It’s another busy day in college basketball game with conference play getting underway in the Big Ten and the American. Below is a rundown of all the action, and a look back at what happened in recent days.
NEWS AND NOTES
-For the latest Hoops HD Report Video Podcast, which has a focus on Out of Conference Rivalries – CLICK HERE
-For Chad Sherwood’s Under the Radar Game of the Day, which has some special ties to how the coveted Hoops HD Centenary Award came into existence – CLICK HERE
-Within hours of releasing our latest Bracket Projections, which are really just check points rather than predictions, Monmouth fell at Army. Monmouth’s resume is still very impressive, and I actually had them on the #4 line prior to the loss because they had won eight games away from home, which included Notre Dame, USC, Georgetown, and the only team to win at UCLA so far. I still think they’re good, and still think they can land inside the bubble, but ending up as a protected seed is probably a little out of their reach even if they win out. Having said that, Army is off to one of their best starts in recent memory and will likely be a serious contender for the Patriot League title. A team who earns a protected seed should certainly be expected to win it, but I don’t think it’s so damaging to Monmouth that it knocks them out of the at-large picture entirely. It’s really not even close to being that damaging.
-TULANE AT MEMPHIS (American). Memphis has a better than expected record at 8-3, but they still have a lot of work to do in conference play if they want to be in the NCAA discussion come March.
-TEMPLE AT CINCINNATI (American). Cincinnati is in good shape so long as they do things like avoid losses at home to non tournament teams.
-STEPHEN F AUSTIN AT UAB . Both teams have been somewhat disappointing, but both still have the potential to have big years. One of UAB’s losses came in overtime to Virginia Tech, and another was by just a point in their season opener against Auburn. Still, anything short of winning out will likely be too little.
-RICHMOND AT TEXAS TECH. Texas Tech has a bloated record against what is mostly cupcakes, and has yet to play a true road game. Still, they had an impressive win against a good Little Rock team in their last game, and will get the chances at big wins in conference play. Richmond needs this win a little more. They have just one true road win, and won’t get nearly as many chances at notable wins once conference play begins. Right now it feels as though both are on the bubble and could really use this win for their profiles, and for momentum.
-SMU AT TULSA (American). For SMU, I’d say this is a chance for them to remain unbeaten and continue working toward a possible protected seed, but they’re ineligible for the NCAAs. For Tulsa, they need to get their season turned around in a hurry if they want to be in the picture come March.
-DUQUESNE AT GEORGIA TECH. Both teams have good records, but neither have any good wins. We should learn at least a little more about each team after today.
-WAKE FOREST AT LSU. Wake is having a pretty good year and this is a chance for them to pick up their third true road win. LSU was a team we were big on coming into the season, but as of now their profile is horrible and they have a ton of catching up to do.
-FLORIDA STATE AT FLORIDA. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see both these teams in the NCAA Tournament. Florida has played well, but doesn’t have any really high caliber wins yet and could use this one. Florida State is still looking for their first true road win. To get a win in a rivalry game against a solid team will be huge for whoever pulls it off.
-NORTHEASTERN AT NC STATE. I still believe Northeastern has the ability to be a very dangerous team, but they’ll need to blow through the rest of their schedule in order to get noticed. NC State is a respectable 9-3, but still has work to do as well.
-PRINCETON AT MIAMI FL. As of now, Miami has a very solid profile and is actually on our #1 line (although I’m not entirely expecting them to stay there). Princeton is off to a good 7-3 start and should make some noise in Ivy League play, but they’re probably swinging way over their heads today.
-GEORGE WASHINGTON AT UCF. GW is looking to rebound from their embarrassing blowout loss at DePaul and pick up their second true road win.
-PURDUE AT WISCONSIN (Big Ten). Purdue has looked very impressive with just one loss. Conversely, Wiscy has struggled a lot more than expected this year. Purdue is looking like a protected seed, and the Badgers have a lot of work to do just to land in the NCAA Tournament picture.
-CHATTANOOGA AT LIPSCOMB. Chattanooga is the superior team and needs to pick up this road win while avoiding what would be a damaging loss to their profile.
-CENTRAL MICHIGAN AT WILLIAM & MARY. We were really big on both these teams coming into the year, and both have been somewhat disappointing. Still, W&M only has three losses, but they’ll have to blow through the rest of their schedule to get a serious look.
-SAINT LOUIS AT KANSAS STATE. The Wildcats are having a much better year than I expected them to, at least up until now, and can improve to 10-2 with a win over SLU.
-CONNECTICUT AT TEXAS. UConn REALLLLLLY needs this win because other than Cincinnati and SMU, they won’t have many more chances at notable wins once they enter conference play. Adding a quality road win to their profile is something they really need right now.
-MICHIGAN STATE AT IOWA (Big Ten). Iowa is 6-0 at home and top ranked Michigan State is not at full strength. Iowa has looked good this year and has improved as the year has gone on. It wouldn’t shock me to see them pull this one off.
-Texas Southern @ Baylor
-Liberty @ Notre Dame
-UMES @ Saint Joseph’s
-Robert Morris @ Georgia
-UMKC @ Oklahoma State
-Jacksonville State @ Alabama
-Cal Poly @ Texas A&M
-UC Irvine @ Kansas – although UC Irvine is one of the better teams in the Big West
-Western Oregon (nondiv1) @ Oregon