A rundown of today’s college basketball games, and a quick look back at yesterday…
NEWS AND NOTES
-Things are getting busy and more intense with conference playing starting up.
-Michigan State fell on the road at Iowa, but they weren’t at full strength and it’s hardly a bad loss. I still think the Spartans have what it takes to land on a #1 seed. Iowa has beaten the #1 ranked team, and had a 20 point lead on the #2 ranked team in the second half. They’re not always playing at a top level, but when they are they’re pretty good.
-Texas Tech picked up another notable win at home when they knocked off Richmond. They may be good, but their problem is that they haven’t even played a true road game yet. True road wins in Big Twelve play are not going to be easy to come by, and they’ll be under more pressure to pick up a few. It’s rare that you see teams with less than four wins away from home in the field.
-Florida State picked up what is probably their biggest and most feel good win of the season by winning at Florida. The Noles should be able to make some noise in ACC play.
-Cincinnati lost at home to Temple. It’s never good to lose conference games at home to sub NIT teams, which is what Temple appears to be. Without an abundance of chances at notable wins, Cincinnati can’t afford too many strikes like that. They’re still in good shape, but they won’t be if that becomes a habit.
-For Chad Sherwood’s Under the Radar Game of the Day – CLICK HERE
-WEST VIRGINIA AT VIRGINIA TECH. Virginia Tech’s program appears to be improving under Buzz Williams, but they still have a long way to go. West Virginia has just one loss and has looked strong this season, but this is their first true road game of the year, and it comes against a rival, so it may be somewhat challenging.
-INDIANA AT RUTGERS (Big Ten). Indiana needs wins to strengthen what is a flimsy profile heading into conference play. With a defense as weak as theirs it won’t shock me to see them drop road games like this throughout the year.
-PENN STATE AT MARYLAND (Big Ten). Penn State has a decent record, but they amassed it against bad teams. Maryland is a very good team and their resume should improve as they go through conference play.
-HOUSTON AT SOUTH FLORIDA (American). Houston has a good record, but it came against weak teams, which means their margin for error is razor thin. In fact, this would be their first true road win if they pull it off.
-MICHIGAN AT ILLINOIS (Big Ten). Despite being 10-3, Michigan still has work to do in order to get to the level many were expecting them to be at at the start of the year. Are they good enough to beat a very NIT-ish looking Illinois team on the road?
-NORTHWESTERN AT NEBRASKA (Big Ten). Northwestern has just one loss, but they’ve had to sweat out some very weak opponents. For most of the season Nebraska hasn’t even looked like an NIT team, but they’re still a lot tougher than most of Northwestern’s opponents.
-OAKLAND AT VIRGINIA. Oakland took Michigan State to overtime this past weekend, but I’d be shocked if they’re able to do the same at Virginia today.
-MINNESOTA AT OHIO STATE (Big Ten). Ohio State has so much ground to make up that they’ll need to roll off three or four wins just to get back into the conversation. But, seeing how good they looked against Kentucky they could be good enough to do just that. If they lose at home today, though, they’re in real trouble.
-CLEMSON AT NORTH CAROLINA (ACC). Clemson has not won a true road game yet. And, they haven’t won at North Carolina yet. Ever. EVER!!! UNC is good enough to be a protected seed and should win their conference opener today.
-SETON HALL AT MARQUETTE (Big East). Neither team has really gotten the nation’s attention yet, but both come into this game at 10-2 and actually have some decent wins to go along with it.
-ARKANSAS AT DAYTON. Dayton has just two losses on the year and should land inside the bubble so long as they hold serve in games like this one.
-BRADLEY AT NORTHERN IOWA (Missouri Valley). Northern Iowa has two huge wins, but they’ve also failed to hold serve in games against lower level competition. To make the dance, you have to win the big ones, but you also have to avoid losing the small ones. They need a very strong showing in conference if they want to make the field.
-INDIANA STATE AT EVANSVILLE (Missouri Valley). Evansville can improve to 12-2 on the year with a win today. This conference will give them a few opportunities at notable wins, but only a few, so they’ll need to finish very strong in order to end up in the conversation.
-SOUTHERN ILLINOIS AT LOYOLA CHICAGO (Missouri Valley). Southern Illinois’s schedule has been weak, but they are 11-2 and this would be their fifth true road win of the year if they’re able to pick it up.
-LITTLE ROCK AT SOUTH ALABAMA (Sun Belt). A first place finish in the SBC should land Little Rock inside the bubble, but they need to avoid bad losses. That basically means they need to avoid losing to pretty much everyone other than Arlington.
-GEORGIA STATE AT UT ARLINGTON (Sun Belt) – CLICK HERE to see Chad Sherwood’s Under the Radar Game of the Day
-SYRACUSE AT PITTSBURGH (Big East…I mean ACC). Pitt has a great record against awful teams. Syracuse has big wins, but very few of those occurred in the United States. The best part of their resume was winning the Battle 4 Atlantis down in the Bahamas. With Pitt playing such a weak schedule it puts a lot more pressure on them to do well in conference play. They better end up more than just two games above 500 if they want to feel safe on Selection Sunday.
-GEORGETOWN AT DEPAUL (Big East). Georgetown has looked great this season when they’re not playing buy games. They have a lot of ground to make up in conference play if they want to end up safely in the discussion.
-FRESNO STATE AT UNLV (Mountain West). UNLV is perhaps the only team from the Mountain West that has a solid chance of landing inside the bubble, and they’ll have to blow through the conference in order to do it.
-Long Beach State @ Duke
-Francis Marion (nondiv1) @ South Carolina
-Coppin State @ Iowa State
-Western Michigan @ Vanderbilt
-UC Davis @ Boise State