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

It’s a VERY busy night in college basketball!  Below is a rundown of all the action…


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

-I think the most noteworthy result last night that most people probably didn’t think of as noteworthy was Valpo’s big win over Rhode Island.  The game was close the entire way, but Valpo was ahead for most of it and after playing a great game for 39:45, held on to win after doing a couple of boneheaded things in the final seconds.  It’s a huge, perhaps resume making game for Valpo.  Any team that wants to make the NCAA Tournament has to give the selection committee a reason to take them.  If you’re an Under the Radar team, it is very hard to do that in conference play because there just aren’t opportunities for statement wins, so that’s why these early November and December games are so important.

-Wisconsin basically ran away from Syracuse and looked like the top ten team that many of us believed them to be before the season started.  They haven’t always looked like that, but they did last night.

-November continues to not be Shaka Smart’s month.  Last night Texas fell at home to UT Arlington 72-61 in a game that probably wasn’t even as close as the score indicated.  What does this mean for Texas??  They do struggle at the PG position, but I still think they’re going to get things turned around.  I’ve been saying this since his days at VCU.  November just isn’t Shaka’s month.  Better to have bad Novembers than Bad Marches, I guess.

-A UTR note, it was a very disappointing showing for Tennessee State at Vanderbilt last night.  I was beginning to think they were one of the surprise small conference teams of the year, and I suppose they still could be, but they didn’t look it last night.

-We had questions about Houston going into last night about how good they really were.  They were beaten down by LSU.  We no longer have questions about them.



-NORTH CAROLINA AT INDIANA (ACC/Big Ten Challenge) (***Spotlight Game***).  Both these teams are likely to end up as protected seeds, and it’s quite possible that one or both of them could end up as #1 seeds.  Indiana has a big win against Kansas already, and although they do have the loss at IPFW, that becomes almost insignificant, even by #1 seed standards, if they’re able to pick up a second win against a top five team before November is even over.  It’s a showcase game, and it should be a fun one.

-NEW HAMPSHIRE AT PROVIDENCE.  Folks, the People’s team and the Hoops HD declared champions of Preseason NIT (we still insist on calling it that) are on the road and in action again tonight against a Providence team that has been much more impressive than what I was expecting up to this point.  If UNH gets this one, it will be the second big road scalp on their profile before November is even over!!

-RICHMOND AT BUCKNELL.  Richmond showed signs of life in their holiday tournament, and are worth keeping an eye on.  Going to Bucknell and winning isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, but if they’re legit then they should be able to pick it up.

-WRIGHT STATE AT GEORGIA STATE.  Wright State comes into this at 6-1, and already has a true road win.  Their next seven div1 games are on the road, so we’ll know more about them after that stretch. Both teams will be playing this game in honor of Samaritan’s Feet – click here for more information on this charitable group. (We will discuss this further on tonight’s UTR podcast.)

-PURDUE AT LOUISVILLE (ACC/Big Ten Challenge).  Both teams look like they could/will end up as protected seeds, but up to this point neither one of them has a win against a solid top 25 team yet, so it’s a good opportunity to get one tonight.

-OHIO AT MARSHALL.  Marshall has just one loss, and Ohio comes in not just at 4-0, but having looked very impressive in their four wins.  They won’t get the attention of the national media until January, but they are a good team and this would be another notable true road win for them if they’re able to pick it up.

-RUTGERS AT MIAMI FL (ACC/Big Ten Challenge).  Rutgers is out to a 6-0 start, which is good, but none of their wins indicate that they’re going to be staying on the radar, so to speak.  Now, if they win tonight, then that’s an entirely different story.

-VIRGINIA TECH AT MICHIGAN (ACC/Big Ten Challenge).  Both teams come into this with just one loss, and Michigan has a little meat on their profile after having picked up some early wins of note.  For Virginia Tech, it is a hugely important game because their opportunities at notable OOC wins are very limited, and this could be the kind of win that gives their resume the nudge it needs at the end of the year.  It’s also a litmus test to see how good the Hokies really are.

-TEMPLE AT SAINT JOSEPH’S (Big Five).  Love the Big Five!!!  Both teams come into this game after having looked much better than any of us expected prior to the season starting.  Both have two losses, and Temple is coming off two huge back to back wins against ranked teams in the Preseason NIT.

