ATB: Northwest Passage

Posted by rtmsf on December 5th, 2007

ATB v.4

12.05.07

Game of the Day. #7 Washington St. 51, #18 Gonzaga 47. How fun would it be to watch a game at the Kennel? It wasn’t too much fun for the Gonzaga fans tonight as they watched their Zags lose for only the second time in that building and in the process, score their lowest total of points in almost eleven years. Although the stats would lead someone to believe that this was an ugly game, we didn’t really see it that way. There were enough bricks on both sides (esp. Gonzaga) to build a smokestack, sure, but the game was intense, defensive-minded and filled with show-stopping plays. For the second time in a week (Baylor), Wazzu went into a veritable lion’s den and slugged its way to a close win. This team is experienced, doesn’t panic and makes smart decisions with the ball – its only real weakness is a style of play that allows teams to stay in the game with them (i.e., Gonzaga shot 26% but was still in the game until the last ten seconds). It didn’t hurt that Kyle Weaver (12/6) seemed to make every big play for the Cougars each time the Zags crept withing striking distance. His airball rebound-turn-putback sequence was sick. On the Gonzaga side, Matt Bouldin (0-9 FG), Jeremy Pargo (3-11) and Austin Daye (1-12) should be ashamed of themselves for their performances at home tonight. We were really high on the Zags early, even going so far as to pick them for the F4, but their inconsistent performances are making us a little wary – still, we’ll wait to pass ultimate judgment until we see how they play once Josh Heytvelt returns.

Other Good Games. Syracuse 70, Virginia 68. Regrettably, we didn’t get to see anything but the last four minutes of this game. This is a very good win for Syracuse, especially in light of its loss at home to UMass last week. From what we can tell, UVa’s Sean Singletary was ill, and it showed in his shooting numbers (10/9/5 assts on 3-14 FG and 2-8 FT) and cramping at the end of the game. Virginia isn’t a one-man team by any stretch (Adrian Joseph had 19/13), but they’re typically not going to beat quality opponents unless SS has a solid game. Tonight was no exception. The Cuse’s Donte Greene (20/10) and Paul Harris (10/14) each had dub-dubs in the road win.

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SEC/Big East Invitational. What a joke this thing is. Hey, here’s an idea, let’s copy the ACC/Big 10 Challenge, except instead of, like, matching up teams based on relative abilities, we’ll just throw a bunch of cannon-fodder SEC teams out there against some good-to-great Big East teams and see how it washes out. Who came up with this plan – the Big East RPI Improvement Committee? Ok, we give them one mulligan. Georgetown v. Alabama was supposed to be a game between two top 25 teams, but then Ronald Steele went and got hurt again. Still, Bama put up a solid fight tonight in Birmingham (#5 Georgetown 70, Alabama 60), which is more than we can say for their mortal enemies over on the Plains. Thuggins and his band of merry men stormed Auburn like Sherman coming back through the South – the Tigers were down 28-6 before they knew what hit them. West Virginia 88, Auburn 59. Now let’s all put our hands together and furiously clap with excitement over tomorrow night’s slate of South Carolina v. Providence and LSU v. Villanova. Anyone got the Big East to go 4-0 in this event? We do.

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Upset of the Day. Charlotte 75, Davidson 68. We love Davidson, but after their recent losses at Eastern Michigan and now at Charlotte, they’re going to need to win the SoCon to make the NCAA Tourney (we’re assuming they will not beat UCLA this weekend). Stephen Curry ripped off 31, but he’s just not getting any offensive help from his frontcourt (7-22 shooting). Charlotte’s Leemire Goldwire sensed a shootout with Curry and ultimately one-upped him with 34 of his own points. Charlotte, with two solid wins in a row, is a team to keep an eye on going forward.

Other Ranked Teams.

  • #4 Kansas 85, E. Washington 47. Too bad Rodney Stuckey is already in the NBA.
  • #8 Texas 88, North Texas 72. The DJ blew up with 29/10, representing our #1 vote well.
  • #17 Pittsburgh 73, Duquesne 68. Pitt really struggled to win this crosstown rivalry game.
  • #18 Clemson 82, East Carolina 67. We’re not voting for you Tigers until you win ACC games.
  • #21 Xavier 79, Creighton 66. Drew Lavender with 28/10 as Creighton takes its first loss.

