NEWS, NOTES AND OTHER AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT INSIGHTS
-At this point in the year, Duke already appears to have enough high quality wins for a #1 seed. I realize that everyone starts out at zero, and it’s possible that Kentucky, Louisville, VCU, Minnesota and Ohio State will all end up with sub 500 records and outside of the RPI top 200, but it is highly unlikely. I’d be less surprised to see Centenary in the Final Four than I would to see all those teams outside the top 25 at the end of the year. Those are some serious big league wins that Duke has put together, and all but one of them came away from home. No one else even comes remotely close.
-So, Duke has the best profile, but as far as the singular best true road win?? I believe we saw that last night when Boise State went into Creighton and not only won, but won handily. They maintained about a ten point lead all throughout the second half, and whenever Creighton would go on a run and build up momentum, Boise would make a big play to stifle it. It was a very impressive showing for the Broncos. With their only loss being to Michigan State, which was another close game, Boise is DEFINITELY a team to watch. They’ve already earned some strong NCAA Tournament credentials.
-I was very hard on Georgia Tech in our last podcast, which was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I spent much of the Sunday after Thanksgiving driving, and because of that did not see that they had actually beaten Saint Mary’s that very day. It was a poorly timed and inaccurate assessment on my part. I’ve gotten so used to them being bad that I was not high on them coming into the year and just assumed they were bad again. I know they lost to Illinois last night, but they played very well. The final score was not indicative of how good of a game they gave the Illini, who is a good team, on their home floor. I’m not ready to say Georgia Tech is a lock for the NCAAs, but I am willing to retract my comment about how I believe them to be “Worse than awful” or “Less than nothing.”
-Miami, FL looked very good in their win against Michigan State. The Canes have a bad loss to Florida Gulf Coast, but right now I’m thinking that was more of a hiccup than anything else and that their team and profile will be looking pretty solid by the end of the year.
-MARQUETTE AT FLORIDA. Marquette is 5-1, but is still looking for their first real quality win. This would certainly give their profile a huge boost, but even if they don’t pick up the win tonight, the loss won’t hurt them and they’ll have many more opportunities. Florida, I believe, is playing as well as anyone in the country. An interesting note about both these teams is that both were scheduled to play on boats, but had to cancel due to the weather. You don’t see that in basketball very often.
-KENTUCKY AT NOTRE DAME. Notre Dame has a semi-decent win against BYU, but other than that they’ve been beating up on cupcakes. Kentucky looks very similar with a win against Maryland, but not really much else. It would probably be the best win of the season so far for whoever pulls this one out.
-SETON HALL AT LSU. I don’t believe either of these teams are all that strong, but at this moment in time Seton Hall is 5-1 and LSU is 4-0. So, I’ll continue to watch them until one or both goes in the tank. That could happen as soon as they begin playing real competition.
-SOUTH CAROLINA AT SAINT JOHN’S. Both teams have good records, but nothing that comes close to resembling a good win yet.
-MIDDLE TENNESSE STATE AT LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE (Sun Belt). Yes, this is a conference game. Middle is 4-1 on the year, and is good enough to be considered an at-large. In order to obtain the profile they need, they need to blow through the SBC.
-WESTERN KENTUCKY AT LOUISIANA MONROE (Sun Belt). WKU is 4-2, and although they don’t have any impressive wins yet, I do believe they have potential. If they fail to win tonight, my opinion on their potential will certainly change.
-LA SALLE AT RIDER. La Salle hasn’t been as impressive as I’d thought, but they’re still 3-1 and can pick up another road win today.
-HIGH POINT AT WESTERN MICHIGAN. Western Michigan is 4-1 and is worth keeping an eye on for now.
-TENNESSEE MARTIN AT MEMPHIS. Memphis has no good wins yet, and this certainly won’t count as one.
-SOUTHERN UTAH AT TCU. This probably is not worth getting overly excited about considering the teams they’ve beaten, but TCU can improve to 6-2 with a win.
-LEWIS & CLARK STATE (nondiv1) AT GONZAGA. No comment.
-TEXAS SAN ANTONIO AT OREGON. Oregon has a nice win against UNLV and can improve to 6-1 tonight. Compared to most of the rest of the Pac Twelve, they’re doing well.