Handing out the Hardware: All-Conference Awards of 2016 (Part 2 of 2)

The end of the calendar year means that it is time to recognize the best players in college basketball. HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel has reviewed the entire non-conference season and is ready to announce Part 2 of his picks for the 5 best players from each conference based on their all-around stats. Players are listed in a traditional 5-position lineup (G-G-F-F-C) whenever possible with several exceptions, with the best ones in each conference honored as POYSF (Player of the Year So Far). If you think he has overlooked anyone then feel free to post your feedback in the comments section below.

MAAC
G: Matt Scott (Niagara)
G: Justin Robinson (Monmouth)
F: Brett Bisping (Siena)
F: Kahlil Thomas (Rider)
C: Quadir Welton (St. Peter’s)
POYSF: Justin Robinson (Monmouth)

MAC
G: Marcus Keene (Central Michigan)
G: Michael Weathers (Miami Ohio)
F: Antonio Campbell (Ohio)
F: Jimmy Hall (Kent State)
C: James Thompson IV (Eastern Michigan)
POYSF: Marcus Keene (Central Michigan)

MEAC
G: Jonathan Wade (Norfolk State)
G: Patrick Cole (NC Central)
G: Brandon Tabb (Bethune-Cookman)
F: Desmond Williams (Florida A&M)
F: Phillip Carr (Morgan State)
POYSF: Patrick Cole (NC Central)

MVC
G: Jeremy Morgan (Northern Iowa)
G: Brenton Scott (Indiana State)
G: Milton Doyle (Loyola Chicago)
F: Alize Johnson (Missouri State)
F: Deontae Hawkins (Illinois State)
POYSF: Jeremy Morgan (Northern Iowa)

MWC
G: Chandler Hutchison (Boise State)
G: Marcus Marshall (Nevada)
F: Cameron Oliver (Nevada)
F: Tim Williams (New Mexico)
F: Hayden Dalton (Wyoming)
POYSF: Chandler Hutchison (Boise State)

NEC
G: Elijah Long (Mount St.  Mary’s)
G: Quincy McKnight (Sacred Heart)
G: Darian Anderson (Fairleigh Dickinson)
F: Jerome Frink (LIU Brooklyn)
F: Joseph Lopez (Sacred Heart)
POYSF: Quincy McKnight (Sacred Heart)

OVC
G: Evan Bradds (Belmont)
G: Josh Robinson (Austin Peay)
G: Jonathan Stark (Murray State)
F: Kedar Edwards (Tennessee-Martin)
F: Nick Mayo (Eastern Kentucky)
POYSF: Evan Bradds (Belmont)

Pac-12
G: Lonzo Ball (UCLA)
G: Markelle Fultz (Washington)
F: Josh Hawkinson (Washington State)
F: Reid Travis (Stanford)
F: TJ Leaf (UCLA)
POYSF: Markelle Fultz (Washington)

Patriot
G: Matt Klinewski (Lafayette)
G: Andre Walker (Loyola MD)
F: Zach Thomas (Bucknell)
F: Tim Kempton (Lehigh)
C: Nana Foulland (Bucknell)
POYSF: Tim Kempton (Lehigh)

SEC
G: Deandre Burnett (Mississippi)
G: De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky)
F: Yante Maten (Georgia)
F: Sebastian Saiz (Mississippi)
C: Tyler Davis (Texas A&M)
POYSF: De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky)

Southern
G: QJ Peterson (Virginia Military)
G: TJ Cromer (East Tennessee State)
F: Justin Tuoyo (Chattanooga)
F: Zane Najdawi (Citadel)
C: Wyatt Walker (Samford)
POYSF: Zane Najdawi (Citadel)

Southland
G: Shawn Johnson (Incarnate Word)
G: Ehab Amin (Texas A&M CC)
F: Rashawn Thomas (Texas A&M CC)
F: Erik Thomas (New Orleans)
C: Jalone Friday (Abilene Christian)
POYSF: Rashawn Thomas (Texas A&M CC)

SWAC
G: Tre’lun Banks (Southern)
G: Paris Collins (Jackson State)
F: Shawn Prudhomme (Southern)
F: Jared Sam (Southern)
C: Quinterian McConico (Alabama A&M)
POYSF: Shawn Prudhomme (Southern)

Summit
G: Mo Evans (IPFW)
G: Joe Rosga (Denver)
F: Mike Daum (South Dakota State)
F: Tre’Shawn Thurman (Nebraska Omaha)
C: Daniel Amigo (Denver)
POYSF: Mike Daum (South Dakota State)

