The Hoops HD Report: November 30th

Last week was one of the busiest weeks in the college basketball season and Chad, David, Lee, John, and Jon take a look back at all the action.  They discuss how some teams have jumped onto the national scene, such as Providence, Xavier, and Texas A&M, and others have struggled, such as Notre Dame, LSU, and Wichita State.  As always, they give a rundown of all the major conferences and touch on all the teams who have already gotten some big wins that will factor in to making the NCAA Tournament, and they also look ahead to all of this week’s upcoming games.

And, while talking about the American, Lee Delvecchio tells us the story of Tulsa’s tweet of the decade!!  On a sadder note, they begin by discussing the passing of former Houston coach Guy Lewis, and touch on other news and notes such as David Collette’s situation at Utah State and Kansas’s Cheick Diallo finally being cleared.


And for all you radio lovers, below is an mp3 version of the show….

News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Monday, Nov 30th

Below is a rundown of all of today’s action, some important links, and a look back at this past week…


-For our latest Too Early Bracket Projections – CLICK HERE

-For Chad Sherwood’s Under the Radar Game of the Day – CLICK HERE

-For the best viewing guide on the internet for this week’s games, check out – CLICK HERE

-For the best free RPI, standings, and team page site on the net, check out Warren Nolan’s site – CLICK HERE



-We will be recording our Hoops HD Report Video Podcast this evening, so be on the lookout for it.  We’ll be recapping one of the busiest weeks of the college basketball season, and looking ahead to this week’s upcoming action.

-I’ve referenced this before, but will reference it again, and will even try and sneak in a good rant about it on tonight’s show.  We saw the resurrection of multiple dormant rivalries, and that’s fantastic!  But, WE NEED THESE TO BE REGULAR GAMES THAT ARE PLAYED ON CAMPUS!!!  Between now and the start of conference play, there will only be a smattering of interesting games.  As you can see below, tonight’s write up is not that extensive, and this is what it will look like most days until conference play begins.  We need more excitement at this time of the year.  Washington and Gonzaga should play regularly (and they’re going to start).  Texas and Texas A&M should play regularly.  Syracuse and UConn should play regularly.  Dayton and Xavier should play regularly.  If any of those games were being played on a night like tonight, it would be the spotlight game of the evening.  The sport needs these kinds of games, and they need them on campus and not at a theme park or resort ballroom.  And, those aren’t the only ones.  Kansas vs Wichita should play.  Kansas v Missouri should play.  West Virginia v Pitt should play.  Kentucky v Indiana should play.  Cincinnati v Ohio State should play.  Georgetown v George Washington should play.  There is far more to gain than there is to lose, and it generates electricity at a time of the season where the vast majority of games are played in front of half empty arenas.

-Xavier absolutely flattened all the teams they faced in the Advocare Invitational, including Dayton who is a likely tournament team.  Xavier has now won four games away from home, including a decisive win at Michigan, and a blowout win against Dayton.  They’re looking like a protected seed, and as of now have built one of the ten best early season profiles.

-Every year, there are teams that start off nowhere near the rankings that explode onto the national scene by the end of Thanksgiving Weekend.  Providence and Xavier have done that this year.  I’d say that Monmouth has as well, although they’re not likely to crack the rankings any time soon.  Texas A&M is another team that made quite a bit of noise.  Already, the polls look nothing like they did before November 13th.



-WAKE FOREST AT RUTGERS.  Wake is off to a really good start with some good wins away from home.  Was it an aberration, or do they really have something this year?  If they’re legit, then they shouldn’t have trouble winning at Rutgers.

-ILLINOIS STATE AT KENTUCKY.  I like this Illinois State team, but I don’t like them so much that I think they’ll win at Kentucky.

-LSU AT CHARLESTON.  LSU has a lot of work to do to get their season turned back around.  This is a road game against a weak team, but getting any kind of win away from home may be what they need more than anything.

-JAMES MADISON AT RADFORD.  Both teams are good, but have dropped some early games that they could have and arguably should have won.  It will take a Herculean effort for one or both of them to end up near the bubble.

-FRESNO STATE AT OREGON.  Both teams are 5-0, and it’s the first real test for Fresno State.  We should learn something about them.

