Buffet v Experts
Mo’ of Momo
A wealth of auto bidding
Top Seeded Carnage
Scanning the scene
Killer Top Seeds
An extra day of conference tourneys…
That’s right, no burying the lead, pleased to announce that come Selection Sunday, your favorite OLOGY of all, the Buffetology, will be listed alongside some of the best and brightest in the country and some not as much so (no names here)…. Over BracketMatrix.com, with Lunardi, Palm, fellow HoopsHD colleague Crimson Cast, and whole host of bracker projectors. Just to note, their webmaster, Brian from the BracketProject, does an awesome job and hope the entire Readership will visit frequently leading up to Sunday, and certainly to see where your humble Buffet stacks against the world from selection day.
Now that the self-news business is dispensed, let’s get you to the world of basketball… Again, sometimes the 7-to-7 wins, so although this was finished last night, we like to deliver same day. Just hadn’t had time to get it up and out.
2013 BIG EAST MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS
March 12-16, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
For one last time, we need y’all to roaR. Here it is. The last time as we know it. The battle royal in the Garden. Emotions should be high. With at least 1 true Waiting Line… team (Villanova), one plummeting team (Cincinnati) looking to join them in Line. A three-way tie for the regular season crown. One team who would be squarely be in the thick of things who athletes stopped going to class. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STUDENT IN STUDENT ATHLETE. And who knows, maybe Jim Boeheim will go bonkers on someone this week. In S-Curve order, lets take a look where each team stands, and yes, we’ll make a prediction, but we’ll bury in a preview, so you’ll have to read.
Louisville. Currently hanging out at #1, they got a big boost this weekend about the security of that spot with Kansas’ loss and the ball not dropping into the hoop in Ann Arbor. Which leads the Buffet to believe, if they advance to the tournament final, and lose to someone other than Georgetown, they could be safe (this assumes they don’t drop their opener to Saint John’s, and if Michigan or Michigan St runs through the B10, all bets are off). But provided they get to the Big East final, Indianapolis in round 1 as a #1 seed should be in their future.
Georgetown. The top seed in the tournament, the best player, by far, in the Big East, this team is knocking on the door for a #1, and loudly. If they win in MSG this weekend, you can going ahead an mark it down. Winning the Carrier Dome, at Notre Dame, UConn and Cincinnati, taking out UCLA on a neutral court – you can quibble with their entire roster of non-conference wins (Tennessee, UCLA, and full stop). But the basketball they’re playing, has them a Big East title away from a #1 seed.
Marquette. The forgotten member of the 3-team conference share. The thing holding Marquette down is a lack of really good non-conference wins. A chip on their shoulder run would not surprise. The thing is, that’s probably the only thing that raises higher than the 3 seed they found themselves at in the latest Buffetology
Notre Dame. What a typical Mike Brey team. No bad losses, and thrilling win over Louisville, a couple non-conference wins that gets some portion of your attention (Kentucky, BYU), but most of what props them up, is again, being such a tough team during the Big East slate. A 7 seed on the latest Buffetology, they are a team that can use the tournament to their advantage. Beat Marquette, and we’d probably get them on the 6 line. Marquette and Louisville, a 5 is possible, win the tournament, and suddenly you could be thinking 4.
Syracuse. James Southerland was supposed to solve all the woes, right? And, also, instead of blasting at reporters after losses, should JB just make sure his students finish their coursework, so he’d stop having to academically disqualify players for a portion of the season? Southerland came back, and all hailed it as the return to form for the Orange, but the form was losing 5 of their next 8, all 5 to tournament teams, so not bad losses, but seed repressing losses, no doubt. We had them as a 5, but they are an iffy 5, as the teams on the 2 lines below them are ready to pounce if Syracuse doesn’t use this weekend to right their ship.
Connecticut. Moving right along…
Villanova. With the lone exception of Providence, who has been hovering on some people bubbles (we are the only one with a Waiting Line…), this the only true Waiting Line… team, they’ve been gaining ground, especially on Cincinnati, but there are just two bad losses that keep Villanova down, even if ultimately, the Buffet sees them getting in, fairly safely, as 10 now, even losing to Saint John’s, LAVIN!, shouldn’t do much more than shovel them down to 11, and provided Wyoming or someone other than Memphis, or, and I this isn’t far-fetched, given their recent history, some random SEC team – Villanova can make plans for next week. Buffet advice: don’t lose in that first round of the Big East tournament, keep out of the committee’s hands, and get yourself the plate, don’t wait for the invitation.
