Patrick Sellars is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 Conference.
Predicted Order of Finish:
Kansas State (10-6)
Texas A&M (8-8)
Oklahoma State (8-8)
Iowa State (7-9)
Texas Tech (4-12)
All Conference Team:
Sherron Collins (G), Kansas
Willie Warren (G) Oklahoma
Craig Brackins (F) Iowa State
Damion James (F), Texas
Cole Aldrich (C), Kansas
6th Man.James Anderson (G) Oklahoma State
Impact Newcomer. Xavier Henry (G), Kansas
What You Need to Know.
KU Dominance. Of the 13 years that the Big 12 has held a conference tournament, Kansas has won the crown six times, which is the most of any Big 12 school. Kansas has been deemed the regular season conference champion nine times in those 13 years, sharing the title in three of those times. Every time Kansas has shared the title the Jayhawks were the two-seed in the conference tournament.
Two At the Top. It’s very possible that Texas and Kansas could share the Big 12 title this season. Texas’ toughest conference games are Kansas (in Austin), then Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State on the road. The Longhorns seem to have the advantage over the Jayhawks when it comes to an easier conference schedule, but with KU bringing back all of its talent and adding one of the top freshman in the nation, I still believe that Kansas will stay atop the conference alone.
Where are the Tigers. Where do you rank the Missouri Tigers in the Big 12 this season? After being picked seventh by the coaches in last year’s preseason poll, the Tigers finished third and won the Big 12 Tournament en route to an Elite Eight appearance. Mike Anderson will continue to play his “Fastest Forty Minutes” style, and behind leadership from senior guard JT Tiller (Co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2009), and sophomore guard Kim English, it’s hard to determine where Mizzou will be at the end of the season. Anderson has put together a very athletic lineup, which should be able to play to his coaching style, but their lack of experience and a consistent scorer could hurt them.
X-Factor. Freshman phenom Xavier Henry could be the key to Kansas’ hopes of a second national title in just three seasons. A late decider, Henry could very well be one of the most productive freshmen in the NCAA this season. He is surrounded by unbelievable talent that will hog most of the attention from opposing defenses, which should open up many scoring opportunities for Henry.
Texas A&M (#9, South, Miami pod)
Vs. BYU (#8)
Thurs., 3/19 at 12:30 PM
Vegas Line: Texas A&M, +2
General Profile Location: College Station, TX Conference: Big 12, At-Large Coach: Mark Turgeon, 48-20 08-09 Record: 23-9, 9-7 Last 12 Games: 8-4 Best Win: Defeated Missouri, 96-86 on March 7th Worst Loss: Lost to Texas Tech, 88-83 in the Big 12 tournament on March 11th Off. Efficiency Rating: 112.2, 36th Def. Efficiency Rating:96.6, 79th
Nuts ‘n Bolts
Star Player(s): Josh Carter (14.1 PPG and 4.5 RPG) and Chinemelu Elonu (10.1 PPG on 66.7% FG and 7.4 RPG) Unsung Hero: Donald Sloan (11.7 PPG and 3.0 APG) Potential NBA Draft Pick(s): Elonu (54th in 2010). Carter is listed as late second round to undrafted in 2009 by ESPN. Key Injuries: None
Depth: 31.2% (158th nationally); percentage of minutes played by reserves Achilles Heel: Inconsistency. Their best win of the year was followed by their worst loss of the year (their most recent game) Will Make a Deep Run if…: They play under control like they did last year when they beat BYU in the first round. Will Make an Early Exit if…: They play impatiently and take bad shots.
Last Year Invited: 2008; lost to UCLA in the 2nd round (on a controversial play) Streak: 4th consecutive year Best NCAA Finish: Final 4 (1969) Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present): Not enough data (Minimum 8 bids during this period)
Six Degrees to Detroit: San Antonio Spurs GM R.C. Buford played basketball at Texas A&M. In 2005, his Spurs team defeated the Detroit Pistons in one of the ugliest NBA Finals series in recent years. Distance to First Round Site: 1,593 miles School’s Claim to Fame: Kyle Field (where the football team) is the home of the famed “12th Man” and has been consistently ranked as one of the top places to watch a football game even if the on-field product is not that great. School Wishes It Could Forget:Its hideous court design. Prediction: Repeat of last year. Beat BYU in the first round and then lose to a Final 4 team in the 2nd round although this time without the controversy. Major RTC stories:Pics of the Night
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Big 12 and MVC Conferences.
