Highlighted Games and Notes for Thursday, Nov 27th

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PUPPET RAMBLINGS

-We said going into the week that at least one team that was way outside the national scene would jump on to it by doing well in an exempt tournament, and although we’re just one game into it, Butler appears to be that team.  They are currently not receiving votes in either poll, but suddenly have a decisive win away from home against a top five North Carolina team, and have another game today against a pretty good Oklahoma team.  If they can pick up just one more win, they’ll be in great shape.

-Arizona got a big win against a very good San Diego State team last night to win the Maui Invitational.  San Diego State is ranked #15, but I think they’re even better than that and will end up being ranked higher than that by the end of the year.  As good as everyone thinks this win is for Arizona, it’s probably going to end up being even better.  San Diego State isn’t going to lose many, and Arizona beat them on a neutral floor.

-Indiana fell to Eastern Washington the other night.  People are calling it an upset, and it is, but not to the degree it’s being made out to be.  Eastern Washington is one of the best teams, if not the best, in the Big Sky.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re able to go on the road and beat an Indiana team that most of us were expecting to miss the NIT.

-Northern Iowa has blasted through the Cancun Challenge, and knocked off Northwestern and Virginia Tech in the process.  Those aren’t upsets either.  In fact, had Northern Iowa lost either of those games, it would have been an upset.

-I make mention of this below, but it is important to remember that to the selection committee, all of these bracketed exempt tournament games are merely looked at as neutral floor games.  UCLA is playing North Carolina.  It’s in the loser’s bracket, but nothing on either team’s profile will indicate that they played each other in the loser’s bracket.  It is merely two teams that are currently ranked that are playing each other on a neutral floor.

-I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!  I’ll be eating KFC, drinking Wild Turkey, and watching college hoops all day!!  Who could ask for a better day!!

 

HIGHLIGHTED MATCH-UPS

-SANTA CLARA VS TENNESSEE (Orlando Classic).  I’m not sure what to make of this Tennessee team yet, but we’ll learn a lot about them in this tournament.

-BUTLER VS OKLAHOMA (Battle 4 Atlantis).  This is the match-up that most were expecting to see in the loser’s bracket.  Both teams managed big wins against ranked teams, and have a shot at another big win today.

-KANSAS VS RHODE ISLAND (Orlando Classic).  I like this Rhody team, and they come in unbeaten, but they’ve got a very tall order today.  Having said that, these are the kinds of wins that solidify teams as tournament teams.

-PRINCETON VS UTEP (Wooden Legacy).  UTEP comes in at 2-0, and if they can pick up three wins away from home in this tournament it will go a long way toward landing them inside the bubble.

-GEORGETOWN VS WISCONSIN (Battle 4 Atlantis).  Both teams are unbeaten and already have some notable wins on their profile.

-SAN DIEGO VS XAVIER (Wooden Legacy).  Xavier is unbeaten, and has looked impressive against Murray State and SFA, who are both pretty good.  This is their first game away from home, and it comes against a USD team with a lot of experience.

-ILLINOIS VS INDIANA STATE (Las Vegas Invitational).  Illinois is unbeaten, and Indiana State has just one loss.  We weren’t that big on Indiana State coming into the year, but if they can pull off a win in a game like this it will really boost their profile.

-MICHIGAN STATE VS RIDER (Orlando Classic).  Michigan State shouldn’t have too much trouble.

-NORTH CAROLINA VS UCLA (Battle 4 Atlantis).  You know you haven an intriguing tournament when you have two ranked teams going at it in the loser’s bracket.  The thing to remember is that to the selection committee, this is nothing more than a neutral site game.  The fact that it is occurring in the loser’s bracket of a tournament does not make it any less meaningful.  It’s the same as if they were meeting in a regular season game that was not part of a tournament.

-MARQUETTE VS GEORGIA TECH (Orlando Classic).  Marquette has looked pitiful this year.  Georgia Tech, on the other hand, comes in at 3-0.

-LONG BEACH STATE VS WESTERN MICHIGAN (Wooden Legacy).  Long Beach has played a killer schedule and comes in at 2-3.  We weren’t too excited about Western Michigan, but they do come in at 3-1 and if they can do well in this tournament and pick up some notable wins away from home they could start to stand out.