Cincinnati. Below Villanova in the standings, and a late season spiral as Cashmere Wright only missed one game, but hasn’t looked himself until just recently. Cincinnati could use the tournament this weekend to regain the form of the team that won at Pittsburgh, beat Xavier, Iowa St and Oregon on a neutral court, and took care of Marquette, Villanova, Connecticut, and Alabama at home. What is really keeping them up a bit is many of the teams in that list are in their same teams in the same mix. Cincy is safe, but we’d, at a minimum, not lose to Providence (who needs this weekend to get in Line…), just to not have to scoreboard watch the Memphis, SEC & Pac12 Buffet eaters of the world.
Providence. This team is probably not going to have a shot, 4 pretty ugly losses (@Brown, @Boston College, on a neutral court vs. Penn St before they got feisty at the end of the year, and the cherry on top – losing to DePaul at home), but they did have a solid Feb/March, with wins at Villanova, and at home against both Notre Dame & Cincy, but they will be explaining those 4 losses unless they are able to distract their way to the Big East final. Quick shoutout to Bryce Cotton, first team all-Big East, who presumably is a straight chiller now, did the reverse Malaier, going from Tucson to Providence…
Best Non-Conference win: (tie)
Louisville at Memphis, 87-78
2013 Big East Conference Player of the Year: Otto Porter, Jr., Georgetown
2013 Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year: Gorgui Deng, Louisville
2013 Big East Conference Freshman of the Year: JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s
2013 Big East Conference Sixth Man of the Year: Davonte Gardner, Marquette
2013 Big East Conference Coach of the Year: John Thompson III, Georgetown
2012-13 Big East Conference First Team:
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, G, Jr., 6-1, 171, Roxbury, Mass.
Otto Porter, Jr., Georgetown, F, So., 6-8, 205, Sikeston, Mo.
Gorgui Dieng, Louisville, C, Jr., 6-11, 245, Kebemer, Senegal
Russ Smith, Louisville, G, Jr., 6-0, 165, Briarwood, N.Y.
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame, F, Sr., 6-9, 246, Glenview, Ill.
Bryce Cotton, Providence, G, Jr., 6-1, 165, Tucson, Ariz.
Big East Conference 2013 Jack Leasure Madbomber Award Candidate:
Shabazz Napier, Connecticut, 68/171, 28 games, 2.4/gm, 40%
Big East Conference Gregory Douglas Ott Award Candidate:
James Robinson, Pittsburgh, 3.1 A/TO
2012 PHILLIPS 66 BIG 12 MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
March 13-16, Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
The conference that keeps using roman numerals, presumably to make us believe they can count. But, folks, XII does not equal 12 either. A down year, with some strength at the top… two true Waiting Line… teams, a potential 1-seed… let’s see what’s going down in Kansas City.
Kansas. They shook off their little midseason swoon, or so we thought, we on an express train for a #1, and then no-showed in Waco, and suddenly they are still in #1 orbit, but would need to really impress, and have Georgetown, Louisville and Indiana all no show to a certain extent. They are pretty locked into a 2, but that TCU could haunt if they win the B12 and Indiana, Louisville and Georgetown fail to win the tournament, we shall see. Kansas is a 2, win the Big XII tournament and we will give a long look at a 1.
Oklahoma State. Man, Marcus Smart is fun to watch. A road win at Kansas, neutral court wins over NC State, Akron and Tennessee, this is a strong profile while only one true speed bump and a big of trouble away from home, 5-5, with their one bad losses coming on the road. They sit as a 4, a 3 is probably only happening with a conference championship, but they could stay put, since Baylor at this point is not a bad loss.