Sun Belt
G: Tookie Brown (Georgia Southern)
G: Jay Wright (Louisiana Lafayette)
F: Bryce Washington (Louisiana Lafayette)
F: Kavin Gilder-Tilbury (Texas State)
F: Jordon Varnado (Troy)
POYSF: Bryce Washington (Louisiana Lafayette)

WCC
G: Jared Brownridge (Santa Clara)
G: Alec Wintering (Portland)
F: Eric Mika (BYU)
F: Brett Bailey (San Diego)
C: Jock Landale (St. Mary’s)
POYSF: Alec Wintering (Portland)

WAC
G: DeWayne Russell (Grand Canyon)
G: LaVell Boyd (UMKC)
F: Trayvon Palmer (Chicago State)
F: Isaac Neilson (Utah Valley)
C: Aaron Menzies (Seattle)
POYSF: DeWayne Russell (Grand Canyon)

News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Saturday, Dec 31st

NEWS AND NOTES

-Jon Teitel’s midseason All Conference Awards have been posted!!  CLICK HERE to check them out

-USC is no longer unbeaten, and they got beat so badly by Oregon that perhaps it should count as two losses.  The 84-61 score isn’t even indicative as to how badly Oregon outplayed them.  I’d say the Ducks are back.  Well, at least when they’re at home.

-Michigan State is looking better.  We all became discouraged when they lost to Northeastern, but now they’ve won six of their last seven, which includes their two biggest wins of the year at Minnesota and at home against Northwestern, and both their team and their profile have been revived somewhat.

-Arizona State, who isn’t good, picked up a win at Stanford.  I believe this will knock Stanford off of our radar for the time being.

 

SPOTLIGHT GAME

-NEW HAMPSHIRE AT DARTMOUTH.  CLICK HERE for Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day!!!!!  

-VILLANOVA AT CREIGHTON.  Both teams are unbeaten and both are ranked in the top ten.  What else do you need to say??  Nova’s profile is the more impressive one, but they’re coming off a game where they had to sweat out DePaul, which is almost unbelievable given how well they had been playing prior to that game.  Creighton is very tough to beat at home, and the fans will be rocking for this one.

 

OTHER HIGHLIGHTED GAMES

-XAVIER AT GEORGETOWN (Big East).  Xavier has a good profile, but they’ve yet to win a true road game.  Georgetown has been streaky this season, and will be trying to rebound after losing their conference opener to Marquette.

-DUKE AT VIRGINIA TECH (ACC).  Duke continues to look like a #1 seed, but they’ll face a VA Tech team who has played really well this season and has more momentum built up than they have at any time in recent memory.  This should be a fun one.

-CLEMSON AT WAKE FOREST (ACC).  I’ve been very impressed with Clemson’s play lately.  They’ve looked like a tournament team, and although Wake is unbeaten at home this is definitely a game that Clemson is able to win.

-NORTH CAROLINA AT GEORGIA TECH (ACC).  UNC is looking to pick up a road win in their conference opener, which would be their third of the season.  They have a very solid profile and it would be a surprise if they didn’t end up with a protected seed.

-SMU AT EAST CAROLINA (American).  SMU looks to be one of the better teams in the AAC, and they’re going after their second true road win today against an ECU team that has just one home loss so far.  Even though ECU isn’t a tournament team, SMU should get some credit for this win if they’re able to pull it off.

-HOUSTON AT SOUTH FLORIDA (American).  Houston has a bloated record and will need a very strong showing in conference just to get into the tournament picture, but it isn’t completely outside the realm of possibility.

-UNC WILMINGTON AT TOWSON (Colonial).  UNCW fell at Clemson earlier in the week, but they have just two losses, appear to be good enough to dominate the league, and if they do their profile will likely be strong enough to land them inside the bubble.

-LOUISVILLE VS INDIANA (Game in Indianapolis IN).  These two teams are very close geographically, and although they do play on occasion it is not a fixture game.  Both teams are highly ranked, both already have big wins, and both have a good chance to end up with protected seeds.  Strangely enough, both are also coming off losses.  Indiana’s was particularly surprising seeing as how they lost at home to Nebraska.  A win in this game for either team would be a great way to bounce back.

-RIDER AT MONMOUTH (Metro Atlantic).  Monmouth pretty much needs to run the table or come close to it in order to end up inside the bubble.  They should be good enough to do that if they truly are a tournament team.