Kansas didn’t rebuild, they reloaded this season. After questions whether this team would be able to be as good as they were last season with basically only Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich, this new class has gelled together and Bill Self was able to prove that he is one of the best developers of talent in the nation and also the Big 12 Coach of the Year. As I said in my preseason predictions, Kansas could fly under the radar and by the end of the season have a seasoned team. I just didn’t think they would actually win the conference. Oklahoma has also had a great season, but the loss of Blake Griffin over two key games was the difference between winning the conference and finishing second. I’m sure a lot of people were surprised to see Missouri be as successful as they were this season. You just didn’t know if Mike Anderson had the guys he wanted to play high pressure defense. But probably the surprise for me is the performance of Texas. To be real honest, I am really surprised how many people feel so confident Texas is comfortably in the tournament after the inconsistencies this team has had this season. I had high expectations for them to win the Big 12, but the non-existence of a player to step up to play point guard has really hampered this team. But I’ll have more on Texas later. Kansas St., Texas A&M and Oklahoma St. all have realistic desires of making the NCAA Tournament.
We’re back for the final weekend of regular season Boom Goes the Dynamite for this college basketball season. The highlights of the weekend are obviously the two top 10 match-ups (in Pittsburgh on Saturday and in Chapel Hill on Sunday). We would love to provide you with another RTC Live from those site, but apparently we’re not big enough for them yet. (The onus is on you to spread the word.)
In any event, we’re going to make lemonade out of those lemons so we’ll be providing coverage from our bi-coastal offices covering all the action. Today is loaded with 15 of the top 25 playing with the other 10 playing on Sunday. We will be trying out best to provide you with wall-to-wall coverage of the top teams in action as well as RTC Live from several different locations:
In addition to our on-site correspondents we will be focusing in on a few key games for the majority of the day while also channel surfing over to the other games when the situation merits it. Here are the primary games that we will be covering today:
#1 UConn at #4 Pittsburgh at Noon on CBS
Michigan at Minnesota at Noon on ESPN and ESPN360.com
#25 Syracuse at #15 Marquette at 2 PM on ESPN360.com
#12 Missouri at Texas A&M at 2 PM on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com
California at #21 Arizona State at 2 PM on CBS
Oklahoma State at #5 Oklahoma at 3:30 PM on ABC
Texas at #9 Kansas at 4 PM on CBS
Washington State at #13 Washington at 5:30 PM on CBS
Wright State at #22 Butler at 7 PM on ESPNU
#6 Louisville at West Virginia at 9 PM on ESPN and ESPN360.com
As you can tell it’s a pretty ambitious schedule so we are asking you, our loyal legion of RTC followers, to help alert all of us if something interesting is happening. You can contribute by leaving a message in the comment section so we all can follow it.
11:30 PM: ESPN GameDay is live from Morgantown, WV and they’re doing their own version of Make Your Case. I feel a little bit like Bill Simmons after ESPN stole his Mount Rushmore, but they aren’t paying me a million dollars a year.
11:45 PM: A couple pieces of NCAA tournament news to wrap-up before we focus on our TV for the next 12 hours: Cornell became the first team to officially get into the tournament last night by winning the Ivy League title and 3 others will join them when the Atlantic Sun, Big South, and Ohio Valley have their championship games today.
Patrick Marshall of Bluejay Basketball is the RTC correspondent for the Missouri Valley and Big 12 Conferences.
Current Records and My Standings (Conference Standings) (Last Week)
Kansas (24-5)(13-1) (3)
Oklahoma (26-3)(12-2) (1)
Missouri (24-5) (11-3) (2)
Oklahoma St. (19-9) (8-6) (6)
Texas A&M (21-9) (7-7) (8)
Texas (19-9) (8-6) (5)
Kansas St. (20-9) (8-6)(4)
Nebraska (16-11) (6-8) (7)
Baylor (17-11) (5-9) (9)
Iowa St. (14-15) (3-11) (11)
Texas Tech (13-16) (3-11)(10)
Colorado (8-18) (1-13) (12)
There has been a lot of movement this week in the Big 12. With Blake Griffin out the Sooners looked vulnerable. Bill Self appears to be doing one heck of a coaching job this season as Kansas sits atop the Big 12 with wins over Oklahoma and Missouri this past week. As we head into the last week of the regular season, let’s sort of see where all the Big 12 teams are at this point.