Kansas State. What a ride – Bruce Weber sure knows how to coach other people’s players, huh? That sounds like a knock, but it really isn’t meant as one. Rick Barnes, for instance, cannot coach his own players, no matter how well he recruits. An impressive 6 game win streak and 10 of 11 overall, with nice road efforts (if you ignore that Kansas game when the Jayhawks needed to reassert themselves), helped them to a share of the B12 title, a great non-conference home win over Florida, and zero losses to anyone out of the top 50, and Kansas State has a slightly light profile that is sneaky good. They sit as a four, but a run to the final followed by a competitive loss to KU in a B12 final, we wouldn’t put a 3 out of sights even without a B12 tournament win. Stay tuned.
Oklahoma. Yes, they are in a bit of a free fall, losing to Texas (even though Myck Kabongo was back) and to TCU to close the season, really started to expose them, and made us take a quick look at a resume that only features non conference wins over Northwestern State, Texas A&M and UTEP. Don’t get us wrong, they are in, but this myth of a top 8 seed, is just that. Now, the tournament could be time to reestablish their footing, but Iowa St NEEDS that game, and Kansas hasn’t forgotten their midseason loss (admittedly, the win that makes the Sooners a virtual lock) – sitting at an 11, that’s dangerously close to to first four territory. If we were the Sooner, and why would we be? We’d beat Iowa St, let them miss the tournament, otherwise the Sooners would have no one to blame but themselves when playing in the NIT.
Baylor. This was a Waiting Line… at best, until that Kansas win, now you look at beating Kentucky, at full strength, in Lexington, and adding Kansas and Oklahoma St to that, suddenly, it seems like Baylor is inching close to the front of Line… There are some bad losses (College of Charleston, Northwestern, and for resume purposes, @Texas, but Texas with Myck Kabongo isn’t the same loss as say, North Carolina’s to them in December). For now, we see Baylor is in, but they need a run to be safe, otherwise, they will be Seth Greenberg and Saint Mary’s this weekend, praying for a lack of non-Waiting Line… conference champions.
Iowa State. Rarely does a team clear of two games of another team rank lower in the Buffet’s estimation. And they DID sweep Baylor, but wow, Iowa State sure did NOTHING out of conference. They missed twice (although, one may argue the refs missed once and they missed once) at a chance to include a Kansas win on their resume. But BYU and Florida Gulf Coast as your best wins? You need more than that. A potential Waiting Line… elimination awaits in round 1 (2?) versus Oklahoma, given that it’s hard to tell a team that has had a successful season they have to beat the top seed and potential NCAA tournament #1 seed to get in, but, at a minimum, they need to beat OU and then we can revisit things on the morning of the 15th, to see where we stand…
Texas. No. Just no. But, maybe it’s the homer in your editor, but also there is no doubt Texas is a Waiting Line… team with Myck Kabongo and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them in the semis following a win over Kansas State. Equally unshocking? A loss to TCU in the first round.
Best Non-Conference win: Kansas State versus Florida 67-61
2013 Big XII Player of the Year: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
2013 Big XII Defensive Player of the Year: Jeff Withey, Kansas
2013 Big XII Newcomer of the Year: Will Clyburn, Iowa State
2013 Big XII Freshman of the Year: Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
2013 Big XII Sixth Man Award: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State
2013 Big XII Coach of the Year: Bruce Weber, Kansas State
2012-13 Big XII First Team:
Ben McLemore, Kansas
Jeff Withey, Kansas
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
Romero Osby, Oklahoma
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Big XII Jack Leasure Madbomber Award Candidate:
Tyrus McGee, Iowa State, 87/185, 31 games, 2.81/gm, 47%
Pierre Jackson, Baylor, 75/210, 30 games, 2.5/gm, 36%
Big XII Gregory Douglas Ott Award Candidate:
Sam Grooms, Oklahoma, 2.61 A/TO
In the interest of time, the Buffet’s, yes, but also, yours, the Readership’s, we will give a fly by over the next 3 conferences. SWAC, Southland and CUSA, discussing the tournament favorites, briefly, and giving you their postseason Award winner, before Scanning the Scene, and closing the Buffet for today…
50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE: DESTINATION: KATY
SOUTHLAND BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
March 13-16, Merrell Center, Katy, Texas
Your tourney favorite and league’s top team is Stephen F Austin, a 16-2 conference record, and only 3 losses overall, they split the season series with #2 seed Northwestern State, and won an impressive game at Oklahoma. And really other than their 2 games with the Demons, never struggled in conference. They should see the tournament final, so too should NW State. Tournament darlings a few years back with their thrilling win over Iowa, they tried, but couldn’t quite get the job done in Norman (losing 69-65) but hold a nice home win over Louisiana Tech, we would all be fortunate to see this final.
