Highlighted Games for Saturday, Nov 30th

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our most recent Under the Radar podcast here….

http://hoopshd.com/2013/11/29/under-the-radar-1129/

 

SPOTLIGHT GAMES

-BYU AT UTAH STATE. Most outside the region may not realize this, but this is a huge rivalry game. BYU has two losses, but has looked really good this season. Utah State is unbeaten and although they have some decent wins, they don’t have any as good as this one would be. Expect an absolutely electric atmosphere and an intense game for this one.

-IOWA VS VILLANOVA (Battle 4 Atlantis). Both teams have looked great in this tournament and appear to be on their way to big seasons. Iowa’s OOC schedule was weak, so it’s been hugely beneficial that they’ve been able to play and beat good competition in this tournament. Nova picked up a huge win yesterday against Kansas, so like Iowa they’re in pretty good shape early on.

-VIRGINIA VS MISSOURI STATE (Cancun Challenge). Virginia is unbeaten so far.  So is Missouri State, but they’re also largely untested. If they can win today it would be a huge statement win that would earn them some attention.

 

OTHER HIGHLIGHTED MATCH-UPS

-SOUTH ALABAMA AT MIDDLE TENNESSEE. Middle Tennessee has just one loss on the year, but has a razor thin margin for error.

-PITTSBURGH VS DUQUESNE. The City Game. Pitt has looked good, but hasn’t really been tested.

-XAVIER VS USC (Battle 4 Atlantis). Xavier has lost two games in this tournament and will be in rough shape if they drop this one today.

-EVANSVILLE AT OHIO. Both teams have just one loss, but neither has any wins of note yet.

-SAINT JOHN’S VS GEORGIA TECH. Both teams have decent records, but neither have looked all that impressive yet.

-SAN DIEGO AT NEW MEXICO. San Diego has just one loss, but they haven’t really managed a quality win. New Mexico has been tested a little more, but still needs to acquire some big wins.

-PACIFIC VS CAL POLY. Pacific has just one loss (yesterday to Oregon) and may be a team to keep an eye on.

-TENNESSEE VS WAKE FOREST (Battle 4 Atlantis). Neither team was expected to do much this year, but both have looked good at times and have decent records. They both need decent wins, though.

-COLORADO AT AIR FORCE (Front Range). A win for Colorado gets them to 7-1, which is pretty good since we think they’ve gotten off to a slower start than usual.

-RHODE ISLAND AT GEORGE MASON (Atlantic Ten). Kind of an early conference game. Neither team has looked great, but both have looked decent and have just two losses so far.

-PENN STATE VS OLE MISS. Neither team has any wins that really jump out at you, but both have solid records.

-NEW MEXICO STATE AT COLORADO STATE. We talked about this last night, but due to the WAC being as weak as it is, they need to pick up wins like this on the road if they want to be taken seriously.

-JAMES MADISON AT RICHMOND. Richmond is improving and needs to hold serve in these games against lower caliber teams.

-INDIANA STATE VS PEPPERDINE (Great Alaska Shootout). Both have been somewhat disappointing in this tournament, but both have potential and could use this win.

-NORTH DAKOTA AT OREGON. North Dakota should make quite a bit of noise in conference play, but they’re overmatched by a very good Oregon team today.

-SMU VS TEXAS A&M (Corpus Christi Challenge). Both teams have good records but neither has a good win, or a decent win, or a win that barely registers as mediocre up to this point.

-UTEP VS KANSAS (Battle 4 Atlantis). Both teams are looking to rebound from their losses yesterday.

-DRAKE AT NORTHERN ARIZONA. I’m not all the way on the bandwagon by any means, but a win for Drake does get them to 5-1.

-EASTERN KENTUCKY AT NC STATE. NC State has a loss at home to NC Central already, and this EKU team is better than that. They have just one loss on the year and are one of the better teams in the OVC.

-HARVARD VS TCU (Great Alaska Shootout). I’m much more impressed with Harvard than TCU at this point, but if they win this tournament it would be a great start for the Horned Frogs.

ROBERT MORRIS AT GEORGETOWN. RMU is one of the better teams in the NEC and Georgetown has struggled at times, so they can’t just overlook them.

Under the Radar, 11/29

We are back, with great content and novice video production.

This week, we continue to focus on the success of the Atlantic Ten, particularly Dayton’s success out in Maui and how they are one of the biggest surprises in college basketball this year. We talk about how they have completely outperformed leagues such as the Big East and SEC and could get as many as five teams in the NCAA Tournament.

We also highlight a game tonight between two unbeaten, but untested teams in Missouri State and Texas A&M down in Corpus Christi, and a big game up in Alaska between Green Bay and Harvard, both of whom appear to be the best teams in their conferences and could make quite a bit of noise in March.

New Mexico State is another team we focus on with their big upcoming games against Colorado State and rival New Mexico.

