight they traveled to Indiana State and were blown out 89-70. It isnt surprising that Indiana State won because they can be very tough to beat at home, but it is rather shocking that they won by that margin. Indiana State never trailed once, opened up a 46-31 lead at the half, and never looked back. Purdue shot 53% from the floor, but it wasnt nearly enough to keep them close.
-Oral Roberts upset Seton Hall 76-74. Oral Roberts defeated Kansas earlier this season, but had done very little after that to indicate that they were anything more than a #16 seed caliber team, if that. They had lost five of their last seven coming into this one. Seton Hall, on the other hand, appeared to be playing well. They were 6-2 on the year and although they didnt have any big wins, they did appear to be a much better team than Oral Roberts. Thats two big time wins for ORU. Its just a shame that they have so many poor losses to go along with that.
-USC upset Washington in double overtime 86-79 for their biggest win of the year. They had a good record coming into this game, but hadnt really done anything that would impress the committee too much. A win against Washington certainly changes that. This was just the second road game of the season for Washington, and theyve lost both of them. Theyll need some road wins if they want to secure a good seed. They face UCLA next. Speaking of the Bruins
-Washington State does appear to be for real. They have a win against Gonzaga and led UCLA for most of the first half. They were right with the Bruins all through the second half, but fell behind 53-47 with two minutes to play. Wazzu hit a big three point shot to cut the lead to 53-50, and then got the ball back after a defensive stop, which enabled them to get the lead down to 53-52. Wazzu again came up with a big stop and had a chance to win, but didnt get off a good shot. Two more UCLA freethrows made it 55-52. A last second three point shot to tie didnt go in. Still, a great showing by Washington State. They need to keep it up though, because they have a big game against USC coming up. Last year, Wazzu competed in a lot of games, but won very few of them. They need wins if they want to impress the committee, not just close calls. However, They are 11-2 on the year and do have a nice win against Gonzaga, so there is reason to believe that they can be a force in the Pac Ten.
-Texas A&M led Grambling 65-13 at the half, and went on to win 101-27. The Texas A&M defense actually did a much better job shutting down Grambling than their football team did in trying to shut down California in the Holiday Bowl. The football team gave up 45 points to Cal, whereas the basketball team only gave up 27 to Grambling.
-Clemson beat Georgia rather easily 75-60 to remain unbeaten. The game really wasnt all that close through most of the second half. It is one of Clemsons better wins of the year because Georgia had just one loss coming into this game, and if they can beat a team like that as decisively as they did, then its an indication that they are pretty good.
-SMU had a good record coming into last night's game against Oklahoma, but it was amassed by playing rather weak teams. They were handily beaten 69-42 by the Sooners, which indicates that they probably weren't as good as their record. Oklahoma got off to a slow start, but they've really been playing well lately. They could end up doing some damage in the Big Twelve after all if they keep it up.
HIGHLIGHTED GAMES (Alphabetical order via the Home Team)
-PROVIDENCE VS FLORIDA STATE. Providence is 9-2, but for the most part they dont have any good wins. Florida State is 11-2 and does have an impressive win against Florida, but this would still rank as one of their better out of conference wins if they can pull it off. The game is being played in Tampa, so the crowd should favor Florida State even though its technically a neutral site. Both teams are athletic, so it should be an exciting game. It would also help out the resume of whoever ends up winning.
-SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT ILLINOIS STATE (Missouri Valley). Illinois State is off to a modest 7-4 start, but they lost their first two games of the season so they have quite a bit of momentum coming into this one. They are playing an in-state team who is also in their conference. If they could pull off the win against SIU to open conference play it would really be a huge step forward for Illinois State. Southern Illinois is 8-2 and appears to have an NCAA Tournament caliber team once again, but its important that they do well in conference play.
-WINTHROP AT OLD DOMINION. These are two teams that could very easily find themselves on the bubble come March, so this is a hugely important game, especially for Winthrop. Old Dominion will face some quality competition in conference and they have a nice win against Georgetown already. Winthrops conference is much weaker, and other than the Bracket Buster they are running out of chances to make a strong case for themselves. Winning this one on the road will go a long way. Theyve had some very close calls, including an overtime loss at Wisconsin, but close doesnt cut it. Winthrop needs a big win or two if they end up needing an at-large, and this could end up being one of the better ones they get all season.
-AIR FORCE AT SANTA CLARA. This is the championship game of the Cable Car Classic. Air Force defeated George Washington rather handily and appears to be much better than Santa Clara, but SCU has played some very good basketball this season and will likely be very tough to beat at home. Theyve won six of their last eight with their only losses coming against Kentucky and Missouri State. Winning this game could end up getting them some attention from the committee if they finish well in their conference.
-ILLINOIS AT XAVIER. This game is not on Xaviers campus, but it is in downtown Cincinnati so a pro-Xavier crowd should be expected. Illinois resume isnt the strongest, but they have been playing very well lately and should begin building up some quality wins once they get into conference play. This would be a nice OOC win for them on the road. Xavier has lost three out of their last four and desperately needs a big win if they want to be in the at-large picture. They are coming off a loss at home to Bucknell, and really need something good to happen for them. Illinois appears to be better all the way around though, but if Xavier pulls this off it could turn their season around.
-LIPSCOMB AT ALABAMA. Lipscomb is 6-4 against div1 and is one of the better teams in the Atlantic Sun, but they shouldnt be much of a match for Bama. The Tide can improve to 12-1 with a win.
-NORTHWESTERN STATE AT DE PAUL. Most people dont realize this, but De Paul is on a role. Theyve won six out of seven and absolutely blew out Cal in their last game. This is their final game before Big East play begins, so its a chance for them to sustain their momentum.
-EASTERN KENTUCKY AT KENTUCKY. Kentucky has been playing very well lately, and can improve to 10-3 with a win today. Eastern Kentuckys campus is just over twenty miles away and they are off to a 6-3 start, which is good, but an upset still isnt all that likely.
-JACKSONVILLE AT SOUTH CAROLINA. South Carolina has just two losses, but no real notable wins. Theyll have to rely on playing well in conference to get themselves in.
-ALABAMA A&M AT VANDERBILT. Vandy had their seven game win streak snapped when they fell to Appalachian State last week. They shouldnt have any trouble winning this one and improving to 8-4 though.
Highlighted Games for Sat 2/17: Bracket Buster Edt
Feb 16, 2007, 09:16 pm
Drew Barnette runs down one of the biggest Saturdays of the college basketball regular season. With the Bracket Buster teams being played today, read about who is on the bubble and could really improve their NCAA Tournament resumes with quality wins today. Also read about teams who are favored to win their conference tournaments, and who are facing each other in games that will have an impact on their seeding, and possibly put them in a better position to pull a big upset.
Other big games include Louisville looking for their second big road win in a row as they travel to Marquette, Vanderbilt plays one of their biggest home games of the year as they host Floirda, Georgetown and Villanova Square off in an important Big East showdown,
All that, and much more in a huge Saturday for college hoops...
Mid Major Ramblings on the Eve of the Buster
Feb 16, 2007, 01:20 am
Drew Barnette gives his thoughts and opinions about the upcoming Bracket Buster, talks about how he feels mid-majors are viewed by the media today, looks at tonight's big game between Winthrop and Missouri State, and more...