-CHATTANOOGA AT LOUISIANA MONROE.  This is more than just an Under the Radar game.  Chattanooga is currently looking like an at-large team.  The key word there is “Currently,” but we will treat them as such until they stop looking like one.  For Chad’s write up on this game – CLICK HERE

-CLEMSON AT MINNESOTA.  Both teams have a lot of work to do, and a win tonight would be a great start.

-HAMPTON AT GRAND CANYON.  The Team of the People will look to remain unbeaten on the season!!  #LopesWaiver!!



-Alcorn State @ Indiana
-Western Carolina @ South Carolina
-North Texas @ Northern Iowa


Bracket Projections: November 30th


-It is important to understand that these brackets are CHECKPOINTS on CURRENT MERIT.  They are not a forecast of what I think things will look like in March, or for that matter how good I actually think teams currently are.

For example, I believe that Iowa State and Villanova are both top ten teams, but they don’t have any really big wins yet, so they’re seeded below team who have won big games, especially if they’ve done it away from home.

On the flip side, I do not foresee Syracuse earning a #1 seed, but they won three big games away from home last week, and no one behind him has three wins of that caliber away from home.

-Bracket s this early really aren’t practical, but neither are April batting averages in baseball and there are people that like to look at those.  I do them this early for two reasons:  1) It’s fun to look at, and 2) This is a season long evaluation process, and doing them this early helps me evaluate.

-It’s also impossible to COMPLETELY eliminate suppositions when ranking the teams.  You need to play at least a football season (twelve games) before you have enough data to simply go off the data.  We’ve played just about half that, as most teams have played six games.



-The week of Thanksgiving is one of the biggest weeks of the season, because most teams play more games than they do in any other single week, and so many of them are away from home in tournaments.  Tournaments have a natural structure of winners playing winners, so it’s a good chance for them to get quality wins away from home, which is especially important for teams who don’t play strong conferences.  So, while the final bracket probably won’t look anything like this, a lot of what happened this past week will definitely come into play.

-It’s also a week where we see teams that were nowhere near the rankings when the season started explode onto the national scene.  Providence and Xavier come to mind this year.  Monmouth also had a huge week and an argument could be made that they belong in the rankings, but I’m not expecting them to end up there.  But, for now, they have wins against USC, Notre Dame, and UCLA all away from home.  There are teams that make the NCAAs who don’t manage three wins away from home that are that good.  Their margin for error is small, but they’ve put themselves in a great position if they can run over their conference.

-Things are bad for Notre Dame right now.  They’re infinitely worse for Wichita State.  At full strength the Shockers are easily a top 25 team, but they’re without so many key players due to injury that they’re going to have trouble finishing in the upper half of the Missouri Valley as it currently stands.  They lost all three games in the Advocare Classic, and didn’t look particularly impressive in any of them.

-UALR and TX Arlington had huge weeks.  Arlington won at Memphis and at Ohio State, and Little Rock picked up notable wins at Tulsa and San Diego State.  Both are currently inside the bubble, but again, it’s early.  By the end of the year, the win at Ohio State won’t look like much if the Buckeyes keep playing the way they did this past week.

-I think Valparaiso and William & Mary are both good enough to land inside the bubble and not need the automatic bid to make the field.  Having said that, both had awful losses this past weekend.  Valpo went down at Ball State, and W&M fell at Howard.  Those losses are particularly damaging because they won’t have a whole lot of opportunities to offset them with quality wins.

-Northeastern was having a bad year until this past weekend, but finally picked up a big win at Miami FL and looked like the kind of team we thought they could be.  That changed the entire complex of their season.  They went from looking like a team who was sweating out weak opponents to being a team with just one loss and a huge win at Miami FL.

-The seed list and notes are located below the bracket.