If not them, who? Central Arkansas comes in on a five game winning streak, with a nice 2 point win over the other Who? Candidate Oral Roberts, who makes the list by virtue of their win over Northwestern State midseason.
Best Non-Conference win: Stephen F. Austin at Oklahoma 56-55.
2013 Southland Player of the Year: Taylor Smith, Stephen F. Austin
2013 Southland Defensive Player of the Year: Taylor Smith, Stephen F. Austin
2013 Southland Freshman of the Year: Jalan West, Northwestern State
2013 Southland Newcomer of the Year: DeQuan Hicks, Northwestern State
2013 Southland Coach of the Year: Danny Kaspar Stephen F. Austin
2012-13 Southland First Team:
Taylor Smith, Stephen F Austin
Damen Bell-Holter, Oral Roberts
Fred Hunter, Nicholls State
Warren Niles, Oral Roberts
Brandon Fortenberry, SE Louisiana
Southland 2013 Jack Leasure Madbomber Award Candidate: (tie)
Warren Niles, Oral Roberts, 89/215, 31 games, 2.9/game, 41%
Robert Crawford, Central Arkansas, 84/193, 28 games, 3.0/game,. 44%
Southland Gregory Douglas Ott Award Candidate:
Jalan West, Northwestern State, 2.9 A/TO
2013 TOYOTA SWAC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
March 12-16, Curtis Culwell Center, Garland, Texas
This should be a 3 team race with conference regular season champ Texas Southern, who only lost twice in conference and would walk in with a 12 game winning streak, but they are on a two year ban for lack of institutional control and recruiting violations. That leaves us Southern U and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Oh wait, no, Arkansas-PB got banned for APR violations. Which leaves us Southern. While they did get beat up pretty good on the road against Texas Southern, they do hold the league’s best non-conference win (@Texas A&M) and that was highly unpredictable, coming off a loss at TCU. So, their ability to bounce back is strong. There aren’t enough signs to point to an If not them, who? But, when that happens, it usually makes for a pretty wild ride in Garland. Especially with the 1 and 3 seeds eliminated before it begins.
Special shout out to Grambling who finished the season 0-27 (0-18) in conference, but still get to be a 7 seed this week (in a 10 team league) – with Texas Southern banned, and both Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley state gone for APR reasons – they want to be the Southwest version of Loyola Marymount.
Best Non-Conference win: Southern at Texas A&M 53-51
2013 SWAC Player of the Year: Omar Strong, Texas Southern
2013 SWAC Defensive Player of the Year: Fred Sturdivant, Texas Southern
2013 SWAC Freshman of the Year: Terry Rose, Grambling
2013 SWAC Coach of the Year: (tie) Roman Banks, Southern & Mike Davis, Texas Southern (yes, that Mike Davis)
2012-13 SWAC First Team: (gotta love that they fill it out by position)
G – Omar Strong, Texas Southern
G – Derick Beltran, Southern
F – Malcolm Miller, Southern
F – Fred Sturdivant, Texas Southern
C – Terrell Kennedy, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
SWAC 2013 Jack Leasure Madbomber Award Candidate: (this could be the favorite in the clubhouse)
Omar Strong, Texas Southern, 120/329!, 31 games, 3.9/gm, 37%
SWAC Gregory Douglas Ott Award Candidate:
Raymond Penn, Texas Southern, 2.0 A/TO
2013 CONFERENCE USA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
March 13-16, BOK Center, Tulsa, OK
This is a very Memphis world. Which means Memphis will win, get a game in the tournament, and Josh Pastner will still be called to be fire. All they did was go 16-0 in conference. Granted, they missed chances to really establish themselves (losing by 9 to Louisville, 9 to Minnesota, and a 2-pt loss to Xavier. But, they did sweep purported Waiting Line… Southern Miss, won at Tennessee and beat all wannabe Waiting Liners… Harvard (by 10), Ohio (by 26) and Northern Iowa (by 5). The Joe Jackson-Josh Pastner love-hate fest is over, and Jackson is a better player for it, his 13.8 points, and nearly 5 assists pace the Tigers, with Adonis Thomas (11.5), Gerron Johnson (10.5) and Chris Crawford (9.3) having his back. This profile just screams 8/9 game, but run through the C-USA, in what would end up being a 19-0 season, and 6/7 line could be in their future.
