News, Notes and Highlighted games for 12/21

News, Notes and Highlighted games for 12/21
Dec 21, 2006, 02:29 am

-For the second day in a row, Virginia was hammered by what appears to be a low caliber team. Two days ago it was Appalachian State. Yesterday it was Utah. They will now play in the 7th place game tonight against Puerto Rico Mayaquez, who is the host team.

-Washington jumped out ahead of LSU and really never looked back. It was easily their most impressive win of the year not just because of who they beat, but because of how they beat them.

-Texas and Arkansas was nip and tuck the whole way, but Texas finally got control at the end, which is another big win for them. Arkansas has missed some opportunities, but they looked pretty good tonight. They looked significantly better than they did in their loss against Texas Tech over the weekend, so they should be fine if they can continue to play like that and rack up some big wins in conference.

-Alabama blew out NC State, proving that Alabama is as good as their record and their ranking, whereas NC State is only as good as their ranking (they are unranked). The Wolfpack fall to 7-3, but have yet to beat a good team other than Michigan.


-GONZAGA VS DUKE (***Pod System Implications***). Gonzaga has three big wins already, but is coming off a road loss to Georgia. They should be very motivated for this one though. Gonzaga has already beaten North Carolina, and they did so in NYC, which will impress the committee. They also have notable wins against Washington and Texas. This would be their fourth very good win of the year, and their third away from home, so they are in very good shape so long as they don’t fall apart in conference play, but that isn’t likely to happen. Duke is a very good team that appears to be getting better. They struggled against Kent State, but Kent State is good and chances are Duke was overlooking them a bit. They won’t overlook the Zags in this game. It would be their biggest win of the year so far.

-PITTSBURGH VS OKLAHOMA STATE (***Pod System Implications***). This is the second of a doubleheader being played in Oklahoma City, so it will definitely be a pro Okie State crowd. Okie State is coming off their first loss of the season (Tennessee), but they played well against a good team in that game, and have pretty much played well all season. This is their chance to get an extremely good win against a Pitt team that appears to be a solid pod system team and could push for a #1 seed. Pitt is in the same situation. This game is big because it’s between two potential #1 seeds.


-TULSA VS OKLAHOMA. This game is being played in Oklahoma City, and it’s my first chance to see Tulsa, who is 6-1. They really haven’t been tested yet, so it’s hard to say if they are as good as their record. Oklahoma isn’t particularly a top-notch team, but they’re certainly better than the teams Tulsa has faced so far, so it’s a pretty good gage for them.

-SMU AT TCU. So far, these are two of the most improved teams in the country from last year. SMU is off to a 6-1 start after being 12-16 a year ago, and TCU is 7-3 after winning just 6 games total last season. SMU has a good win against Dayton, whereas TCU has not beaten anyone all that good yet, although they did hang tough with Texas Tech. These schools also have a big rivalry with one another, so it should be interesting. SMU is in my bracket as a #12 seed right now, and if they can keep winning the selection committee is going to notice them as well.

-SETON HALL AT VIRGINIA TECH. Seton Hall is 5-1, and Virginia Tech has won four of their last five, including a conference win against Wake Forest, so both teams are hot right now. Still, neither have done anything as of yet to indicate they are a strong tournament team, but both appear to be headed in that direction. Winning this game would be good for each teams’ resume, and it would continue the momentum.

-DAVIDSON VS OHIO (Arizona State Classic). This game is interesting because it matches two of the better teams from traditional one-bid leagues. Davidson is 7-3 and Ohio is 5-2 against div1, but neither have beaten a quality team yet. It would be a long shot for either of these to get in as an at-large, but it is possible. Arizona State and North Carolina A&T are the other two teams in this tournament.


-COASTAL CAROLINA AT FLORIDA STATE. Coastal Carolina has won just one game against a div1 team so far, but should do better once they get into conference. FSU can improve to 10-2 with a win.

-IDAHO STATE AT ILLINOIS. Illinois is on a role lately, and can likely sleepwalk through this game and still win. They’ll improve to 10-2 barring a huge surprise.

-NEW ORLEANS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE. Mississippi State has a big record, but it has come against rather weak teams. A win puts them at 9-2.

-ARMY AT NOTRE DAME. Army is 9-2, which is surprising even though they’ve played a weak schedule. They’ve also won six in a row, but two were against div2 teams. Notre Dame is the much better team and should win without too much trouble.

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