When Rush the Court rushed the court.Providence 81, Pittsburgh 73. We’ll have a more thorough review of Providence’s huge upset of Pittsburgh in our recap of RTC IV early tomorrow morning, but we’ll talk about it here as well because it was the story of the night. Obviously we covered the action quite extensively in our RTC Live post of the game, but we have to say it’s a pretty amazing thing to be standing between a group of rabid fans and the court that they are about rush. We’d also like to point out that we were the only media members to stay there for the buzzer and the fans’ RTC. In fact, we ended up out there on the court to celebrate the moment with them (pictures to follow tomorrow). Whether it was the “Curse of #1″ (teams are now just 8-5 as the #1 team since UNC lost to Boston College) or the fact that the Friars and their fans were pumped up for Senior Night, but Providence dominated this game from the opening tip. (Ok, maybe not the tip, which DeJuan Blair won, but everything afterwards) The Friars jumped out to a 15-4 lead just 5 minutes into the game thanks to some hot shooting and some poor ball-handling by the Panthers. Providence led by double digits for most of the game as they were able to force the issue getting to the FT line 29 times compared to 15 for the Panthers, but Pitt showed some of their mettle by cutting the lead to 5 with 50 seconds left on a layup (and push-off) by Blair. The Friars hung tough though shrugging off their tendency to give away big leads this year and held on by hitting their free throws down the stretch. I’m not sure what the loss means for Pitt at this point except that the #1 overall seed is officially up for grabs, but it probably would have been anyway on March 7th when UConn travels to western Pennsylvania. Jamie Dixon’s squad was killed by turnovers and the free throw disparity. The Panthers had 18 turnovers overall with 5 coming from Blair, who had a better stat line (17 points and 8 rebounds in 30 minutes) than we thought from just watching the game. He even managed to play 30 minutes despite fouling out as he picked up his 3rd and 4th fouls in a 13-second stretch midway through the 2nd half. Pitt got a strong performance from Ashton Gibbs (15 points) off the bench and a solid one from Sam Young (16 points and 8 rebounds), but it wasn’t enough to overcome the turnovers and free throw disparity. For Providence, this game was huge. The win, which was their first over a #1 since they beat Michigan in 1976, puts them at 9-7 in the Big East with a strong chance at a 10-8 conference record (PC is at Rutgers and Villanova to finish the season). None of the Friars had an exceptional game but everyone on the team played well (Weyinmi Efejuku with 16, Sharaud Curry with 15, Jonathan Kale with 13, Geoff McDermott with 11, and Randall Hanke with 10). They also did a great job handling the ball (18 assists with just 9 turnovers) as well as pressuring Pittsburgh (forcing 18 turnovers while allowing just 12 assists) and holding their own on the glass against the #1 rebounding team in the country (-6 rebounding margin). For more on this game and the aftermath, check back in the morning for a complete post.
We Have a BCS Conference Regular Season Champ. LSU 81, Florida 75. Possibly the biggest question-mark team going into the NCAA Tournament is going to be this LSU Tiger team of Trent Johnson’s. Last season with largely the same group of players but a vastly inferior coach, LSU went 13-18. Currently LSU is 24-4 and 12-1 in the SEC, which makes them the regular season champions. The problem is that the SEC is so incredibly weak this season that it’s difficult to discern how good LSU actually might be. Their OOC schedule was pitiful, and they lost to every good team they played, but in watching this team this evening, they “looked” like a typically talented and athletic SEC team of any other year. But can they get past their weak conference to make a run in the NCAAs – that’s the difficult question to answer. Marcus Thornton had 32/5/5 assts in the winning effort. What about the Gators, now 8-5 in the SEC with an RPI still in the 40s? Nothing really impresses us about this team.