Middle Tennessee and Belmont are trying to build the kind of profiles that could get them at-large bids, and we talk about their big game against each other this week.

We look at Conference USA and the MAC, and profile the teams that are off to a good start.

All that, and more!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Highlighted Games for Thursday, Nov. 28th

-DENVER VS HARVARD (Great Alaska Shootout). Denver could still have a big year, but they’ve lost both of their games so far and haven’t looked all that good yet. Harvard is coming off a loss at Colorado, but many feel they’re still a top 25 team. Chad also wrote about this in his SCGD, which is why it gets top billing.  http://hoopshd.com/2013/11/28/small-conference-game-of-the-day-thanksgiving-edition/

-PURDUE VS OKLAHOMA STATE (Old Spice Classic). Neither team has a loss yet, but Okie State has looked far better than Purdue up to this point.

-USC VS VILLANOVA (Battle 4 Atlantis). Both teams have racked up big records against weaker competition, so this tournament is the first big test for either of them.

-MIAMI FL VS GEORGE WASHINGTON (Wooden Legacy). GW has not lost yet and appears to be pretty good, but needs to substantiate that by doing well in this tournament. Miami, on the other hand, has really struggled this year.

-BUTLER VS WASHINGTON STATE (Old Spice Classic). Butler hasn’t lost yet, but they’ve struggled against weak competition in most of their games. They’ll have the opportunity to pick up wins of note in this tournament.

-KANSAS VS WAKE FOREST (Battle 4 Atlantis). Neither team has lost yet, but Kansas has looked far superior to Wake. KU is thinking #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament whereas Wake is just looking for some recognition.

-MARQUETTE VS CAL STATE FULLERTON (Wooden Legacy). Marquette is off to a shaky 3-2 start and really needs a strong showing in this tournament to get some decent wins on their profile.

-MEMPHIS VS SIENA (Old Spice Classic). Memphis’s inability to play well against tournament caliber teams over the years is well documented. They need to pick up some quality wins in this tournament if they want to be taken seriously, and they certainly need to avoid a loss today.

-IOWA VS XAVIER (Battle 4 Atlantis). Both teams are unbeaten, and other than Xavier’s home win against Tennessee both are also untested. It’s a good chance to get an early quality win.

-NEVADA AT UCLA. A win for the Bruins gets them to 6-0.

-CHARLESTON VS SAN DIEGO STATE (Wooden Legacy). Neither team has made a whole lot of noise yet, but has the chance to if they do well in this tournament.

-LSU VS SAINT JOSEPH’S (Old Spice Classic). Both teams have just one loss, but neither have any big wins yet.

-UTEP VS TENNESSEE (Battle 4 Atlantis). Both teams appear to be decent, but both need good wins on their profile.

-PEPPERDINE VS GREEN BAY (Great Alaska Shootout). Both teams have just one loss. Green Bay is the favorite to win the Horizon League, and nearly upset Wisconsin earlier in the year, so they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on. This field isn’t particularly strong, but there are still a few chances for somewhat decent wins in it.

-NORTHWESTERN VS MISSOURI (Las Vegas Invitational). Mizzou hasn’t lost yet and has a chance to really make a statement if they play well in this tournament.

-CREIGHTON VS ARIZONA STATE (Wooden Legacy). Neither team has a loss yet, and Arizona State is coming off a big home win against Marquette. This is one of the more intriguing games of the day as both teams are trying to establish themselves early.

Griggs

Small Conference Game of the Day – Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there from us here at HoopsHD.com!

While Turkey Day is traditionally a football day, recent years has seen a wealth of college basketball games available as well.  The Wooden Legacy, Battle 4 Atlantic and Old Spice Classic all have quarterfinals starting today.  In addition, there is a non-bracketed event in Las Vegas and the final two quarterfinals in the Great Alaska Shootout.

Today’s SCGD turns to the great state of Alaska, the only state in the country that does not have a Division I college basketball team, but the site every year for the Great Alaska Shootout, hosted by Alaska-Anchorage (Alaska-Fairbanks used to host the Top of the World Classic this time of year as well, but that event was cancelled about five years ago).  Last night, Tulsa upset Indiana State and TCU barely survived against Alaska-Anchorage to advance to the first of Friday’s semifinals.  Tonight, Green Bay will battle Pepperdine in the first game, while our SCGD turns to the final game of the night, Harvard vs Denver (Midnight Eastern tip time, CBS Sports Network).

Harvard enters tonight’s game with a 4-1 record, though their best win of the four was against Bryant.  They had appeared to be well on their way to winning at Colorado on Sunday, only to completely fall apart in the second half and end up losing by 8.  The Crimson’s non-conference schedule this season, however, should be more about obtaining a good seed in the NCAA tournament than obtaining an at-large bid, as there does not appear to be anyone in the Ivy League that can contend with them for the regular season title.  The Ivy is the lone conference without a postseason tournament, giving their automatic bid instead to the regular season champion.

