News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Wednesday, Feb 24th

Below is a rundown of last night’s action, and a look at the games tonight that could impact the NCAA Tournament.


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

-For Jon Teitel’s photo-blogging of his visit to see the Team of the People take on UMKC –CLICK HERE  #LopesWaiver

-Kansas got another big road win against Baylor last night in a hard fought game.  That is not an easy game to win, especially with how well Baylor had played against Texas and with all of the momentum they had going into that game, but it is the kind of game that a #1 seed is expected to win, which Kansas did, hence the reason they are a solid #1 seed.

-Ohio State’s profile does not look like an NCAA Tournament profile, and last night their team did not look like an NCAA Tournament team.  Michigan State completely took them apart.  There is no real harm in losing to Michigan State, but Ohio State was at home and it was a game they needed to make a statement to the committee, and they just got blasted.

-Speaking of getting blasted, LSU was destroyed by an Arkansas team who, while good at home, probably won’t even make the NIT.  I think the Tigers are done unless they can win out and win some big games in the SEC Tournament.

-Florida lost at home to Vanderbilt, which is not what Florida needed.  The final score was 87-74, but Vandy really didn’t open it up until the final minutes.  I still think Vandy has a lot of work to do to get inside the bubble, but it was a nice win for them.

-Temple played a good first half at Tulsa last night in a game between two bubble teams that the Owls really needed to win.  Unfortunately, I guess they were so satisfied with what they had done in the first half that they just decided to call it a day and not come out for the second half.  Tulsa rolled 74-55 to pick up a win that they really needed.

-Remember when we thought Clemson was making a strong case that they were a tournament team??  You don’t??  Good, me neither.  Never happened.

-Dayton is not doing well without Kendall Pollard.  They had lost two straight games going into last night, and although they did pull out the win at Saint Louis, in overtime, it was one of the least spectacular victories I have ever seen.  Every now and then you’ll hear the term “good loss” when talking about a team’s profile, which basically means it came to a highly ranked team in a tough game where, despite losing, they still demonstrated that they were a good team.  If there is any such thing as a “bad win” last night’s Dayton win at Saint Louis was it.  The execution and shot selection on the part of both teams in the final minute of the game was indescribably bad.

-Texas Tech had to sweat out a really weak TCU team at home last night.  Two weeks ago that would not have come as a surprise, but based on how well they’d been playing lately I’m surprised they struggled in that game.  Still, overall, the team has looked really good.



-VILLANOVA AT XAVIER (Big East).  This is obviously the featured game of the evening as it’s two top five seeds battling it out for a #1 seed.  If Nova wins, then they have a clear path to it as they’ll have a comfortable lead in the conference race, and they will have beaten a protected seed in a true road game.  If Xavier wins it they’ll be squarely in the hunt for it as well.  When we see games like this in the regular season between two highly ranked teams, they are more showcases than they are stakes games.  A loss certainly doesn’t knock either team out of the tournament, and in this case it may not even knock them off the #1 line.  Both will enter the NCAA Tournament with very good seeds and their potential for doing well will be the same regardless of what happens in this game.  But, don’t try and tell that to the players, coaches, and fans.  To them, this feels like an NCAA Tournament game.  And, since Nova wants the #1 seed in the East, and Xavier wants to avoid getting sent out to the West, it could come in to play in terms of deciding who gets to go where.

-MISSISSIPPI STATE AT TEXAS A&M (SEC).  TAMU will be safely in on the initial ballot so long as they hold serve and win the games that they’re supposed to win.

-NORTHWESTERN AT MICHIGAN (Big Ten).  Michigan is right on the bubble, and any loss to a non tournament team, especially at home, will be a severe blow to their chances.  This win won’t help them, but a loss would really hurt them.

-GEORGE WASHINGTON AT RICHMOND (Atlantic Ten).  GW is right on the bubble and they need this win on the road to help their profile.  Like any bubble team, every game feels like a pivotal game.

-DUQUESNE AT SAINT BONAVENTURE (Atlantic Ten).  Ditto about every game feeling like a pivotal game.  Saint Bonaventure is right on our bubble, and they need to avoid home losses to non tournament teams.

-VCU AT GEORGE MASON (Atlantic Ten).  VCU is the current conference leader, but their overall profile isn’t the best and they could still end up on the wrong side of the bubble if they slip up in games like this.  Losing at George Mason is at-large poison.

-SAINT JOSEPH’S AT UMASS (Atlantic Ten).  Saint Joe’s is a little further inside our bubble, but they’re a long way from being a lock.  In fact losing to a team like UMass is a good way to being un-locked.

-LOUISVILLE AT PITTSBURGH (ACC).  Pitt got a much needed road win at Syracuse in their last game to help resuscitate a profile that was getting worse and worse.  A win today over a tournament caliber Louisville team will help out as well.

-NORTH CAROLINA AT NC STATE (ACC).  North Carolina is one of about ten teams that could still end up on the #1 line, but they haven’t been nearly as good on the road as they need to be by #1 seed standards.  This won’t be a great road win by any means, but it’s a rivalry game that they can’t really afford to lose if they want to end up as a #1.

-TENNESSEE AT SOUTH CAROLINA (SEC).  South Carolina picked up a nice win against Florida in their last game, and should be safely in the field so long as they hold serve and win the games they’re supposed to, which includes this one.

-OKLAHOMA STATE AT OKLAHOMA (Big Twelve).  BEDLAM!!!!!!  Well, this edition of Bedlam isn’t nearly as much fun as it normally is considering that it’s a huge mismatch.  Oklahoma won the first game, which was actually fairly competitive, but they should absolutely blast them at home tonight, especially coming off their big road win over the weekend.

-NOTRE DAME AT WAKE FOREST (ACC).  People are starting to talk about Notre Dame as being a protected seed, and they could end up there if they finish strong and avoid bad losses in games like this.

-WISCONSIN AT IOWA (Big Ten).  I’m starting to like Wiscy’s profile more and more, and I expect that they will land inside the bubble.  If they can pull off a road win like this one over an Iowa team that may not look like a #1 seed any longer, but still looks like a protected seed, then it would pretty much cement it.

-ARIZONA AT COLORADO (Pac Twelve).  Arizona is improving since getting all their players back and healthy.  On the other hand, Colorado is slipping.  Colorado needs a quality win to help solidify a profile that’s looking more and more shaky, and Arizona needs another quality road win to help get them back into protected seed range.

-WICHITA STATE AT LOYOLA IL (Missouri Valley).  Wichita State needs to avoid bad losses the rest of the way, and that pretty much means winning out to at least the semifinals of the conference tournament.

-SAN DIEGO STATE AT WYOMING (Mountain West).  I think San Diego State will be on the right side of the bubble if they win out, but even that may not be enough.  I don’t think they can really afford another regular season loss and then an additional loss in the conference tournament, though.

-WASHINGTON STATE AT OREGON (Pac Twelve).  Oregon is looking like a solid protected seed, and they shouldn’t have too much trouble in this one.

-WASHINGTON AT OREGON STATE (Pac Twelve).  We have an extremely bubblicious game here between two teams that desperately need this win.  Washington could use a road win, and Oregon STate really needs to avoid falling to 6-9 in league play because they’re entering that range where almost no teams make the field when being more than two games below .500.

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