1:00pm. Welcome back to another day of BGTD. There are only 2o games today, but there are five of particular interest that we’ll be tracking. Villanova @ Syracuse and Illinois @ Ohio St. at 1pm, Wisconsin at Michigan St. @ 3pm, Wake Forest @ Duke at 7:45pm, and Arizona at Arizona St. at 10pm. Pretty strong day. Let’s get it started in upstate NY…
1:02pm. Before we get going, we want to touch on this story from the LA Times yesterday that UCLA has stopped recruiting local 6’11 prep star Renardo Sidney even though by mid-last week the Bruins were still considered the front-runner. Certainly UCLA could use a big man with guard skills such as those that Sidney has, so what gives? Color us jaded, but all we could think of when we heard that UCLA so abruptly dropped Sidney was this story written by Gregg Doyel about a Pac-10 recruit who was charging $10k per on-campus visit a few years ago. Did Sidney finally give UCLA his price? Was there a package deal that Ben Howland wasn’t willing to stomach? Not surprisingly, USC (of OJ Mayo, Daniel Hackett and Reggie Bush) is now considered the leader. Let’s see what happens later today when Sidney announces his college choice at 4pm PDT.
1:13pm. Villanova looks fantastic thus far, with seven scores in eight possessions, including three threes from Dwayne Anderson. If you’re still reflecting on yesterda’s wild Saturday, here’s Andy Katz’s article focusing on how quickly things can change.
1:23pm. Nova is getting whatever it wants offensively, and the Syracuse crowd still looks asleep (the players aren’t much better). Uh-oh alert – Clemson is already down double-figures at Georgia Tech – remember the Tigers lost a road game last weekend at bottom-feeder Virginia.
1:45pm. Cuse is coming back here just before the half, now down 2, behind Devendorf, Rautins and Flynn. Clemson is also back in the game, after getting down by as much as 15 to Ga Tech. Illinois appears like they’ll hit their total from the Illini’s last game vs. OSU in the first half (up 26-24 with 2:30 left).
2:00pm. Nova goes into the half with a six-pt lead, 46-40. Neither one of these teams is playing much defense – both sides are shooting 55% from the field. The key difference is that Villanova has been able to get to the line eight more times than the home team. Clemson fought back to tie things up at Georgia Tech, and Xavier is ripping GW 36-20 at halftime.
2:05pm. Seth Davis just got on board the RTC train with the Duke Swoon at halftime of the Syracuse-Nova game, predicting that the Devils will be the highest ranked team to lose early next month. Not sure if Duke will lose tonight, but there are two things in Wake’s favor… 1) Duke will play man-to-man, which helps Wake penetrate to the rim; and 2) Wake has shown this year a propensity to take ranked teams seriously, home or away. The Deacs get into trouble when they’re playing teams they don’t respect.