Checking in on… the ACC.

Posted by rtmsf on January 9th, 2008

Since we’ve pretty much reached the halfway point of the regular season, and conference play is beginning across the land this week, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a moment to briefly check in on the six BCS conferences to see how its roundball citizens were doing this year.

Let’s start with the venerable ACC (who has had a great non-conference slate):

ACC Mid-Season Check In

F4 Caliber. Really only North Carolina, and they may end up cutting the nets down this year if Wayne Ellington can have a masterful March from the perimeter. Duke is what it is – they’ll win 10-12 ACC games buoyed by the CIS advantage, and get a #2-#4 seed in March. But they are completely withouth any inside presence (esp. now that Zoubek is injured again), and that won’t play very well in March. The rest of the league are pretenders when it comes to the F4.

Most Likely to Collapse. Is there really any question? Clemson. Their recent history of monumentally epic nosedives, plus their heartbreaking loss against UNC on Sunday night, may conspire to psychologically destroy a fairly talented team. We’ll see. Their RPI is good at this point, so even a 7-9 ACC record could get them in.

Most Likely to Rise. Wake Forest. Largely because we don’t know what to expect from this excruciatingly young team. The moxie shown in Wake’s December comeback ACC win against Virginia Tech, in addition to last night’s dismantling of a solid BYU team, shows that this team has some promise. We predict an NIT finish, but maybe Dino Gaudio’s team is this year’s Virginia?

Who Else? Miami (FL), NC State and Virginia are all conundrums. Miami has looked the best so far, but none of these three have looked great. Yet all have enough talent to make a run to the NCAAs this year. If we were betting we’d say Virginia > Miami (FL) > NC State, but we really have no clue.

Biggest Disappointment. Maryland, Maryland, Maryland. This team has played uninspired ball all season long, and should really be a borderline NCAA team with the talent they have on the floor. Vasquez, Gist and Osby alone should have this team doing better than losing to the likes of American and Ohio at home. Get it together, Gary.

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ATB: Good Grief Savannah State!

Posted by rtmsf on January 8th, 2008

ATB v.4 

Recap. Only one game of note tonight (aside from OSU’s usual title game loss on the gridiron):

Kansas St. 85, Savannah St. 25. Yes, that’s the correct score. KSU outscored Savannah St. 48-4 in the second half, who managed to set a new record for futility in both shooting percentage (4.1%) and points scored in a half during the shot-clock era (since 1986). Wow. We think we experienced a game like that once back in grade school. From the WWL:

Savannah State (8-13) missed its first 15 shots of the second half, falling behind 72-22 as Kansas State opened with a 35-1 run. Joseph Flegler finally ended the drought with 5:48 left, hitting a 3-pointer from the wing, and the Tigers figured to at least get a couple more baskets.

Nothing else fell.

The previous records were set just last week, when Pennsylvania went 1-for-17 (5.9 percent) and scored six points in the first half of a 60-30 loss to Florida Gulf Coast. Savannah State shot 15.5 percent overall, making just nine field goals — four from 3-point range.Savannah State coach Horace Broadnax, a guard for Georgetown’s 1984 national championship team, has seen his share of defensive dominance. But even he had to just throw his hands up after this one.”It was good — I was hoping that we’d set a record,” Broadnax said sarcastically. “Hey, what can I do? The guys were playing hard, they weren’t making shots. I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning, if I’m fortunate, and I’m going to move on. And I expect them to move on. “

We love this scoring chart – straight line = bad:

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.450749&w=425&h=350&fv=null]

#13 Butler also won tonight (Butler 66, Loyola (Md) 55) and BC lost to someone named Bob Morris at home (Robert Morris 57, Boston College 51).

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What Parity?

Posted by rtmsf on January 7th, 2008

Is it just us, or has college hoops halfway through the season been almost completely devoid of big upsets so far this year? Last night’s UNC-Clemson game was exciting on many levels, but it failed to deliver in the one key area that makes the college hoops regular season so great – the big upset (leading to a home team RTC, of course).

RTC

On the Horizon – More of This?

In the aftermath of the wild and wacky college football season that saw several teams out of the national title hunt/back into the picture/out/then in again, as well as some eye-opening early college basketball losses (ahem, Gardner-Webb, Mercer), pundits wondered aloud whether we were in store for another zany hoops season where a new #1 team would last about as long as it takes to hang the banner (sup, Carolina fans).

This may all become completely irrelevant as conference play begins in earnest, but this is one of the quietest pre-conferences we’ve seen in many years. It turns out that the Kentucky loss to Gardner-Diego wasn’t that much of an upset as anyone with a starting five can beat UK this year, and the few other eyebrow-arching intra-top 25 losses (e.g., Texas over UCLA and Tennessee) aren’t what we’re talking about. Don’t agree?

  • Consider that we’re two months into the season and the AP top 10 consists of nine of the same teams as the preseason poll (Louisville has been replaced by Duke).
  • Consider that those preseason top ten teams are a combined 127-9 and four of those nine losses are accounted by Rick Pitino’s injury-prone Louisville squad.
  • Of the five other losses, two of them came against other preseason top tenners (Georgetown against Memphis; Michigan St. against UCLA), and two of them were against Texas (#15 preseason). The other top ten loss was Indiana against Xavier.