A Bubble Team You Probably Haven’t Considered. Texas A&M 57, Nebraska 55. At first glance, a game between two middling Big 12 teams wouldn’t arouse much interest, but a little closer analysis shows that this buzzer-beating shot by A&M’s Josh Carter to cap a huge comeback from down 18 pts may have put the Aggies back onto the bubble. Consider that A&M is now 6-7 in the Big 12, has two games against bottom-feeders Colorado and Iowa St. (+ Missouri) and has an RPI at #40. Their SOS is 33d, and they boast wins over LSU (looking better and better) as well as Arizona (also looking better and better). It says here that an 8-8 TAMU team gets in, which is why this shot was enormous. Nebraska, incidentally, is also 6-7, but their RPI and overall profile are significantly worse than A&M’s.
Some Other Games For Your Fat Tuesday.
Iowa St. 71, Baylor 62. How does a top-25 caliber team lose eight of its last nine games without any significant injury? The Bears really had almost no chance of an NCAA bid prior to tonight, but this loss to a bad ISU team was the coffin nailer.
Boston College 72, Florida St. 67. RTC considered going live at this bubbly game instead of Providence-Pitt. Glad we went with the game in Rhody, but BC probably guaranteed itself a bid with a minimum .500 record in the ACC after tonight. Tyrese Rice hit the dagger three with 20 seconds remaining to lock up the game for the Eagles.
Ohio St. 73, Penn St. 59. Jeremie Simmons came off the bench to hit four threes as OSU moved into a four-way tie for fourth in the Big Ten at 8-7.
Syracuse 87, St. John’s 58. Cuse dominated from start to finish, shooting 65% behind Jonny Flynn’s 21/8 assts.
Northern Iowa 69, Illinois St. 67 (2OT). UNI got an unlikely tip-in to keep the pace in the MVC with Creighton, who…
BYU 69, San Diego St. 59. BYU’s Jimmer Fredette dropped twenty of his 28 pts in the second half as the Cougars made a huge comeback (theme of the night) to get a key road win to stay one game off the Mountain West pace behind Utah.
Game of the Night #8 Syracuse at #12 Georgetown, 7:30 PM on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com: It’s hard to believe that these two powerhouses are only the 3rd and 4th highest ranked teams in their own conference. [Calm down ACC folks. I realize that you have 4 teams ranked ahead of Georgetown, but the ACC doesn’t even come close to the Big East in terms of depth. Look for the next ACC team in the top 25. There are none.] Looking at these teams, I still have a hard time believing that the Orangemen can compete with Pittsburgh, UConn, or Georgetown if all of those teams are playing up to their potential. However, Jim Boeheim has his team playing solid basketball and is one miracle 60-footer away from being undefeated (or at least being in OT to stay undefeated). Syracuse has been able to do this despite the distraction created by the suspension of Eric Devendorf for assaulting a female student as noted extensively here at RTC. Boehiem has been able to do this thanks to solid play from Jonny Flynn (seen below getting away with the most blatant charge that wasn’t called that you will ever see) and Devendorf (when not interacting with the co-eds) on the perimeter and Paul Harris and Arinze Onuaku on the inside. The embarrassingly weak early schedule (SOS: 56th in the nation) has certainly helped the Orangemen have a gaudy record.
Tonight the Orangemen will face their first true test against the Hoyas on the road. Unlike Syracuse, Georgetown has already faced a difficult schedule (SOS: #2 in the nation behind only 6-10 Oregon) including 3 brutal games in the Big East (road games at Connecticut and Notre Dame and at home against Pittsburgh). While the Hoyas lack the depth inside (or thugs according to JT2), they will have the most talented player on the court playing for them on the inside in Greg Monroe who has shown glimpses of brilliance this year. Having seen him in person at the Old Spice Classic over Thanksgiving Break, I can definitely see why he has NBA scouts drooling, but at times he appears too passive at times to dominate games. While neither Harris nor Onuaku can match Monroe’s talent, it will be interesting to see if he can match their intensity the entire game. The other key match-up will be how DaJuan Summers, Chris Wright, and Austin Freeman do against Flynn and Devendorf on the perimeter although I’m not sure how John Thompson III will utilize Summers if Boeheim opts for his patented 2-3 zone. I’m not sure what to make of his experiments with man-to-man, but I would venture that he will go with the more familiar now that he is finally playing some solid teams. I’m guessing that Georgetown has too much talent, the home court, and experience from playing actually competition to lose this game. Syracuse should be able to keep it close until the final 5 minutes when the Hoyas should pull away.