-NOTRE DAME AT PITTSBURGH (ACC).  Notre Dame has been better than expected, but the most impressive games that they’ve played were probably the two that they lost.  Considering how good Pitt’s home record is, this would arguably be the biggest win for the Irish up to this point if they’re able to pull it off.

-FLORIDA STATE AT VIRGINIA (ACC).  Both teams are ranked, and both have just one loss.  Virginia is coming off a very impressive road win against Louisville, and if this UVA team is like the teams of the past, they seem to get better and better throughout conference play.  Not many are talking about them as being the best team in the ACC, but they do have the best singular win out of any team so far, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them handle a good Florida State team at home today.

-CHATTANOOGA AT WESTERN CAROLINA (Southern).  If Chattanooga wins out they’ll be in the discussion.  Anything short of that and they’ll need the auto bid.

-RICHMOND AT DAVIDSON (Atlantic Ten).  Davidson needs to have a very strong showing in the A10, which means either finishing first or coming close to it, in order to end up safely inside the bubble, but they’ve shown signs of being able to do it despite their four losses.

-BYU AT LMU (West Coast).  BYU’s margin for error is small.  They really can’t afford to lose any games like this one.

-TEMPLE AT UCF (American).  Both teams have shown some promise, but both have also shown some red flags.  They both have work to do, which makes this an important game for both teams.

-WYOMING AT UNLV (Mountain West).  I believe Wyoming and Nevada are the only two teams who have any sort of shot at landing inside the bubble, and to be honest I don’t think either of them will do it.  I just think it’s possible.  One or both of them will have to run roughshod over this pathetically weak league.

-NC STATE AT MIAMI FL (ACC).  Both teams have bloated record, but both need some more meat on their profiles.

-COASTAL CAROLINA AT UT ARLINGTON (Sun Belt).  I really like this UTA team, and I think they’re good enough to land inside the bubble.  They pretty much need to run all over the Sun Belt in order to do it, but I think they’re good enough.

-SAN FRANCISCO AT SANTA CLARA (West Coast).  With USF being at an impressive 11-3, we are going to keep our eyes on them.  They’ll need some quality wins in order to land inside the bubble, and they’ll also need to avoid losing games like this one.

-NEVADA AT FRESNO STATE (Mountain West).  Nevada needs to win this game, and the next game, and pretty much all the rest of their games, in order to feel safe on Selection Sunday.

-GONZAGA AT PACIFIC (West Coast).  Pacific has an impressive home record, but it’s still unlikely that Gonzaga will be challenged.

-SAN DIEGO AT SAINT MARY’S (West Coast).  Like many conference home games that aren’t against Gonzaga or BYU, this should resemble a buy game for SMC.

Under the Radar Game of the Year: New Hampshire at Dartmouth

New Hampshire at Dartmouth, 2:00 PM Eastern, ivyleaguedigitalnetwork.com

For Part 1 of Jon Teitel’s All-Conference Awards of 2016, featuring three players in action in today’s game, CLICK HERE.

New Year’s Eve.  The final day of 2016.  And as we say farewell to one year and welcome in the next one, the highlight Under the Radar game today is in fact our Under the Radar Game of the Year — as the Team of the People, the New Hampshire Wildcats, travel across the Granite State to take on the Dartmouth Big Green.  The Wildcats are led by two of the top players inn the America East, guard Jaleen Smith and forward Tanner Leissner.  The two of them are hoping the lead the Wildcats to their first ever NCAA Tournament bid this season.  They have already won at Temple and at Winthrop, sit at 8-4 overall, and will now be looking to add a Granite State rivalry championship to their list of accomplishments.  Today’s game is also the Wildcats’ last non-conference game against D1 competition, with the quest for the top seed in the America East tournament set to begin next Thursday against Stony Brook.  #GoDancingOrDie

Standing between the Wildcats and their 9th win of the season today is in-state rival Dartmouth.  The Big Green started the season 0-9, but have won their last two since then, both on the road.  Forward Evan Boudreaux has been leading the way so far for his team, having scored in double figures in all but one game.  The possibility of him matching up against Tanner Leissner today will make this game worth watching, regardless of the in-state rivalry title that is at stake.  No matter what way one looks at it, today’s game should be fun, and we just hope that, especially with all State offices in New Hampshire closed today, that the fans turn out for this one and recognize just how big of a game it is.