So this means one of two things. Either we can expect an oligarchy of about 6-8 power teams this year running roughshod through their respective conferences; or, none of this analysis means a damn thing and we’ll have a brand new top 10 in a couple short weeks of conference play. Let’s lace em up and find out.

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ATB: Saturday Preview

Posted by rtmsf on January 4th, 2008

ATB v.4

01.04.08

Recap. There weren’t any games worth a damn tonight, typical for a Friday, so we’re just going to give a preview for tomorrow.  There are a handful of good games, but we wouldn’t say it’s going to be a sick Saturday.  So here goes…  

On Tap Today (all times EST).

  • #3 Kansas (-11) v. Boston College (ESPN) 12pm – on paper, this looks like it could be upset city, but we’re just not seeing it (KU by 20).
  • Syracuse (-8.5) v. South Florida (ESPN FC) 12pm – here’s USF’s (10-4) first shot at legitimacy.
  • Charlotte (-1) v. Maryland (ESPNU) 12pm - another shot for the A10 to pick up a BCS victory.
  • #24 Arizona (-6) v. Oregon (FSN) 2pm - lose this one, and Oregon is officially in trouble.
  • Georgetown (-16.5) v. Rutgers (ESPN FC) 2pm – GTown looks like they can lose every game, but they rarely do.
  • #13 Butler (-11) v. Valparaiso 2pm – solid early Horizon matchup.
  • Michigan v. Purdue (-12.5) (ESPN) 2pm – this game being on the WWL tomorrow offends our sensibilities.
  • Louisville (-2) v. Kentucky (CBS) 4pm – didn’t this game used to mean something?
  • #16 Vanderbilt (-7.5) v. UMass (ESPN FC) 4pm – Game of the day – can UMass win at Memorial (after winning at Cuse and BC)?
  • #5 UCLA (-5) v. California (FSN) 6pm – possible coming-out party for Cal?
  • #15 Texas (-9.5) v. #25 St. Mary’s (FSSW) 6pm - second-best game of the day, but how will SMC react to a hostile environment?
  • Penn (NL) v. NJIT 7pm - not even the hapless Quakers can give up a win to NJIT (0-16 and counting…).
  • Stanford (-6) v. #23 USC 8pm - both teams very much need this game, as the loser ends up 0-2 in the Pac-10.
  • #12 Texas A&M (-15) v. LSU (ESPNU) 8pm – these teams seem to play a lot.
  • Gonzaga (-12) v. Georgia 8pm - an odd cross-continental matchup.
  • Baylor (pick) v. Arkansas (ESPN FC) 8:30pm - this game could make all the difference for one of these teams come Selection Sunday.
  • Notre Dame (-5.5) v. Connecticut (ESPN) 9pm - pretty nice Big East matchup in South Bend.
  • #4 Washington St. (-2.5) v. Washington 10pm - Wazzu goes for its sixth in a row v. the Huskies.
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ATB: Shipping Out

Posted by rtmsf on January 4th, 2008

ATB v.4

01.03.08

Game We Didn’t Watch (but wish we could have).  #5 UCLA 76, Stanford 67.  Actually, we very much would have liked watching this game, but NHL hockey got in the way on our local FSN channel.  Worthless.  Anyway, tonight UCLA very quickly got a significant leg up on the Pac-10 race by winning in Palo Alto – we suspect not many other teams will leave the Bay area with a win there this year, now that the Lopez twins (21/20 – wondertwin power… shape of… Dwight Howard?) are fully activated.  Tonight Stanford matched UCLA’s size inside, outrebounding the Bruins 32-28, but Howland’s team responded with superb shooting from beyond the arc (9-16), led by Josh Shipp’s  21 pts (5-8 3FGs).    

More Conference Play.  

  •  #10 Marquette 96, Providence 67.  Wow, the Friars clearly didn’t make the trip to Milwaukee.
  • Depaul 84, #18 Villanova 76.   How do you figure the team with the worst nonconf record would beat 11-1 Nova?
  • #24 Arizona 76, Oregon St. 63.   Nic Wise played well again (17/6 assts) in place of injured Jerryd Bayless.
  • Notre Dame 69, West Virginia 56.  Jeez, the Big East is going to be wild this year, isn’t it?
  • Connecticut 98, Seton Hall 86.  Solid road win for the Huskies, but are they legit (10-2 v. the #291 ranked schedule so far)?
  • Ohio St. 74, Illinois 58.   The Assembly Hall mystique is over (3 home losses already this year).
  • Arizona St. 62, Oregon 54.   Why is Oregon so bad away from Eugene (2-4 this year).  
  • California 92, USC 82.   Mayo blew up for 34, but Cal’s balanced attack prevailed.

Other Ranked Teams.

  • #1 Memphis 102, Siena 58.  Memphis had three players with dub-dubs tonight (Dorsey, Dozier, Robinson).
  • #16 Vanderbilt 76, Rice 58.  Why isn’t Vandy getting more respect from the blogpollers?

Oh, Virginia!

  • Xavier 108, Virginia 70.  The Muskies appear to be rounding out nicely.  
  • Richmond 52, Virginia Tech 49.  A10 > ACC (on this night).  
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Blogpoll – Week 8

Posted by rtmsf on January 3rd, 2008

Once again, slackers that we are, we didn’t submit a blogpoll ballot this week. But several of our colleagues did, and here was their results.

2007-08 Blogpoll Week 8

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