News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Saturday, Jan 9th

NEWS AND NOTES

-For our first Bracket Rundown Video Podcast of the season – CLICK HERE

-Utah got their first true road win of the season at Colorado yesterday by hitting a shot in the final seconds.  That adds something to their profile that had been missing.

-Valparaiso played what was most likely their toughest remaining game last night as they went in to Oakland, and they won it going away.  Valpo is definitely good enough to run the table, and if they do that I can’t see how they end up outside the bubble.  They should be able to get to the NCAA Tournament even without the automatic bid.

 

HIGHLIGHTED GAMES

-VIRGINIA TECH AT DUKE (ACC).  VA Tech has started to make a little bit of noise, and we’re starting to listen.  If they pull off this win then they’ll have our absolute full attention.  That’s much easier said than done, though.

-SAINT BONAVENTURE AT UMASS (Atlantic Ten).  The Bonnies are still hovering under the sightline, but a win in this game gets them to 11-3 and gives them their fourth true road win of the season.

-CHATTANOOGA AT FURMAN (SoCon).  Chattanooga is good enough to win out, and if they do they’ll be inside the bubble.

-TEXAS A&M AT TENNESSEE (SEC).  I really like this TAMU team.  I know Tennessee is nowhere close to the tournament discussion right now, but they are unbeaten at home so this would be a better win for TAMU than what most may realize.

-OKLAHOMA STATE AT WEST VIRGINIA (Big Twelve).  West Virginia is having a great season and shouldn’t have too much trouble holding serve at home.

-MARYLAND AT WISCONSIN (Big Ten).  Normally I’d say this would be a chance for a monster road win, and go a long way toward landing Maryland on one of the top two lines.  As it stands, Wiscy has already lost four games at home, and while any road win is important, this still isn’t a protected seed caliber road win.

-LSU AT FLORIDA (SEC).  LSU is rapidly improving, and Florida continues to look like a bubble team who needs notable wins.  Florida has just one home loss, so this would be another big win for LSU if they can pull it off.  \

-VIRGINIA AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC).  As good as Virginia is, the one area where their resume is lacking is that they have just one true road win.  Georgia Tech just has one loss at home, so if the Hoos can pull this one off I’ll feel a lot better about their paper.  They need wins away from home if they want to land on one of the top two lines for the third straight year.

-CREIGHTON AT SETON HALL (Big East).  I’m starting to like this Seton Hall team more and more.  This is a very tough conference, so when a winnable home game comes along they need to take care of business.

-SAINT JOHN’S AT MARQUETTE (Big East).  Marquette has a lot of work to do, but having said that they just did a lot of work with their big win at Providence.

-DAYTON AT LA SALLE (Atlantic Ten).  Dayton went through a stretch about a week ago where they were sweating out some wins against really poor teams, but they’ve looked much better in their last two games.  They can remain unbeaten in conference play and pick up their third true road win of the season today.

-QUINNIPIAC AT MONMOUTH (Metro Atlantic).  I really like this Monmouth team and think they’ll be safely in so long as they blow through the conference and end up as the outright first place finisher.

-NORTHWESTERN AT MINNESOTA (Big Ten).  I wasn’t a strong believer in Northwestern when they began Big Ten play, and I’m starting to believe less and less after their first week of conference play.  If they’re a tournament caliber team, this is the kind of game they have to win.

-VANDERBILT AT SOUTH CAROLINA (SEC).  Vandy has been a huge disappointment so far this season, and if they want to get it turned around then a win today would be huge.  South Carolina is still unbeaten and still in the rankings.

-BAYLOR AT IOWA STATE (Big Twelve).  Baylor is still winless on the road.  Going to Iowa State and winning is probably too tall of an order, but they do need to beat some teams on the road at some point.

-WASHINGTON AT WASHINGTON STATE (Pac Twelve).  They played multiple games outside the country, but this is Washington’s first trip to another team’s campus.  In addition to this being a rivalry game, it’s a litmus test for Washington.  Wazzu is tough at home, but a tournament caliber team should be able to win there.  This one should be fun.  It oftentimes is.

-SAINT MARY’S AT PEPPERDINE (West Coast).  SMC picked up a road win the other night, and tonight faces a Pepperdine team that may not be that strong overall, but that is unbeaten at home.  SMC desperately needs wins in games like this because they did nothing but stay at home and eat cupcakes for most of the OOC.

-PITTSBURGH AT NOTRE DAME (ACC).  Lots of people are big on Pitt.  This is their first true road game of the season, and consequently one of their biggest tests of the season against an Irish team that has not lost at home.  I’m not as big on Pitt as some of the rest of the staff, but if they get this win I’ll start to warm up to them a little bit.