Others to Watch #2 Duke at Georgia Tech, 7 PM on ESPN and ESPN360.com: This has trap game written all over it. Duke just came off a win at FSU, which has shocked Duke several times this year, and the Blue Devils have a nationally televised showcase at Cameron against the aforementioned Hoyas on Saturday. Georgia Tech is mediocre enough (9-6) that the Blue Devils may overlook them, but just talented enough that they could shock Duke particularly since the game will be played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The key thing to watch here will be how the Yellow Jacket bigs–Gani Lawal (16.8 PPG and 10.0 RPG) and Alade Aminu (13.5 PPG and 9.4 RPG)–do since interior play will continue to be Duke’s Achilles’ heel (except when they go 3 for their first 27 from 3-point range). If Lawal and Aminu can dominate inside against Kyle Singler and Brian Zoubek, Paul Hewett just may be able to pull out the win.
#3 Wake Forest at Boston College, 9 PM on ESPN Full Court and ESPN360.com: RTC will be at this game (look for the male equivalent of Erin Andrews typing away on his keyboard) to bring you the latest scoop on Wake Forest, the most intriguing team in college basketball. Even after the Demon Deacons win at BYU to end the Cougars nation-leading 53 game home winning streak, there remained a healthy skepticism of Dino Gaudio‘s young squad. However, after they held off everyone’s national title favorite UNC people have really started to come around on this team (I don’t think their rise of 1-2 spots in the polls reflects the magnitude of the change in perception). On the other hand, Boston College may be the most confusing team in the nation. After pulling off one of the bigger upsets of the season (and ending the media’s speculation of an undefeated season for UNC), the Eagles followed it up with a loss at home against Harvard and then to Miami. While the loss to Miami (preseason #17) is excusable, the loss to the Crimson isn’t. Wake will try avoid a letdown similar to the one BC had by relying on Jeff Teague, James Johnson, and Al-Farouq Aminu. Teague will likely be guarded very closely after his explosion against UNC. Wake also hopes to get a big contribution out of Chas McFarland, who was last seen outsprinting Ty Lawson down the court for a crucial lay-up on Saturday. If the Eagles are going to rebound for their back-to-back defeats, they will need a huge game out Tyrese Rice along with solid contributions out of Joe Trapani and Corey Raji. Much like the Duke-Georgia Tech game, this is one to watch to see if the favorite is looking ahead to their next game, which is also a monster match-up for Wake (against undefeated Clemson).
#21 Baylor at Texas A&M, 9:30 PM on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com: A match-up of two lightly regarded teams with impressive records (13-2 and 14-2, respectively). These two teams are my pick to compete with Kansas for the #3 spot in the Big 12 this year. Baylor appears to have recovered from the Dave Bliss fiasco and comes into the game with a top 25 ranking. They have done this with their entire starting 5 averaging double figures, but the unquestioned leader of this team is Curtis Jerrells who will need to have a big game tonight to get a win on the road. Looking through their results so far, I’m having a hard time finding any good wins. A win at College Station would mean a big jump for the Bears in the eyes of the voters. I think a lot of people forget just how good Texas A&M was last year. They were one blown call against UCLA away from potentially forcing OT in the Sweet 16. The Aggies will rely on a balanced attack with Josh Carter, Donald Sloan, Bryan Davis, and Chinemelu Elonu to try and defend their home court.
#24 Michigan at Illinois, 8:30 PM on The Big Ten Network: It looks like a year after his program looked like it was going implode after the Eric Gordon recruiting disaster, Bruce Weber has his team headed in the right direction. Tonight he will try to avenge one of the Fighting Illini’s 2 losses (the other was by 2-points to undefeated Clemson). This should be a close game as the Wolverines won by 10 at Ann Arbor a little over a week ago. Outside of the big guys from each team (Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims for Michigan and Mike Davis and Demetri McCamey for Illinois), my player to watch tonight is Alex Legion, who has shown signs of becoming a big-time scorer since his mid-season addition to Illinois after his transfer from Kentucky.