Denver entered the season as one of a pair of teams that appeared to be ready to battle for the Summit League title.  They were predicted by some, yours truly included, as being good enough to contend for an at-large bid as well.  Joe Scott’s Pioneers have only played two games so far, but were beaten fairly easily at Cal and at home by Stanford.  With their toughest games after the Shootout being at Colorado State and home against Belmont, the Pioneers have almost no margin for error left if they are going to get on the board this March.  That makes winning tonight’s game, and in fact winning this entire tournament, almost an absolute must for Denver.

Two key players to keep an eye on tonight — Wesley Saunders for Harvard and Chris Udofia for Denver.  Saunders is a 6-5 combo guard/forward who averaged over 16 points per game last season and has netted 15.2 so far this year.  Udofia is a 6-6 forward who has averaged 14 points over the Pioneers first two games and should be the team’s top scorer all season long.

Highlighted Games for Wednesday, Nov. 27th

ARKANSAS VS GONZAGA (Maui Invitational). Gonzaga has lost to Dayton and beaten a div2 team, so they really need a win today to get something out of this tournament. The rest of their OOC schedule isn’t as strong as what we’re used to seeing. Arkansas had a nice win against Minnesota and a win today would be huge as well.

-DREXEL VS ARIZONA (Preseason NIT). I like this Drexel team, but think they’re way overmatched today by an Arizona team that’s playing like a #1 seed. Drexel plays in a weak conference and won’t have the chances to pick up quality wins, so if they could pull off the upset today it would be huge.

-ALABAMA VS DUKE (Preseason NIT). Alabama appears to be a team that could make the NCAAs, and Duke is, once again, looking like they’ll end up on the #2 or #1 line, but they have struggled lately. If Bama can pull the upset today, they will go from being viewed as a fringe tournament team to a solid tournament team.

-BAYLOR VS SYRACUSE (Maui Invitational). Both teams are off to terrific starts, but I just don’t think Baylor has looked like a legitimate top 25 team yet. The key word is “YET.” If they win tonight that will change.

-CALIFORNIA VS DAYTON (Maui Invitational). In a nutshell, this is a neutral floor game between two tournament caliber teams looking to build their resumes. Dayton led Baylor the whole way in the semifinal game, but ended up losing in the final seconds. Cal played well against Syracuse, but ended up losing as well. Cal is not in the rankings, but I believe they’re a strong team and will end up having a big year.

-WISCONSIN VS WEST VIRGINIA (Cancun Challenge). West Virginia has a really bad loss to Virginia Tech. Having said that, it’s their only loss. A win today would be huge when it comes to boosting the status of their profile.

-EASTERN MICHIGAN AT KENTUCKY. Kentucky had a scare in their last game and Eastern Michigan hasn’t lost yet this season, so there is reason to tune in. People will call the MAC a one bid league, but if a team can pick up wins like this they won’t need to win their conference tournament.

-YOUNGSTOWN STATE AT KENT STATE. Two 6-1 under the radar teams.

-SAINT BONAVENTURE VS LOUISIANA TECH (Gulf Coast Showcase). Two teams that are under the radar that may perhaps stay under the radar, but right now each has just one loss.

-OLD DOMINION VS SAINT LOUIS (Cancun Challenge). SLU suffered their first loss of the season to Wisconsin the other night, but still has a decent profile. They need to take care of 4-2 Old Dominion today in order to sustain it.

-SOUTHERN ILLINOIS VS SAN DIEGO (Gulf Coast Showcase). A win gets San Diego to 7-1 on the year.

-IDAHO AT BOISE STATE. This is a rivalry game, but in this case it appears as though Idaho is way overmatched by the unbeaten Broncos.

-RICHMOND AT AIR FORCE. Richmond played well against North Carolina earlier in the week, and now needs to avoid picking up a loss to a bad Air Force team on the road.

-BALL STATE AT UTAH. A win for Utah gets them to 6-0.

-MINNESOTA AT CHAMINADE (Maui Invitational). Minney missed their chance to pick up a good win. Now, they just need to avoid a bad loss.

-TULSA VS INDIANA STATE (Great Alaska Shootout). Indiana State has one good win already, and should be the favorites to win this tournament. Tulsa has no wins, so this would be a pretty bad loss for the Sycamores if they don’t pull it off.

Bracket Racket 11/24/13

HHDpodsOn this episode of the Bracket Racket, we take a look back at the hot games of the past week, including Indiana-UConn, UNC-Louisville, and Michigan’s struggles both foreign and domestic (okay, Puerto Rico isn’t “foreign” per se, but you get the idea). We talk a bit about the surprises from the week, as well as the unexpected struggles of teams like Duke, Michigan State, and VCU. We also look forward to Thanksgiving Week and the bounty of games that await us, including previews of the Maui Classic, Preseason NIT, and more.