-WASHINGTON AT TCU.  When it comes to surprising teams, TCU getting off to a 6-0 start isn’t something we expected.  Now having said that, Washington dropping two games and being somewhat of a disappointment is exactly what we were expecting.  TCU can, and should, win this game. This is a rematch from the Global Sports Classic in which both teams played each other Saturday night.

-UNC WILMINGTON AT WESTERN MICHIGAN.  Wilmington is coming off a somewhat surprising loss, and needs to rebound quickly and pick up this win because their margin for error for being able to make the NCAA Tournament without the automatic bid is rather small.

-MIDDLE TENNESSEE AT OLE MISS.  Both teams come into this with just one loss, and although neither has really played their way into the national consciousness yet, they’re both off to good starts and will get their eventually if they keep winning.  This would especially be a huge road win for Middle Tennessee, who will have limited opportunities to impress the committee, but should at least be in the discussion for an at-large if they’re able to run away from their conference and pick up some big OOC wins.

-SOUTH ALABAMA AT SOUTHERN MISS.  Neither team will likely be on the tournament radar by the end of the season, but as of now they both only have one loss.

-SAM HOUSTON STATE AT BAYLOR.  This is a buy game, but we will highlight it because Sam Houston State is who we like to win the Southland.

-SMU AT BOISE STATE.  SMU has looked pretty good so far, but their margin for error is a long way from infinite.  They take on a Boise State team who is just 3-3, but is coming off a very impressive showing at Oregon where they led for much of the game.

-UTAH STATE AT BYU.  This has developed into a fun and rather heated rivalry.  Both teams come in at 4-2 and both really need this win, so it’s important both on and off paper.

-NEBRASKA AT CLEMSON (ACC/Big Ten Challenge).  Nebraska has looked much better than we expected them to, but they still have a ton of work to do to show they are a legit team.  Winning tonight would be huge.  Clemson is fighting to make the NCAA Tournament as well, and these are the kinds of games they need to win to prove they belong there.  In a nutshell, this appears to be two teams that are on the outside and fighting to get on the inside.

-COLORADO STATE AT COLORADO (Front Range).  This is a rivalry game between two one loss teams that are looking for both bragging rights and national respect.  This game doesn’t resinate nationally like some other OOC rivalries, but it is a big deal to both programs and it is usually a very entertaining game.  The Front Range games typically are.

-OHIO STATE AT VIRGINIA (ACC/Big Ten Challenge).  Both teams are 6-0, but they are both a different kind of 6-0.  Virginia hasn’t played anyone great yet, but they’ve played a lot of decent teams and blown them all out.  Ohio State has had some big wins too, but nothing that would be as season defining as a win tonight would be.

-DENVER AT WYOMING (Front Range).  Neither team is in the national picture, but it’s a Front Range game, so we’re gonna highlight it anyway!

-AIR FORCE AT NEW MEXICO STATE.  Both teams come into this at 5-2.  It’s too early to tell, but Air Force might have a pulse, and just might be one of the better teams/surprise teams in the Mountain West this year.

-USC AT SAN DIEGO.  The Trojans can pick up another true road win and improve to a very impressive 7-0 this year.

-UTAH VALLEY AT WASHINGTON STATE.  We highlight this because Utah Valley comes in at 4-1 and is coming off a road win at BYU.  This won’t be considered a good win, or even a notable win, but you do have to sit up and take notice of any 5-1 team that’s won the kinds of road games that they have if they’re able to pull this off.

-SAINT MARY’S AT STANFORD.  Saint Mary’s has tested themselves already this year, which is something they haven’t always done in the past, and will test themselves again tonight against a Stanford team that’s looked pretty good so far.



-Coppin State @ Georgetown
-Adrian (nondiv1) @ Akron
-Stetson @ UCF.  This technically may not be a buy game, but for practical purposes it is.
-Morehouse (nondiv1) @ Georgia
-Wagner @ UMass
-Incarnate Word @ Texas Tech
-Cleveland State @ Arkansas State
-Green Bay @ Kansas State
-George Mason @ Northern Iowa
-Rogers State (nondiv1) @ Oklahoma State
-Houston Baptist @ Rice
-Drake @ DePaul
-Western Carolina @ Marquette
-Texas Southern @ Arizona
-Louisiana Tech @ California
-Western Oregon (nondvi1) @ Oregon
-UC Riverside @ UCLA

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