This is going to be a brief update because we realize listing the scores is kind of useless since you’re already on the Internet. We’ll just give you a little commentary and offer some more thoughts in the morning.
- The big story of the night was Belmont’s nearly historic near-upset of Duke. The amazing thing is that Belmont didn’t even have a player going off or a great night from beyond the arc. That just shows you how vulnerable this Duke team is when it doesn’t hit the 3. They needed a great 2nd half and end-to-end layup by Gerald Henderson to escape with the win. We also have to question the decision-making by Belmont in the final 10 seconds. Given their distinct disadvantage athletically we thought the decision to come back after Henderson’s layup without taking a timeout a questionable one. Then when DeMarcus Nelson short-armed a FT, they ran a horrible in-bounds play. How does Belmont expect to get a jump-ball against Duke? We also wonder why Coach K didn’t put Brian Zoubek by the basket to prevent that type of play anyways.
- In the only legitimate upset of the day, #11 Kansas State knocked off #6 USC. Surprisingly, they did it without a huge game from Michael Beasley (by his standards). Instead, Beasley used a solid game from Bill Walker and an off-night from OJ Mayo to lead the Wildcats to the win and ruin my bracket. Yes, you’re looking at the sucker who thought USC would make a run to the Elite 8.
- In the only other interesting game of the evening/early night, Texas A&M beat BYU 67-62 behind 26 pts from Josh Carter. This marks the sixth straight opening-round loss for the Cougars. Let that be a lesson before you pick BYU again. Well unless they have Danny Ainge on the team again. . .
Game of the Day. BYU 78, #6 Louisville 76. Due to familial obligations, we didn’t get to see this game tonight, so chime in if you did, but the result here didn’t shock us. On Wed. night we caught a good portion of the Cards’ game with UNLV, and even though they ended up winning by 20, it was an ugly performance. BYU is significantly better than UNLV, and the tournament site of Las Vegas, while culturally a million miles away from Provo, is still familiar Mtn West country for the Cougars. So what happened? Well, BYU forward Jonathan Tavernari (29/7 with 5 threes) and center Trent Plaisted (21/12) essentially took over the game for the Cougs in the second half, accounting for all but six of BYU’s points. Louisville got twin dub-dubs from Derrick Caracter (24/11) and Terrence Williams, but the missing men tonight for the Cards were guards Andre McGee and Edgar Sosa (3 pts combined in 39 mins). UL just isn’t going to be the same team without some kind of inside presence besides Caracter. They need Palacios to come back healthy (at a minimum) if they expect to compete for a F4 berth this year. BYU, on the other hand, appears to be completely back from the nadir (9-21) it reached in 2005 – all credit to coach Bob Rose for their reconstruction to a legitimate MWC contender and national presence again. Oh, and this loss also ruined our most anticipated early-season matchup between Louisville and UNC – thanks for that, Brigham Youngsters.
Other Games We Saw. Texas A&M 70, Ohio St. 47. The most impressive win of the night was in the PNIT finals. TAMU put a defensive clinic on in the second half of this game to blow open a close halftime score (31-25) to a thirty-point evisceration with ten minutes remaining – the Aggies held OSU to only one FG in the first 11.5 mins of the second half! We haven’t seen a defensive shutdown against a quality opponent like that since Georgetown was willing itself into the F4 last year. If this is any indication of how A&M is going to play defense the rest of this year, then everyone (including us) has severly underrated Mark Turgeon’s team. Kosta Koufos, who on Wed. night looked fantastic against Syracuse, was held in check (10/5 on 4-16 FGs) and the whole Buckeye team shot a miserable 24% for the game. A&M was led by Derrick Roland (15 pts) off the bench, but the player who really caught our eye tonight was freshman center DeAndre Jordan (11/8). That beefy front line of Jordan, Josh Carter and Joseph Jones is going to present a lot of problems for people this year. Syracuse 91, Washington 85. In what was a pretty exciting game at times, the Syracuse freshmen showed up tonight to lead the Orange past Washington. Donte Greene had 25/10/4 assts/3 blks in an all-around showcase of skills, and Jonny Flynn got off the schneid with 16 pts in 21 minutes of play. For Washington, Quincy Pondexter had an array of nasty moves to get his 20/13, but poor D in the form of incessant fouling led to the Cuse taking 52 foul shots (v. UW’s 19 attempts). Washington had four players foul out of the game, but their rebounding advantage (+25) kept them in the game – UW nearly had as many offensive rebounds (24) as Syracuse had total rebounds (27). Guess this is how it’s going to go for Syracuse this season – when the freshmen play well, they win; when not, they don’t. As for Washington, we still can’t figure them out. We just have this sneaky feeling that they should always be a little better than they are.