-NORTHEASTERN AT WILLIAM & MARY (Colonial).  Both teams are long shots for at-large bids, but it is possible if one of them is able to run away from the rest of the conference, and that means picking up a win in this game.  Both have notable wins, but both also have bad losses which kind of offset the good things they’ve done, and as a result they have almost no margin for error moving forward if they want to be able to get in without winning the conference tournament.

-BRADLEY AT EVANSVILLE (Missouri Valley).  This is a conference game, but it should end up looking a lot like a buy game.  Evansville is currently right on our bubble and needs to hold serve in home games against weak teams.

-WICHITA STATE AT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (Missouri Valley).  Southern Illinois has a bloated record, but their schedule was so weak it should be even more bloated than it is.  They’ll have to blow through the conference to get any attention at all from the committee, and beating a much improved Wichita State team would be a good start.

-KANSAS STATE AT OKLAHOMA (Big Twelve).  I really like this Oklahoma team, and still feel they’re the best overall team I’ve seen this year.  I don’t think they’ll have too much trouble winning this one.

-FLORIDA STATE AT MIAMI FL (ACC).  I’m a huge fan of this Miami team, who has some big wins and who’s only loss came on a last second shot to Northeastern.  Florida State is a team I like as well, but their paper needs a ton of work.  Having said that, if they can pull off the upset in this one it will drastically change the complexion of their profile.

-ARIZONA STATE AT UCLA (Pac Twelve).  UCLA is a home court hero, and they need to keep getting it done at home, but eventually they’ll need to beat someone on the road.  Arizona State looks to be very bubblish, which is still better than we thought they’d be.  This would be a huge win for the Sun Devils if they’re able to pull it off.

-FRESNO STATE AT BOISE STATE (Mountain West).  Boise needs to blow through this league if they want to be in the position of not needing the automatic bid.

-KENTUCKY AT ALABAMA (SEC).  Kentucky is good, and they have a neutral floor win against Duke, but a gaping hole in their resume is that they have no true road wins yet, and their only other win away from home was against South Florida.  Alabama is coming off a tough road loss to Ole Miss, but this is a huge showcase game for an Alabama team that’s not just looking to solidify their season, but to change the direction of and grow their program.

-LOUISIANA MONROE AT LITTLE ROCK (Sun Belt).  We have Little Rock squarely in the field and they should remain inside the bubble so long as they avoid losses to sub NIT caliber teams, which is basically everyone in the conference other than UT Arlington.

-TEXAS AT TCU (Big Twelve).  This is a winnable road game that Texas desperately needs.

-MEMPHIS AT UCONN (American).  Some on the Hoops HD staff are starting to chatter about this Memphis team.  One of the things they don’t have yet is a true road win, so this is a huge chance for them to not just pick one up, but pick one up that’s rather notable.  UConn needs the game as well seeing as how this league offers limited chances at notable wins.

-ARIZONA AT USC (Pac Twelve).  Arizona is coming off just their second loss of the season, but it was against a UCLA team that plays very tough at home, and it saw them overcome a big deficit to come back and almost win.  USC will also be a challenge, seeing as how they Trojans have not lost at home yet.

-NORTH CAROLINA AT SYRACUSE (ACC).  To date, North Carolina has just one true road win, but it was a good one at Florida State.  They’ll need some more if they’re going to safely finish as a protected seed like we’re expecting them to.  Syracuse has really struggled and just needs wins of any kind.

-PORTLAND AT GONZAGA (West Coast).  Gonzaga’s margin for error is rather small.  They don’t have any bad losses yet, but they don’t have too many huge wins either, and won’t get too many shots the rest of the way.

-DUQUESNE AT GEORGE WASHINGTON (Atlantic Ten).  GW has been very strong at home, but their problem is that they’ve struggled away from home.  I still think they’re in the bubble for now, but need they need to continue to hold serve in games like this.

-GEORGIA AT OLE MISS (SEC).  Both teams are on the outside looking in right now and need to string together several wins if they want to play their way into the discussion.

-KANSAS AT TEXAS TECH (Big Twelve).  Kansas is coming off one of the most exciting games of the season, but they need to get their feet back on the ground because this one won’t be easy .  Texas Tech is a perfect 9-0 at home, and even though they’re coming off a loss, it was an impressive showing against a very good Iowa State team.  This is the kind of win that could catapult Texas Tech onto the national radar.

-NEW MEXICO STATE AT GRAND CANYON (WAC).  The Team of the People continue to roll!!  New Mexico State is probably the second best team in this conference, but they’re still nowhere near as good as GCU.  Lopes Up!!  #LopesWaiver

-CALIFORNIA AT OREGON STATE (Pac Twelve).  Oregon State’s program is definitely going in the right direction.  Cal’s having a good year as well, but they only have one true road win and if they can pick one up in this game it would give a much needed boost to their profile.

 

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1 Response to News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Saturday, Jan 9th

  1. Pingback: Under the Radar Game of the Day – Saturday, January 9: Robert Morris at St. Francis-Brooklyn | Hoops HD

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