-FLORIDA VS UAB (Battle 4 Atlantis).  Florida lost a thriller to Georgetown, and UAB was squashed by Wisconsin in the first game.

-SAN JOSE STATE VS WASHINGTON (Wooden Legacy).  Washington comes in at 3-0.

-BAYLOR VS MEMPHIS (Las Vegas Invitational).  We weren’t that high on Baylor, but they do come into this 4-0.  Memphis is just 1-1 and hasn’t looked that great this year.

Under the Radar: Week 3, Nov 26th

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!

On this edition of Under the Radar, Chad and David look at some of the teams that they had high hopes for coming into the year that have been disappointing, such as SFA and Toledo.  They also look at some others that have surpassed expectations.  They go through their top ten this week, and preview the upcoming match-ups.

 

And for all of you radio lovers, here is an mp3 version of the audio below…

 

Highlighted Games for Wednesday, Nov 26th

-NORTH CAROLINA V BUTLER (Battle 4 Atlantis).  Both teams come into this 3-0 and although UNC is highly ranked, neither have really been tested yet.  Butler has come out of nowhere and done well in exempt tournaments before, and that fact alone has me interested in this one tomorrow.

-DENVER AT BELMONT.  I don’t think either team is likely to end up inside the bubble, but both are expected to do well in their conferences and they each come in with just one loss.

-NORTHEASTERN AT UMASS (Hall of Fame Tip-Off).  Northeastern has already managed a win at Florida State.  If they can pick up another one it’ll go a long way toward them not needing to win their conference tournament to make the NCAAs.

-OKLAHOMA V UCLA (Battle 4 Atlantis).  Oklahoma blew a big lead at Creighton in their only loss, but they’ll have several chances at notable wins in this tournament, as will UCLA, who comes in unbeaten.

-COASTAL CAROLINA V UL MONROE (Battle 4 Atlantis, non-bracketed).  Both these teams enter with just one loss, and Monroe’s was a close game at Florida.  Coastal is expected to win the Big South, so it should be an interesting game.  I don’t expect either to end up inside the bubble, but they’ll both remain on our radar if they keep winning.

-PURDUE V BYU (Maui Invitational).  Both teams have just one loss, and although I expect Purdue to taper off, BYU is a quality team and if they can pick up this win away from home it would be an early season statement win.

-SAN FRANCISCO V EVANSVILLE (Cancun Challenge).  Both teams have just one loss and could use another win away from home.

-UAB V WISCONSIN (Battle 4 Atlantis).  UAB has not looked good at all this year, and they’re probably in way over their heads against a Final Four caliber team.

-DELAWARE STATE AT IONA.  No real solid wins for Iona yet, but a win does get them to 4-1.

-DAVIDSON AT UCF.  Not expecting much out of either team, but Davidson has just one loss and UCF is currently unbeaten.

-RICHMOND AT NC STATE.  NC State comes in at 4-0, and Richmond has just one loss.  Neither has been strongly tested yet, though.

-SAINT JOHN’S V MINNESOTA (Preseason NIT).  The Johnnies are unbeaten, but really haven’t looked that good.  Minney has won three in a row since losing their opener to Louisville, but this is probably their toughest test since the Louisville game.

-KANSAS STATE V PITTSBURGH.  Both teams looked better than I thought they would yesterday despite the fact that both lost.  It should turn out to be a notable win on a neutral floor for whoever pulls it out.

-FGCU VS GREEN BAY (Gulf Coast Showcase).  We didn’t think much of this tournament, but it has given us some exciting games, and we have another one tonight between two teams that could end up inside the bubble.  Seeing as how both have limited opportunities at statement wins, this is really important for both teams.

-GONZAGA V GEORGIA (Preseason NIT).  Gonzaga has looked awesome this year, but this is their first true road test.  Georgia has won three straight since dropping the opener at Georgia Tech.  They’re likely way overmatched, but it would be a huge statement win if they pulled off the upset.

-GEORGETOWN V FLORIDA (Battle 4 Atlantis).  Both these teams should end up way inside the bubble, so it would be a quality win away from home for whoever pulls it off.