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  1. MICHIGAN STATE – win vs Kansas and Providence
  2. SYRACUSE – big wins in Battle 4 Atlantis
  3. KENTUCKY – win vs Duke (N)
  4. Duke – only loss was to Kentucky
  5. KANSAS – neutral floor wins against Vandy and UCLA
  6. PROVIDENCE – win vs Arizona (N). no bad losses
  7. West Virginia – unbeaten. Wins against San Diego St (N), Richmond (N)
  8. Virginia – multiple decent neutral floor wins
  9. Xavier – 4 wins away from home, including @ Michigan and vs Dayton
  10. Maryland – decent wins vs Georgetown (H), Rhody (N), Illinois St. (N)
  11. Texas A&M – neutral wins over Gonzaga and Texas
  12. Miami FL – good wins away from home. Home loss to Northeastern
  13. GONZAGA – neutral floor wins vs UConn and Washiongton
  14. CINCINNATI – unbeaten with win v George Washington
  15. Purdue – unbeaten with decent, but not great wins
  16. North Carolina – some adequate wins, but no big ones
  17. Wake Forest – notable wins against Indiana and UCLA. No bad losses
  18. Connecticut – 2 close losses to Syracuse and Gonzaga. Win vs Michigan
  19. Iowa State – unbeaten with decent wins against Colorado and Illinois
  20. Villanova – unbeaten, but no big wins
  21. GEORGE WASHINGTON – home win vs Virginia. No bad losses
  22. Dayton – decent wins against William & Mary, Iowa, and Monmouth.
  23. Richmond – wins @ Wake Forest and vs Cal. No bad losses.
  24. OREGON – 5 wins, all at home, including Valpo and Baylor
  25. Vanderbilt – neutral floor win vs Wake Forest
  26. Arizona – no bad losses, but best win is vs Boise State (N)
  27. Oklahoma – unbeaten. Best win @ Memphis
  28. MONMOUTH – no bad losses. Wins @UCLA and vs Notre Dame
  29. CHATTANOOGA – no bad losses. Wins @ Georgia and @ Illinois
  30. South Carolina – unbeaten. Neutral floor wins against Hofstra and Tulsa
  31. Butler – no big wins
  32. Utah – no big wins
  33. Louisville – unbeaten, but no big wins
  34. NORTHEASTERN – bad loss to Miami OH, good win against Miami FL
  35. Tulsa
  36. COLORADO STATE – win @ Northern Iowa
  37. NORTHERN IOWA – home wins against North Carolina
  38. LITTLE ROCK – unbeaten. Wins @ San Diego State and Tulsa
  39. Texas Arlington – wins @ Memphis and @ Ohio State
  40. Georgetown – 3 losses by a total of 6pts. Win vs Wisconsin
  41. VALPARAISO – bad loss at Ball St. Decent win @ Oregon St.
  42. UTEP – unbeaten. Neutral wins against Colorado St. and SO Ill
  43. Vcu – no good wins, but no bad losses
  44. Unlv – win vs Indiana
  45. Michigan
  46. San Diego State
  47. RADFORD – win @ Georgetown
  48. Louisiana Tech – unbeaten. Wins against UTA and @ Ohio St.
  49. William & Mary – good win at NC St, bad loss at Howard
  50. NC State – beat LSU
  51. Indiana – No good wins. Losses to Wake Forest and UNLV
  52. WESTERN ILLINOIS – win @ Wisconsin, loss @ Creighton
  53. Wisconsin
  54. Colorado – no bad losses. Win @ Auburn
  55. California – no bad losses, but no good wins
  56. Washington – no bad losses. Neutral floor win vs Texas
  57. Florida – no bad losses, but no good wins
  58. Saint Joseph’s – 4-1 with a win vs Old Dominion
  59. Florida State
  60. Alabama
  61. Notre Dame
  62. Hofstra
  63. Iowa
  64. Evansville
  65. Usc – no bad losses. Home wins against Monmouth and New Mexico
  66. Byu
  67. Seton Hall
  69. Creighton
  70. SACRAMENTO STATE – win @ Arizona St.
  71. Rhode Island
  72. Southern Illinois
  73. Saint Louis
  75. Northwestern
  77. Pittsburgh
  78. Marquette
  79. Baylor – no big wins
  80. Kansas State
  81. Oklahoma State
  82. Unc Wilmington
  83. TOLEDO – 3 div1 wins away from home
  84. Saint Mary’s – unbeaten. Best win vs Stanford (H)
  85. Davidson
  86. Washington State
  87. Houston
  88. Clemson
  89. HOWARD – win vs William & Mary (H)
  90. YALE
  91. BUCKNELL – 2 road wins
  92. ALABAMA A&M – 2 road wins, including @ Tulane
  94. ALBANY
  95. TAMUCC
  96. LIU BROOKLYN – only NEC team with winning record

Under the Radar Game of the Day – Monday, November 30: Chattanooga at Louisiana-Monroe

Under the Radar Game of the Day: Chattanooga at Louisiana-Monroe, 8:00 PM Eastern

