News, Notes and Highlighted games for Thu, 12/7

News, Notes and Highlighted games for Thu, 12/7
Dec 07, 2006, 01:59 am

-FLORIDA STATE AT GEORGIA STATE. Florida State is coming off a big win against rival Florida. A loss to a low caliber Georgia State team would kill their momentum though, not to mention it would look pretty bad on their profile.

-MICHIGAN AT MIAMI, OH. Miami has played some pretty tough opponents and nearly pulled off a few upsets, but can’t seem to get over the top. They’re just 3-5, but should begin winning more games once they get into league play. At least tonight they get to play a high profile team on their home court rather than having to go on the road. Michigan is 8-1, but none of their wins have come against quality opponents. This is by no means a guaranteed win for them.

-ALABAMA AT NOTRE DAME. Notre Dame has won six straight since losing their opener to Butler, and is coming off a big road win against Maryland. This is their chance to pick up another high quality win and boost their profile up even more. Alabama is 7-0, but other than Xavier they really played a tough schedule yet. That changes tonight. In addition to Notre Dame, they’ll face NC State and Oklahoma out of conference. This is a good game between two teams that are playing really well right now. It would also most likely end up being a quality win, which would help their tourney resumes.


-Washington State upset Gonzaga on Tuesday night 77-67. For some reason the game wasn’t broadcast live on DirecTV, but I caught the replay of it the following night. It was rather surprising because although Wazzu only had one loss, it came against a very mediocre Utah team. They also struggled to defeat Boise State and Idaho State, neither of which are all that good. They looked solid against the Zags though. Wazzu has scared a lot of highly ranked teams, but they were rarely able to pull off the upset. Perhaps this means their fortunes are beginning to change. We’ll see as the season goes on.

-Oklahoma State remained unbeaten and picked up their second quality win of the year with a 72-68 win over Syracuse. It doesn’t get any easier for them either. Their next opponent is Ball State, but after that they face Pittsburgh and Tennessee at neutral sites. For Syracuse, it was their second straight loss, but they are still in good shape overall. They aren’t likely to lose in their next five games, all of which are at home against what appear to be non-tournament caliber teams.

-Louisville looked much better against Arizona than they did against Dayton, but it still wasn’t enough to win. They still struggled from the floor and once again missed more than their share of layups and close range shots. Arizona actually shot a poorer percentage than Louisville did, but shot 43 freethrows to Louisville’s eight. Ivan Radenovic had a huge game for Arizona scoring 22 points and grabbing 13 boards.

-New Mexico was blown out on the road against New Mexico State 103-72. The two aren’t in the same conference, but they play each other home and home each year. It is their second straight blowout loss on the road, which will not help out their NCAA Tournament chances. They look like a good team when they play at home, but that alone isn’t going to be good enough to get them a bid.

-Northern Iowa came from behind to defeat Iowa on the road 57-55. Iowa is struggling, but nevertheless I’ve heard several people refer to this as an upset. It’s not an upset when the better team wins. If anything, it’s surprising that Iowa was able to keep it as close as they did.

-Creighton fell to Dayton 60-54, which is Dayton’s second good win this year. The announcers said that Nate Funk had the flu, and although he didn’t play his best game I think it had more to do with Dayton’s defense than it did his illness. Creighton finally stepped it up in the second half and completely erased a 13 point lead, but other than that they have not really looked like an NCAA Tournament team this season. Their next game is against Xavier, which is big because Creighton really needs a statement win right now. Dayton, on the other hand, is off to a pretty good start with wins over Louisville and Creighton. They appear to be getting better with each game they play, and are a very good defensive team. With their next three games being very winnable, they will most likely be 10-1 when they face Pittsburgh.

-Tennessee appears to be back to their old top 25 selves. They blew out Memphis 76-58 last night, which is their best and most impressive win of the year so far. If Tennessee plays as well as they did Wednesday night, they can beat anyone. Chris Lofton had a huge night scoring 34 points for the Vols.

-Last but not certainly not least, LSU got a monster win against Texas A&M. Both teams looked pretty tough on defense. TAMU has been notorious for playing some of the weakest out of conference schedules possible in year’s past, but they did beef it up this year. This loss won’t hurt them too much, if at all. It would have been a great win for them, but losing to a high caliber team on the road isn’t going to be a drag on their resume. It’s much better to play in games like this than to have your out of conference schedule corporately sponsored by Hostess because of all the cupcakes on it.

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