-NORTHWESTERN V NORTHERN IOWA (Cancun Challenge).  Both teams come into this 5-0, and Northern Iowa already has a few noticeable wins.  Not many people are excited about Northwestern and no one they’ve played is anywhere close to as good as we think Northern Iowa is, but a win today could really give them some much needed momentum.

-RADFORD V TCU (Corpus Christi Coastal Classic).  TCU doesn’t appear to be that good, but they do come in 4-0 and it’ll be interesting to see what they do against our preseason pick to win the Big South.

-ARIZONA V SAN DIEGO STATE (Maui Invitational).  Both teams come in unbeaten, and both teams already have some big wins on their profiles.  This one should be fun.  It usually is whenever these two get together.

-TULSA V OKLAHOMA STATE (MGM Grand Main Event).  I wouldn’t call this a rivalry, but it is usually an intriguing match up when they get together.  This edition of this series will be played in Las Vegas, and Okie State is looking to improve to 5-0.

-MISSOURI STATE V COLORADO STATE (Great Alaska Shootout).  I’m not too terribly excited about either team, but Missouri State has just one loss and Colorado State is 3-0.  This tournament is a chance for both teams to coninue to build up momentum.

-FURMAN AT DUKE.  Buy game

-CLEVELAND STATE AT LOUISVILLE.  Buy game.

-CAMPBELL AT OHIO STATE.  Buy game.

-GRAMBLING STATE AT NOTRE DAME.  Buy game.

-LONGWOOD AT GEORGE WASHINGTON.  Buy game, and a win gets GW to 3-1.

-VMI AT WEST VIRGINIA.  Buy game

-UTPA AT UTAH.  Buy game, but UTPA is unbeaten.

-NORTHERN ILLINOIS AT IOWA.  A buy game, but Northern Illinois is much improved (albeit that’s not saying much) and comes in unbeaten.

-STETSON AT WYOMING.  Wyoming is 4-0, and that includes a decisive win against Front Range rival Colorado.

-NKU AT EASTERN WASHINGTON.  Eastern Washington is coming off their big win at Indiana, and can improve to 5-1 today.

-CAL POLY AT CALIFORNIA.  Buy game.

Highlighted Games for Tuesday: Nov 25th

-PURDUE V MISSOURI (Maui Invitational).  You get the sense that both of these teams are going nowhere fast, and that whoever loses this game will get there sooner.

-WESTERN CAROLINA V GEORGIA STATE (Hall of Fame Classic).  It’s always going to be the same story for Georgia State.  They simply cannot lose to non-tournament teams.

-BYU V CHAMINADE (nondiv1) (Maui Invitational).  BYU is coming off an exciting overtime loss to San Diego State.  The loss was rather costly.  It cost them a chance at a big win, it cost them a shot at another quality opponent today, and instead matches them up against Chaminade, who they will get absolutely no credit for playing and beating.

-EVANSVILLE V GREEN BAY (Gulf Coast Showcase).  We feel that both teams are good enough to make the NCAA Tournament, and both have limited chances at quality wins, so this is a hugely important game tonight.

-NORTHERN IOWA V VIRGINIA TECH (Cancun Challenge).  If Northern Iowa wins this, people will probably think it’s an upset.  The reality is the opposite is true.  Furthermore, Northern Iowa is the tournament caliber team and a loss would be potentially damaging to their profile.

-HOUSTON AT HARVARD.  We really like this Harvard team, and weren’t too big on Houston but they come unbeaten and already have a quality road win on their profile against Murray State.  If they get this win, then we’ll REALLY start paying attention.

-SAINT FRANCIS COLLEGE AT LA SALLE.  Saint Francis College is the preseason favorite (albeit not ours) to win the NEC, but they have yet to win a game.  La Salle, on the other hand, comes in at 3-0.

-DETROIT V TOLEDO (Legends Classic).  We still really like this Toledo team, but their margin for error is very thin.  They needed a notable win, and so far they’ve lost to both Oregon and VCU.

-ALABAMA VS ARIZONA STATE (Hall of Fame Classic).  Both teams are coming off losses in games where they played fairly well.  Both could use a notable win away from home to help out their resumes.

-KANSAS STATE AT ARIZONA (Maui Invitational).  Arizona has looked vastly superior to K State, but for the Wildcats it’s a chance to pick up one of the most impressive wins they’ll be able to manage all year.