Handing out the Hardware: All-Conference Awards of 2016 (Part 1 of 2)

The end of the calendar year means that it is time to recognize the best players in college basketball. HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel has reviewed the entire non-conference season and is ready to announce his picks for the 5 best players from each conference based on their all-around stats. Players are listed in a traditional 5-position lineup (G-G-F-F-C) whenever possible with several exceptions, with the best ones in each conference honored as POYSF (Player of the Year So Far). If you think he has overlooked anyone then feel free to post your feedback in the comments section below, and check back later this weekend for the remaining conferences in Part 2.

America East
G: Jairus Lyles (UMBC)
G: Jaleen Smith (New Hampshire)
G: Joe Cremo (Albany)
F: Jahad Thomas (UMass-Lowell)
F: Tanner Leissner (New Hampshire)
POYSF: Jahad Thomas (UMass-Lowell)

AAC
G: Rob Gray (Houston)
G: Jalen Adams (Connecticut)
F: Dedric Lawson (Memphis)
F: Obi Enechionyia (Temple)
C: Tacko Fall (UCF)
POYSF: Dedric Lawson (Memphis)

A-10
G: Jack Gibbs (Davidson)
G: Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure)
G: Matt Mobley (St. Bonaventure)
F: Peyton Aldridge (Davidson)
F: TJ Cline (Richmond)
POYSF: Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure)

ACC
G: Jerome Robinson (Boston College)
G: Luke Kennard (Duke)
F: Michael Young (Pitt)
F: Bonzie Colson (Notre Dame)
C: Ben Lammers (Georgia Tech)
POYSF: Michael Young (Pitt)

Atlantic Sun
G: Dallas Moore (North Florida)
G: Kendrick Ray (Kennesaw State)
G: Damon Lynn (NJIT)
F: Aubrey Williams (Kennesaw State)
C: Michael Buchanan (SC Upstate)
POYSF: Damon Lynn (NJIT)

Big 12
G: Frank Mason III (Kansas)
G: Josh Jackson (Kansas)
G: Jawun Evans (Oklahoma State)
F: Johnathan Motley (Baylor)
F: Zach Smith (Texas Tech)
POYSF: Frank Mason III (Kansas)

Big East
G: Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s)
G: Josh Hart (Villanova)
F: Rodney Pryor (Georgetown)
F: Angel Delgado (Seton Hall)
C: Luke Fischer (Marquette)
POYSF: Josh Hart (Villanova)

Big Sky
G: Jordan Davis (Northern Colorado)
G: Randy Onwuasor (Southern Utah)
G: Tyler Hall (Montana State)
F: Jacob Wiley (Eastern Washington)
F: Bogdan Bliznyuk (Eastern Washington)
POYSF: Bogdan Bliznyuk (Eastern Washington)

Big South
G: Chris Clemons (Campbell)
G: Ahmad Thomas (NC Asheville)
G: Laquincy Rideau (Gardner-Webb)
F: Khris Lane (Longwood)
F: Xavier Cooks (Winthrop)
POYSF: Chris Clemons (Campbell)

Big 10
G: Peter Jok (Iowa)
G: Malcolm Hill (Illinois)
G: Tai Webster (Nebraska)
F: Caleb Swanigan (Purdue)
C: Thomas Bryant (Indiana)
POYSF: Caleb Swanigan (Purdue)

Big West
G: Jaron Martin (UC Irvine)
G: Brynton Lemar (UC Davis)
G: Kendall Smith (Cal State Northridge)
F: Chima Moneke (UC Davis)
F: Tavrion Dawson (Cal State Northridge)
POYSF: Kendall Smith (Cal State Northridge)

CAA
G: Denzel Ingram (UNC Wilmington)
G: Kurk Lee (Drexel)
G: TJ Williams (Northeastern)
F: Devontae Cacok (UNC Wilmington)
F: Rodney Williams (Drexel)
POYSF: TJ Williams (Northeastern)

C-USA
G: Jon Davis (Charlotte)
G: Jon Elmore (Marshall)
F: Erik McCree (Louisiana Tech)
F: Michael Kessens (Florida International)
C: Ronald Delph (Florida Atlantic)
POYSF: Jon Elmore (Marshall)

Horizon
G: Mark Alstork (Wright State)
G: Cameron Morse (Youngstown State)
F: Alec Peters (Valparaiso)
F: Dikembe Dixson (Illinois-Chicago)
C: Drew McDonald (Northern Kentucky)
POYSF: Alec Peters (Valparaiso)

Ivy
G: Matt Morgan (Cornell)
G: Steven Spieth (Brown)
G: Bryce Aiken (Harvard)
F: Evan Boudreaux (Dartmouth)
F: AJ Brodeur (Penn)
POYSF: Steven Spieth (Brown)

Throwback Thursday (Fallback Friday Edition): The Metro Conference

For Chad Sherwood’s UTR Game of the Day between Eastern Washington and Idaho – CLICK HERE.

