NEWS AND NOTES
-For Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day between Wright State and Loyola Chicago – CLICK HERE
-A busy night last night with some noteworthy results that may have gone unnoticed. Saint Bonaventure picked up a really nice road win at Hofstra, which may not sound like a lot, but Hofstra is generally a very good team at home, and with just two losses Saint Bona may be a team to keep an eye on.
Chattanooga also overcame an early double digit deficit to come back and beat Marshall, who came into that game with just one loss. Chattanooga was at home so they won’t get a ton of credit for it, but it does indicate that they’re good enough to win out or come close to it, which is what they’ll have to do in order to impress the committee.
-Rhode Island didn’t have too much trouble at home against an Old Dominion team that isn’t great, but isn’t always the easiest team to beat either
-As for the spotlight games, Duke looked like Duke and although they didn’t blow out a very good Florida team, they didn’t exactly sweat them out either. They are not at full strength, and they still look like the nation’s best team. Just imagine when they get back to full strength.
-Villanova didn’t really sweat out La Salle either, but La Salle was competitive, and was even within four with less than two minutes to go. La Salle was a sub-200 team a year ago, and are easily a top 100 team this year. It’s a long shot, but they will have opportunities at good wins in the future. At 4-3 with some pretty decent showings so far they are a team to at least keep an eye on.
-Michigan got a nice win at home against a Texas team that has been struggling. It came down to the final seconds, and you got the sense that both teams kind of needed a win like this not so much for their paper, but for their momentum and morale. At 4-4 Texas still has a ton of opportunities ahead of them, but they do have quite a bit of ground to make up. It wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing game, but it was a close and exciting game.
-Ohio State followed up a very impressive recent showing at Virginia with a very unimpressive eye gouging performance last night at home against Florida Atlantic. They ended up losing in overtime in what has to be one of the biggest toe stubs of the year by a team that we actually think can make the Tournament. I know UConn lost to Wagner, but UConn no longer falls into the category of “teams that we think can make the tournament.”
-Both Minnesota and Illinois had to sweat out home buy games as well. Chances are we won’t be talking about either one of them for much longer.
-Notre Dame crushed Fort Wayne. They made the score look respectable in the final minutes, but for most of the game Notre Dame led by 20+ points. I was excited about this game and thought Fort Wayne would compete. I was wrong.
-GEORGE MASON AT PENN STATE. Both teams come in at 6-3 and I suppose it’s possible that one or both of them may have a pulse.
-BUFFALO AT PITTSBURGH. This is a buy game, but Buffalo should at least be able to compete so we’ll go ahead and highlight it.
-GEORGIA TECH AT VCU. VCU needs to come into this game with a sense of urgency. They’re 6-2, which isn’t terrible, but they don’t exactly have a huge margin for error right now either.
-BUTLER AT INDIANA STATE. This is a winnable road game for a Butler team that has looked very good so far this year.
-CALIFORNIA VS SETON HALL (Pearl Harbor Classic). This is a neutral floor win that both teams could really use, and would be their biggest win of the season to date.
-VALPARAISO AT KENTUCKY. We’ve been saying that we think Valpo is a fringe bubble team and that they have a chance to make the NCAAs even without the automatic bid. They’re way overmatched tonight, but if they somehow pull this off, they’ll no longer be a fringe bubble team. They’ll be a solid NCAA team.
-TCU AT SMU. TCU is a surprise team so far this year. They come in at 8-0 and have a chance to pick up a road win in a rivalry game against an SMU team that has looked good at times, but bad at other times. Most of the time this is just a ho-hum game despite it being a rivalry, but there is definitely a reason to turn in and watch tonight.
-CREIGHTON AT NEBRASKA. This is Creighton’s first true road game of the year, and they should be tested by a Nebraska team who has been competitive at times. Creighton has absolutely owned this series, though, and they’ve been very impressive so far this season.
-DAVIDSON AT NORTH CAROLINA. Davidson needs a big statement win in order for them to put together a tournament caliber resume. A win tonight would definitely qualify, but that’s far easier said than done.
-XAVIER AT COLORADO. Xavier is looking for their first true road win of the season, and Colorado is looking to add a quality win to their profile as well. Don’t be surprised to see both in the NCAA Tournament, and we could even see Xavier as a protected seed.
-SAN DIEGO STATE AT GRAND CANYON. Grand Canyon managed a win in this game last year, and are more than capable of pulling it off again this year. At 4-2, San Diego State really needs this road game. Both losses have come on the road, and their margin for error when it comes to building their NCAA profile is very small. GCU may not be a brand name, but it would be a decent win to have on their profile.
-WASHINGTON AT GONZAGA. IT’S BACK!!! These two met last year, but it was part of an exempt event. The two head coaches don’t like each other, and it’s quite a fascinating history that the two have, so that alone makes it an intriguing game. Gonzaga is clearly the superior team, and they’re at home, so it will take a tremendous effort from Washington to pull off the upset.
-Southern Illinois @ Louisville
-Western Carolina @ West Virginia
-Coppin State @ Akron
-Denver @ Texas A&M
-Idaho State @ Wisconsin
-Oral Roberts @ Oklahoma
-UTSA @ Texas Tech
-UMES @ Virginia Tech