#3 UNC 99, Old Dominion 82. Roy’s technicolor tie distracted us, but we found it interesting that ODU missed two layups at the end that would have covered the spread (in Vegas). Lawson’s speed was sick this game.
#7 Tennessee 74, West Virginia 72. Didn’t get to see this one, and sorry we missed it. It appears that Huggins’ guys took it right at UT’s softies, though.
#8 Washington St. 66, Montana 55. Taylor Rochestie led Wazzu with 17.
#9 Indiana 70, Illinois St. 57. E-Giddy with 31 in a nice win for the Hoosiers. DJ White only 4, though?
#13 Texas 102, New Mexico St. 87. Abrams and Augustin combine for 56.
Texas Tech 73, #15 Gonzaga 63. Didn’t see that one coming…
#17 Butler 84, Virginia Tech 78. If Butler wants respect, it needs to do better than barely beating an ACC bottom-feeder.
#18 S.Illinois 63, Mississippi St. 49. Paging SEC:TGTBTD, didn’t you guys predict 26-4 for MSU? You’ve got two left.
#19 Kansas St. 73, UCF 71. Ho-hum, Beastley with another 30/13.
#20 Pittsburgh 92, Buffalo 45. Pitt continues to roll early.
#25 Villanova 84, George Mason 76. Great game – GMU will be dealt with in the CAA this year, but the Nova guards were too much today.
Other Scores of Note.
Rider 82, Penn St. 73. Ugly loss for the Big 10 (Jason Thompson 21/10/3 blks).
NC State 63, South Carolina 61. NC State is not a good team, people.
Bradley 67, Iowa 56. Great MVC win v. a B10 team.
Florida St. 65, Florida 51. This was in Gainesville – looks like Billy D’s team got a wakeup call with their worst loss in 3 yrs.
Virginia 100, Penn 85. Another nice road win for UVa.
Vanderbilt 77, Utah St. 56. Vandy might be the second best team in the SEC
USC 57, Miami (OH) 53. USC looks bad again – Gibson with a mere 6 pts (Mayo w/ 21).
On Tap Today (all times EST). Mostly pigskin on the tube, but as always, there are a few jewels in the lineup.
Air Force (-1) v. Montana 4:30pm – solid mid-major matchup.
Tennessee (-5.5) v. Texas. this is a game worth watching – should be very uptempo.
California (-6) v. San Diego St. 6pm - necessary win for SDSU if it’s thinking at-large (eh, M2M?)
Wisconsin (-9) v. Georgia 6:30pm – odd non-tourney game between B10/SEC – could get ugly for Dennis Felton.
Pacific v. St. Louis (-6.5) 8pm – another solid mid-major contest.
Louisville (-9.5) v. Old Dominion 7:30pm. Based on what we saw tonight, ODU will beat Louisville unless the Cards play better than their previous two LV games.
Indiana (-2.5) v. Xavier 8:30pm. IU’s first real test of the year.
Vanderbilt (-4.5) v. Bradley 8:30pm. can Vandy keep it going so easily?
Oregon (-18.5) v. San Francisco (ESPN FC) 10pm – Oregon gets a chance to take out its St. Mary’s loss on another WCC team.
Nevada v. UNLV (-3) (ESPN FC) 10pm – intrastate rivalry!
UNC (-8) v. BYU 10:30pm – not the preferred matchup, but still a very good one.
Texas Tech v. Butler (-5) 12:30am. Butler could use this one in Alaska.