For David Griggs’ News, Notes and Highlighted Games – CLICK HERE.

For our weekly UTR Podcast – CLICK HERE

Last year around this time, we took a look at the Great Midwest Conference – they were one of the forerunners of Conference USA for its inception in the 1990s. Their older counterparts were the Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference, which was more colloquially known as the Metro Conference. It was founded in 1975 with charter members Louisville, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Memphis State, Saint Louis and Tulane. Florida State would join a year later, and when Georgia Tech received an invitation to join the ACC and bolster their football side of the conference, Virginia Tech would join the Metro. These seven schools were the core of the Metro for about a decade, and they would add Southern Miss (as a replacement for Saint Louis) and South Carolina to their ranks in 1982 and 1983, respectively.

Louisville was the undisputed flagship of the Metro Conference during its existence. They were frequent hosts of the Metro conference tournament (along with Cincinnati, Memphis and other rotating sites) and won 11 out of a possible 18 titles during the conference’s existence. They won 2 national championships in 1980 and 1986, and were also part of the Final Four in 1982 and 1983 under Denny Crum’s tutelage. After the Great Midwest exodus in 1991, they would dominate the Metro with a 35-13 record in conference play along with 3 more conference titles in this timespan.

As for Cincinnati, it was the best of times and the worst of times. They actually won the first two Metro conference tournaments while Gale Catlett was their head coach for the 1976 and 1977 seasons. None of that translated into any NCAA Tournament success, however, and they would not advance that far again until the 1991-92 season (which was the beginning of the Great Midwest Conference). UC bottomed out in the 1983-84 season with a 3-25 record during Tony Yates’ first season. Not only did they finish 0-14 in the Metro that year, there were also the events of December 20, 1983 that will live in college basketball infamy. That was the day they hosted Kentucky and lost 24-11 in a game where UC played stall ball for most of the contest. This game was one major reason for a 45-second shot clock being implemented for the 1985-86 season.

Memphis State was another program that had quite a bit of success ON the court under head coach Dana Kirk. They won conference tournament titles in 1982, 1984 and 1985 that led to 3 trips to the NCAA Tournament, including an appearance in the 1985 Final Four that was dominated by the original Big East conference. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they would be stripped of those titles and appearances by the NCAA because of violations that took place in the program. Strangely, they were allowed to play in the conference tournament in 1987, but since they were ineligible for the NCAA Tournament, they ended up winning the Metro and the conference was completely frozen out of the NCAA Tournament that year. Thankfully for Memphis State, their success in the Great Midwest Conference would be free and clean.

Tulane had an even more infamous tenure in the Metro, if that seems possible. News came out of a point-shaving scandal involving players and coaches during the 1984-85 season. The university president at the time (Eamon Kelly) completely shut down the program for 4 seasons – in effect, it was the death penalty for Tulane basketball at the time. This was the second instance in NCAA history of a self-imposed “death penalty” after the University of San Francisco shut down their program after the 1981-82 season and would not resume until the 1985-86 season. This also meant that Tulane would be expelled from the Metro membership until their basketball program would be reinstated. Tulane would resume their program in 1989, and would actually win the regular season title in the Metro for the 1991-92 season.

For the 1991-92 season, the Metro membership would drastically change thanks to football. Florida State left to join the ACC, South Carolina left to join the SEC, and Cincinnati and Memphis State left to form the Great Midwest Conference along with Saint Louis, UAB, Marquette and DePaul. In their stead, the Metro invited UNC-Charlotte, South Florida and Virginia Commonwealth as replacement schools to ensure that the conference had the minimum membership requirements to retain their automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. After the 1994-95 season, the Metro and Great Midwest Conferences ceased operations and helped to form the new Conference USA. The only exceptions were Virginia Tech and VCU – Virginia Tech would join the Atlantic 10 and VCU would join the Colonial Athletic Association.