The UTR Game of the Day heads down to Monroe, Louisiana tonight for a battle between the team that has looked the best so far out of the Southern Conference, and one of the preseason favorites from the Sun Belt Conference.  The Chattanooga Mocs began the season (as was predicted here at HOOPS HD) by picking up a win at Georgia.  After knocking off non-D1 Hiwassee, they then proceeded on to pick up a win at Illinois as well.  Although Iowa State proved to be too tall of an order for the Mocs, they spent this past weekend in Niceville, Florida winning the Visitor’s Bracket of the Emerald Coast Classic  by rolling over Alabama State and Jacksonville State.  The Mocs now sit at 5-1 on the season heading into their second toughest remaining non-conference game (a trip to Dayton on December 12 is already circled on the calendar).  They are led by Casey Jones, though a balanced scoring attack has been on of the keys to their success so far (four players were in double digits in their last game and the team’s leading scorer has been different in almost every game so far).

The Warhawks of Louisiana-Monroe were one of our preseason picks to contend for the Sun Belt championship, especially coming off of a run to the finals of the CBI last season.  This season has not started off too well, however, as they enter the game at 2-2, with their only D1 win coming against a Northwestern State that has already lost to non-D1 competition this year.  The good news for the Warhawks is that neither of their losses is particularly awful (at Minnesota and at Houston) and there is definitely time for them to get things rolling before conference play starts in earnest (though their first conference game is this weekend against Louisiana-Lafayette, the rest of the conference schedule does not start until New Year’s Eve).  Picking up a win tonight against a solid opponent will definitely get ULM back into the Sun Belt talks, despite the early season successes of Texas-Arlington and Arkansas-Little Rock.  The Warhawks will need a strong effort to win this one, especially from Maaok Deng, their senior forward with the ability to net a double-double anytime he steps on the court.


Under the Radar Game of the Day – Sunday, November 29: UC-Irvine vs Evansville

Under the Radar Game of the Day: Wooden Legacy Fifth Place Game: UC-Irvine vs Evansville, 2:30 PM Eastern, ESPNU

For today’s News, Notes and Highlighted Games, CLICK HERE.

The Under the Radar Game of the Day heads to Anaheim, California today for the first of the four final round games at the Wooden Legacy, the Fifth Place Game between UC-Irvine and Evansville (for TV purposes the Seventh Place Game is not played until this evening).  The Big West’s UC-Irvine Anteaters enter today’s game with a record of 5-1 on the season, including a win at Central Florida and a win in the consolation bracket of this event two days ago against Boston College.  Their lone loss was in the quarterfinals against Boise State.  They are led down low by Mamadou Ndiaye, the 7-6 beast who can change any team’s gameplan and dominate inside any night.  His presence down low is one of the key reasons that the Anteaters are among the favorites to capture the Big West title this season.

Today’s opponent for UCI is the Missouri Valley Conference’s Evansville Aces.  Evansville enters the game with a record of 4-1, including a nice home court victory over Belmont and a consolation round win over a Santa Clara team that had taken Arizona to the wire a few nights ago.  Their lone loss came in the quarterfinals of this event as well, by 10 points to Providence.  The Aces are led by one of the top mid-major guards in the country, DJ Balentine, who but for Baker and VaanVleet at Wichita State, might be the best player in the conference.  Balentine dropped 23 points on Santa Clara last time out and is more than capable of equaling or topping that number against UCI today.  A win today on national TV will help get the Aces more attention, especially with Wichita off to a slow start this season, and we still firmly believe this is a team more than capable of making the Big Dance this year, even if they do not get the conference’s automatic bid.

News, Notes and Highlighted Games – November 29

Today marks the final day of Thanksgiving weekend – a few exempt events conclude today along with a few other notable matchups on the docket. While David Griggs is in a drunken stupor celebrating Nebraska’s win over Tennessee, I have volunteered to fill in today for the puppet.


– The Fun Belt Conference strikes again – Little Rock scores another win of note away from home with a 64-60 win at Tulsa. This moves the Trojans to 3-0 against Division I competition.

– As we alluded to in the open, the Barclays Center Classic featured a few teams with NCAA Tournament aspirations; Cincinnati and George Washington squared off in a tight game featuring several lead changes. In the end, the Bearcats won and keeps their record perfect at 7-0. Nebraska also salvaged their weekend a little bit with a win over Tennessee in the consolation matchup.