-VCU V OREGON (Legends Classic).  Oregon has looked better than what I thought they would.  If they could pick up a win here, it would be a statement to the selection committee.

-ARKANSAS AT SMU.  Arkansas has started off 3-0 and SMU has been a bit of a disappointment.  Even though it’s early, this game has a pivotal feel for both teams.

-AKRON V PENN STATE (Charleston Classic).  Both teams have just one loss, and for a team like Akron, they need notable wins away from home.

-SAN FRANCISCO AT FGCU.  Both teams come in unbeaten, and FGCU has looked particularly impressive.  I keep saying that March Starts in November, and both of these teams are impressive out of the gate.

-MIAMI FL AT CHARLOTTE.  These two met just a few days ago and Miami won big, and it’s Charlotte’s only loss of the year.  This game is technically an unbracketed game of the Charleston Classic so each team could get the four games in they’re allowed to play for being in an exempt tournament.

-IDAHO AT BOISE STATE.  This is a rivalry, but it appears to be a rather lopsided one this year.  Boise is coming off a decisive loss to Wisconsin, but other than that they’ve looked pretty good.

-AIR FORCE AT COLORADO (Front Range).  Colorado lost their first Front Range game in very ugly fashion as they went into Wyoming, showed up, and then didn’t show up, especially in the second half.  They’re at home tonight, but Air Force is a tricky team and they need to be on upset alert again.

-MARYLAND V IOWA STATE (Hall of Fame Classic).  Both teams enter this game unbeaten, and Iowa State has looked particularly good this year.  Not too many people are excited about Maryland, but a win tonight could change a lot of minds.

-NORTHWESTERN V MIAMI OH (Cancun Challenge).  We mention this only because Northwestern is unbeaten at 4-0.

-VILLANOVA V MICHIGAN (Legends Classic).  Both teams come in ranked and unbeaten.  Nova looked unbelievably impressive in their win against VCU last night.

-PITTSBURGH V SAN DIEGO STATE (Maui Invitational).  Pitt hasn’t looked good at all this season, but on paper they have just one loss and can pick up a season changing win tonight.

-TEXAS ARLINGTON AT KENTUCKY.  Buy game.  Kentucky should remain unbeaten.

-TENNESSEE STATE AT VIRGINIA.  Buy game

-NCCU AT CINCINNATI.  Buy game.  No one is big on Cincinnati, but in November no one ever is.  A win gets them to 4-0.

-LOYOLA MD AT SYRACUSE.  Buy game.

-SAINT FRANCIS U AT TEXAS.  Buy game

-EASTERN ILLINOIS AT CREIGHTON (Emerald Coast Classic).  This technically isn’t a buy game, but it feels like one.

-OMAHA AT NEBRASKA.  It’s a buy game, but it’s an interesting one.

-NORFOLK STATE AT VANDERBILT.  Buy game.  Vandy is unbeaten, and Norfolk is likely one of the better teams in the MEAC.

-DELAWARE AT STANFORD.  Buy game

Highlighted Games for Monday, Nov 24th

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-VILLANOVA VS VCU (Legends Classic).  These are two teams that are ranked in the top 15 that may be underrated.  It should be a good one as both look to pick up a high caliber quality win away from home.

-EAST CAROLINA VS GREEN BAY (Gulf Coast Showcase).  Green Bay is a good team that cannot afford many losses because their conference doesn’t offer any opportunities at big wins.

-PURDUE VS KANSAS STATE (Maui Invitational).  K State lost to a pretty good looking Long Beach State team last week, and Purdue hasn’t lost yet.  Still a lot of question marks for both these teams, and how they do in this tournament should answer a lot of those.

-EVANSVILLE VS FRESNO STATE (Gulf Coast Showcase).  Evansville is a team we liked to be a surprise this year, and they’re unbeaten so far.

-CLEMSON VS LSU (Paradise Jam).  Both these teams are off to a very rough start, and you get the sense that despite it being November, this is a pivotal game.

-GEORGIA STATE VS CHICAGO STATE (Hall of Fame Classic).  Georgia State is a team we really liked that is off to a rather disappointing start.  They cannot afford to stub their toes in this one.