Southern Miss. No, just no. Just know that they, UTEP and homestanding Tulsa (Danny Manning and the Miracles Part II?) are the resident If not them, who? from this conference. How about a Larry Brown vs. Manning final? Let’s do it.
Best Non-Conference win: Southern at Texas A&M 53-51
2013 Conference USA Player of the Year: Not yet awarded
2013 Conference USA Player of the Year: D.J. Stephens, Memphis
2013 Conference USA Freshman of the Year: Danuel House, Houston
2013 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year: Dwayne Davis, Southern Miss
2013 Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year: Chris Crawford, Memphis
2013 Conference USA Coach of the Year: Not yet awarded
2012-13 Conference USA First Team:
Dwayne Davis, Southern Miss, F, 6-5, 205, Sr., Philadelphia, Pa.
Josh Davis, Tulane, F, 6-8, 215, Jr., Raleigh, N.C.
Joe Jackson, Memphis, G, 6-1, 171, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
Maurice Kemp, East Carolina, F, 6-8, 190, Sr., Miami, Fla.
Isaiah Sykes, UCF, G/F, 6-5, 215, Jr., Detroit, Mich.
TaShawn Thomas, Houston, F, 6-8, 215, So., Killeen, Texas
Conference USA 2013 Jack Leasure Madbomber Award Candidate:
Akeem Richmond, East Carolina, 91/201, 29 games, 3.14/gm, 45%
Conference USA Gregory Douglas Ott Award Candidate:
Jaques Streeter, Texas-El Paso, 3.12 A/TO
Scanning the Scene:
America East: #2 Albany vs. #1 Vermont, Saturday 11:30am ET
Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast, Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament champion.
Big East: CHALK WALK! Well, for today anyway as 12 seeded Seton Hall knocked off USF in an offensive showcase, 46-42 and 11 Rutgers eliminated DePaul (and worsened Arizona St’s profile in the process) 76-57
Big South: Liberty Flames, 2013 Big South Conference Tournament champion.
Colonial: James Madison 2013 Colonial Athletic Association champion.
Horizon League: Eric Buggs kept scoring (22 pts) and Wright State, as a team, did not – not 1 starter in double figures, and after a 62-54 win, Valparaiso Crusaders are your 2013 Horizon League tournament champs.
MAAC: Iona Gaels, 2013 MAAC Tournament champion.
MEAC: Finished up the opening round, with Bethune-Cookman beating Coppin St 89-78 (the Eagles, by the way were you answer to the trivia question of last team to make the tournament with 20 losses) and North Carolina A&T got the battle of MEAC North Carolinas they wanted, beating Florida A&M 65-54
MAC: No MAC-tion yesterday.
MVC: Creighton Blue Jays, 2013 Arch Madness champions
NEC: Blackbird ARE signing in the dead of night, CJ Garner kept scoring and scoring and scoring, 31 points despite no 3 pointers, as Long Island dominated Mount Saint Mary’s, 69-60: Long Island University Brooklyn Blackirds, 2013 NEC Tournament champs
MWC: Wyoming got things started in Vegas with a 85-81 win over Nevada.
OVC: Belmont Bruins, 2013 OVC Tournament champions.
Patriot: Bucknell (#1) vs. Lafayette (#2), Wednesday at 7pm ET.
Southern: Davidson Wildcats, 2013 Southern Conference tournament champions
Summit: The South rises in Dakota, Team Naterz does it – with a 73-67 win over the game, but ultimately outgunned North Dakota St, South Dakota State Jackrabbits, back to back Summit Tournament champs.
Sun Belt: Western Kentucky, Sun Belt conference tournament champions
West Coast: Gonzaga, 2013 WCC Conference champions
Until tomorrow readership, we hope you’re full, but still want to come back for more.