– In the UTR version of the Emerald Coast Classic, Florida A&M actually recorded a victory against Alcorn State. In the main event, Iowa State and Illinois had a closely contested game for about 30 minutes before the Cyclones shifted gears and wound up winning 84-73. In the 3rd place game, Virginia Tech knocked off UAB in overtime; the Blazers aren’t going to have many opportunities remaining (if any) to cement an at-large NCAA profile.

– Up in the Great Alaska Shootout, Middle Tennessee ended up beating Toledo for that championship. Even more noteworthy may well be San Jose State racking up 2 wins (even if one of them was non-DI Alaska-Anchorage).

– In the Colonial Athletic Association, it was a mixed bag yesterday. VCU got a much-needed win over in-state rival Old Dominion; one of the league favorites in Hofstra got a road win at St. Bonaventure. However, the road was not kind to William & Mary yesterday; they travelled to the Beltway to face off against Howard and wound up losing 79-77.

– Creighton is still a tough out, at least in their own dungeon in Omaha. After coming off of a blowout loss at Indiana and a pair of wins in the Heavyweight Division of the Men Who Speak Up Main Event in Las Vegas, the Bluejays came back home and blasted what was an undefeated Western Illinois squad 97-67.


-XAVIER vs. DAYTON – Advocare Classic Championship (Mythical Miami Valley Conference) – 4:30 PM on ESPN2. This dormant rivalry will revive itself for one day at the HP Fieldhouse at Disney World’s campus in Orlando. With lots of Dayton and Xavier fans in attendance, this could be a rare sellout for an exempt tournament event. (Click here for highlights from their last encounter).

-WISCONSIN at OKLAHOMA – 2:30 PM on ESPN2. There aren’t too many marquee games outside of the exempt tournaments this weekend, but it does offer a shot at redemption for Wisconsin for their season-opening loss to Western Illinois. This is also a good tune-up for the Badgers’ upcoming ACC tilt at Syracuse later this week.

-MICHIGAN STATE vs. PROVIDENCE – Wooden Legacy Championship – 10:00 PM on ESPN2. Just like they did last year, the Friars scored a significant victory away from home during Thanksgiving weekend with their win over Arizona on Friday (they beat Notre Dame at this time last year). The matchup of Kris Dunn vs. Denzel Valentine should be a very entertaining one.

-MONMOUTH vs. USC – Advocare Classic 3rd Place – 12:30 PM on ESPN2. This will actually be the 2nd game between the Hawks and Trojans since they already played a non-bracketed game at USC a couple of weeks earlier. Monmouth is in search of another signature win this weekend; USC will look to restore some lost pride after getting blasted by Xavier for the bulk of their last contest.

-BOISE STATE vs. ARIZONA – Wooden Legacy 3rd Place – 4:30 PM on ESPNU. Another recurring theme of teams needing signature wins to bolster their at-large profile; the Broncos get 1 more chance against an Arizona team that is not 100% healthy.

-NOTRE DAME vs. ALABAMA – Advocare Classic 5th Place – 7:00 PM on ESPNU. Alabama managed to score a Top 25 win for the first time in 4 seasons after their win over Wichita State on Friday. They’ll get another opportunity against a Notre Dame team that’s still learning their roles without Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton.

-UC IRVINE vs. EVANSVILLE – Wooden Legacy 5th Place – 2:30 PM on ESPNU. The Anteaters feature one of the tallest post players in Mamadou Ndiaye; the Purple Aces feature an inside-out combination with D.J. Balentine and Egidiju Mockevicius. As this is also Chad Sherwood’s UTR game of the day, click here for a detailed preview.


Utah State at Duke – 12:30 PM, ESPNU – While this technically does fall under a buy game, there is some intrigue for a Utah State program who saw their star player David Collette leave the team prior to the beginning of the season. The Aggies already have 2 wins over in-state rivals Weber State on the road and Utah Valley University at home, but a trip to Durham, NC will be a big step up in competition for the Aggies.

Jackson State at Marquette – 1:30 PM, FS1
Rider at Rhode Island
Brown at SMU
South Carolina State at Kansas State


Harvard at Holy Cross
Penn at Lafayette
Northern Colorado at Colorado (Front Range)
Delaware at Temple
Pacific at Sacramento State