News, Notes, and Highlighted Games: Friday, Dec 30th

NEWS AND NOTES

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

-Butler went on the road to Saint John’s yesterday, and Butler lost.  This is the second true road game they’ve lost against a team that clearly appears to be nowhere near the NIT, much less the NCAA Tournament.  They do have a win at Utah, but they need to be able to beat the sub-NIT teams on the road if they truly are a top fifteen team.  Hell, they need to be able to beat solid tournament teams on the road if they’re truly a top fifteen team.

-Florida picked up a somewhat impressive win against an Arkansas team who had looked good and who had a bloated record.  The Gators have had their struggles, but they’re better this year than they were a year ago and Mike White appears to have them going in the right direction.

-Tennessee knocked off Texas A&M at TAMU, and looked rather impressive in doing so.  I think this means two things, TAMU isn’t as good as we thought, but it also means that Tennessee isn’t as bad as we thought.  Still not good enough to be a tournament team, but definitely good enough to be dangerous in the conference.

 

HIGHLIGHTED GAMES

-WEST VIRGINIA AT OKLAHOMA STATE (Big Twelve).  Not too many people are all that excited about Oklahoma State despite them being 10-2 with a blowout win against Wichita State in Wichita.  They’re unbeaten at home.  Most probably see West Virginia as the favorite, but this is anything but an easy game for them to win.

-SAINT BONAVENTURE AT UMASS (Atlantic Ten).  At 10-3, UMass will have their chances to play their way into the field, but the margin for error is small.

-VALPARAISO AT UIC (Horizon League).  Valpo pretty much needs to run the table in conference play to be safe for a tournament bid without winning the conference tournament, which they are good enough to do but that’s still easier said than done.

-NORTHWESTERN AT MICHIGAN STATE (Big Ten).  This is a very interesting game between a Northwestern team that’s put together a very impressive profile and is looking to add a conference road win to it, and a Michigan State team that got off to a sluggish start but just picked up a big win at Minnesota and is looking to turn their season around.

-TEXAS TECH AT IOWA STATE (Big Twelve).  Texas Tech has a bloated record, but this is hands down their biggest test of the season so far.

-LA SALLE AT DAYTON (Atlantic Ten).  Dayton appears to be among the A10 frontrunners, and they need to take care of business at home against a La Salle team that appears to be of sub-tournament quality.

-BAYLOR AT OKLAHOMA (Big Twelve).  Baylor comes in at 12-0 with a very strong resume, but they haven’t played any true road games yet, so this will be a different kind of test for them.

-RHODE ISLAND AT SAINT LOUIS (Atlantic Ten).  I want to highlight this game just to say that Rhody has not yet won a true road game, and if they want to land inside the bubble they probably need to at least pick up six of the nine road games they have left, and if they can’t pick this one up they should just give up and start again next year.

-TEXAS AT KANSAS STATE (Big Twelve).  Texas is spinning out of control and can’t seem to get back on track.  K State has just one loss, but it’s hard to say if their bloated record reflects their schedule or if it reflects how good they are.  We’ll learn more about them as we go through conference play.

-VCU AT GEORGE MASON (Atlantic Ten).  A strong showing in conference play, which means being able to win against a very much improved George Mason team on the road, should land VCU inside the bubble.

-SOUTH CAROLINA AT MEMPHIS.  South Carolina’s profile is strong, but you get the sense that they need a nice road win to help stabilize it after their last couple of losses.  Memphis is improved, but is coming off a loss and still appears to have a ways to go before we can call them a solid tournament team.

-KANSAS AT TCU (Big Twelve).  TCU is 11-1 and has a ton of momentum built up, which is odd to say and in itself an accomplishment, but being able to knock off Kansas at home is a very tall order.  Kansas is a potential #1 seed, and this is the kind of game that #1 seeds win.  Well, I guess every kind of game is the kind of game #1 seeds win.

-USC AT OREGON (Pac Twelve).  Oregon is coming off a hugely exciting and emotional home win against UCLA, and looks to take down unbeaten USC today.  Their profile needed some stabilizing.  I’d say they will have certainly accomplished that with a win tonight.

-UCLA AT OREGON STATE (Pac Twelve).  UCLA suffered their first loss of the season in a true road game against a very good Oregon team.  I suspect that they’ll have little trouble rebounding tonight.

-ARIZONA AT CALIFORNIA (Pac Twelve).  Arizona has continued to win despite injuries.  While Cal appears to be good, they’ve done very little this season outside of win home buy games.  That puts even more pressure on the Golden Bears to perform in conference.