Other Notable Scores.

  • Florida 91, Florida A&M 52. UF now 4-1 against other Florida teams.
  • Drake 79, Iowa St. 44. Wow, how do you win at Oregon St. then get drilled by Drake?
  • George Mason 57, Hampton 54. Mid-major nirvana in Fairfax.
  • Purdue 70, Ball St. 57. How’s that Ronny Thompson thing working out for Ball St.?
  • W. Kentucky 69, Nebraska 62 (OT). WKU couldn’t afford to drop this BCS win at home.
  • Oklahoma 81, Tulsa 55. OU had a thirty-pt lead at the half.
  • Vanderbilt 83, Wake Forest 80. Vandy remains unbeaten behind Shan Foster’s 26 and Andrew Ogilvy’s 23.
  • Georgia Tech 72, Georgia St. 67. From what little we saw, Ga Tech sleptwalk through this one.

On Tap Today(all times EST). Yeah, a few tv games, but um, good luck with that.

  • Providence (-3.5) v. South Carolina (ESPN2) 7pm – set your alarm for more of the thrilling Big East/SEC Showdown!
  • Connecticut (-17) v. Northeastern (ESPN FC) 7:30pm. ugh.
  • Ill-Chicago (-5.5) v. Wisconsin-Milwaukee (ESPN FC) 8pm - if you’re going to show mid-majors, pick GOOD teams!
  • Villanova (-9.5) v. LSU (ESPN) 9pm – we cannot get over the garbage the SEC trotted out for this event.
rtmsf (3729 Posts)


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5 Responses to “ATB: Northwest Passage”

  1. Ty Keenan says:

    Any thoughts on the USC/Memphis game, or was it too ugly to discuss?

  2. rbk says:

    The Big East/SEC thing would be better, too, if there were more than 4 games in a given year. I don’t mind it being a copy of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as that’s just a really good idea, and sometimes it’s good to copy really good ideas. But that is a major event each year, with ESPN keeping a tally. You going to keep a tally with 4 games each year, and with these matchups? How pointless. It’s barely a blip on the radar. This is a good idea but the details need to be reworked.

  3. rtmsf says:

    Ty: Ha. We had some family stuff going on Tues. night so didn’t get to see any Jimmy V stuff and really didn’t feel up to the task. Saw some replay footage yesterday and it was stupid ugly for sure. Memphis is going to get screwed by their foul shooting somewhere along the way in March. And Mayo’s shot selection was atrocious down the stretch.

    Rbk: Actually, we agree that the idea of the Challenge is a great one. If we could get all six bcs conferences doing this the same week of the year, that’d be fantastic. But yeah, 4 games a year is a joke. Esp. given the types of teams they picked. We would have been ok with Tennessee, Kentucky, Vandy and Florida, as an example. But jeez, it seems as if the SEC tried to send its worst teams this year.

  4. rbk says:

    rtmsf, it makes me wonder if the intention is for both leagues to be able to prop up their top teams’ RPI in a given year. This year, the Big East gets the boost by getting wins over average-to-bad SEC teams. Maybe next year UT, UF, UK, VU will get a similar boost.

    And of course that totally defeats what’s so great about one of these league challenges. We’ll just have to wait and see how the two leagues handle the schedules in future years, but you’re right . . . this one was a dud.

  5. Nuss says:

    What a gigantic win for the Cougs! I wish more of the country could have seen it — I had to go over to the house of a friend who has satellite.

    It wasn’t so much the pace of play that allowed Gonzaga to stay in the game. It was the Cougars’ poor offense. That was easily their worst offensive performance of the year (poor shooting, silly turnovers, etc.), yet they were in control the whole way. I mean, it never even really felt like Gonzaga was ever really a threat to take that game.

    WSU’s offensive efficiency was seventh in the nation going into last night. This is a pretty good offensive team, despite conventional opinion that is swayed by the raw ppg numbers. That ought to be a scary-as-hell thought for everyone else because if the Cougs had shot the ball even average last night — 46% eFG last night vs. 55% normally — it would have been a 20-point blowout.

    I am so fired up it’s ridiculous.

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