-MISSOURI VS ARIZONA (Maui Invitational).  Mizzou hasn’t looked that strong this year, and Arizona has looked fantastic.  The former will struggle to make the NCAAs, and the latter is a possible #1 seed caliber team.

-MARIST VS FGCU (Gulf Coast Showcase).  FGCU is having a great year and is looking to remain unbeaten.

-GARDNER WEBB VS OLD DOMINION (Paradise Jam).  Old Dominion had looked really good this season, but were surprisingly pummeled by an Illinois State team that seemingly came out of nowhere.  Still, to finish third is a good result for them.

-SANTA CLARA VS MICHIGAN STATE (Orlando Classic).  Michigan State may need to be on upset alert.  They haven’t looked as good as what we’re used to seeing, and Santa Clara may be better than what people realize.

-ARIZONA STATE VS MARYLAND (Hall of Fame Classic).  Both teams come in unbeaten, and this is perhaps the biggest test for each so far.

-MURRAY STATE AT XAVIER.  Xavier has looked pretty good so far, and beat SFA rather handily in their last game.  Murray has been inconsistent.  They appear to be a good team, but this is one of their few chances at a high caliber win.

-EASTERN WASHINGTON AT INDIANA.  This one could get fun.  It’s technically a buy game, but Eastern Washington is perhaps the best team in the Big Sky, and it’ll be interesting to see what they can do against an unbeaten IU team.  Despite all their off the court trouble, Indiana is unbeaten and has a pretty impressive win over SMU.

-SFA AT BAYLOR.  SFA has had two chances at notable wins and missed them both.  They really need to pick up a win like this if they want to be in the discussion for an at-large.

-BUCKNELL VS TOLEDO (Legends Classic).  Toledo fell on the road at Oregon, and simply cannot afford to lose to teams that don’t appear to be tournament teams.

-HAWAII VS SAN FRANCISCO. (Gulf Coast Showcase).  Neither team appears to be that strong, but both come into this game with good records, so they’re off to a good start.

-OREGON STATE VS OKLAHOMA STATE (MGM Grand Main Event).  Both teams are unbeaten, so it’s a good test for both.

-OREGON VS MICHIGAN (Legends Classic).  Both teams are unbeaten.  I wasn’t that big on Oregon, but they have won some games against decent competition, albeit at home.  Michigan should be good this year, but they haven’t looked dominant in their early games like you would expect.

-BYU VS SAN DIEGO STATE (Maui Invitational).  It’ll be fun watching these formal conference rivals square off in a big test early.  San Diego State has already played and beaten some good teams, and this is BYU’s biggest test yet.  Furthermore, the winner advances to the winners bracket in Maui, which will provide them more opportunities at big wins.  You kind of get the feeling that BYU needs it more since they don’t have quite as many opportunities as San Diego State.

-SETON HALL VS ILLINOIS STATE (Paradise Jam).  I can’t say that I expected to see either team in the finals, but both have looked good and won impressively in the semifinals.

-ALABAMA VS IOWA STATE (Hall of Fame Classic).  Both teams come in unbeaten.  Iowa State has looked a lot better and beat a pretty good Georgia State team, but this is a chance for Alabama to pick up a big win and make a huge statement.

-AUBURN VS TULSA (MGM Grand Main Event).  Both teams could really use a big early season win away from home.

-NJIT AT MARQUETTE.  Marquette needs to rebound from a surprising loss to Omaha against our adopted team this year.

-PEPPERDINE AT IOWA.  It’s a buy game, but one of these teams is unbeaten and it isn’t Iowa.

-WESTERN MICHIGAN AT SAN DIEGO.  Western Michigan comes in unbeaten, and San Diego has a lot of experience and could be a force in the West Coast Conference.

-SAVANNAH STATE AT LOUISVILLE.  Buy game

-RIDER AT KANSAS.  Buy game

-BROWN AT ILLINOIS.  Buy game

 

 

Bracket Racket – Nov 24 2014

HHDpodsJoin us on this week’s episode of the Bracket Racket, as we recap this past week’s games, including evaluations of Texas, Florida, and other teams who had various levels of success. We also talk about the announcements from the committee about new developments in the way they do business, including a potential preview of the seed list patterned after the college football committee. We finish up by previewing some of this week’s games.